With more than 800 million monthly active users, Instagram has been the home of the most popular, engaging and shareable visual content on the internet. An estimated 70% of businesses in the United States use the platform to create awareness about their brand, which has proven to be highly successful, considering that 30% of customers end up purchasing products/services that they come across on Instagram. Not only this, according to Sprout Social Q1 2017 Index, 67% of the Gen X population and 60% of millennials admitted that they are more likely to buy from a business they follow on Instagram.

Here’s the catch, though: Much like Facebook, it’s become extremely difficult for your content to appear organically a potential customer’s feed. In fact, between December and July 2017, the number of Instagram ads went from 134,000 to 171,000, simple because marketers everywhere want to reach a wider, more relevant audience. So, how does an average, community-focused business that relies mostly on word-of-mouth marketing use the platform to attract customers without spending a pretty penny? The answer is simple and pretty straightforward: Publish posts when most of your target demographic is online. Here are some critical data points to help you maximize your Instagram engagement:

  • Broadly, Wednesday (three in the afternoon), Thursday (five and eleven in the morning) and Friday (five in the morning) are the best times to make a post on Instagram.
  • A more detailed analysis shows that Thursday is overall the best day to make a post, whereas, anything you share on Sunday is expected to get lesser engagement than usual, since users are expected to be occupied with afternoon brunches and other hangout events.
  • If you are looking to play safe, Tuesday to Friday (9 in the morning to 6 in the evening) is an ideal time.
  • Since 80% of the people check their phone before brushing their teeth, you will encounter some of the highest engagement at 5 in the morning (Tuesday to Friday). On a related note, if your target audience is under 25 years of age, publishing posts in the middle of the day during weekdays will garner a reasonable engagement. Why? Most of these people check Instagram for 32 minutes every day are more likely to pick up their phone when mid-day lulls strike.

Depending on the industry you’re in, this data can be further segregated to optimize your publishing schedule.


  • Friday (two in the afternoon) is the best time to make a post, if you’re a non-profit. ¬†Alternatively, Tuesday (3 and 9 in the afternoon/night), Wednesday (3 to 4 in the afternoon), Thursday (2 to 3 in the afternoon) and Friday (10 in the morning) can also be your go-to.
  • If you’d like to post frequently through the week, then noon to 5 in the afternoon are the safest times.
  • Non-profits tend to receive the least attention on Saturday.


  • Since your target audience is most likely 18 to 29-year-olds enrolled in a school, college or vocational program, making a post during the after-hours makes more sense if you want to grab eyeballs. Hence, Monday (8 at night) is considered to be the best time to publish a post on Instagram.
  • Playing it safe? Try anytime between 11 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon on weekdays.
  • Similar to non-profits, Sundays are usually slow in terms of engagement for businesses in the education sector, considering most students are spending time outdoors and are not necessarily on their phones.


  • If you’re in the healthcare industry, then Tuesday (1 in the afternoon) is the best time to post.
  • The safest times to post, in case you’re still experimenting with your content, are usually between 9 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon (Tuesday to Friday).
  • Avoid posting on the weekends as you’d not likely to see a notable engagement.


  • Wednesday (10 in the morning) is the best time for tech brands to make a post. However, Thursday is considered to be the best day for being active on Instagram overall.
  • If you want to be in the safe-zone, post during anytime between 10 in the morning to 5 in the evening (Wednesday to Friday).
  • Posting on Sunday will not get you much engagement.

When you’re working hard on your social media campaigns, having a general idea about how many people will actually engage with you can work wonders for your overall growth strategy. Moreover, learning more about the best time to create and publish posts on Instagram not only boosts your social media engagement but also helps you understand your target demographic inside out. Since audiences tend to change across different industries and platforms, you can’t solely rely on a hunch to ensure a successful online presence.

While we hope that you are able to benefit from the above data-set and up your Instagram game, remember that there’s no magical time or day that will make your publishing difficulties disappear.