How Often Should You Post to Instagram?
How often should you post to Instagram? Organic reach on Instagram continues to decline, and just like it’s important to know when to post to Instagram to beat the algorithm, it’s also important to know how often you should post to Instagram!
Whether it’s twice a day or every 2 days, this post will help you understand the importance of posting frequency, its effect on engagement, and how it’s been impacted by the new Instagram algorithm changes:
How Often Should You Post to Instagram?
The Instagram algorithm continues to be a hot topic this year and a lot of users are wondering how it’s affecting their posting schedule. You’ve probably noticed 3-day-old posts appearing on your feed and new likes popping up on photos you posted days ago.
Before the Instagram algorithm, the half-life of an Instagram post was 72 minutes, meaning it would get half of its total engagement within that time frame.
Although users have noticed a significant decline in their engagement and reach since the Instagram algorithm was introduced, posts DO seem to have a longer lifespan. So while your initial visibility might be decreasing, your post may still end up on your followers’ feeds later on.
So what does this mean for your Instagram publishing strategy? Should you post to Instagram more since reach has drastically decreased? Or should you post to Instagram less since your posts now have a longer lifespan? Will an increase in posting increase your engagement, or take away engagement from your previous posts?
There’s a few different answers to these questions — let’s break it down.
Does Higher Frequency Equal Higher Engagement?
We’re now seeing more people posting up to six times a day, while some brands are even posting up to 30 times a day!
So is there a strategy that works better than the rest?
The short answer is no. But how often you post to Instagram will heavily depend on what your followers want and how much time you have to dedicate to your Instagram marketing strategy.
While many Instagram users are worried their followers aren’t seeing their posts, Fashion Nova makes sure their followers see their content no matter where they are in the world.
The global fashion brand posts up to 30 times per day, scheduling a new Instagram post every half hour! Their audience doesn’t seem to mind the high-frequency of posts either, as the account has a whopping 10.8M followers. While some posts perform better than others, the brand averages 13.7K likes and 90 comments per post:
Fashion Nova’s social team believe this allows the brand to reach a wider audience since their followers may be online at different times of the day. They also see it as a way to beat the Instagram algorithm — by posting more frequently, they’re able to ensure their followers are seeing at least a few of their posts each day.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should start posting 10 or more times a day! Fashion Nova has cultivated an audience that’s used to how often they post on Instagram and are excited to see new content more often.
They also have a quick turnover in new styles which gives the fashion brand tons of fresh and exciting content to share on their feed.
A recent study by Union Metrics looked at the Instagram posting activity of 55 brands over a period of several months and confirmed that there’s no recorded drop in engagement when posting more often.
“Our initial assumption about those high-frequency posters was that the more often a brand posts, the lower their engagement rates would be on the subsequent posts,” the study says. “But that does not seem to be true.”
The study also confirm that there isn’t a relationship between how much content a business posts and the engagement rate those posts receive.
“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.”
Consistency Over Frequency
Your ideal posting frequency will depend on you or your business’ goals and the amount of time you can dedicate to your Instagram marketing efforts.
Social media expert Neil Patel explains, “If you make a habit of posting several times a day and then transition to only a few times a week, you will start to lose followers and generate less engagement per post. This means that the best posting frequency for Instagram is the posting frequency that you can consistently maintain for the rest of your natural life.”
So there’s no drop-off in engagement for posting more, provided you can keep up the rate of posting. If you make a habit of posting several times a day and then transition to only a few times a week, you may start to lose followers and generate less engagement per post.
This means that the best posting frequency for Instagram is the posting frequency that you or your business can keep up with consistently.
Posting More Often During Special Events or Promotions
All of that being said, there will be times when you’ll want to bump up your posting frequency! For example, the popular beauty brand Glossier posted nearly 10 times in one day this week when launching their new product, Lidstar:
Since there’s always a lot of excitement around the brand’s new product launches, their followers were happy to see the extra posts. And Glossier’s engagement remained consistent, even while sharing new posts only an hour apart.
