Maximizing Your Instagram Reach: A Guide to Optimal Posting Times

by 25 min read upd on Feb 2, 2023

In the past, users of Instagram would guess and experiment with the best times to post on the platform. Many believed that by carefully planning their posting times, they could increase engagement on their posts. These were the good old days before everyone's goal became finding ways to "outsmart" the algorithm.

Nowadays, in order to gain more followers on Instagram, one must create and post compelling content that other users will find desirable. With Instagram's ever-changing algorithm, if you don't post at the right time, your followers may never see your posts. So, how can you determine the best time to post on Instagram?

If you are unsure where to begin with posting on Instagram, don't worry. We are providing you with a complete guide to Instagram posting times, including the best times to post by day of the week and industry. With our tips on maximising the use of Instagram scheduling tools and the best Instagram growth services, you will be posting like an Instagram expert in no time.

Discover the power of AI and the team of dedicated experts in managing your social media presence. Our proprietary AI autopilot creates and publishes content for you, freeing up your time to focus on what really matters!


Is there a best time to post on Instagram? 

Each brand has a slightly different sweet spot for posting on Instagram as every brand on social media caters to a unique audience with unique behaviour patterns. However, don't lose hope! There are certain best practices that social media marketers can follow to achieve great results across the board.

The Instagram algorithm prioritizes recency, so posting when your followers are online is crucial. This means that, if all else is equal, a newer post will appear higher on the newsfeed than an older one. Recency is one of the quickest and easiest ways to optimise a post for success.

Beyond that, it is also important to be clear on your goals for your Instagram marketing strategy. Do you have specific targets around building awareness, higher engagement, or driving traffic? What does success look like to you and when have your posts achieved that success in the past? Your past wins are a key guideline for when you should be posting overall.

Why post on Instagram at a specific time? 

Why post on specific time on Instagram?

According to global Statista data, mobile users spend an average of 11.2 hours a month on Instagram - that's about 1% of their time each month, or one in a hundred chances that you will catch your users when they're on the platform. Therefore, posting when your top users are online will make a difference and give you more time to connect with your most important followers. 

However, for many marketers, social media posting is just one more task on a busy day. It can be tempting to post whenever it is convenient or to schedule posts for a time that feels logical, even if there isn't any data to back it up.

Increasing Reach: 

Some users on Instagram focus their feeds on the friends, businesses, and influencers they already follow, but many others use Instagram for inspiration and discovery. Factors that help new users discover your posts include recent engagement. Fresh and recent content is also important.

Building a Loyal Audience: 

Loyalty takes time and effort to build, particularly for small businesses that have to compete with big brands on social media. Posting during peak times on Instagram helps you connect with more of your followers at once, showing your audience that you want to engage with them and keeping your brand at the forefront of their minds. It also helps set expectations, as building loyalty is about being a consistent presence in their feeds that helps to build relationships.

Increasing Engagement: 

The global average Instagram engagement rate is almost 6%, more than double the average engagement rate in 2021. Instagram engagement creates a ripple effect, with the first ripple being obvious - if you get immediate likes, comments, and saves after posting, it is more likely that your post will show up in more feeds. Features such as Favorites, Search, and videos also have an impact on engagement rates.

Testing New Algorithms:

 Like most online tools, Instagram launches constant updates to shape the user experience. As a business, your team needs to quickly understand how each update could impact your users and strategy. Algorithms are complex, and Instagram leaders say that each part of the app uses an independent algorithm. Therefore, it may be tough to figure out why one day your latest videos might show up in the feed but not surface on Discover. The best way to understand the latest algorithm changes is to run tests with your own posts.

Understanding New Features: 

Your posting schedule can also help you understand new Instagram features, such as Carousels, Stories, and Reels. Each of these features will have different rates of engagement depending on your content and industry. If your business is investing time and resources into Instagram, it's important to have a strategy, including different types of content, whether you want your posts to show up as suggested content or boost your shoppable stories, you want useful and eye-catching content.

When Instagram releases new features, it can take time to understand:

  • the new feature
  • when users see the new features
  • how they interact with each new feature
  • the resources needed for feature content

Streamlining Your Posting Schedule: 

Choosing the right times for your audience can make it much easier to schedule your posts. Many social media and marketing managers take advantage of social scheduling tools, but it can be tough to get results if you're not posting at the right times. 

It's all about creating the right content at the right time for your audience and set posting times can also help you create a more personalized social media calendar for your ideal buyer personas.

What is the Best Time To Post On Instagram by Day 

Between 10 A.M. and 3 P.M. is the best time of day to post on Instagram. 

