What’s the Best Time to Post Reels on Instagram in 2024?

Written by Anastasia
Written by Anastasia

Content Writer at SocialBee

As we navigate through 2024, Instagram Reels continue to dominate the scene, offering a unique blend of creativity and engagement. 

But did you know that finding the best time to post Reels on Instagram is key to maximizing your visibility and engaging with your audience effectively?

In this article, we’ll dive into the nuances of Instagram’s algorithm, user behavior, and expert insights to unravel the optimal timings for posting Reels this year. Let’s get started!

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Short Summary

  • While there are general guidelines that apply across the board, several factors influence the best time to post Reels on Instagram, including peak usage times, global trends, audience demographics, and behavioral insights.
  • No magic hour works for everyone. However, certain time frames tend to be more effective for engaging with a wider audience. Additionally, taking the optimal daily times for audience engagement into account is paramount. 
  • To optimize your Reel posting times and ensure maximum engagement with your target audience, you must focus on audience demographics and preferences, leverage audience insights tools, experiment with different posting times, adapt posting times based on performance metrics, and refine your posting strategy accordingly.
  • While posting at peak times can help, it’s not the end-all-be-all. Quality and consistency are equally important. If you can’t post during these “optimal” times, focus on creating engaging, high-quality Reels that your audience will love no matter when they see them.

Factors that Influence Reel Posting Times

While there are general guidelines that apply across the board, several factors influence the best time to post Reels on Instagram: 
  • Peak usage times 
  • Global trends
  • Audience demographics 
  • Behavioral insights

A. Peak Usage Times 

Despite Instagram being a global platform, certain times are universally more active. Weekdays, particularly Wednesday and Thursday, between 11 AM and 2 PM, are high-traffic windows for Instagram.  Additionally, evenings from 6 PM to 8 PM also see a spike in Instagram user activity. These peak hours are when users are most likely to browse, interact, and engage with content, making them prime times for posting Reels.

B. Global Trends

The effectiveness of global peak hours can vary significantly based on your target audience’s location. For instance, if your audience is predominantly in North America, posting during the local peak hours of this region will yield better results than adhering to global trends.  Similarly, understanding your audience’s time zone is critical. A Reel posted at 8 PM in New York reaches users in Los Angeles at 5 PM, which might still be an effective time. But the same Instagram post reaches users in London at 1 AM, likely missing the mark.

C. Audience Demographics 

Different age groups and genders tend to use Instagram at varying times. For example, younger audiences (teens and young adults) might be more active in the evenings and late at night, while older demographics could be more active during midday.  Gender may also play a role, with studies suggesting slight differences in usage patterns between men and women.  Here is a statistic that highlights the global distribution of active Instagram users based on age and gender:

Distribution of Instagram users worldwide as of January 2023, by age and gender

Knowing the age, gender, and location distribution of your audience allows for a more tailored posting schedule.

D. Behavioral Insights

The type of content your audience prefers and their online habits are also key considerations. Are they looking for quick entertainment, educational content, or inspiration?  Users seeking leisure content might be more active during evenings and weekends, while those looking for educational material might browse during commutes or lunch breaks.  Pay attention to the interactions on your Reels — comments, likes, shares — to gauge when your audience is most receptive.

Best Times to Post Instagram Reels

While there’s no magic hour that works for everyone, certain time frames tend to be more effective for engaging a wider audience Here are the optimal posting times for Instagram Reels during these times of the day:
  • Early mornings (6:00 AM – 9:00 AM)
  • Lunchtime (12:00 PM – 2:00 PM)
  • Early evenings (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM)

A. Posting Reels During Early Mornings (6:00 AM – 9:00 AM)

Rise and shine! The early morning hours are surprisingly effective for posting Reels. As people start their day, many turn to Instagram for a quick dose of entertainment or inspiration with their morning coffee.  Posting Reels between 6:00 AM and 9:00 AM can catch the early birds and the commuters who scroll through their feeds before diving into their daily routines.  This time frame is especially potent if your audience includes young professionals or students who likely check their phones upon waking up.

