Reach, comments, and likes, oh my! Instagram can be an essential business builder if you’re using it correctly, especially considering that it has more than one billion active users logging in every month. And with Instagram, using it “correctly” means knowing how to get engagement on your posts, which includes likes and comments. The Instagram algorithm loves engagement!
Although likes aren’t the only factors for Instagram success, they do help keep your content at the top of your ideal audience’s feeds, which is exactly where you want them to be. We dug into the research to learn the best time to post on Instagram for likes to boost your reach and relevancy on the platform.
When to Post on Instagram to Gain Likes
Screenshot via @wendys on Instagram
Generally speaking, the best time to post on Instagram for likes is between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern time. We say generally because this time frame can vary significantly depending on your audience and when they tend to log in. We’ll get to that in a moment.
You may also find an increase in engagement very early in the morning as your audience wakes up, around the 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. window, on weekdays. On weekends, Instagram sees later – and less frequent – logins, so waiting to post between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. is your best bet.
Top Tips for Posting on Instagram and Getting Likes
Screenshot via @lushcosmetics on Instagram
Because there are so many factors that can influence your Instagram likes, we’ve put together some tips to help you navigate the best times to post for your specific brand:
Relevant Content Trumps New Content
The Instagram algorithm is ever-changing. Currently, Instagram displays content it thinks is most relevant to users rather than the most current content. So, relevancy is technically more important than posting time.
What does that mean for you? You’ll need engaging photos that use relevant hashtags to get the right eyes on them. All it takes is one incredible photo that pops up in someone’s feed to make them click over to your account, see what you offer, and decide to follow you.
Keep in mind that Instagram no longer shows likes publicly to followers, but they still make a difference. More likes means your post is popular, so the Instagram algorithm is likely to show your content to more users. As an Instagram user, you can still see the likes for your own posts, but the total number of likes won’t be displayed publicly under your post.
Consider Time Zones
There are several time zones across the globe, which makes coming up with your perfect posting schedule a little trickier unless you’re a 100% local company. If you want global engagement, you’ll need to experiment even more with finding the right times to post.
It’s best to post on Instagram daily and consider scheduling your Instagram posts ahead of time to save time. What you can do to gain likes from users all over the world is tweak your posting times each day. For example, target the Central European time zone at 5 a.m. on Thursday, the Eastern time zone at 2 p.m. on Friday, and the Pacific time zone at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Or, just keep experimenting to see if there’s a certain time that sticks out as an engagement booster in most time zones.
Know the Best Posting Days, Too
For organic likes and engagement on Instagram, the best posting days are between Tuesday and Friday, with Wednesday being the most active day on the platform. Not surprisingly, Saturday and Sunday are at the bottom of the barrel.
That’s not to say that you should avoid posting those days; fresh, consistent content is the key to success on Instagram. But on low-engagement days, you may want to be even more mindful of the times in which you post to get the highest potential reach.
Consider Your Niche and Audience
Screenshot via @lululemon on Instagram
Instagram engagement varies a lot with different businesses and audiences. Beauty and fashion brands, for example, typically have engagement at all times of the day because their audiences are so diverse. In contrast, a tech company’s engagement is likelier to follow the 9-to-5 workday schedule with peaks in engagement early in the morning, during lunch break hours, and in the evenings.
You can use Instagram’s built-in analytics – Instagram Insights – to see when your followers and fans tend to hop on their feeds. However, the best way to gauge engagement accurately is by testing, testing, and testing some more. Instagram analytics isn’t foolproof, and it can’t help you learn everything you need to know about your audience. But testing different posting dates and times over the course of several weeks can paint a clearer picture of what works for your business.
Start Increasing Your Instagram Followers
Looking for more Instagram followers to increase engagement? You can install our Instagram follow button in just minutes. This handy little tool goes right on your website and gives your visitors a one-click path to find your account and follow you. Engagement starts with your audience. Having this button at your fingertips makes it that much easier to grow your fan base and get more likes.
If you’re looking for more ideas on how to grow your Instagram following, we’ve also created a series of free Instagram resources, including: our guide to the proper Instagram caption limit, answer to the question “how do you share a post on Instagram,” our collection of tips and tricks for optimizing your Instagram profile picture size, and our guide to optimizing your Instagram giveaway caption.