What is the Best Time of Day to Post to Instagram

Posted on October 19th, 2020 to Cannabis

Create a simple social media calendar – and stick to it!

You work hard to snap that perfect shot, to pose just right, to show off your branded influencer post in the most perfect light, right? Of course you do! So it makes sense to get your Instagram posts in front of the biggest audience possible to increase engagement and to build your brand value. Part of the trick is coordinating your posting schedule with when your users are engaging with the platform. We’re going to dive into that as best we can in this post.

So, when should you post to Instagram?

The answer to this question can vary drastically depending on who you ask, but luckily there’s plenty of data on when the “perfect time to post” is…

The “New Normal” – Instagram during COVID-19

This may not come as much of a surprise, but people are using Social Media platforms more than ever during the pandemic.  At CannaPlanners HQ, we’ve seen:

  • a drastic rise in our global bandwidth (~+3000%)
  • more people online (+30%)
  • more people using mobile devisces to browse (+60% compared to this time last year)

More and more people are understanding and utilizing the power of online engagement during this time when certain states are still on lock-down of some sort.  Online users are buying more online, they’re “liking” more, and they are – overall – spending way more time online than ever before.

Social media is now an integral piece of modern communication

Sprout also measured more than 20,000 of their own customer’s online habits from the start of lockdown to the middle of April. Here’s what they found:

“As daily routines changed, people’s lives went online and social media became the key way for friends to communicate with each other, and for brands to communicate with their customers.” 

Sprout’s pre-lockdown research tells us that Wednesday at 11am and Friday from 10am to 11am were the best times to post to Instagram. Covid-19 and the increase in home working blew that time window open:

2-min best time to post on Instagram
Courtesy of Sprout


The best times to post have shifted + expanded with the pandemic

Monday, Tuesday, and Friday at 11am and Tuesday at 2pm are now the best times to post to your Instagram account. Even weekends are good times to post on Instagram to get some solid engagement now, though they never used to compete they are now showing significantly higher engagement rates.

Bottom line: people are bored!

What about the worst time to post on Instagram?

The worst time to post on Instagram is after 6 pm when individuals have finished work for the day. Prior to this whole COVID mess the best time to post on Instagram was Wednesday at 11am and Friday from 10am to 11am.  However, this has now been flipped on its head a bit as a result of increases in screen-time

3-min best time to post on Instagram
Courtesy of Sprout

Best times to post on Instagram for Cannabis companies

For cannabis companies specifically, Wednesday at 3pm is the best time for consumer engagement on Instagram and Wednesday is the best day for getting engagement overall. Sundays are to be avoided. Queue up your posts for any time Tuesday to Friday from 11am to 3pm, because you’ll see a larger increase to your engagement rates.

So what’s the logic? Why these times?

LUNCHY MUCHY!! These are the times we’re all collectively eating sandwiches (what else would you eat…ever?) and scrolling through our feeds.  In addition to the multi-tasking times of eating/scrolling, is the “food coma” we sometimes face afterwards – there’s no way you’re getting any work done then, so back to scrolling you go!

How to use Instagram Insights to Decide on Posting Times

Have you signed your Cannabis company up for a business account?  We’ve already done a shallow dive into some of the ins and outs of the hurdles (read: complete roadblocks) on advertising on Facebook (who owns Instagram), but maintaining a professional IG profile is very important. Having a IG business account allows you to access the Instagram Insights tool.

Use the insights tool to gain…follower insights!

The Insights tool is an analytics tool showing you who your followers are in terms of varying demographics:  gender, age, and location.  Another great feature of the Insights Tool is how it shows you when your users are online. When your data gives provides you with a more complete picture of how your users are engaging with your posts, you’ll better understand what times are best to post.  Here’s how to do it.

“Insights” is a main menu button on your admin profile.  Tap it!

You can get Insights by tapping the bar graph icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen when you’re on the app’s home page.

We’re happy to share a peek into our insights to give you some “insight” into the data…. sorry, I’ll show myself out.

Here you can see that most of our activity happened on Wed, Thurs, Fri and Monday of this particular week.  We can gauge which posts had the best engagements and what kinds of posts had larger areas of opportunity in order to better understand what works.  By tapping into your Followers Overview – you can get a strong understanding of your audience demographic breakdown (which is very helpful for better knowing your customer, how and when to reach them, etc).

How often should you post to Instagram?

This is a really important question.  How often can you create engaging and meaningful content that’s useful to your audience?  However you answer that question will determine how often you post.  Some studies show that once a day posting has an impact on your viewership (and how the algorithm interacts with your profile), but your audience is discerning – so don’t post garbage, or your unfollow rate will be higher than you’d prefer.

What’s more important than frequency is consistency.  If you can only post once a week, fine – make it an awesome post that people will like, comment and share to their networks.

Know your Data!

Instagram is an incredibly powerful marketing platform and its Insights Tool is a great glimpse into how your customers are engaging with you on social.  BUT (yes, all capital letters) it is only one part of the bigger picture.  Make sure you’re staying in touch with your Google Analytics to see how your social engagement rates translate over to your website.  Your website is the window into your business, social media, SEO, your physical and digital marketing strategies are all the lights and signs that guide the way to turn your users into customers.  If you need a quick crash course on SEO, be sure to check out this article.

Interested in talking with someone about the digital marketing strategy for your cannabis company?  Contact us!



VP Digital Marketing, CMO

This post was written by Zach Santarsiero.

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