The Best Times to Post on Instagram (for maximum engagement)

There isn't a week that goes by that I don't get a message in my inbox, a text from a friend, a comment on my post asking when they should be posting on Instagram.

This is such a good question and I love when people ask it, why? Because it means you're taking your Instagram game serious (high five). And as much as I love this question, it's the most difficult to answer.

So today I thought I'd knock it down with one post. I'm sharing the BEST times of the day to post on Instagram in order to reach the most engagement (most likes and comments).

P.S. if you REALLY want to take your Instagram game serious, make sure to download my free e-book "Everything you Need to Know to Start Killing it on Instagram" HERE

the best times to post on instagram for maximum engagement

First things first, there is NO perfect magical time to post on Instagram to make sure your followers see it. Nothing is general when it comes to Instagram. Everyone has different goals, they have different audiences and live in different time zones.

Therefore, there's no one perfect answer to this question. Sure, there are general times out there that are great to go by to get your feet wet. But if you're really wanting to ensure you're posting when you should be, you really need to know YOUR own analytics, no one else's.

For example, my most popular posting times, may not be YOUR most popular posting times. I own a children's clothing brand, most of my followers are women that have children. If you're selling golf supplies, chances are your audience is filled with men... not women. 

Therefore, our audiences are completely different and our posting times should be tailored specifically to them. Obviously, my posting times probably aren't your posting times. Get the idea? A man who golfs when he gets off work and/or on the weekends is not on Instagram at the same times as mothers.

Now I actually have TWO ways to figure out the BEST times to post on Instagram. Two ways that are completely tailored to you and your audience. Ready for a jam packed post?

Let go!

Step #1 - Checkout Your Instagram Analytics

Alright, if you haven't already switched over to a business account... do it!

Once switched over, you unlock a world of magical things that''s going to help you grow your biz. Below is a pic of my Instagram account. I've added a few areas that I wanted to point out.

One thing I love about the business account is that it allows you to enter your sites web address that's 100% clickable. People can immediately go checkout your shop and start shopping ASAP, yay!

Second thing I love most is the contact button. Now, you didn't have this button before you switched over. No need to waste valuable character space in your profile description with an email where you can be reached. You now have this handy dandy CONTACT button.

Once someone clicks it, it automatically opens up their email account making it incredibly easy to send you an emil telling you how awesome you are.... because why else would they be emailing you? lol

Okay, now to the good part. In the top right corner I've circled an icon that looks like a bar chart. This is where your analytics are hidden for your biz page. Click on it!

 

the most popular times to post on instagram.png

 

Step #2 - Scroll Down to the Followers Section

Now once you've hit this button you'll see all kinds of info. I want you to scroll all the way down to the FOLLOWERS section and click on the See More option.

 

the most popular times to post on instagram

Step #3 - Checkout Your Demographics

Alright, you're gunna love this page. Once your in to your Followers tab you get to see all kinds of fun stuff.

First, it'll list the EXACT amount of followers you have. No more 22.3k BS, it'll list the exact number... this way you know how close you are to reaching that next hundred milestone (see below).

Then you'll get to see your Gender section. Instagram lists the percentage of followers you have that are men and the percentage you have that are women.

I own a children's clothing brand... it ain't no surprise here that most my followers is women, most moms do the kids shopping (am I right?).

So you'll see that 93% of my following is women, and only 7% are men. This tells us a TON!

Now if you keep scrolling, you'll see the Age Rang Section. This section is super informative. Instagram narrows down your followers down to how old they are... whoop, whoop! (this is amazing for your media kit BTW).

You'll see that most of my following is between the ages of 25 and 34. Not a surprise there either. Most women with children are in this age range... this let's me know I'm perfectly where I want to be.

Below that it'll even specify WHERE your followers live. Hollar! So much good info, am I right?

 

the most popular times to post on instagram

 

Step #4 - Checkout the BEST time of Day to Post

Okay, you still with me? We're finally to the reason you're reading this post. How to figure out the best time of day to post on Instagram.

Now if you keep scrolling down you'll get to the Followers section. 

This is where it's at yo! Instagram lists the day and then has a bar chart that shows you when your followers are most active throughout the day. 

