When To Post On Instagram: How To Figure Out The Best Time For You

A step-by-step guide for how to test and figure out when to post on Instagram, to maximise engagement and growth for your account.

7 minutes read

Trying to figure out the best time to post on Instagram can puzzle even the most social media savvy among us.

There are so many factors to consider such as the daily habits of your followers, when they use Instagram and where they are – timezones matter.

There’s a lot to cover here, but before we jump into our thinking and research, here are what we’ve found to be the best times to post on Instagram. Of course, you can also use the Plann app to find your perfect times (local, based on research in PST:

  • 6:00am – 7:00am
  • 2:00pm – 3:00pm
  • 7:00pm – 9:00pm


When To Post On Instagram: How to Use Testing and Research to Find Your Best Times

1. Stick to it for 30 days to gather enough data

First thing’s first, all experiments need parameters (measurable and specific goals) to ensure the most accurate results possible.

Plann tells you the best daily time to post based on your last 30 days of activity, so try to stick to a whole month of posting every day to get the most helpful results from this test.

2. Investigate Your Audience

Lab coat aside, now it’s time to whip out your magnifying glass and investigate.

Hopefully, you already have an idea of who your followers (or ideal followers) are and what they are like. Either way, it’s time to ask some questions about their daily life and online habits to figure out what times you should be posting.

Know Your People!

It’s time to make some assumptions and put yourself in your follower’s shoes – are they working professionals scrolling on the commute home at 6.30pm? Fit young things up and out for their morning workout at 7am? Or mums of young kids collapsing on the couch after the kids are asleep at 8.30pm?

Check the analytics

You can head to Instagram’s native analytics to see when they are active also – just head hit the ‘Insights’ icon from your profile, then scroll down to the ‘Followers’ section, then toggle through the days to see the average times your peeps are most active on a typical day.

Check that Location!

Another thing to consider is time zones – where in the world are your community located? Maybe you know from your Facebook page, or your website stats, where most of your traffic comes from. Not sure? Again, you can jump into Instagram’s Insights to see. Just head back to the Followers section, then press ‘See more’ and scroll down to see your Top Locations, by cities and countries.


The Speedy Instagram Cheat Sheet

Ready to plan a week’s worth of posts in just 20 minutes?


3. Look at the research

The more closely you look at your own audience and their behaviour, the more tailored your testing plan can be to your account. However, it might also help to consider some of the more general research that’s out there to see if anything seems relevant to you, or helps guide you if you feel totally lost!

For example:
– Try posting outside of work hours (like in the early morning or in the evenings) or when people are taking their lunch break- Test weekends v. weekdays to see when your audience are most active, and keep your more important posts (e.g. announcements or promotions) to those peak engagement times- Hubspot released an infographic in 2016 that found the best time to post on Instagram was any time from Monday-Thursday except between 3-4pm.

4. Start Planning and Scheduling

Now comes the fun part! Use Plann to visually design your month’s worth of content. Drag and drop your images, write your captions, sort your hashtags and schedule your posts so you can sit back and relax.

Don’t forget: Because Plann’s analytics calculates your best time to post for each day of the week, it can only be done based on your existing activity. Make sure you try a different time each day across the whole month.

For example, for each of the four Thursdays of the month, make sure you schedule your posts at different times to test it out. Say, 8am, 5pm, 8pm and 10pm. If you accidentally post at 8pm every Thursday for a whole month, you won’t have anything to compare it with!

5. Check Your Performance Metrics and See What Worked

best time to post on Instagram


The final reveal!

After a month of daily posting and testing different times for each day of the week, check back in to see what your best times were!

These results will be super personalised, which is perfect for figuring out when to post on Instagram – the time that’s right just for you!

Try posting at these times for a few weeks and see if you notice an increase in engagement.

6. Rinse and Repeat

Repeat this experiment whenever you feel like things are getting stale, or it feels like your audience is losing interest. It could be your content, or it could be the time you’re posting – use testing to find out.

It’s important to also consider things like daylight savings and seasonal changes, as these can have a massive impact on our daily patterns.

7. Look at When Others Post

Is there someone in your network who shares the same target audience as you?

They may not be a direct competitor, but someone who you know would regularly speak to the same people?

You could always turn on your post notifications to see when they post on Instagram and add those times to your testing matrix!

8. Time for Your Own Tests!

And there you have it, time for you to get testing!

Have you figured out when to post on Instagram yet, or better times than others?
Comment below and help the community


Latest Blogs

Social Media Strategy

The Best TikTok Hashtags You Can Use To Boost Your Content

Looking to boost your content’s visibility with TikTok hashtags? Discover the best hashtags for TikTok and where to find them.

Instagram Tips

Social Media Strategy

How to Make Money on Instagram

Wondering how you can use the power of Instagram monetization to earn an extra income while growing your account? Here’s how to start earning money on Instagram right now!

Social Media Strategy

How to Measure Social Media Analytics for Crafting The Perfect Content Strategy

Ready to craft the perfect content strategy? Here’s how to measure social media analytics and elevate your social media content.

“So much information packed into a small amount of time”
As an artist, I always knew TikTok was an important platform for me to be on to connect with potential clients. I left this course feeling so confident and excited to create and grow!
Arden Interiors
Jenn Evans

Getting Started with TikTok

Up your TikTok Strategy with
Greta Rose
Greta Rose
IT’S HERE!   |   Schedule Your YouTube Shorts With Plann!