Getting the balance of Instagram posts can be a delicate process. Too many and followers can be oversaturated and switched off, risking them to unfollowing you. Too few and followers aren’t staying engaged. How Often Should You Post to Instagram?
A well written article on Medium explains the importance of Active Instagram Followers and how to tread carefully when growing a fan-base, and avoiding fake Instagram followers, and why real Instagram followers will help you. I feel the methodology is similar with how you should post on Instagram, and understanding your audience is important to growing a successful following.
Previously, the half-life for Instagram posts was 72 minutes – meaning it takes 72 minutes for your post to gather half its total engagement.
The Instagram algorithm recently changed, and now older posts are showing up in people’s feeds or your posts are getting likes days after you uploaded them. Posts now have a longer lifespan. Does this mean that increasing the amount you post will take away from your previous uploads? Or should you post more to increase your reach?
Does posting more equal higher engagement and growth?
Tailwind did a study on how often you should be posting to Instagram. The simple answer is – at least once per day. Their research showed that in over three months, people who moved from posting less than once a day to seven or more posts a day increased their likes by nearly 13 times.
It wasn’t just the likes that increased – Instagram follower growth also increased by 56% when posting seven or more times a week.
People often mistake more posts for lower engagement though this is clearly not the case. Tailwind also found that increasing post frequency by 100% also caused a 19% increase in overall engagement. This is also backed up by a Union Metrics study, stating:
“We’ve monitored accounts that post once an hour, all day long, and they see above-average engagement rates on almost all their content, no matter when it occurs in the one-post-an-hour sequence. Later posts do not decline in engagement.”
According to a Union Metrics study, the average brand posts 1.5 times per day. This backs up the studies done by Tailwind and is an achievable rate to aim for. So how many posts a day is right for your account?
Experiment with your posts
Some accounts can post several times a day and keep their followers engaged. Other accounts can post just once without more posts cannibalizing the likes and comments on further uploads.
In order to figure out your strategy, you may just have to experiment with your post frequency to get that perfect balance. You can just add a new post to a couple of days in the week and monitor its engagement. Is it taking away likes and comments from your existing posts or do both posts grow?
You can also use Instagram insights to check what times you get the most engagement and cater to that. Monitoring what times of the day you get the most likes and comments is crucial to know when and how often to post. If there are two, or even three, times of day your posts are getting high levels of engagement, use those as the times to experiment with posting more.
How often are people posting about you?
Sometimes, instead of just posting your own content, it’s worth featuring user-generated content between each of your own Instagram posts. As well as keeping things varied on your page, this is also a great way to engage your audience and make your followers feel involved.
Monitor your geo-tags, mentions in posts and captions, and search for you branded hashtags. Pick some of the popular or interesting posts to feature on your page.
Keep your posts consistent
When you’ve figured out how often you should be posting to gain maximum engagement and follower growth, keep your posting frequency consistent.
Increasing the number of posts and then dropping that number suddenly can have more detrimental effects than not increasing your posts at all. Forbes writes: “Accounts that abruptly decrease their post frequency lose followers quickly.”
Events, promotions and competitions!
Whilst consistency is important, there are some exceptions. When your business or brand has a special event you will likely increase your posting frequency.
Instagram accounts often bump up their posts around new product launches or competitions to generate excitement and additional engagement. During big events such as festivals or international fashion weeks, influencers and bloggers may post up to 10 times day and still maintain consistent levels of Instagram engagement – as long as posts remain relevant to the brand and maintain consistent quality.
If you do decide to post more frequently, ensure you take the time to maintain the quality of your posts. If you have something you want to show your followers but no high-quality content, try posting as an Instagram story. This allows you to uphold the curated aesthetics of your account and create more natural content.
In the end, the best Instagram post frequency is the one you can maintain consistently. Try to post at least once a day and only post more if you can keep up with those levels to avoid losing followers or suffering from decreased engagement.