Last Updated: September 19, 2022
For some of us, Instagram is just another social media platform that we use to post the occasional selfie or scroll through mindlessly to pass the time, but many see it as the ultimate marketing tool to promote their brand.
And it is easy to see why. Across the globe, over 500 million people use Instagram daily, so no matter what you are trying to sell, chances are your target audience is on Instagram.
But what is the best time to post on Instagram UK to get your audience to notice you?
Some of the latest reports suggest 6 am, but it still all depends on your specific industry and when your followers are most active.
What works for other businesses might not work best for you, so it’s essential to test and find what times generate the most exposure and engagement for your specific brand.
Let’s dive into the specifics.
Instagram Algorithm Explained
The Instagram algorithm is a collection of rules that determines what posts appear on your Instagram feed and in what order. Essentially, the algorithm tries to keep you on Instagram as long as possible by giving you personalised content based on your interests and relationships with your followers.
This is different from the chronological feed that Instagram used until 2016, which showed you a list of posts in chronological order, with the most recent ones on top. Although Instagram has recently reintroduced the chronological feed, the algorithmic feed is still the default one.
So how does this help you find out what times to post on Instagram?
The Instagram algorithm prioritises timely content, so it places new posts at the top of your feed over old content to ensure your feed doesn’t get too far out of date. This makes posting when your audience is most active key to getting maximum Instagram engagement.
So, with this information in mind, let’s see what studies say about the UK’s best time to post on Instagram.
What Research Says About the Best Time to Post on Instagram
Over the years, a lot of research has been done on this topic, and one of the latest and most reliable studies was conducted by the social media marketing platform Later.
The platform analysed an astonishing 35 million posts to find the best times and days to post on Instagram for maximum engagement and came up with some interesting findings.
According to Later’s research, posts published at 6 am (local time) generate the most engagement. At the same time, the best days to post on Instagram are Saturday and Sunday.
Best Time to Post on Instagram by Day
Meanwhile, looking at the global best times to post on Instagram by day, the data looks like this:
- Monday — 1 am, 3 am –6 am, 7 pm
- Tuesday — 3 am, 5 am – 6 am, 10 pm
- Wednesday — 3 am – 6 am
- Thursday — 2 am, 4 am – 6 am
- Friday — 2 am – 6 am
- Saturday — 1 am, 3 am, 6 am, 11 pm
- Sunday — 2 am, 6 am – 7 am, 10 pm
These findings are surprising, and you may be wondering why the best times to post on Instagram are in the early morning hours instead of later in the day when there are more active users.
According to Later, that is due to a change in the Instagram algorithm. Posting when there is less competition is now more important than posting when your audience is most active.
In fact, Instagram itself has confirmed that the number of interactions an Instagram post receives in the first 30 minutes after it is published is not detrimental to its overall ranking.
So, posting earlier in the day is beneficial for two reasons — there is less competition, and users will see your post during their first scroll of the day, regardless of whether that happens hours after it was shared.
Best Time to Post on Instagram by Location
Later also included different regions and time zones in its research and found that the best time to post on Instagram in the UK is 4–6 am. If you are aiming to reach an international audience and want to know the best times for posting across different time zones and locations, here is a quick overview:
- US and Canada — Pacific Standard Time (PST): 12 am – 6 am
- US and Canada — Central: 6 am – 8 am
- US and Canada — Eastern Standard Time (EST): 4 am – 9 am
- South America: 4 am
- Europe — Western: 6 pm – 8 pm
- Europe — Eastern: 5 am – 7 am
- Africa: 6 am
- East Asia and Southeast Asia: 11 pm – 4 am
- South Asia and the Middle East: 3 am
- Australia: 11 pm – 2 am
Worst Time to Post on Instagram
When looking into the optimal times to post on Instagram for more engagement and exposure, it is also important to learn which times to avoid. So, here are Later’s findings about the worst time to post on Instagram by day.
