If you’re looking to find the best times to post on Instagram, then look no further. Instagram’s visual nature makes it a desirable marketing platform for brands to get their offerings in front of as many eyes as possible. That’s why knowing the best times to post on Instagram can be a huge benefit to your social media strategy.
What types of content do users engage with and how often should you post on social media? While we can’t answer those questions in this article, we can answer when to post on social media. For frequency, read our guide on how often to post on social to uncover data to help guide your social strategies.
Remember: with Instagram as a discovery platform of trends, brands, products or services, it’s important to get high-quality photos and content in front of potential consumers’ eyes at the right time.
Learn how to identify your best times to post on Instagram with a free trial of Sprout Social and test our ViralPost® feature.
Disclaimer: Data from Sprout Social include users from various plan types, industries and locations. All time frames are recorded globally, meaning you should be able to publish with the times provided in any timezone and see positive engagement results. Number of engagements represents total engagements a brand received on the specific channel during that hour time frame. Industry-specific data includes mid- to high-level engagement times. We recommend testing with your own accounts to find the most optimal send times.
- What are the best times to post on Instagram?
- What are the best times to post on Instagram by industry?
- How to find your own best times to post on social media
- How Sprout gathered the data
- Find your best times to post with Sprout
Best Times to Post on Instagram
- Best times to post on Instagram:
- Mondays from 10 a.m. to noon
- Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Fridays from 9 to 11 a.m.
- Best days to post on Instagram: Tuesdays and Wednesdays
- Worst days to post on Instagram: Sundays
Where Facebook was the most-used platform by marketers worldwide, Instagram comes in second with 79%. Not surprisingly, Instagram is also the second most preferred platform for customer service after Facebook, for marketers and consumers. With the competition for short-form video between Instagram and TikTok still heating up, Reels account for 30% of time spent on the Meta-owned platform.
The best times to post on Instagram are Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., generally. Similar to Facebook, the “off” hours are the early morning hours every day of the week, from midnight until 4 a.m.
Instagram has grown a long way since its photo-only days. The app, which has nearly 2 billion monthly active users, is a platform to share images, videos, Reels, and live streams, just to name a few creative content types. It is also an avenue to collaborate and partner with other brands and provides a stream of revenue through its e-commerce capabilities. There are opportunities to get more followers on Instagram if you use use the platform to its full potential.
The Instagram algorithm is unpredictable. To be successful on the platform is a balance of consistently posting high-quality content that will engage and entertain your audiences. That’s a lot to ask for with each piece of content published. But using that as a guiding post can help with your Instagram marketing efforts.
Best Times to Post on Instagram by Industry
There’s no definitive answer to what the best times to post on Instagram are. We can only offer insight with the data we have. Industry is just one factor that plays into the success of your social posts. Consider as well as your target audience, business goals and the content itself.
Use this industry-level data to help inform your publishing calendar, and test your optimal send times with social experiments.
Best Times to Post on Instagram for Consumer Goods
- Best times to post on Instagram for Consumer Goods:
- Thursdays at 2 p.m.
- Best days to post on Instagram for Consumer Goods: Tuesdays and Thursdays
- Worst days to post on Instagram for Consumer Goods: Sundays
The consumer goods industry covers a large portfolio of products, ranging from packaged food and beverages to clothing and accessories and everything in between. While the US was facing inflation at nearly 8.5%, US consumers spent 18% more in March 2022 than they did two years prior. After two years into the pandemic, consumers were ready to spend similar to their pre-pandemic habits and more in 2022.
For consumer goods businesses on Instagram, every day has some engagement, but the peak engagement time is on Thursdays at 2 p.m. However, Tuesdays at 10 a.m. also see significant engagement, relative to the rest of the week.
Consumer goods social media resources
- Solutions for Social Commerce
- How to master social media for retail and win more customers
- What is social commerce? Stats, examples & tips for your strategy
- Mobile commerce: what it is and why you should care
Best Times to Post on Instagram for Hospitals & Healthcare
- Best times to post on Instagram for Hospitals & Healthcare:
- Thursdays at 1 p.m.
- Best days to post on Instagram for Hospitals & Healthcare: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
- Worst days to post on Instagram for Hospitals & Healthcare: Sundays
Hospitals, clinics and healthcare providers have been put to work on social media the last few years, due to the pandemic. However, social media for healthcare is more than navigating healthcare crises. It’s about educating the public, helping patients feel more comfortable with healthcare visits and doctors’ appointments, promoting their programs for aspiring physicians and establishing themselves as pillars in the community.