However, the proportion of engagement you get also depends on the day of the week you post. Generally, the best time of day to post on Instagram is before work, during lunch, and after work. Each day observes a different pattern of user engagement graph, which is what you should be aware of.

Best Time To Post On Instagram On Sunday: Sunday hours between 9 A.M. and 3 P.M. is the best time to post on Instagram, but engagement pace is generally low on this day.

Best Time To Post On Instagram On Monday: The peak hours to post on Instagram on Monday are between 11 A.M. and 1 P.M. A relatively moderate engagement rate remains for almost 12 hours starting from 8 A.M. to 8 P.M.

Best Time To Post On Instagram On Tuesday: Tuesday is the best day to post on Instagram, the peak hours start from 11 A.M. until 3 P.M. The engagement rate keeps going low after that, with its lowest peak beginning at 10 P.M.

Best Time To Post On Instagram On Wednesday: Wednesday is the next best day to post on Instagram after Tuesday, with a good amount of engagement experienced right from 8 A.M. to 9 P.M. The apex of engagement is reached between 11 A.M. and 1 P.M.

Best Time To Post On Instagram On Thursday: Thursday is an excellent time to post on Instagram starting at 7 A.M., achieving peaks between only 1 hour, 11 A.M. to 12 P.M. and gradually decreasing afterward.

Best Time To Post On Instagram On Friday: The peak time to post on Instagram on Friday is similar to Monday and Wednesday, that is between 11 A.M. to 1 P.M. A sufficient amount of engagement stays for 2 hours prior to 11 A.M. and 2 hours after 1 P.M.

Best Time To Post On Instagram On Saturday: Saturday is not a prominent day to post on Instagram as for most individuals, this is a day to rest and take some time off from social media. The best time to post on Instagram on Saturday is 10 A.M. to 1 P.M. as an adequate level of Instagram user engagement is observed then.

Important Factors to Consider in Finding Optimal Instagram Posting Times

Important Factors to Consider in Finding Optimal Instagram Posting Times

  1. Day of the Week: There can be some variation in Instagram engagement, even at the same time of the day on different days of the week. For example, you might be surprised to see 5 AM included in the above list. The reason for this is that people often check their phone for messages as soon as they wake up during the working week. This means that people are more likely to check their Instagram early in the morning Monday to Friday than at weekends. But even Monday can have lower engagement, as people are rushing to get the week started and have less time to look at Instagram before work on a Monday.
  2. Breaks in the Workday: You will find that some people check their Instagram during their work breaks, particularly at lunchtime. Similarly, people’s interest in their work flags in the late afternoon, and quite a few turn their attention to Instagram instead.
  3. Use Time Zones to Your Advantage: The wider the geographical spread of your audience, the less critical set posting times become. However, if your target audience is in one location, make sure you use that time zone as the basis for setting your Instagram posting times, even if it isn’t your own time zone.
  4. Follow Your Specific Audience: It’s all okay to follow these “best practice” posting times. But if your audience is different from a typical audience, then these posting times are irrelevant for your account. If you have a Business Instagram account (as every business and influencer should) you have access to Instagram Insights. Go to the Followers section of Instagram Insights, and you will discover information about when your audience is most active on the platform. It makes sense that you structure your posting practices to match this.
  5. Frequency of Posting on Instagram: You need to post regularly if you want your Instagram account to appear fresh. This can be as much as one to three posts per day. Share a mix of different post types, making sure that you don’t come across as too interested in just making sales. You need to focus on producing quality posts ahead of bulk quantity, however.
  6. Different Sectors Prefer Posts at Different Times: To add to the confusion, your best posting times will depend on the sector in which you operate. For example, data from various sources shows a clear variation

When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram by Location?

Another factor that can have an impact on the average best time to post on Instagram is location. Different regions have different audience behaviours and can be heavily impacted by time zone overlaps.

Here are the best times to post in local times across different time zones:

  • Australia: 8:00 pm-9:00 pm weekdays and 7:00 am weekdays.
  • USA: 11:00 am weekends and 5:00 am Tuesdays to Thursdays. Early mornings and 11 am-3 pm also have high engagement.

Early mornings and times between 11 am and 3 pm are recommended for posting on Instagram, as people tend to check their feed as soon as they wake up or during work breaks."

  • UK: 2:00 pm-4:00 pm for high engagement.
  • Malaysia: 11:00 pm-4:00 am.
  • California, US and Canada (Western): 12:00 am-6:00 am.
  • Europe (Western): 6:00 pm-8:00 pm | Europe (Eastern): 5:00 am-7:00 am.

When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram by Industry

As mentioned above, the best time to post on Instagram varies by account, however, there are more ideal times for posting on Instagram based on specific industries. It’s crucial to alter your Instagram posting times based on industry to optimise engagement.


