In high school, one of my friends was determined to find the perfect time to post her Instagram photos to maximize the amount of likes she got. She was surprisingly scientific about it, posting at different times of the day and jotting down each of her posts’ “likes per minute”. After weeks of testing, she figured out which post time raked in the most likes, and, from then on, she could easily get 200 likes on all her Instagram posts.
My friend’s rather scientific method to maximize her Instagram likes still makes me chuckle to this day. But since I’m a marketer now, her desire to build a strong Instagram presence also resonates with me.
To build a sizable Instagram following, you need to create compelling content that your audience actually craves. But if you don’t post your content at the right time, most of them will never see it.
So how do you figure out the optimal post time for your specific audience?
The best way to find an ideal posting time is by testing the timing of your posts to see which post time generates the most audience engagement.
But if you don’t have enough resources or time to conduct your own tests, Sprout Social, a social media management platform with over 24,000 customers, has you covered. This year, they analyzed their customer data to see what time and day their social media posts generated the most engagement. They also segmented the data by social network and industry.
Looking at their aggregate customer data for Instagram, you can see that the following days and times (in Central Time Zone) are ideal for generating the most engagement on the social network:
Here are some more insights about optimal post timing extracted from their data:
- Posting at 5:00 AM CDT from Tuesday to Friday generates some of the highest engagement — people usually check their phones right when they wake up.
- Posting from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM CDT during the weekdays also generates a lot of engagement — people usually check their phones during lunch or when they start to run out of mental energy toward the end of the work day.
- If you want to post on the weekends, post on Saturday around 11:00 AM CDT when people eat brunch or hang out with their friends.
This general data about optimal post timing is a great starting point for growing an engaged Instagram audience, but if you want to get more granular, here are the best times to post on Instagram if your organization is in the technology, B2C, education, healthcare, and non-profit industries, according to Sprout Social’s research.
Best Times to Post on Instagram for Technology Companies
- Best Time: Wednesday at 10:00 AM CDT
- Most Consistent Engagement: Wednesday to Friday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM CDT
- Best Day: Thursday
- Worst Day: Sunday
Best Times to Post on Instagram for B2C Companies
- Best Time: Saturday at 11:00 AM & 1:00 PM CDT
- Most Consistent Engagement: Everyday from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM CDT
- Best Day: Wednesday
- Worst Day: Monday
Best Times to Post on Instagram for Educational Organizations
- Best Time: Monday at 8:00 PM CDT
- Most Consistent Engagement: Weekdays from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM CDT
- Best Day: Monday
- Worst Day: Sunday
Best Times to Post on Instagram for Healthcare Companies
- Best Time: Tuesday at 1:00 PM CDT
- Most Consistent Engagement: Tuesday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM CDT
- Best Day: Tuesday
- Worst Day: Saturday & Sunday
Best Times to Post on Instagram for Non-Profit Organizations
- Best Times: Tuesday at 3:00 PM & 9:00 PM, Wednesday at 3:00 PM & 4:00 PM, Thursday at 2:00 PM & 3:00 PM, and Friday at 10:00 AM & 2:00 PM,
- Most Consistent Engagement: Weekdays from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
- Best Day: Tuesday
- Worst Day: Saturday
Timing is Key
Every brand’s audience is different. To build a sizable, engaged Instagram audience, you need to know who your followers are. And one of the best ways to get to know your audience and capture their attention is by knowing exactly when they like to surf the app.