The Best Times to Post on Instagram

A woman standing in front of a best times to post on Instagram chart with the Instagram symbol to the right.

Instagram is one of the most popular social media networks there is. From influencers growing their following to businesses showcasing their products to just causal users posting about their time with friends, there is almost unlimited content to consume. However, for those who want to grow their following in this competitive environment, there are understandably questions about when is the best time to post on Instagram so your posts get noticed by more people.

There are plenty of interesting conversations about the best days and times to post on Instagram. This is understandable since finding the best time to post on Instagram can make a real difference in how many people see your post. In fact, you may be reading this because you are even curious about the best times to post on Instagram today!

With all this being said, truly finding the best times to post on Instagram for YOUR profile requires that you do a little research and follow a few steps. If this sounds a bit daunting, don’t worry. This article will walk you through how to find the best times to post on Instagram for your own profile.

Why Finding the Best Times and Days to Post on Instagram Matters

It matters when you post on Instagram. If you can identify the best times of day to post on Instagram, this can give your posts the leg up on your competition. This is because, for the Instagram algorithm, the best time to post would be when your target audience is active AND when they would be most likely to engage with your content. The speed at which they interact with your post is also important in this regard. If you can identify when your audience is most likely to interact with your posts, then this can help you get noticed!

It is also important to note that finding the best time to post on Instagram is only part of the battle in getting noticed, expanding your reach, and getting more user engagement. Simply posting at the best times doesn’t replace the need to create quality and engaging content that meets the expectations of your target audience.

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Difficulties with Finding the Best Days and Times to Post on Instagram

So, what are the best days and times to post on Instagram? Unfortunately, trying to find out when is a good time to post on Instagram isn’t simply about reading an article or study that highlights the best posting times. Some people may think there is simply a social media tool that offers a magic button that shows us how to “see” the best times to post on Instagram. While social media tools are crucial to finding the best times to post on Instagram, there is more to it than that.   

Instagram has many diverse profiles that attract vastly different followers. These followers can be concentrated in locally, regionally, or be globally. Depending on your industry, topic-focus, or niche, there may be different times of the day or week that correspond to higher post interaction rates. It is important to remember that the key is discovering not only when they may be online, but also when your target audience is most likely to interact with your content. 

Simply put, finding when is the best time to post on Instagram should be data-based. This means that you need to analyze the data from your own profile and that of other similar profiles to find what times correlate with the highest post interaction rates. The days and times with the highest post interaction rate would then be the best times to post for your profile.

Step-by-Step Guide to Finding the Best Times to Post on Instagram

Showing you how to find the best times to post on Instagram for your specific profile is relatively straightforward and requires two things. The first is the right social media tool to help you analyze your data. The second is an understanding of what goes into selecting your data set and timeframes for analysis. 

As we already pointed out, the goal is to find the days and times that correspond to the highest post interaction rates in your industry or niche. In order to identify these times, you need to select profiles that post similar content to yours and are relatively comparable to your own Instagram account. The main takeaway here is that you want to compile a large enough data set to make the findings meaningful, while also not adding irrelevant or dissimilar profiles to your data set.  

In taking you through the steps to discovering when to post on Instagram, it is helpful to provide a real-world example that we can analyze to help illustrate the various steps and the thought that goes into the entire process. Our example will concentrate on the clothing industry and, in our scenario, we will pretend that we are trying to break into the market and want to find out when we should be posting. In order to do so, we will be analyzing the following clothing brands that are based around the world: ADERERROR, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Gap, KOODING, Organic Basics, Ralph Lauren, The North Face, UNIQLO (Global), United Colors of Benetton. 

In analyzing what are the best times to post on Instagram for this industry, we will provide the necessary background information so you can conduct a “best times to post” analysis for your own profile. We should also note that we will be using the all-in-one social media tool, Fanpage Karma, to analyze the profiles above and to find the best time to post. All the data outputs in the form of “best time to post” charts are generated by Fanpage Karma in the examples below.

