When is the best time to post on Instagram?

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Best time to post on instagramJordan McQueen/Unsplash

Instagram has a lot of users — 1 billion to be exact. Like many of those users, you probably want to get as many likes and comments as you can on your next post. You need more than just the perfect photo for Instagram. The interactions you get have a lot to do with when you post, too. So when is the best time to post on the popular social network?

Well, it depends.

Every Instagram account (and the content posted on it) is different and that makes it difficult to gather accurate and reliable information about the platform. Still, regardless of your account’s unique following, there seem to be at least a few numbers to go by.

Later, a scheduling app for Instagram, recently analyzed more than 60,000 posts and consulted with a network of social media managers, allowing the company to draw some basic conclusions. By no means are these stats the final say, but they will give you a general idea regarding the best time to post your photos and videos.

Picking a time

Later recently pulled a slew of social media managers as to when the best time to post was and the majority said during lunchtime (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and in the evenings (7 p.m. to 9 p.m.). When doing so, you’ll also want to keep in mind your most active time zone. If you are located in New York City but most of your followers are in L.A., for instance, you may want to post according to their time zone instead of your own. Generally speaking, it’s best to share during off-work hours, rather than throughout the workday.

Picking a day

Much like the best time of day to post to Instagram, finding the right day of the week is also a challenge. Some research suggests Wednesdays and Thursdays promote the most interaction, while more anecdotal evidence from social media managers sometimes suggests otherwise.

Weekends tend to be hit-or-miss depending on the type of Instagram account you’re running and the type of followers you have. If your Instagram account is directed toward your friends and family, for example, you might get better interaction on weekends than if you’re looking to gain the attention of businesses and companies that tend to be closed during the weekend.

As a whole, it seems that weekend posts get less traffic than weekday posts. If you absolutely must post on the weekend, however, it’s best to avoid Sunday, which seems to be the day with the lowest engagement numbers.

Finding your sweet spot

Ultimately, the only way you can ensure the most accurate data for your posting needs is to keep track of and manage your own analytics. If you have a business account — or have an account with a high number of engagements — you can use Instagram’s analytics tool, which allows you to see what time of day and days of the week produce the most interaction.

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To find your analytics on a business account, go to your profile and tap on the menu button in the app. Then, choose Insights from the menu.

If you don’t have a business account, you can switch over your existing account in just a few steps. Go to your profile page and tap on the menu icon. Then choose Settings > Add Business Account > Convert Existing Account. From there, just follow the on-screen directions.

In addition to timeframes, you can also learn other details about your followers. Instagram breaks down their location and age, for instance, which are vital for understanding what kind of content will work best across the board.

If you want to take things a step further, start charting your data in a spreadsheet. Using a tool like Google Sheets or a piece of gridded paper, mark down your posts, when you shared them, and how many likes or comments they received within a 24-hour window. After all, the more data you have, the better informed you will be.

Just getting started with Instagram? Lucky for you, we put together a comprehensive guide to the platform, as well as a roundup of the best Instagram accounts to follow.

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