Posting on Instagram is incredibly crucial for those in the retail industry. People use Instagram as a shopping outlet now more than ever. If you’re looking to reach an audience interested in retail you’ll want to pay attention to the following best and worst Instagram posting times.

  • Best time to post on Instagram: Wednesday afternoon (3 pm) & Friday midday (11 am – 12 pm)
  • Ultimate Best Day: Wednesday
  • Worst Day: Sunday – makes sense as most people are being present in real life on the weekends.
  • Lowest Engagement: Late Night & Early Mornings – most people sleep during these hours and are not active on social media

Media & Entertainment

Social media has turned into such a prominent outlet for the media and entertainment industry, that it’s now more vital than ever to find the best time to post on Instagram to stand out and appear on users’ feeds.

  • Best time to post on Instagram: Friday morning (9 am)
  • Best Engagement: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday during work hours (8-5 pm)
  • Lowest Engagement: Saturday and Sunday – most people have these days off from work, are more present in real life activities and therefore not as active on social media


Posting on Instagram for the tech industry can be challenging as peak times vary globally. To ensure engagement on tech-related posts, focus on the following time frames:

  • Ultimate Best Time: Wednesday morning at 6 am or 9 am
  • Best Time to Post on Instagram: Wednesday mid-morning from 10-11 am, Friday morning from 7-10 am, and Saturday morning from 7-11 am.
  • Worst Day: Sunday- Most people do not check social media as frequently on weekends in this industry.


Instagram is a valuable addition to any overall social media strategy for non-profits. While Facebook is a great platform to promote events, Instagram is the perfect platform to complement your strategy. To find the best time to post on Instagram for non-profits:

  • Best time to post on Instagram: Wednesday at 2 pm
  • Highest Engagement: Wednesday (1-4 pm)
  • Worst Days for Engagement: Saturday & Sundays


As students and faculty are more active later in the day, the best time to post on Instagram for education is as follows:

  • Best time to post on Instagram: Friday mornings at 10 am
  • Most Consistent Engagement: Wednesday through Saturday (10 am – 8 pm)
  • Highest Engagement: Wednesday & Friday mid-morning and Saturday nights (6 pm – 8 pm)
  • Worst Days for Engagement: Sunday due to the lack of activity on Instagram on this day.


Social media may not be a top priority for many healthcare practices, but due to the large number of users on the platform, posting on Instagram is still important and worth improving on for those in the healthcare space. Sprout Social's research found the following for the best time to post on Instagram for healthcare:

  • Best time to post on Instagram: Tuesday at 8 am
  • Most Consistent Engagement: Weekdays from 9 am to 3 pm
  • Worst Days for Engagement: Saturday & Sundays, with minimal engagement in most industries

Food & Beverage

Instagram followers love seeing pictures of delicious meals. It's clear that people are likely to engage with food-related posts during lunchtime. Most professionals take a break during the middle of the day, so engagement is likely to spike during this period. If you're in the food and beverage industry, keep reading to find the best time to post on Instagram:

  • Best time to post on Instagram: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
  • Best Hours: Noon- Most people check their phones around lunchtime
  • Most Engaging Day: Friday, as it kicks off the weekend and plans for reservations spike
  • Worst Days for Engagement: Saturday & Sundays

Travel & Tourism

Not everyone has the means or desire to travel, but that doesn’t mean they won’t interact with the content you’re posting on Instagram about the subject. According to studies, the most engagement with this niche occurs between 11am and 1pm closer to the weekend. Travel & Tourism agencies found the following for the best time to post on Instagram: 

  • Best time to post on Instagram: Fridays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays
  • Most Engaging: Between 11am & 1pm, and between 9am and 10am.

Worst Time to Post on Instagram

Research from Later has found that Instagram posts receive the least amount of engagement on Wednesdays and Thursdays, however, this doesn't necessarily make them the worst days to post. It's worth noting that the research didn't specify which industries were included, which can affect the results and make them specific to certain products or brand categories.

It's important to remember that people may be actively looking for distractions at work, so it's not accurate to assume that consumers only scroll Instagram in their spare time. On the other hand, if you're targeting B2B brands, your audience may not be paying attention to work-related content during their downtime, so they may scroll past content on a Sunday morning that they would engage with on a Wednesday afternoon. Thus, it's crucial to determine the best time to post on Instagram for your specific audience.

How to Find the Best Time to Post on Instagram for Maximum Reach

Determining the best posting times for Instagram can be extremely beneficial, particularly when you're first starting out. However, as you continue to establish your presence on the platform, you may want to take a more tailored approach and conduct your own research on posting times. The following tips can help you get started:

Analyze Your Most Popular Posts

Examining your most successful posts can give you insight into which topics generate the most engagement and which types of posts are most popular. It can also help you understand how posting time affects these factors.