Style and music blogger, Courtney Trop of @alwaysjudging, posted up to 10 times a day while at Paris Fashion Week. Since her content remains consistent and relevant to her brand, there wasn’t a noticeable shift in her Instagram engagement.
As most Instagram users are selective and tailor down the list of accounts they follow, it’s likely they won’t mind seeing a few extra posts from you when there’s something exciting to be shared!
Quality Over Quantity
While posting to Instagram more often may help grow your reach by increasing the likelihood that your content will be seen, if the quality of your content declines, so will your engagement and followers.
If you decide to post to Instagram more frequently, it’s important you make sure you have enough time to dedicate to your efforts. It’s important you never post for the sake of posting.
If you have something you want to talk to your followers about but no high-quality content to pair it with, take to Instagram Stories! Instagram Stories is the perfect place for quick and “natural” content since you don’t have to worry about maintaining a curated aesthetic as you would on your feed.
Ask Your Followers
Another great way to figure out how frequently you should be posting is simply by asking! Add a poll to your Stories (the Instagram algorithm will reward you for this too!) and ask your followers if they would prefer to see more or less posts.
Recently, we’ve noticed a lot of bloggers asking their followers if they’d prefer more Instagram posts or Instagram Stories content. At the end of the day, your audience is most important, so make sure you’re listening to what they want!
Stick to the Average
According to the Union Metrics study, the average brand posts 1.5 times per day. This is a good rate for most businesses, especially those that have consistently stuck to this pace, letting current followers know what to expect after following your account. This is also a realistic goal for most businesses as creating multiple posts per day for Instagram could become quite time-consuming.
Test & Track Your Efforts with Instagram Analytics
When it’s all said and done, the best frequency to post on Instagram will depend on you and your followers.
So how can you determine what’s working and what isn’t?
Later’s Analytics Tool also allows you to see how your posts are performing and discover which types of content get the most engagement. Taking on your Instagram strategy with a better understanding of what’s working (and what isn’t) will help you come up with a fine-tuned posting strategy, saving you even more time.
Since there are so many other factors that go into the success of your Instagram posts, such as the type of content, timing, hashtags, and more, it’s important to continually track your efforts.
Optimizing Your Instagram Posting Strategy
Once you’ve decided what frequency works best for you and your followers, it’s time to put your strategy into place!
As we mentioned earlier in the post, consistency in your Instagram publishing schedule is key if you want to maintain a the amount of engagement you get on your posts.
But if you’re planning to post to Instagram more often, it’s a good idea to get acquainted with how to schedule your Instagram posts.
For example, with a free Instagram scheduler like Later, you can plan and schedule all of your photos, captions, and hashtags from the web.
This will save you a lot of time (and sanity), and leave you plenty of extra time to focus on other important areas of your Instagram marketing strategy.
NOTE: Users with a business profile can now schedule Instagram posts directly to Instagram with Later’s new Auto Publish feature, no push notifications required! Now you don’t have to interrupt your busy work day or stop what you’re doing to post to Instagram, just schedule your posts and let us do the rest.
Spending just 20 minutes a week planning out your content will save you a ton of time and effort, and help you achieve your business goals through Instagram because all of your content will be optimized — including your posting time!
As we’ve said before, posting at times your audience is most active on Instagram can help get your content seen by more users. That’s why Later created its Best Time to Post feature, which automatically shows you your top 7 posting times throughout the week for maximum engagement!
Once you know your best time to post on Instagram, you can create time slots in your Later calendar (see the example above) so that your posts will “AutoSchedule” to your best times, saving you from actually having to schedule every single post, over and over again.
There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to how often you should post to Instagram, so make sure you’re continually listening, testing, and adjusting your Instagram posting strategy.
The “perfect” frequency for you or your business will depend on your goals and the amount of time you’re willing to commit to your Instagram marketing efforts!