Step 1: Choose your Profiles to Analyze

The first step in conducting your best time to post analysis is to select the profiles that comprise your data set. In theory, it is beneficial to include as many similar profiles as possible, since this brings in more data points for your analysis. For this reason, it is important to find a social media tool that allows for unlimited profile tracking.  

However, there are some things to consider relating to what profiles you ultimately include in your analysis. First, it is absolutely essential you only include profiles that post similar content and have the same target audience as you. This is because profiles with a different audience unrelated to yours will skew your data and may not be helping your analysis.     

Various charts and graphs that related to social media metrics and performance.

Second, always keep on eye on where the followers of other profiles are located and whether this location is relevant for you. For example, if your target audience and followers are only based in Japan, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to include profiles who have followers only in Spain. This is because finding when is a good time to post on Instagram is heavily dependent on the times when your target audience is most active and likely to interact with your posts.

Ultimately, the profiles that you choose to track need to be similar to yours, since you are trying to learn more about your target audience. One last thing to consider is the number of followers of the profiles in your data set compared to profile. In some industries, there are companies of various sizes, ranging from large multi-nationals to those who only operate on a local level. The number of followers of other profiles shouldn’t be a direct determinate of whether you should include them in your data set or not. However, if there is a significant difference in the size of followers, you should at least consider if the profile is truly similar to yours.    

For instance, if you are a local clothing retailer that only operates in a relatively small area or region, it may not be overly helpful to include large, international clothing retailers in your data set. This is because the size and location of the target audience would be quite a bit different from your own. However, if you are an up-and-coming ecommerce clothing retailer that has a global audience and ambitions, then it may make sense to include large clothing retailers even if they have significantly more followers than you.

Step 2: Select the Timeframe you are Interested In

When attempting to discover what are the best times to post on Instagram, it is essential to understand the timeframe of your analysis. Of course, you may see that follower behavior online remains constant throughout the year. However, in other cases, there can be changes when it comes to when users are most active and likely to interact with posts based on the month or season. There can, at times, be a cyclical nature to when people may be most likely to interact with a post based on a time of the year.

For this reason, it is important to think about the timeframe of your analysis. On one hand, the longer your analysis timeframe, such as 6 months or 1 year, means the more data points you collect in determining when the best time to post is in general. On another hand, there may be certain times in the year that you want to take a close look at related to the best Instagram posting times. 

Let’s look at an example of why this matters. For our first analysis, we will look at the profiles we mentioned above related to the best posting times in July 2023. For the data output charts below, the larger the circle, the more that was posted in that specific timeframe. The greener circles indicate a higher relative post interaction rate. 

A best times to post on Instagram graph for July 2023.

(July 2023)

As you can see, there are a number of posting times that have smaller, green dots that indicate that those times do not see many posts while being correlated with a higher post interaction rate. Using the output of this chart, we can see what days and times (in this case Monday-Wednesday mornings, among others) that we should consider posting.

For comparison, let’s now look at the December 2023, to see if there is a noticeable difference due to this being, for many places, a holiday season.

A graph that shows the best times Instagram posting times for December 2023.

(December 2023)

We see for this data analysis that Monday-Wednesday mornings may not be the best time to post. Instead, we can consider various times on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. 

The point of this example is not to give any definitive answer as to when it is to post on Instagram in general. Alternatively, the main goal was to show how there are different timeframes and days that you may consider posting on depending on the historical data from a specific month of the year. As you can see, it is important that you think about what timeframe you are analyzing when you are trying to find the best times to post on Instagram.

Step 3: Analyze your Data Output

So, when is it a good time to post on Instagram? Studying the data output from your analysis can help you see what specific days and times are correlated with higher post interaction rate. However, it is crucial that you understand your data and how changes to your data set may affect your analysis.  