- Monday — 10 am and 1 pm – 2 pm
- Tuesday — 1 pm and 5 pm
- Wednesday — 10 am and 4 pm
- Thursday — 9 am and 8 pm
- Saturday — 4 pm and 7 pm
- Sunday — 10 am and 2 pm
Best Time to Post on Instagram by Industry
In a study of its own, Sprout Social looked into the best time to post on Instagram for specific industries. Similarly to its study about the best time to tweet, the company analysed data from its 30,000+ customers to see the times their Instagram posts were most frequently engaged with. Here are its findings:
- Consumer Goods: Sundays at 3 pm and 4 pm
- Education: Tuesdays at 10 am
- Finance: Wednesdays at 6 am
- Healthcare: Thursdays at 7 am
- Hospitality: Thursdays at 11 am, Fridays at 10 am and 3 pm
- Media: Tuesdays at 10 am, and 11 am
- Nonprofit: Wednesdays from 9 am to 3 pm, Sundays at 9 am
- Restaurants: Wednesdays from 10 am to noon
- Tech: Wednesdays at 8 am, and Fridays at 10 am
- Travel and Tourism: Wednesdays at 12 pm
When it comes to the overall best time to post on Instagram, Sprout Social’s findings are different to those of Later. Sprout Social found that the best time to post on Instagram is 11 am, while the best days are Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
How to Figure Out the Optimal Time to Post on Instagram for You
With such conflicting information from two different studies, figuring out the actual best time to post on Instagram can be challenging. Our recommendation is to give both theories a try and see which one gives the best results.
Start by scheduling posts at specific time intervals, and then dive into your Instagram analytics to find out which posts performed best. From there, you can fine-tune your posting strategy until you find what works best for your brand.
Here are some other tips on how to find the best time to post on Instagram for your business.
Use an Instagram Analytics Tool
There are many social media management platforms like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Social Pilot that offer in-depth Instagram analytics as part of their larger suite of features. These tools can help you track your posts’ engagement and reach, allowing you to quickly identify which times and days perform best for your brand.
However, they usually require you to sign up and pay for a subscription. If you’re not willing to commit to a social media scheduling tool just yet, you can use Instagram’s native Instagram Insights feature.
Use Instagram Insights
If you have a business Instagram profile, you have access to free insights about your posts and followers. To view your insights, simply tap on the bar chart icon in the top right-hand corner of your profile page.
Here, you can see data about your followers, including their age range, location, gender, and, most importantly, peak activity time. You can filter the time by Days and Hours to gain a better understanding of when your followers are most active.
You can also view insights about specific posts, including engagement, reach, and impressions. One of the most interesting insights is the breakdown of how your post was discovered, or in other words, where your impressions came from, whether it is through hashtags, directly from your profile, from the home feed, etc.
Overall, the Instagram Insights feature is a great way to get detailed information about when your followers are active and how they’re engaging with your content.
Use Instagram Creator Studio
Instagram Creator Studio is another powerful analytics tool. It was designed for brands and content creators that use Instagram and Facebook to publish their content. The platform not only simplifies publishing content but also analyses performance across accounts on both social media platforms. Thus, it can be of great help when trying to figure out when to post on Instagram.
Check When the Competition Posts
One quick and easy way to find the best time to upload on Instagram is by checking when your competition posts. Look at the accounts of similar businesses in your industry, and see when they’re publishing their content. If you notice that they tend to post at certain times or days more than others, it’s likely because those are the best times for their business.
Of course, you shouldn’t blindly copy what your competition is doing — you should always test different times and days to see what works best for your brand. But checking when they post can give you a good starting point.
To sum up, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of when is the best time to post on Instagram UK. The best time for you will vary depending on your business, your audience, and the nature of the content you are publishing.
That being said, there are some general patterns that you can use as a starting point, which you can then tweak and fine-tune based on your own insights and analytics.
And finally, don’t forget to experiment — the best way to find out what works best for your business is to test different times and days and see what gets the best results. Good luck!
Yes, the time you post on Instagram can make a big difference in the reach and engagement of your posts. Generally speaking, you should aim to post when your target audience is most active and when there aren’t too many posts from competing brands similar to yours.
The time when your posts generate the most engagement mostly depends on your specific industry and business. However, the latest reports suggest that posting in the early morning hours on the weekend is the best time to get more likes on Instagram.
Studies show that brands with a regular flow of Instagram posts typically see the best results. For instance, according to a Later research about how often you should post on Instagram, accounts with under 1K followers should post at least 14 times per week.
For accounts with less than 1K followers, the more you post, the greater your overall engagement will be. So, businesses with less than 1K followers should post around 14 times per week, while businesses with followers ranging from 1K to 250K should aim to have between 14 and 20 new posts per week. On the other hand, if you have more than 250K followers, posting once per day should suffice.
Latest studies show that posting in the early morning, around 6 am, is better than posting in the evening. That is because, around that time, there usually is less competition, and more people are likely to see the post throughout the day.