For example, you may find that a post about company events is not the most engaging content for an online beauty company, but it received the most likes because it was posted on a Saturday evening - a peak time for ecommerce engagement.

You can use Instagram Insights to review your top-performing posts and view metrics such as engaged audience, total followers, and most active times.

When analyzing your top posts, it's important to focus on the creative elements rather than just the numbers. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • What makes this post unique?
  • What type of content is it?
  • What makes this video stand out?
  • What makes this photo different from others you've posted?
  • Did you edit the post in any way?
  • Are there any text or design elements added to the post?
  • Is there a common thread among those who liked the post?
  • Does this post relate to any current trends or events?

Consider gathering insights on your top posts for several months before analyzing the content to get a better understanding of the type of content your audience responds to and when they prefer to see it.

Track Your Competitor's Posting Times

Another way to determine the right time to post on Instagram for your audience is to figure out when your competitors are posting. Starting with your top competitors can help you identify when to post and what content works on different days and times. Competitive analysis can also help you:

  • Learn about trends and benchmarks in your niche
  • Update your social media strategy
  • Identify new opportunities
  • To begin this research, you can simply scroll through Instagram and take note of your competitors' likes, hashtag usage, and the types of content they post. 

Focus on Engagement

Strong engagement on Instagram typically ranges between 1-5%. According to research, the average engagement rate in 2021 was 5.86%.

Engagement rates can fluctuate and it's important to measure your engagement rate, using your all-time numbers or breaking the data down into smaller sections, such as months or weeks. This will help you see patterns over time and identify how the times you post impact engagement.

To optimize your post timing for engagement, it's essential to get organized. The best way to find the ideal posting time is by testing the timing of your posts to see which post time generates the most audience engagement.

 For example, if you want to figure out when you get the most likes and comments on your Instagram carousels, you should post five similar carousels at different times and compare the engagement rates. This will show you the best time to post carousels for engagement, so you can plan future carousels with those times in mind.

Use Your Data 

When starting out on Instagram, it can be difficult to spot patterns in follower and engagement numbers, as well as posting times, content types, and hashtags. However, using social media analytics can make it easier to see these patterns and experiment with them.

The audience section in Instagram Insights can show you the days and hours when your followers are most active. Utilise this information to create a posting schedule and see if posting during peak hours improves your reach.

It's worth bearing in mind that anyone with an Instagram account has access to Insights, and according to research by HubSpot, 52% of Instagram accounts have between 1,000-10,000 followers. This means that there is a good chance that other brands are also showing up in your followers' feeds during active hours. Therefore, it may be worth experimenting with posting outside of these hours to see if your account draws more attention when there's less competition.

Although it's useful to have the best times to post on Instagram, tracking your own data can give you personalized insights that can help your account stand out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to post on Instagram at night or in the morning?

The average data suggests that posting in the morning between 6 am to 9 am is better than night hours because most people seem to check on their feeds while commuting to their jobs.

What’s the worst time to post on Instagram?

The worst time to post on Instagram is after 2 pm on weekends. It is because most of your audience will be out, socialising with the real world, or spending time with their families, and less on their phones.

What is the best time to post on Instagram?

The best time to post on Instagram totally depends on your audience. Still, the popular times to post on Instagram suggest posting between 6 am-9 am, from 12 pm-2 pm, and in the evening between 5 pm-7 pm.

When is the best day to post on Instagram?

Tuesday is the best day to post on Instagram. Mondays are mostly busy as the week commences and people are busy deciding their weekly deliverables. During weekdays, people like to socialise and enjoy their personal time. So midweek, especially Tuesday, is the best day to post on Instagram.

Is Monday a bad time to post on Instagram?

Monday mornings showed a little less engagement as compared to other weekdays on Instagram. So it is advisable to schedule your postings after 11 am on Mondays.

Does the time you post on Instagram matter?

Yes, it matters. With recency being a major factor in ranking a post on Instagram feeds, posting when people are most available to see your post is very important. It ensures that you appear in maximum feeds and retain higher engagement rates.

Should I post twice a day on Instagram?

Yes, you can post twice a day on Instagram but not more than that. Posting once a day on Instagram is a good frequency for maintaining a decent reach. Please note that posting often might deem you a spammy profile. So plan accordingly.


Instagram is an incredible channel for businesses and creators to achieve their marketing goals, but in 2023, it isn’t enough to just post content whenever you feel like it.

By leveraging your best time to post on Instagram and scheduling in advance, you can boost engagement, gain new followers, and even drive traffic!

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