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What Are the Best Days and Times to Post on Instagram?

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Fortune 500 companies post photos on Instagram most frequently on Thursdays, according to a recent report by TrackMaven.

However, in terms of effectiveness (as measured as the number of total interactions per 1,000 followers), Thursdays are no better than any other day of the week for posting, the study found.

In general, Instagram engagement stays fairly consistent throughout the week, though there is a slight spike on Mondays and a slight dip on Sundays.

Time of day is a similar story. Fortune 500 companies overwhelmingly put photos up on Instagram during business hours, with posts spiking between 3-4 PM EST.

However, Instagram engagement stays fairly consistent throughout the day and night. Posts during business hours are only 6% more effective than off-hour posts.

Below, additional key findings from the report, which was was based on an analysis of the Instagram accounts of Fortune 500 companies.

Fortune 500 Instagram Adoption

  • 24.6% of the Fortune 500 now have Instagram accounts (123 companies).
  • Of the 123 Fortune 500 companies that have registered Instagram accounts, 91% (112 companies) have made at least one post on Instagram.
  • The number of top brands opening Instagram accounts each month has increased consistently since the launch of the service.


  • There has not been a dramatic adoption of video on Instagram by Fortune 500 companies yet. In the most recent 30-day period examined in the report, there were 1,792 photos posted by these brands and only 74 videos.
  • The average picture received 37 interactions per 1,000 followers, while videos lagged with an average of 24 interactions per 1,000 followers.

Hashtag Effectiveness

  • The report found a strong correlation between the number of hashtags used and effectiveness of an Instagram post.
  • Five hashtags seemed to be magic number for Fortune 500 brands. Posts with that many tags had the highest effectiveness (an average of 21.21 interactions per 1,000 followers).
  • Posts with more than five hashtags started to decline in effectiveness, though they were still more popular than posts with 1-4 tags.

About the research: The report was based on an analysis of the 123 active Instagram accounts of Fortune 500 companies. TrackMaven examined all of the posts by these companies since the launch of Instagram through September 17, 2013.

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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