We’ve got the answer to this frequently asked question: how often should you post on Instagram?
With the unpredictable Instagram algorithm, it can be difficult to know how often to post, when to post and what to post. We’ll tackle the first of those questions to help you discover what’s best for your account.
The Importance Of Posting Frequency
If you are running a personal Instagram for your friends and family, it doesn’t matter how often you post on Instagram. Because of the algorithm, if your friends and family have previously liked your posts, Instagram will show them your new posts.
You don’t need to worry about all your favorites seeing your posts. However, if you are a business or influencer, your goal online is probably to grow your audience! Therefore, it does matter how often you post.
The more you post on Instagram, the more people you reach. Ultimately, this will grow your following!
As a brand of influencer, it’s always important to grow your follower count so you can reach more customers, or have a bigger influence.
The Instagram Algorithm
Before the Instagram algorithm was introduced, Instagram posts had a lifespan of about 2 hours. Therefore, you could post every few hours to engage with new members of your audience each time.
Now, how often you should post on Instagram has changed. The algorithm has lengthened the lifespan of posts to up to three days!
Most posts receive most of their engagement within the first 12-24 hours, but if you check your Instagram timeline, you’ll see posts at the top from 2 or 3 days ago. Even the explore page is full of day-old posts.
This has both pros and cons.
- You can post less often on Instagram if you want. People will still be engaging with your posts if you take a 1 or 2-day hiatus. Take a guilt-free break after your Instagram post today!
- Instagram pushes your posts out over a longer period of time, to hopefully gather more likes.
- When you log into Instagram, you don’t miss your friends’ posts from the day before. Now they still appear at the top of your feed because Instagram knows you want to see them.
- The algorithm is confusing, and it’s always changing. It’s hard to keep up to date with it.
- The algorithm can be unpredictable.
- You have to do a lot of trial and error to find out the best posting schedule for your brand.
Despite the confusion, the answer to the big question – how often should you post on Instagram – is simpler than you think.
Post On Instagram When You Want
The answer to the question is: post whenever you want.
You need to do what is right for your brand. Some people post once or twice a week and still have great engagement.
For example, @withlovelinh posts infrequently on Instagram. She comes and goes in bursts. She might not post for a month, post consistently for a week and then disappear again. Because her followers are so dedicated, they show up when she posts again. Then Instagram pushes her feed out so she beats the algorithm every time!
She knows that she can post once a month because that’s the brand she’s built for herself.
On the other hand, some brands have built their brand on the basis of posting every day, if not every hour.
@Fashionnova is home to over 16 million followers. They post on Instagram every 30 minutes!
Although their individual posts don’t get a lot of traffic, they accumulate the likes and engagement a 24 hour period. Therefore, they have a lot of followers!
Because they have so many followers, there are always people online to engage with their posts.
If you have a huge amount of followers, it probably won’t matter when you post, but if you are a micro-influencer, then keeping tabs on your posting times is super important.
The Stats Tell It All
Social Buddy claims that you should aim to post on Instagram 1 to 3 times per day. Major brands tend to post 1.5 times per day, or about 10-11 times per week. If you aim for that, you will be in with the big leagues!
However, it’s all about being consistent. When thinking about how often should you post on Instagram, think about your lifestyle. If you can’t commit to posting 10 times per week year-round, then don’t.
For example, if you travel a lot and don’t have time every day to post, don’t try and commit to posting every day. Certainly, when you do stop posting every day, your engagement will significantly drop and be more difficult to increase again.
Do what is best for your brand, but also what’s best for you!
Above all, make sure that quality comes before quantity. You could post every half an hour, but if your posts aren’t high quality, there is no point.
You need to constantly impress your Instagram audience. They want to see fun photos that are easy to engage with! No filler posts, no bad angles, no blurry images.
Dash Hudson published an extremely helpful graph that will give you insights into what happens when you post more on Instagram.
As you can see from the graph, the more you post on Instagram each day, the more your engagement changes.
If you post more, your individual reach per photo definitely decreases. However, your overall reach increases.
Ultimately, if you are a creative Instagrammer and want your individual photos to get the love and interaction they deserve, try posting once a day. However, if you’re a brand trying to sell stuff and make money, then it’s probably best to post more than once every day.
Having said that, the algorithm changes all the time so you need to monitor your personal stats. If you wake up and check yesterday’s post and it’s still getting likes every few minutes, skip posting that day because the algorithm isn’t done pushing that post out to the world!
Post On Instagram Stories
Along with your main feed, post on Instagram stories, too, to increase engagement.
Your Instagram stories keep your audience engaged online. Knowing how often should you post on Instagram stories varies as well.
By all means, you don’t want to spam your audience so much that the Instagram stories bars turn into dots. Post anywhere between 3 and 8 Instagram stories to keep your audience engaged.
Perhaps most importantly though, post your Instagram stories throughout the day rather than all at once. If you post at once, your stories will be grouped together and people might skip past them. They lose the chance to see them again that day unless they go to your profile!
Keep updating your story throughout the day to stay engaged with your audience. Definitely make use of Instagram stickers as well.
If you are going to post a batch of photos at once, make sure to do it at peak time when most of your followers are online.
Track Your Stats
Now that we’ve answered the question of how often should you post on Instagram, it’s all down to you!
As mentioned in the beginning, you have to do what’s best for you and your Instagram account.
While you’re doing trial and error with your posting schedule, make sure you keep track of your personal stats! Definitely make a spreadsheet to monitor all the effects it has on your account.