Best times to post on Instagram for healthcare and hospitals nearly doubles. Every single day sees moderate engagement starting at 7 a.m. seven days a week. However, the best times to post on Instagram for hospitals are Thursdays at 1 p.m. Higher than average posting times are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons starting at 1 p.m. until about 4 p.m.
Hospital and healthcare social media resources
- Social media and healthcare: how to keep patients engaged
- Why healthcare orgs should invest in social listening, stat
- Supporting HIPAA Compliance on social: a cheat sheet
Best Times to Post on Instagram for Hospitality
- Best times to post on Instagram for Hospitality:
- Tuesdays at 10 a.m.
- Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Thursdays at noon
- Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon
- Best days to post on Instagram for Hospitality: Tuesdays and Wednesdays
- Worst days to post on Instagram for Hospitality: Sundays
The hospitality industry has seen a shift in higher posting and engagement days on Instagram. Consumers are craving some semblance of pre-pandemic life and businesses sense it. Hospitality businesses see higher engagement earlier in the week, compared to last year when their higher engagement was in the latter half. Thankfully businesses in the industry see a return on their efforts throughout most of the workday.
The best times to post on Instagram for the hospitality industry are Tuesdays at 10 a.m., Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursdays at noon, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon. Essentially late mornings and into the lunch hours during the week, presumably as people are beginning to plan their weekends. Moderate engagement lasts a few hours until about 5 p.m. While weekends are relatively light in engagement for hospitality businesses, there’s still enough engagement on posts to continue posting then.
Hospitality social media resources
- Social media marketing tools for the travel industry
- How Loews Hotels & Co succeeds at scale with Sprout Social’s all-in-one platform
- When to create separate social media accounts for your multilocation business [Free Worksheet]
Best Times to Post on Instagram for Media
- Best times to post on Instagram for Media:
- Mondays at 11 a.m.
- Wednesdays at 11 a.m.
- Thursdays at 10 a.m.
- Best days to post on Instagram for Media: Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays
- Worst days to post on Instagram for Media: Saturdays and Sundays
Engagement in the media and entertainment industry also sees a resurgence on Instagram. Audiences could be checking into the app for longer sessions rather than quick visits throughout the day, or the algorithm and newsfeed refreshes are manipulating the higher engagements. Major global events, political upheavals and business news have a relevant impact on media impressions on all networks, including Instagram.
As it goes, news travels quickly, and the best times to post on Instagram for the media and entertainment industry are Mondays at 11 a.m., Wednesdays at 11 a.m., and Thursdays at 10 a.m. However, there is still considerable engagement from 5 a.m. through 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
Media social media resources
- How to supercharge your media relations strategy with social
- How RADIO.COM used social listening to crown the #ArtistOfTheSummer
- Social media and journalism: how to effectively reach the public
Best Times to Post on Instagram for Nonprofit
- Best times to post on Instagram for Nonprofit:
- Tuesdays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
- Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon
- Best days to post on Instagram for Nonprofit: Wednesdays
- Worst days to post on Instagram for Nonprofit: Saturdays and Sundays
Our data for the best times to post on Instagram for nonprofits shows consistent Instagram engagement throughout the week during general business hours. Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon are the best times to post on Instagram for nonprofits.
However, even with the consistent audience engagement seen in the heatmap above, all businesses need to test their own best times to post. Whether it’s through social testing or using Sprout’s Optimal Send Times feature, find what times work best for your organization on Instagram.
Nonprofit social media resources
- Turning moments into momentum: How nonprofits can leverage #GivingTuesday year-round
- How this nonprofit institute boosts messaging reach with Employee Advocacy by Sprout Social
- The ultimate social media for museums guide
Best Times to Post on Instagram for Restaurants
- Best times to post on Instagram for Restaurants:
- Mondays at 2 p.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m.
- Best days to post on Instagram for Restaurants: Mondays
- Worst days to post on Instagram for Restaurants: Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays
In 2022, everyone was ready to get back to their pre-pandemic routines, and restaurants were ready with open doors. While online orders and delivery services may have become new offerings for some locations, the desire to draw patrons has not. Target audience and platform goals factor into ways businesses connect with their customers. Offering unique promotions and updates on Instagram will keep your restaurant in mind for potential customers.
