As a long time social media user and especially as an artist who has posted countless works on Instagram over many years, I hear this question quite a lot. I have always wanted to know, what is the Best Time to Post on Instagram for Artists.
The short answer is there is not an exact specific best time that matters on Instagram (and I will go into more detail below).
If you are looking for that ‘sweet spot’ where you will reach the majority of people around the world at the exact same time, then the best time (in local time) to post if you are based in New York is 10pm, if you are in Los Angeles it is 7pm, in Toronto it is 10pm and if you are in Sydney it is 12 noon.
When you post around this time you will notice that most people around the world are not busy at work or not too busy doing more important activities.
Best Time to Post on Instagram for Artists table
When it is 10:00pm in NYC, then the time for each major city is listed below:
|Los Angeles, CA.
|New Delhi, India
List of Time Zones by City to ensure you have the ‘sweet spot’ zone covered for when to post art on Instagram
Here you will see that:
- In New York, most people will have finished for the night and are now starting to relax and probably spending more time on Instagram or Facebook.
- In LA, they will have finished work for the day and are either getting ready to have or finished dinner.
- In Sydney people will be on their lunch break and taking their phones out to look at their favorite artists’ instagram feeds.
Between New York (state population is 20 million people) greater Los Angeles (18.8 million people) and Sydney (4.62 million people) you have a potential market of 44 million people, awake and ready to consume your content.
Let’s not forget the huge Indian market who have come onto Instagram, they will be awake getting ready for the day at 7:30am and will be checking their phones
While 7:30am is a bit early, you’re working to get your content in front of early morning commuters on a bus or train, so it is still a valid time to post your art on Instagram.
If you were to tailor your content towards the Indian sub continent, with a huge middle class there, you could be tapping into close to 1 billion people!
If you’re from London or England in general, then you will need to either schedule your posts as it will be 3am for you or you will need to factor in the time differences when targetting an audience outside of the United Kingdom.
Here, I would also mention China but with a restricted access to the Internet and the Chinese market preference for social sites such as Weibo over Instagram, I did not include them in this post.
Now if your city or town is not listed in my table and that is a good chance it is not, then have a look at this world time zone map and see what time it is in the major cities compared to your home town and schedule your posts to go up during these time
Is the exact time to post on Instagram really that important?
That said, there are a few factors you need to consider that will maximise the amount of people available to view your posts.
If your subscribers have turned on post notifications, that is, they are alerted by Instagram whenever you post anything new then the exact time does not matter as they are alerted every time you post something new.
If you post regularly and you post quality content then this will generate not only the Likes we all love but also generate interactions via comments and direct messages.
Instagram and other social sites now have very complex algorithms that take engagement as a proxy for quality (even negative engagement such as complaints in the comments will boost your posts.. think of that one for a second!)
The more engagement you have on a post, the longer Instagram will keep your post alive and pushing it to people searching and to the search landing page itself.
When this happens, the exact time you posted your art on Instagram does not really matter as your post will take on a life of its own and hopefully go viral.
Gone are the days when it really mattered when you posted because all posts used to be shown in chronological order. Now social media algorithms use a thing called machine learning to decide what art posts to promote and which ones to let drift off into the background.
Post quality content and post regularly
When. you post quality content and you post regularly, Instagram will reward you by showing your art posts to more people via the search feed.
Not only that, your posts will be shown to your existing subscribers for a few seconds when they next log into instagram or open the app on their phones.
Instagram knows which accounts people like to see so it will feed them more when they become available, even if you arent a subscriber!
The reasom Instagram does this is that it wants to serve more ads to your fans and if your fans like your art and your posts then Instagram will be able to serve them more ads.
Always add a short description to your post
For each art work you post on Instagram, to ensure you get the engagement you need you should always add a short description. I will go into detail in a later post.
The reason you add a description is that it keeps people looking at your post longer and so telling the all important Instagram algorithm that your post is keeping people interested for more than a few seconds as they scroll through their feed.
It may even trigger someone to write a comment which also increases the time they spend on your content.
The longer they spend on your content, the longer the algorithm thinks your content is worthy to push to other Instagram users which then makes the time you post your art on Instagram, irrelevant.
Don’t forget to use Hashtags to extend the time on Instagram
If you are not aware of how Instagram works, your ability to be discovered will live and die with the use of #hashtags.
Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags in your post, so use that allocation.
If you have a low engagement from your current Instagram subscribers and you want to expand your reach and gain new followers, then you need to use hashtags that are applicable to your content.
Do not place random hashtags under your post as you will only show your art to a potential market that will just skip past it.
Though there are some tricks you can apply here and I will explain in another post how you can ‘hack’ the adjacent hashtag groups to reach other markets that may be interested in your art.
Know your target market, what time are they most active on Instagram
Time is relative, so I am told.
All this advice is targetted towards the 80% of artists posts on Instagram (actually this post can apply to anyone posting on Instagram not just artists).
Know your target market.
If you are posting to a target audience you know will be online and looking through their Instagram feed at a specific time, schedule your posts to go up at that time.
Use the appropriate hashtags to target them as well.
Re-Posting the same post, twice in one day
Another trick I learned when I was a heavy Twitter user and selling my art on Twitter, I would post the same post twice in one day.
I would target the timezones I knew I would hit the majority of my fans in the USA and then I would schedule the same post with a slightly modified hashtag and comment to target my next biggest audience timezones.
This actually worked a treat, while it did not help that specific post it helped my account overall in getting the engagement and followers I was looking for.
When not to post your art on Instagram
Having covered when it is the best time to post on Instagram for artists and what can make the exact time irrelevant, there are a few rules regarding when you should NOT post on Instagram.
Don’t Post Early in the morning – if you post early in the morning and you are within the timezones of the major city markets mentioned earlier then chances are that 4 to 12 hours could pass before the huge numbers of Instagram users are online.
Your posts will get lost within the thousands of other pictures by people posting photos on trains or photos of morning coffees (unless of course your art is of coffees and mornings)
In summary, if you follow the simple advice of posting good quality content on Instagram and post your art on a regular basis, then the actual time you post your art on Instagram is not relevant.
Posting great quality content on a regular basis and putting in a description, using lots of relevant hashtags will ensure you will have an engaged fan base on Instagram who will see your posts no matter what time you post your art on Instagram.
Let me know what your experience has been the best time to post on Instagram for artists that have actually worked for you.
If you have any great tips, i’d be glad to add them to the list.
Best times to post art on Instagram – www.WastedTalentInc.com
Joseph Colella (Joe Colella) is an Editor and Writer at WastedTalentInc. As a frustrated artist with over 40 years experience making art (who moonlights as a certified Business Analyst with over 20 years of experience in tech).
While Joseph holds a Diploma in Information Technology, in true wasted talent fashion he spent years applying for various Art degrees; from the Accademia di Belle Arti (Napoli), to failing to get into the Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) at the University of Western Sydney.
While he jokes about his failures at gaining formal art qualifications, as a self-taught artist he has had a fruitful career in business, technology and the arts making Art his full time source of income from the age of 18 until 25.
His goal is to attend the Julian Ashton School of Art at The Rocks Sydney when he retires from full time work. Joseph’s art has been sold to private collectors all over the world from the USA, Europe and Australasia.
He is a trusted source for reliable art advice and tutorials to copyright/fair use advice and is committed to helping his readers make informed decisions about making them a better artist.