How-To

When is the Best Time to Publish Instagram and Facebook Posts?

When it comes to posting to Instagram and Facebook, timing is everything. Otherwise, even the most ingenious posts could get lost in the noise and fail to find an audience. Those in the know suggest scheduling posts at certain times and days of the week to maximize your social presence. Here’s what they say about two of the hottest properties online, Instagram, and Facebook.

Instagram

First introduced in 2010, Instagram offers photo- and video-sharing across multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, and many more. With built-in filtering, Instagram posts are organized by hashtags and geographical tagging. Posts, the heart of the service, are shareable with only followers or the larger Instagram community.

As of October 2020, Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users, making it perhaps the most popular social network worldwide. Of those, 140 million are based in the United States. Numbers like these are why Instagram attracts individuals and businesses alike.

For U.S.-engagement, the times listed below are Eastern Time.

Best Times for Engagement

Sprout Social explains the most consistent engagement time for Instagram is during the workweek, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Before 6 a.m. and after 9 p.m., engagement levels drop off considerably. The best times to post varies significantly, depending on the type of engagement. For retailers and consumer goods providers, posts between Tuesday and Friday are ideal, with Wednesday being the best day to engage. On the flip side is Sunday, which ranks much lower. Those in the media, by contrast, are most successful by posting on Fridays, with weekends being the worst days.

Other areas include:

  • Education: Best: Friday; Worst: Saturday
  • Non-Profit: Best: Wednesday; Worst: Sunday
  • Tech: Best: Wednesday; Worst: Sunday
  • Healthcare: Best: Tuesday; Worst: Weekends
  • Finance: Best: Wednesday; Worst: Thursday
  • Recreation: Best: Wednesday; Worst: Sunday

Through its studies, RecurPost has published similar findings on when to post on Instagram. The best times overall, according to the day, are:

  • Monday: 6 a.m., 10 a.m., and 10 p.m. EST
  • Tuesday: 2 a.m., 4 a.m., and 9 a.m. EST
  • Wednesday: 7 a.m., 8 a.m., and 11 p.m. EST
  • Thursday: 9 a.m., 12 p.m., and 7 p.m. EST
  • Friday: 5 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. EST
  • Saturday: 11 a.m., 7 p.m., and 8 p.m. EST
  • Sunday: 7 a.m., 8 a.m., and 4 p.m. EST

From an industry perspective, it found the following times are the best and worst:

  • Consumer Goods: Best: Weekdays; Worst: Sunday
  • Media: Best: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday; Worst: Weekends
  • Education: Best: Friday, Saturday; Worst: Sunday, Monday
  • Non-Profit: Best, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday; Worst: Weekends
  • Tech: Best: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday; Worst: Weekends
  • Healthcare: Best: Tuesday, Thursday; Worst: Friday, Saturday, Sunday
  • Finance: Best: Wednesday, Friday; Worst: Saturday, Sunday, Monday
  • Non-Retail E-Commerce: Best: Weekdays; Worst: Saturday

A Pattern

As you can see, the worst days to post to Instagram are generally Saturday and Sunday, with the best days being Wednesday or Thursday. No doubt, this suggests a lot of effort goes into engagement in anticipation of the upcoming weekend, but not for the weekend itself.

Facebook

The largest social network in the world, which also happens to own Instagram, is Facebook. Through the second quarter of 2020, it has 2.7 billion active users, of which 223 million are based in the United States. Much more than a free way to post images for family and friends to see, Facebook includes news, a marketplace, a dating site, and more.

Best Times for Engagement

Back to Sprout Social, the best engagement days and times differ for Facebook versus Instagram, although not by a lot. Once again, a pattern emerges.

Overall, the best day for posting is Wednesday, especially at 11 a.m. and between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. For posts from retailers and consumer goods brands, Wednesday and Friday offer the best engagement opportunities. Like with Instagram, Sunday ranks much lower. Those in the media are most successful by posting on Wednesday, with Sunday being the worst day — again.

Other areas include:

  • Education: Best: Wednesday; Worst: Sunday
  • Non-Profit: Best: Wednesday; Worst: Weekends
  • Tech: Best: Wednesday; Worst: Sunday
  • Healthcare: Best: Wednesday; Worst: Weekends
  • Finance: Best: Wednesday; Worst: Weekends
  • Recreation: Best: Wednesday; Worst: Sunday

RecurPost found similar results, although a few differences exist. From an industry perspective, it found the following times are the best and worst:

  • Consumer Goods: Best: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday; Worst: Sunday
  • Media: Best: Weekdays; Worst: Sunday
  • Education: Best: Weekdays; Worst: Weekends
  • Non-Profit: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday; Worst: Weekend
  • Tech: Best: Wednesday, Thursday; Worst: Saturday and Sunday
  • Healthcare: Best: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday; Worst: Weekends
  • Finance: Best: Weekdays; Worst: Sunday
  • Creative/Sports: Best: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday; Worst: Sunday

Once again, weekends are noting as being the worst time to engage on Facebook, while mid-week posts seem the best. Universally, the best times to post tend to fall in the middle of the day, Eastern Time, although postings until 9 p.m. could still attract an audience.

What Does This Mean?

Knowing the information above might not sound important, especially if you’re new to Instagram or Facebook. However, social accounts can evolve with the person. Your Instagram account, for example, might have started as a way to show off the occasional photo of your puppy. In time, however, the account could grow into something that attracts a larger audience. It’s at that point when maximizing engagement is key, especially if you plan on monetizing the account. That’s why scheduling posts to publish at specific times during the course of the week is important.

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