As we have discussed in the first two steps, when looking for the best days and times to post on Instagram, you always need to think carefully about the number of profiles and timeframe for your analysis. To emphasize this point, we will walk through another example about how we can adjust our data set that can give us different perspectives as to when to post on Instagram.

To begin, we will analyze all the profiles we mentioned above in the Fall 2023.

An Instagram best times to post graph for Fall 2023 for all profiles in the study.

(Fall 2023, All Profiles)

As we can see above, there appears to be some early morning times as well as mid-mornings on Thursday and Friday that we should consider posting, as well as early afternoons on Tuesday and Thursday.

However, as we pointed out earlier, we are analyzing global clothing retailers. In our data set, we have included companies based around the world. There are four companies based in the US: Calvin Klein, Gap, Ralph Lauren, and The North Face. What would happen if we remove these profiles from our analysis?

A graph for Instagram best posting times for Fall 2023 without US companies from the study.

(Fall 2023, without US-based companies)

As you can see from the data, we can see that there may be some posting times in the afternoon, especially from Thursday-Saturday, that we can consider posting. The reason for this change is that we removed US-based companies out of our data set. This is significant since these companies may be more likely to post during US times and, if you are a company who have a global footprint but not a focus on the US market, it may make sense to look at the data without these profiles.

Content Specific Posting Times

Before going on to the last step, we should address one other data analysis issue related to content type posting times. There are different content types that you can post on Instagram, such as Stories or Reels. There may be a specific content type that you find most effective for driving interaction and, in this case, it is understandable that you may want to discover, for instance, when to post reels on Instagram. This is a highly-relevant question since it may be the case that the best times to post reels on Instagram are different than other content types. 

So how do you go about finding when is the best time to post reels on Instagram with a social media tool such as Fanpage Karma? The steps as we detailed above stay the same, but the key to finding when to post a reel on Instagram requires one small adjustment when it comes to readying your data for analysis. 

If you want to find best times to post a reel on Instagram for the profiles in our analysis, you simply need to select the content type in the tool. However, this narrows your data analysis since it only focuses Instagram Reels rather than all posts in your data set. For this reason, one thing you need to check in order to find the best times to post Instagram Reels is that the profiles you are tracking are actually posting Reels. This is in order to ensure you have enough data points for your analysis.

As you can see, with the right social media tool you can identify the best times to post on Instagram Reels by simply making a quick adjustment to your data analysis. Therefore, if you so choose, you can run analyses on all content formats regarding the best times to post on Instagram. 

Buttons and a dropdown menu that show how to adjust to find the best Instagram Reels posting times.

Step 4: Monitoring and Evaluation

By following the steps above, you can get data-based suggestions as to when are the best times to post on Instagram for your own profile. However, the best times to post on Instagram can and do change based on factors such as changes to your target audience as well as finding new profiles that post content similar to yours. After all, your audience can grow or you may find other similar profiles to add to your analysis which expands your data set. Remember, finding the best days and times and post on Instagram is a process that should be reviewed periodically.

It is also advisable to keep monitoring your actual performance on social media related to post interaction rate. It is important to keep in mind that other factors such as the quality of your content are major aspects that drive post interaction and reach. 

Benchmarking your profile against other similar ones can be a good guide to see if you are making progress. In fact, another advantage of using an all-in-one social media tool since you can discover the best times to post while utilizing other important features such as analytics, community management, publishing, and influencer research.

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Conclusion

The process of finding when is the best day and time to post on Instagram for your profile is straightforward, but takes some thought on your end, as well as a powerful social media tool. When looking for the  best days and times and post on Instagram, it is important to make sure your findings are tailored to your profile and don’t rely on some broad study that includes millions of profiles all over the world.

If you are interested in finding the best times to post on Instagram while also taking advantage of powerful benchmarking, research, publishing, community management features, you can try Fanpage Karma’s free 14-day trial.  

Fanpage Karma also offers a free weekly webinar that shows you how to improve your social media performance with an all-in-one social media tool.

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