What’s the best time of day to post on Instagram?
Have you found yourself wondering about this? Have you tried asking others? Have you experimented on your own? There are lots of ways to get good answers, but only one way to get the best answer.
Gaaaaaaaaahhhh! I’ll bet that is the exact answer you were hoping to NOT find. I feel you. Life would be so much easier if people just gave us the answers. But, in the words of Ice-T in the Body Count theme song; “it ain’t like that!”
What I can do is help guide you to the correct answer so it’s a little easier to figure out.
Let’s start by gathering some clues.
According to this article on Huffington Post, 5:00 pm EST on Wednesdays is a prime time to post. The second best time would be 2:00 am. Keep in mind though, this research and article was posted before several updates to the Instagram algorithm.
As reported by Lifewire, midnight, 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm seem to be the winning times. That article however goes on to report that 3:00 – 4:00 pm is the WORST hour of the day to post due to a sheer volume of posts. From a strategic day standpoint, they report that Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays have higher engagement than the other days of the week. That would suggest that you should save more important posts for those days.
Here’s one more blog post I suggest reading from Hootsuite. In it, they suggest “The best time to post on Instagram is from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday.” Their research shows that people are scrolling through Instagram posts during their lunch hour, hence making it a good time to engage. The article also points out that in general, from 6 am until 12:00 pm is a good window.
Jalapeño cheese fries from Boardwalk Fries Burgers Shakes in Hoboken, NJ.
THE INSTAGRAM ALGORITIHM
One thing to keep in mind as you try to determine what is the best time to post updates on Instagram is their algorithm. To quote Instagram, it works “based on the likelihood [the audience] will be interested in the content.”
Photos are not shown to users in the order they are posted, meaning if I post at 7 am and you post at 8 am, someone who follows us both may see yours before mine if the social network believes you are more likely to be interested in your content. In other words, posts with more likes and more comments and more likely to show up at the top of your followers’s feeds.
That puts the pressure on you to not only post at the right time but to share inspiring or useful content. So, with all that in mind, let’s get you to an answer.
THE BEST TIME TO POST FOOD PHOTOS TO INSTAGRAM
This blog is intended to provide insight and tips for people in the restaurant and food marketing business. I’ve owned and operated a bar in New York City, I was the director of marketing for a food manufacturer, I’m a blogger and an influencer so I’ve gone through many levels of experimentation that will help you to figure out when best to share posts to Instagram.
So whether you are a foodstagrammer, influencer, restaurant operator or bartender, here are my suggestions on the best time to post to Instagram.
THE GOLDEN RULE
The best time to post a food photo to Instagram is right before people are hungry or thinking about eating. If you are a global brand, this tip is a little harder to use since morning in Japan and morning in Portland, OR are at two separate times of the day. If you are location based though, post at these times:
- 6:00 am – 7:45 am
- 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
- 4:00 pm – 5:45 pm
You will be sharing food content right before people are starting to get hungry. That way when then flip into Instagram hopefully your content will have the best chances of appearing first.
If you follow me @revciancio on Instagram, you’ll notice that I only update once a day and it’s typically between 6:00 am – 7:00 am EST. You’ll also notice that I care not what time of day it is, if I want to share food that is not traditionally consider to be breakfast food but more like Burgers, pizza and french fries.
I do this because I’ve experimented enough to know that my followers like the idea that I am getting out of bed and shoving a belly bomb into my face. So I stick with it.
For most food / restaurant accounts though, I would suggest a different path. For the most part, share photos of items or activities that are relevant to that part of the day. In other words, share breakfast in the morning, lunch at midday and dinner in the early evening. People may not come running to your restaurant immediately but you’ll hit them with content that makes a mark at a time of day when eating is on their brain.
HOW MANY TIMES A DAY SHOULD I POST?
Good question. If you have the content and the ability, I suggest 3 -4 times per day at the times I suggest above.
If you have less time or content, go with twice a day and stick with the content relevancy theory (breakfast at breakfast, etc.)
You know what’s awesome? Breakfast. You know what’s awesome about breakfast? So many delicious Pork options. But why choose between? I say Pork it up. Pork ‘Em if you got ‘Em. Go hog wild. All the porks. You get the idea now check out my #bREVfast sandwich. “The Swinetrek: the ship that brings pigs in face.” – @karlstrauss Top to bottom: – soft roll – sweet chili sauce – creamy horseradish – white American cheese – bourbon barrel aged bacon – dippy egg – sliced pork roll / Taylor ham – ham steak – white American cheese – soft roll
If you only have enough time and content to post once a day, then do that. I suggest first thing in the morning. Set the tone for your followers. Inspire their whole day. Let them know that you too are an early riser and thinking about how your day is going to plan out.
I’ve given you the roadmap to figuring out best works for your brand. The first step is to make your plan and then stick to it. Consistency is more important than anything else. If you choose to do 2 posts a day, one at breakfast and one at lunch, do that every single day unless it doesn’t work. Then try something else.
Experiment for 2 weeks if you can. That way you can compare 7 days against each other as well as 2 of each day (Monday:Monday). See what works best and either stick with it or revise. Then do another 2 week test and see what kind of results you get.
Just make sure you are consistent!
Bacon Cheeseburger and bacon fries from Playwright Celtic Pub in New York City.
- The best time to post to Instagram for restaurant and food accounts is in the 90 minutes before traditional meal times.
Do you need help with your Instagram strategy?
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