One of the most frequently asked questions for brands and aspiring influencers, how often you should post on Instagram lacks a clear-cut answer. While I know you were hoping for something a bit more concrete and definitive, the short answer is that it’s different for everyone – based on your niche, your audience, and many other factors.
Does posting more often translate to higher engagement? Many people post up to six times a day, with some brands posting up to 30 times a day! This strategy isn’t guaranteed to work better than the rest. How often you post on Instagram depends heavily on what your followers want and how much time you can focus on your Instagram marketing strategy.
Fashion Nova, for instance, posts up to 30 times a day, with new content posted every half hour, to ensure that their global audience always sees something. They use this strategy because they know that everyone will see at least a portion of their posts, and it works because they’ve cultivated an audience that doesn’t mind the high post frequency and gets excited to see the new content. Of their over 8 million followers, each post earns an average of 13K likes and 90 comments, which is why so many people buy Instagram followers.
A study by Union Metrics that looked at Instagram activity of 55 brands for months showed that there is no drop in engagement when a brand posts more often. Though they initially thought the high-frequency brands would see drop-in engagement rates, this doesn’t seem to be the case. The study also shows no relationship between how much content brand posts and the engagement rate those posts get.
1. Start Small
Does this mean you want to start out posting 10 posts per day? Likely not. You want to build your audience of followers and learn more about what they expect from you first. That’s a lot of content to get ready for – 70 posts a week from the get-go? That would definitely be difficult to sustain over time, especially for small businesses with a limited budget.
The best thing to do is prepare a few weeks’ worths of content ahead of time – regardless of whether you intend to post twice a week, once a day, or only five days a week. Whatever schedule you feel like you can commit to, you should aim to stay ahead of. This way, you are never left with a day at the last minute where you have no content. If this happens, you risk breaking your consistency, which as you’ll find out, is critical to your success with Instagram.
2. Keep it Consistent
It’s not your posting frequency that matters so much as your posting consistency. The ideal posting frequency for you depends on the amount of time you have available and your business goals. If you start out by posting several times a day, then transition to posting only a few times a week, you will lose followers and see less engagement per post.
This means the best frequency for posting is one that you can easily maintain for the account’s life.
Of course, there are times you will want to increase your posting frequency, such as during special promotions and events. That’s to be expected for your audience, and they surely won’t mind to see a bit more of you during those times and go back to regularly scheduled programming after the promotion or event is over.
You’ll also want to consider that you’ll have photos and videos to post and that your Stories posts are separate from your feed. If you plan on using Instagram Stories, have separate content for this that changes daily, because that’s how long one story will last.
3. Watch Your Analytics
When you’re first starting out, the Instagram analytics data you’ll get about your audience and their engagement with you can help you learn about them.
This data can help you see if you could post more often, or if you may want to back off some. You’ll also learn times of the day and days of the week your audience is most active so that you can adjust your posting schedule to boost your engagement rates.
4. Adjust Accordingly
You can always ask your audience what they want from you and see what they say. If you like the idea of increasing your post frequency from twice a week to daily or say from once a day to twice a day, you can always create a post that asks you audience if they are ready to see more of you, and the kind of content they’d like to see.
Then, you can adjust your strategy based on the consensus. You can always create and schedule content in advance, and once you grow big enough, start using user-generated content to build your content calendar out a bit more.
What works for one brand won’t work for another. If you want an idea of how many posts you should start out with, take a look at what your competition is doing. If you are posting at least as often as they are, you are on the right track. If you’re posting less often than they are, you may not be able to compete with them.
And if you’re posting too much more than they are, you may end up annoying the audience. Do a bit of market research beforehand so you don’t end up spending too much or too little time on content creation before you launch your Instagram profile.