A timeline is listed at the bottom and the chart right above that. The taller the bar, the more active your peeps are at that specific time.

So for example, if you take a look at mine below, you'll see that Tuesday's for me are pretty stable. I don't have too many dips or high points, it stays pretty constant between 9am and 9pm.

Although, there is a slight dip at 5pm where my followers are less active... then at 6pm & 7pm, there's a slight peak there. Meaning, my followers are most active at this time.

So Tuesday nights between 6pm and 7pm is one of MY ideal posting times.

Now, if you click the arrow button (right or left) next to the day of the week it's currently highlighting... you're able to checkout your stats for any day of the week you like. 

 

the most popular times to post on instagram

 

Step #5 - Instagram Activity by Day

Now, you may have noticed that next to the Hours tab, there's also a Days tab. This is also super helpful. This tells me what days of the week my followers are most active. 

You'll see when I click on it, Instagram shows me the same information, only categorized by day. Now, I post pretty regularly, every single day, and my followers are pretty active users, checking Instagram every day as well.

So again, mine is pretty stable. But, you will see that Monday and Sunday seem to be the most active days of the week for my peeps.

the most popular times to post on instagram

Now that you know HOW to checkout YOUR best times to post during the week. You'll want to go through these steps with your own analytics. 

Grab a piece of paper and write down every day of the week and write down your MOST popular posting times (see example below):

Monday - 9am & 4pm

Tuesday - 2pm

Wednesday - 7pm

Thursday - 6pm

Friday - 10am & 2pm

Saturday - 11am

Sunday - 7am & 4pm

Congrats! You now know the best times to post on Instagram that's completely specified for YOU!

Use this list as you're starting point. Now, I also have another little trick I like to use. This trick is a little more active on your part. But it give you a precise measuring point to recognize good times to post based on your past posts.

Shall we get started?

Okay, so you're basically going to do a 7-day audit on your own Instagram account. Follow the steps below for each of the past over the last 7 days.

 

Step #1 - Open Up Your Most Recent Post

Once you've open up your latest post, you're going to want to click on the button at the very bottom of your post that reads "View Insights". 

 

the most popular times to post on instagram

 

Step #2 - Take Note of Your Individual Numbers

Once you click that button, you'll have a window that pops up at the bottom. You'll see an Impressions section, Reach section and an Engagement section. Take a look at those numbers and write them down, you need to know these numbers.

You'll see in the example below that for this particular post I had 7,136 impressions, 5,802 reach and 379 engagement.

Now what do these numbers mean exactly? Keep reading.

Now click on the button at the very bottom that reads What Do These Mean?

 

the most popular times to post on instagram

Step #3 - Know What the Numbers Mean

Instagram is awesome because they tell you exactly what these numbers mean.

As you'll see below, Impressions are the total number of times your post has been seen.

Your Reach is the umber of unique accounts who saw this particular post.

Your Engagement is the number of likes and comments on your post.

Now these numbers are important. If you're wanting to increase your engagement, obviously you'll want to focus more on your engagement numbers.

If you're wanting your post to bee seen multiple times, obviously you'll want to focus more on your Impressions numbers.

If you're wanting more people to see your posts, obviously you'll want to focus on your Reach numbers.

Now, the next best part about this little section is that Instagram will tell you EXACTLY when you posted this particular post. In the example below, I posted this on Feb 19th at 8:38pm.

 

the most popular times to post on instagram

Now, for every single post you posted in the last 7 days, write down the exact day and time you posted it. The write down your numbers, Impressions, Reach & Engagement.

Now highlight your most popular post. Then write a #2 next to your second most popular post, then a #3 on your next most popular post, and so on and so on.

Now you replicate those posting times based on your past performance. This is a great starting point.

I actually like to do this audit around once a month in order to make sure I'm staying on track and my posting times don't need changed.

Alright, I know that was a SUPER long post. But, now you can create your perfect posting scheduled based on your own analytics. It's been completely tailored to your biz and audience.

Because again, there is no perfect posting time for everyone. It's super important to know YOUR own posting times.

If you want to learn more about marketing on Instagram, click below to download my free e-book "Everything you Need to Know to Start Killing it on Instagram".

-Linds