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We’re finally tackling the age-old question: When is the BEST time for you to post on Instagram?
While the question may be “age-old”, the answer has certainly developed over the years as Instagram has developed.
Is the optimal time different for Reels than for static images?
After going over what Instagram says about this question, what social experiments have pointed to and what experts say, you will be able to confidently post on Instagram at the best time, every time.
Best Time to Post: What Instagram Says
Who better to go to for this question than Instagram?
Head of Instagram, Adam Moserri, was asked on his stories during his weekly Q&A, “Is there an optimal time to post?” and this is what he said:
There are three important things to note with Moserri’s advice:
1. Know Where Your Target Audience is Located
For example, I’m based in San Diego, but most of my audience on Instagram is based in New York!
If I want to pop up on their feed first thing in the morning, posting at 9 am Pacific Standard Time (PST) would be too late because that’s 12 pm for them.
That means I’d need to post at 6 or 7 am so they get my post in their feed around 9-10 am Eastern Standard Time (EST).
This can get more complicated if your audience is primarily located in parts of the world you’re not familiar with. Luckily, you can use this Time Zone Converter to find what time to post in your local time zone in order for your audience to see it at the optimal time.
2. Using Instagram’s Insights: Post Before Peak Times
This is what my Instagram insights look like:
This confirms how the time that best works for me is 6 am PST which would be 9 am (EST) in New York. Then throughout the day as the rest of my followers in the US wake up, they will see my post and continue to build the engagement.
3. There is No “Perfect Time”
Yes, there is no one-size-fits-all time to post. Sure, there are studies of average best times (which we’ll get to), but nothing definitive for everyone.
You may have heard there is, but if so, that advice is outdated. And Instagram is always changing.
I hope this is the one takeaway you all get from this post.
If you’re researching the best time to post and this “research” of needing to know an exact time is stopping you from actually posting, you need to stop doing research.
Allow yourself to have posts that will flop, and give yourself permission to learn as you go. You don’t need to be perfect here, especially if you’re just starting out.
No one expects perfection. We want you to show up exactly as you are.
Everyone’s optimal post time is going to look different based on a number of different factors (your location, target audience, etc.). The best way to figure out what that optimal time is for you is to test it out.
What Social Experiments Point To
Now that we’ve talked about what Instagram says, let’s take a look at some social experiments and see what their data looks like.
The Best Time to Post on Instagram Reels
The Influencer Marketing Hub analyzed more than 100,000 short-form video content posts and their engagement rates globally on Instagram to find the best average times to post for users wanting to increase their engagement rates on Reels.
Here are their results:
In their article, they note they had a few times with particularly high levels of engagement peaking on Tuesday at 9 am, Thursday at 12 pm, and Friday at 5 am EST.
If you want to find the AVERAGE best posting time based on all of these times, the best posting time is 11 am EST.
And if you want to get picky and weigh the peak times listed more heavily than the other times, the average best time to post is anytime between 9-11 am EST for Reels.
For more tips on how to increase the chances of your Reels going Viral, I have this video here you should check out.
The Best Time to Post Static Posts
Later analyzed 35M feed posts (excluding Reels and IGTV) to find the average best time to post on Instagram for each day of the week — and for several key locations!
Here are their results for the best times to post:
Note that all of the times listed are in Pacific Standard Time (PST).
According to their study, the AVERAGE best time to post is 7 am PST (or 10 am EST). Doesn’t appear to be too far off from the best time to post Reels.
Something that I love about this article is that they didn’t stop there. They also included the WORST times to post on Instagram.
Here you can see that on average, 2-3 pm PST is technically the “worst” time to post a static image on Instagram.
Finally, I know a lot of people watch my videos from around the world, not just in the United States. So, here is a graph showing suggested times depending on your location.
These times are based on that location’s local time.
What Experts Say
Yes, I am the expert opinion.
I’ve been teaching people how to grow on Instagram since 2019 and have successfully done so for myself, clients and hundreds of my students (some of which have even grown their Instagram exponentially using my Instagram Influencer Course).
Without further ado, here’s my advice.
How do you pick the best time that works for YOU?
Do Your Own Testing
I 100% agree with Adam Moserri. Know who your target audience is and post when they are awake and most active.
If you don’t trust research, articles, or Instagram insights, do your own testing. This is what I did back in 2019.
I had a google spreadsheet and would track every time I posted, what time it was when I posted and the average likes and comments (nowadays you can test Reels and static posts separately).
After 30 days of testing, or 30 posts with data on the sheet, find an average time that performs well for you. It will be different for everyone.
Create Your Own Schedule
Now, if that doesn’t work for you, then I suggest creating your own schedule. Think of Instagram kind of like starting a YouTube channel. If you’re one of my subscribers, you know that I post every Wednesday.
You can COUNT on that.
Shape your Instagram community so that they know what and when to expect from you, even if it’s not an “optimal” posting time.
Maybe you work graveyard shifts, or you’re a parent with 5 kids and can’t post at 9 am. Pick one time that works for YOU and shape your followers’ expectations so they have something to look forward to.
It definitely helps to stay organized to reduce the stress in your already crazy life and prevent burnout.
What I do to stay organized is use project management tools, like ClickUp or Trello. You can store all your ideas in there, posts you’ve yet to schedule, and even keep track of posts you’ve already scheduled.
It can be a lifesaver.
Lastly, I want to hear from you. What have you found to be the best time to post? Do you agree or disagree with any points made in this post?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and tips!
Follow your joy!