B. Posting Reels During Lunchtime (12:00 PM – 2:00 PM)

Lunch hours are prime time for posting Reels on Instagram. Between 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM, users often take a break from work or daily activities to catch up on social media. It’s a window when people are looking to relax, be entertained, or find a quick escape from the midday slump. 

C. Posting Reels During Early Evenings (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM)

Posting Reels on Instagram is most strategic in the early evening, typically between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM, when people are relaxing and scrolling through their feeds.  This is when Instagram users are more likely to engage deeply by watching longer videos, leaving comments, and sharing content with friends.

Day-Specific Considerations for Instagram Reel Posting

As you tailor your social media strategy to align with your business goals, taking the optimal daily times for audience engagement into account is paramount.  Here are the best times to post Instagram Reels for each day of the week: 
  • Best time to post on Reels on Instagram on Monday: 3 AM or 7 PM EST; 2 AM or 6 PM CST; and 12 AM or 5 PM PST
  • Best time to post on Reels on Instagram on Tuesday: 2 AM, 4 AM, and 9 AM EST; 1 AM, 3 AM, and 8 AM CST; and 12 PM, 2 AM, and 6 AM PST
  • Best time to post on Reels on Instagram on Wednesday: 11 AM, 1 PM, and 3 PM EST; 10 AM, 12 PM, and 2 PM CST; and 8 AM, 10 AM, and 12 PM PST
  • Best time to post on Reels on Instagram on Thursday: 11 AM and 12 PM EST; 10 AM and 11 AM CST; and 7 AM and 8 AM PST
  • Best time to post on Reels on Instagram on Friday: 10 AM to 11 AM, 1 PM to 2 PM, and 4 PM to 5 PM EST; 9 AM to 10 AM, 12 PM to 1 PM, and 3 PM to 4 PM CST; and 7 AM to 8 AM, 10 AM to 11 AM, and 1 PM to 2 PM PST
  • Best time to post on Reels on Instagram on Saturday: 9 AM, 4 PM, and 5 PM EST; 8 AM, 3 PM, and 4 PM CST; and 6 AM, 1 PM, and 2 PM, PST
  • Best time to post on Reels on Instagram on Sunday: 11 AM, 2 PM, and 7 PM EST; 10 AM, 1 PM, and 6 PM CST; and 8 AM, 11 AM, and 4 PM PST

1. The Best Time to Post Reels on Instagram on Monday

The best times to post Reels on Instagram on Mondays are at 3 AM or 7 PM EST; 2 AM or 6 PM CST; and 12 AM or 5 PM PST.
Time Zone Best Times to Post Reels on Mondays
EST 3 AM, 7 PM
CST 2 AM, 6 PM
PST 12 AM, 5 PM

2. The Best Time to Post Reels on Instagram on Tuesday

Tuesdays see a bit more activity as people settle into their weekly routine. The best times to post Reels on Instagram on Tuesdays are at 2 AM, 4 AM, and 9 AM EST; 1 AM, 3 AM, and 8 AM CST; and 12 PM, 2 AM, and 6 AM PST.
Time Zone Best Times to Post Reels on Tuesdays
EST 2 AM, 4 AM, 9 AM
CST 1 AM, 3 AM, 8 AM
PST 12 PM, 2 AM, 6 AM

3. The Best Time to Post Reels on Instagram on Wednesday

Midweek, Wednesday, is often when people need a little extra push. The best times to post Reels on Instagram on Wednesdays are at 11 AM, 1 PM, and 3 PM EST; 10 AM, 12 PM, and 2 PM CST; and 8 AM, 10 AM, and 12 PM PST. 
Time Zone Best Times to Post Reels on Wednesdays
EST 11 AM, 1 PM, 3 PM
CST 10 AM, 12 PM, 2 PM
PST 8 AM, 10 AM, 12 PM

4. The Best Time to Post Reels on Instagram on Thursday

Thursdays are perfect for building anticipation for the weekend. Peak times to post Reels on Instagram on Thursday are between 11 AM and 12 PM EST; 10 AM and 11 AM CST; and 7 AM and 8 AM PST. 
Time Zone Best Times to Post Reels on Thursdays
EST 11 AM – 12 PM
CST 10 AM – 11 AM
PST 7 AM – 8 AM

