The Corona pandemic has disrupted everyday life across the world and everything, including our activity on social media, is drastically changing.
On the basis thereof, all prior social media advertising and online marketing recommendations noting the best time to post on social media channels, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. are gone down the tubes.
Therefore, different advertising and marketing companies have reviewed their previous recommendations for 2020, taking into account how peoples’ practice of using social media has shifted.
Instagram in Focus
In today’s read, we have taken Instagram – the second most logged-in social media channel for daily use – under our magnifying glass. This social channel is also the only predicted social platform to extend its user base over the upcoming years.
This Facebook-owned social handle is relatively similar in the global usage patterns as its parent company, with the maximum user activity happening around midday in the weekdays, while a lower engagement is noticed during the weekends.
Considering Instagram as a whole, in common, the most steady user activity can be observed from Monday through Friday, in between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
On the other hand, the engagement rate grows lower every day before 6 a.m. and after 9 p.m. Though, compared to other social channels, Instagram does have dispersed points of user engagement during morning hours and on weekends.
This could be encouraged by the growing popularity of bite-sized Instagram Stories that are simple to check-in at any time. Further, its fleeting nature can drive the fear of missing out.
Best Times to Post on Instagram During Lockdown
During lockdown due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Instagram’s activity is now much more focused on the weekdays and during the middays.
In contrary to the previously recommended best time to post on Instagram – Wednesday at 11 a.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., there is a sharp drop found in an early morning activity and engagement after 6 p.m. Hence, during the lockdown, the mid-afternoon time has become an ideal time to post on your Insta handle.
For the time being, Monday, Tuesday, and Friday at 11 a.m. and specifically Tuesday at 2 p.m. are the best times to share a post on Instagram.
Even more, some of the traditionally most inactive periods on Insta, the weekends, particularly Sundays, have found a massive shift. Throughout the lockdown, the Insta users have become highly active on weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Isn’t it amazing?
So, for now, it’s like any day is a good day to post on Instagram, as long as it doesn’t reach 6 in the mid-afternoon.
Though these data are thoroughly analyzed, these are not authoritative. We identify the data as the way to decide the fairly best time to post on social media for your business is to explore and understand how your viewers acknowledge the efforts.
Further, it depends on the content that you post on your social channel, including Instagram. It also counts on your lookout to engage your target audience, what the intentions of your posts are.
While there are many factors at play, these data help you to strategize your initial social media marketing plan and to get to your posts the sweet spot shortly if you’re eyeing for additional marks.
How do we decide the best time to post on Instagram?
Since its switching to an algorithm-based feed in 2016, the question of the best post timing has become exceptionally abounding for Instagram users. If posts don’t appear chronologically, does the moment you post your content even matter?
And the answer is Yes. It surely matters to an extent.
Though not strictly chronological, Instagram is designed to serve you fresh content that you’re prone to get involved in, at the top of your feed. This happens as an Instagram algorithm favors “recentness” when it circumscribes which posts you will see in your timeline first. This means the newer posts are more assumed to emerge in your feed first, no matter how many times you refresh the page.
How does this work for business pages and brands?
Hence, you need to make sure that your posts are “fresh” and don’t lack the “recency” while the largest part of your target audience is most likely to be active on Insta.
Therefore, you will be able to reach more viewers who are more likely to notice, like, and engage with your posts.
Read on for our findings through 11 (eleven) different industries to find out the best time to post on Instagram for your specific business niche and target audience.
When is the best time to post on Instagram?
The best way to find out when your followers are online and most likely to show interest in your posts is by reviewing your Instagram analytics. Further, it’s also estimable to figure out the timing of Instagram posts by your business competitors, as well as the industry leaders. This approach is particularly helpful if you’re starting from scratch.
1. Technology Sector
Best Time to Post: Monday & Tuesday at 2 p.m.
The top tech Instagram accounts get the most engagement, on average, when they post on Tuesday at 2 p.m. More recently, however, their top-performing day has switched to Monday. Both days are good options to post.
Time Not to Post on Instagram: We won’t say NO to experimentation. So, try new with your posting schedule, only making sure you also post on Monday and Tuesday at 2 p.m.
2. Education Sector
Best Time to Post: Thursday at 4 p.m. or 5 p.m.
11 a.m. & 12 p.m. are also good options for the sector
For college students, Friday comes with almost the weekend vibe. So, if you’re a post-secondary educational institution (like many of the top profiles in this arena), make sure you catch your followers before they tune you out: on Thursday at 4 or 5 p.m.
However, Fridays and Wednesdays are also high-performance days for educational institutions on Instagram, some people are paying attention to Fridays mostly.
Time Not to Post on Instagram: It’s probably best to stay away on the weekends and early in the mornings, though anything is possible.
3. Travel & Tourism Industry
Best Time to Post: Friday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
According to Unmetric data, brands in this industry experienced the most engagement with their Instagram content when they posted at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m., but also 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. (in more recent quarters).
On average, Friday was the best performing day for Travel and Tourism brands on Instagram, followed by Tuesday and Monday.
Likely, followers of these accounts are primed to engage with travel content as they plan their weekends. On Monday and Tuesday, however, they might be reminiscing about their time on the beach or the slopes.
Time Not to Post on Instagram: If you’re starting fresh in the Instagram travel industry, avoid posting after 1 p.m. Also steer clear of weekends, when your followers are having their own adventures #irl.
4. Media & Entertainment Industry
Best Time to Post: Tuesdays & Thursdays from 12 to 3 p.m.
Interested audiences are likely scrolling through their feeds during lunch hour and into the old “afternoon slump,” looking for a burst of inspiration or humor or some light controversies to get them through the rest of their day.
