Demystifying The Rules Of Best Time To Post On Instagram

| Instagram Analytics | Adina Jipa

Is there really a best time of the day to post on Instagram, so your photos and videos get more views, likes, and comments?

Actually, there isn’t. Most of the articles around the Internet tell you to post between 8:30am and 11:00am, and then after 5:00pm because that’s when people commute to/from work and browse their Instagram accounts.

But this idea overlooks those people who are in meeting rooms, get bored and scroll through Facebook and Instagram, or those who work from home (e.g. freelancers and bloggers) and don’t commute at all.

Assuming that the recommended one-size-fits-all model will work perfectly for your business might hurt your engagement rates and your personal connection with your user base.1

In March last year, Instagram changed the order in which they show photos and videos. Your news feed is now based on “the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.

Even for Instagram analytics tools, it is a difficult task to estimate the perfect time to post, and most of the tools show you just the default Instagram Analytics from your business account.

Establishing the best time to post on Instagram depends on so many factors and implies the ability to aggregate your results with insights from your competitors, and requires a macro analysis of your industry.

Those who follow Ikea on Instagram are more tempted to engage with the Ikea content on Thursday or Friday because Saturday is a family Ikea day, and are less likely to engage on Monday when they are more likely to be looking for food at the office.

Key factors to consider when deciding on the best time to post on Instagram

#1. Your audience’s time zone.

Let’s say that you’re located in a city on the west coast, but most of your followers are in New York, on the east coast. Adapt your publishing hours to the most popular hours for your audience, not for you.

You could use Instagram’s native analytics tool to get the optimal posting time for your audience. The native app gives you insights for your followers’ locations, their genders, their ages, and, most importantly when they’re most active on Instagram. To access these insights don’t forget to transform your account into a business account.

#2. When your competitors are posting.

Complete your timeline research with your competitors’ actions on Instagram. Use tools like Socialinsider, which tracks every movement your competitors make on Instagram and see when your competition gets the highest engagement rate on their Instagram posts.

#3. Your industry’s behavior.

Keep track of your buyer persona or user persona behavior. Let’s say you’re selling shoes and promote your business on Instagram, and you are located in Chicago. You know that most people buy shoes late in the evening. Apply this insight to your Instagram account and measure the results over time.

#4. What you’re posting.

The timeliness of your post is one factor, but your engagement results depend on what you’re posting. Maybe on Monday people are not interested in shopping or holidays, but they are looking for gifts, books or courses. If the content you are posting is appealing to your target audience, then it will receive more likes and comments.

#5. Find your best time to post on Instagram.

Now that you have learned how your audience behaves on Instagram and what tips & tricks your competitors apply to their strategy, experiment with posting times and measure your progress.

See when top marketers post on Instagram

Today, I’m going to show you when the top five marketing influencers post on Facebook and what engagement rates they get on those posts. The post time is in UTC, so to draw any conclusions adjust the timeframes to your local time.

Gary Vaynerchuk

Is there really a best time of the day to post on Instagram?

The well-known entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk uses his Instagram profile for entrepreneurship, motivational and marketing videos, selfies and quote wallpapers.

In the last ten months, he posted 760 posts with an Engagement Rate per post of 1.3%/post and an Engagement Rate in the page of 988.072%/page.

In the last ten months he posted:

  • videos - 49.2%
  • images - 48.7%
  • carousel - 2.1%

Most of the time he published on Instagram between:

  • 01:00pm - 02:00pm UTC
  • 04:00pm - UTC
  • 06:00pm - UTC
  • 10:00pm - UTC

Tim Ferriss

Is there really a best time of the day to post on Instagram?

Tim Ferriss is the author of four #1 NYT/WSJ bestsellers, including Tools of Titans and The 4-Hour Workweek.

In the last ten months, he posted 200 posts with an Engagement Rate per post of 1.016%/post and an Engagement Rate in the profile of 203.178%/page.

He published:

  • images - 90.5%
  • videos - 8.7%
  • carousel - 0.5%

Most of the time he used Instagram at:

  • 02:00 - 03:00am UTC
  • 05:00pm UTC
  • 11:00pm UTC

Mari Smith

Is there really a best time of the day to post on Instagram?

Mari Smith is a Facebook marketing expert and social media thought leader.

In the last ten months, Mari Smith posted on Instagram 36 posts with an Engagement Rate per post of 0.765%/post and an Engagement Rate per page of 27.542%/page.

She published:

  • images - 86.2%
  • carousel - 9.5
  • video - 4.3%

Best time for Mari Smith was:

  • 12:00pm UTC
  • 14:00 UTC
  • 16:00 UTC
  • 22:00 UTC

Marie Forleo

Is there really a best time of the day to post on Instagram?

Marie Forleo is a speaker, writer, entrepreneur and a fancy dancer.

She published 155 posts and got an Engagement Rate per Post of 1.136%/post and an Engagement Rate per page of 176.13%/page.

She published:

  • image - 62.4%
  • video - 34.2%
  • carousel - 3.2%

Most of the time, Marie Forleo posted between:

  • 12:00 - 14:00 UTC
  • 18:00 - 20:00 UTC

Andrea Vahl

Is there really a best time of the day to post on Instagram?

Andrea Vahl is a social media speaker and consultant who is passionate about helping businesses understand and leverage the power of social media to grow their business.

In the last ten months, Andrea published 442 posts with an Engagement Rate per post of 0.906%/post and an Engagement Rate per page of 400.238%/page.

She published:

  • images - 86.2%
  • carousel - 9.5%
  • videos - 4.3%

She chose to post at:

  • 12:00 UTC
  • 14:00 UTC
  • 22:00 UTC
    She was the most active Instagrammer in this top.

Final thought

Don’t let the rules of ‘best time’ to define your marketing strategy. Always reinventing your business. It helps you recognize opportunities that create value and to matter to your customers.

Adina Jipa

Adina Jipa

Making successful mistakes as a co-founder @socialinsider. I love writing about social media strategies, psychology & consumer behavior.

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