5. The Best Time to Post Reels on Instagram on Friday

Fridays have a celebratory vibe as people look forward to the weekend. The best times to post Instagram Reels on Friday are 10 AM to 11 AM, 1 PM to 2 PM, and 4 PM to 5 PM EST; 9 AM to 10 AM, 12 PM to 1 PM, and 3 PM to 4 PM CST; and 7 AM to 8 AM, 10 AM to 11 AM, and 1 PM to 2 PM PST.
Time Zone Best Times to Post Reels on Fridays
EST 10 AM – 11 AM, 1 PM – 2 PM, 4 PM – 5 PM
CST 9 AM – 10 AM, 12 PM – 1 PM, 3 PM – 4 PM
PST 7 AM – 8 AM, 10 AM – 11 AM, 1 PM – 2 PM

6. The Best Time to Post Reels on Instagram on Saturday

On Saturday, the optimal posting times for Instagram Reels are 9 AM, 4 PM, and 5 PM EST; 8 AM, 3 PM, and 4 PM CST; and 6 AM, 1 PM, and 2 PM, PST.
Time Zone Best Times to Post Reels on Saturdays
EST 9 AM, 4 PM, 5 PM
CST 8 AM, 3 PM, 4 PM
PST 6 AM, 1 PM, 2 PM

7. The Best Time to Post Reels on Instagram on Sunday

On Sunday, the optimal posting times for Instagram Reels are 11 AM, 2 PM, and 7 PM EST; 10 AM, 1 PM, and 6 PM CST; and 8 AM, 11 AM, and 4 PM PST.
Time Zone Best Times to Post Reels on Sundays
EST 11 AM, 2 PM, 7 PM
CST 10 AM, 1 PM, 6 PM
PST 8 AM, 11 AM, 4 PM

How to Optimize Reel Posting Times for Specific Audiences

Engaging with your audience effectively on Instagram requires more than just creating compelling content; it’s also about timing your posts right.  Here’s how you can optimize your Reel posting times to ensure maximum engagement with your target audience:
  • Understand audience demographics and preferences
  • Leverage audience insights tools
  • Experiment with different posting times and schedules
  • Adapt posting times based on performance metrics
  • Refine your posting strategy

1. Understand Audience Demographics and Preferences

To better time your Reels according to your Instagram audience, consider the following key questions: 
  • When are they most active online?
  • Which time zones do they belong to? 
  • What are their daily routines? 
Knowing your audience’s age range, location, and lifestyle can significantly influence the best times to post Reels to your Instagram account.  For instance, young professionals may be more active in the evenings, while teenagers might be on social media platforms more frequently after school hours.

2. Leverage Audience Insights Tools

Every aspect of your social media strategy should be data-driven, so audience insights tools are a must.  To leverage audience insights tools, you can use:

A. Use a Social Media Management Tool: SocialBee

The most effective way to take control of your Instagram account (or multiple accounts, in some cases) is to use a social media management tool. SocialBee provides insights and tools that can lead to more informed and effective social media strategies, which can ultimately generate more engagement for your Instagram Reels.  SocialBee Analytics - engagement data

Use SocialBee to get accurate analytics and boost post performance for your Instagram Reels.

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SocialBee provides the following Instagram analytics:
  • Page analytics: Monitor the evolution of your Instagram page, tracking everything from impressions and views to reach and page growth.
  • Audience insights: Keep tabs on your follower trends, noting gains and losses. Analyze age ranges, gender distributions, and geographic locations to tailor your content and foster stronger connections effectively.
  • Post analytics: Gain deeper insights into follower interactions across various content types. Review your post history to evaluate likes, comments, and shares for each piece of content.
  • Top-performing content: SocialBee highlights your top three posts, popular content categories, and most effective formats (single image/video, carousel, or other).
  • PDF export: Easily export your social media analytics into a PDF format for seamless sharing with your team, clients, or stakeholders, ensuring a professional presentation of your data.
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B. Leverage Instagram Insights

If you are an Instagram business account user, you can access Instagram Insights —  the platform’s built-in analytics tool. 