Tuesdays and Thursdays are the winners for traffic engagement by day-of-the-week in this industry. But Mondays and Saturdays are also strong contenders.
As we could tell you that media and entertainment followers are likely to find such Instagram content engaging regardless of the day of the week it’s posted on. That it’s served to such a large audience means that this category has to account for a wide range of user behaviors, too.
Time Not to Post on Instagram: Morning times are big No-No.
5. Professional Services Sector
Best Time to Post: Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday at 9 a.m. or 10 a.m.
On average, top professional services brands seem to have the most luck posting early on in the workdays, specifically on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.
These types of service-based companies often post useful educational content to their Instagram feeds, such as links to blog posts or videos. Likely, people prefer to consume this type of content earlier in the day rather than later. And while they’re at work, already in the mood to do so.
Time Not to Post on Instagram: If you’re a newcomer in a professional services account, try not to post on weekends and evenings, unless your data tells you otherwise.
6. Non-Retail eCommerce Business
Best Time to Post: Thursday at 9 p.m. or 4 p.m.
The top non-retail eCommerce brands have the most success posting on Instagram at night and in the early evening on all weekdays, but especially Thursday. 9 p.m. was the most successful time, followed closely by 4 p.m.
Non-Retail eCommerce that invest in romance centered content, are most engaging for readers after their work hours.
Time Not to Post on Instagram: New brands in this space should consider not posting during their followers’ workdays and work hours.
7. Retail Businesses
Best Time to Post: Tuesdays, Thursdays, & Fridays at 12 p.m.
Lunch hour and the break time are popular among several industries to post on Insta. Top retail brands have the most success engaging their Instagram followers at around 12 in the noon, especially on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
Time Not to Post on Instagram: If you’re just starting a retail-focused Instagram account, avoid posting anytime other than the lunch hour window, like 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
8. Food & Beverage Industry
Best Time to Post: Fridays at 12 p.m.
This one is no surprise. Top accounts in the food and beverage industry have the most success posting at 12 p.m., when most of the users are taking a break from their work and leaving their desk to have their lunch – food and beverages.
Whether they’re looking for healthy diet inspiration, motivation, or something tastier than their own lunch, this lunchtime window is the straight-set winner in terms of engagement. Further, if you post only once a day, this is the time to do it.
While Fridays are the most engaging day of the week, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday are also strong performers for this industry.
Time Not to Post on Instagram: It’s good not to post on Instagram outside of mealtimes, especially for the newcomers.
9. Pharma & Healthcare Sector
Best Time to Post: Wednesday & Sunday at 9 a.m.
The top brands in this segment are largely fitness-focused accounts and their followers tend to engage the most with content posted on Instagram at 9 a.m.
While people look for a motivational boost in the middle of their workweek and obviously before the workweek starts, Wednesday and Sunday are the best performing days. Monday and Saturday are also good contenders.
Time Not to Post on Instagram: Avoid posting outside of morning hours to get tons of engagement. But always take time to experiment, as well.
10. Personal Care & Hygiene Sector
Best Time to Post: Thursday & Friday at 1, 2, or 3 p.m.
Largely based on cosmetics brands and topics, the top accounts in this area find the most success posting in the early afternoon near the end of the workweek. Save your best content for Thursdays and Fridays. However, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are also good alternatives.
Time Not to Post on Instagram: New brands should avoid posting on weekends or outside the afternoon.
11. Non-Profit Brands
Best Time to Post: Tuesday at 4 p.m. or 10 a.m.
Content posted on Tuesdays received the most engagement for the top non-profit brands. But Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays were also high performing days for the sector.
Time Not to Post on Instagram: Non-Profit organizations should avoid posting outside of business hours on Mondays, Saturdays, and Sundays unless your analytics show otherwise.
If you are convinced with the elaborate discussion on the best time for your business to post on Instagram, you can work on further by planning and scheduling your Insta posts in advance for the best time to post on Instagram. You can boost your engagement, increase traffic, and get more followers (and customers) this way.
No wonder being provided with the data on the best time to post on social media channels helps social media marketers to have a better grip on audience response and to draw up a more efficient ROI marketing strategy.
As the online community continues to grow, everything from new channels highlights unique platforms that continue to drive innovation and variation, introduce fresh possibilities, and create unique content to reach wide audiences.
Therefore, it’s also necessary to understand how to find the best times to post for your specific brand or business.
It also might be that your brand finds more success on usually off-peak times when more people are inactive, and also there are fewer activities from other industries. You might also need to study further, surpassing our findings, in case you are providing some very definite demographics that aren’t easy to track down out of the wide range of nonexclusive data.
On the other hand, you can also dig into your analytics and start comparing how distinctive posts and contents from your program have performed. With any of the best analytics tools, you can carry on tagging and cross-channel reporting in order to classify various factors, like network, types of media ect., and go into the detail of how posting time has an impact on your social success.
If you think you’re going to screw up things while doing the analysis, there’s nothing to be intimidated. You will find several useful templates to help you start analyzing your social data efficiently.
And last but not the least; don’t forget that while scheduling can make the approach more fruitful, and timing can cause a big difference, nothing can make up for bad content.
Never forget that the most crucial ingredient for your success on any online media is the quality content.
Make sure you’re promoting a strong social media content strategy where every post makes sense to your audiences and exhibits your authoritative brand voice. Therefore, Timing – as a metric, can only be used to promote your Instagram content that is previously optimized to produce amazing results.
And further, the best times to post doesn’t limit you from posting at any other time. All you need to achieve success is to make a solid Instagram promotion strategy has room for further experimentation and trial.
As every brand is unique and each of your audience is valuable, what works for some other may not work for you. So, while following the trend, you must keep on experimenting to reach more people, engage more enthusiasts, and make a more profound impression.