Those in the bar and restaurant industry see most of their engagement in the early half of the week, Mondays through Wednesdays. The best times to post for restaurants on Instagram are Mondays at 2 p.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m. However, there are almost just as many engagements Mondays through Wednesdays between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Restaurant social media resources
- The complete guide to social media for restaurants & bars
- 5 tips from the man behind #Sprinklegate
- Auntie Anne’s SMM Bari’s TikTok Bootcamp [Webinar]
Best Times to Post on Instagram for Schools & Education
- Best times to post on Instagram for Schools & Education:
- Tuesdays at 11 a.m. and from 1 to 4 p.m.
- Wednesdays at noon and 3 p.m.
- Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon
- Best days to post on Instagram for Schools & Education: Tuesdays
- Worst days to post on Instagram for Schools & Education: Sundays
Universities, higher education institutions and schools see a significant increase in engagements on Instagram compared to last year. Keep in mind that some schools manage multiple social profiles (per college, athletics, etc.) to meet these needs and effectively target distinct audiences at the right time.
High opportunities for engagement start midmorning and go through early evening hours. The best times to post on Instagram for education are Tuesdays at 11 a.m. and from 1 to 4 p.m., Wednesdays at noon and 3 p.m., and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon.
From highlighting student life to sharing school updates, a social media strategy for education needs to fulfill multiple functions. Are you looking to engage with students past, present and future? Are you looking to keep a pulse on sentiment and brand health?
Schools and education social media resources
- Choose wisely: Higher education marketers take on College Decision Day
- All aboard: How Purdue University increased their social media engagement by 24%
- University branding: How to build your school’s brand on social media
- Higher ed playbook: Using social to unite your university
Best Times to Post on Instagram for Travel & Tourism
- Best times to post on Instagram for Travel & Tourism:
- Tuesdays at 10 a.m.
- Best days to post on Instagram for Travel & Tourism: Tuesdays and Wednesdays
- Worst days to post on Instagram for Travel & Tourism: Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays
Travel and tourism industries nearly doubled their engagement on Instagram relative to last year. As many travel restrictions continued to be lifted and the semblance of “normal” crept back into many peoples’ lives, travel and tourism businesses see an opportunity to capitalize on the suppressed desires to travel.
The best times to post on Instagram for travel and tourism brands are earlier in the week: Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. saw consistent engagement, as well as Fridays between 7 a.m. and noon. But the peak time to post on Instagram is 10 a.m. on Tuesdays for travel and tourism businesses.
Travel and tourism social media resources
- How to manage multiple social media accounts
- When to Create Separate Social Media Accounts for your Multilocation Business [Free Worksheet]
How to find your own best times to post on social media
Social marketers can plan content more effectively when they’re armed with data. And as platforms evolve, how brands and consumers use social will evolve with them, or vice versa. Staying aware of new content formats and trends might help you reach your audience in unexpected ways, or even find new segments and personas you weren’t focusing on before.
While you may be ready to jump in and post at these provided peak engagement times as part of your strategy, consider pairing this data with your own social media data analysis. You may discover that your specific target audience is active near the peak times we’ve outlined or hours earlier.
A social media management tool like Sprout Social can help you drill into your analytics and develop tailored findings for your brand accounts across all networks, holistically and individually. Gain competitive insights by comparing your performance to your competitors, to find new opportunities for engagement.
With features like post tagging and cross-network reporting, you can separate different factors like post author or types of content, and drill down into how your posting time influenced your social success.
Sprout’s patented ViralPost® technology uses the same data we’ve used to look at all our customer accounts to determine the best time to post tailored for your account. ViralPost® algorithmically determines the results for our Optimal Send Times feature, a publishing option available in all plans. Our proprietary machine learning feature isn’t new, but we’re constantly learning and improving our product to help brands surface insights faster. Our goal is to help people who use our product work more effectively.
With Optimal Send Times, the specific times offered are based on when your audience engages the most using your publishing history. ViralPost® also continually updates and refines to save you time from doing the repeated analysis and allowing you more time to craft great content.
If you’re looking for more of our findings from this year’s study of our customer data, see what we learned about the best times to post across eight industries on these networks:
- Best times to post on Social Media 2023
- Best times to post on Facebook 2023
- Best times to post on LinkedIn 2023
- Best times to post on TikTok 2023
- Best times to post on Twitter 2023
How Sprout gathered the data
We understand that these reports can raise questions about just where the data is coming from. That’s why we want to be clear about the data we pulled and how we got here.
Sprout Social’s Data Science team gathers this information by analyzing nearly 2 billion engagements across 400,000 social profiles across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok.
Find your best time to post with Sprout
Now’s the time to test your content calendar. Are you posting when your followers are most active? Start your free trial of Sprout Social and discover the best times to post on social media today.