This feature provides data on your followers’ activity, including the days and hours they are most active on the platform, which are crucial for planning your posting schedule.

3. Experiment with Different Posting Times and Schedules

Once you have initial data, start experimenting. Post Reels at different times and days to see which Instagram posts garner the most engagement. 

Keep track of likes, comments, and shares to understand what works best. Remember, the optimal time for one audience might not work for another.

4. Adapt Posting Times Based on Performance Metrics

After experimenting, analyze the performance metrics of your Reels. Look for patterns in engagement — are there specific times when your Reels receive more views or interactions? 

Adjust your posting schedule based on these findings. Be prepared to continually tweak your posting times as audience behaviors and platform algorithms change.

5. Refine Your Posting Strategy

As you gather more data and insights, refine your posting strategy. Consider integrating your findings with other aspects of your social media strategy, like content themes and hashtags. 

Remember, the best strategy evolves with your audience’s preferences and the ever-changing dynamics of Instagram.

How to Schedule Instagram Reels at Best Times with SocialBee

In the crowded space of social media, posting your Instagram Reels at optimal times can give you an edge over competitors who may not be as strategic about their posting schedules. But to gain full control of this narrative, you’ll likely need some help.

SocialBee, a comprehensive social media management tool, offers several features to help you schedule your Instagram Reels at the best times. 

SocialBee-Posting-Calendar

Keep your Instagram posting schedule consistent with SocialBee’s social media content calendar.

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Here’s how SocialBee can help with this task: 

  • Copilot for your posting strategy: SocialBee’s Copilot is an AI social media assistant that can help you define your overall posting strategy by providing recommendations based on industry best practices and your specific audience.
  • Visual content calendar: Plan your Instagram Reels days (or even weeks) in advance to maintain a consistent posting schedule and stay on the good side of Instagram’s algorithm.
  • Bulk scheduling: Organize your Reels into different categories and schedule them in bulk. It saves time and helps maintain a consistent posting schedule.
  • Evergreen posting: Automatically recycle your top-performing Reels, ensuring that your best content continues to reach new audiences.
  • Post expiration for time-sensitive content: Some Reels may be relevant only for a specific period. With SocialBee, you can set an expiration date for such posts, ensuring that your content remains timely and relevant.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is There a "Best Time" to Post Reels on Instagram?

The “best time” for your specific case can vary depending on your specific audience. 

Weekdays, particularly Wednesday and Thursday, between 11 AM and 2 PM, are high-traffic windows for Instagram. Additionally, evenings from 6 PM to 8 PM also see a spike in Instagram user activity.

However, this time can differ based on factors like demographics, time zones, and even the day of the week. The key is to understand your audience’s habits. 

2. What If I Can't Post Instagram Reels at the Suggested Times?

If you can’t post at a certain time, use Instagram’s scheduling capabilities or SocialBee, so you can batch your content in advance and have it go live at the best time for your audience.

3. How Often Should I Post on Instagram Reels?

For optimal engagement on Instagram Reels, aim to post a 3-4 times a week. This keeps your feed fresh and engaging without putting too much pressure on you to constantly produce new content. 

As you get more comfortable and learn more about what your audience likes, you can adjust your frequency accordingly. The most important thing is to post consistently – it helps in building a loyal following who knows when to expect your awesome content!

4. Can You See Who Watches Your Reels on Instagram?

Unlike with Instagram Stories, there’s no way to know who watched your Reels. However, you can see who liked them by tapping the “Liked by” button located at the bottom of your Reel. 

Never Miss the Best Posting Times on Instagram!

Whether you’re a business looking to expand its reach or someone simply sharing their creativity, following these Instagram tips for timing your posts right can make a significant difference. Remember, there’s no universally perfect time to post, but there’s a perfect time for your audience. 

By leveraging analytics and experimenting with different posting schedules, you can discover when your Reels resonate the most. The goal is to create engaging, high-quality Reels and share them when your followers are most active and receptive.

Ready to elevate your Instagram game? Never miss the best posting times on Instagram again. Start your 14-day free SocialBee trial and stay ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving world of social media!

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Article written by

Article by

Alexandra
Alexandra

Content writer at SocialBee

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