As Instagram’s algorithm continues to shift and organic reach continues to decline, the question of ‘how often should I post?’ becomes increasingly important.
What is the impact of posting frequency on engagement? And do you want to maximize total engagement or average engagement? Cos’ even if posting twice as much means slightly lower average engagement, you’re still getting way more engagement in total, right?
Ok first of all – what’s changed?
In a nutshell, Instagram posts seem to have a longer lifespan. You may have seen this when you’re scrolling through your feed, that there are posts from a few days ago towards the top. Since the algo change, we’ve noticed getting less engagement in the first few hours.
So now, you’re not going to see your posts do as well initially, but it keeps gaining likes for longer.
I’ve read a bunch of articles and done some testing with Showpo
and my personal account
(it’s great to test with a larger and smaller account to see the variance), and it looks like frequency of content isn’t a huge factor, but rather the quality of content.
So how often should you post?
Depends on your audience. Showpo had a global reach so we post around the clock, focusing on peak times of our top locations (Australia and the US). We post up to 10 times a day. My followers are largely based in Australia, so I post to those peak times.
Depends on your offerings. Because we drop 150-200 styles a week to the website, we have plenty of fresh content. If you’re starting a new range with few products, definitely post less.
Depends on the content. We do a mix of product content in our insta bedroom, from campaigns, flatlays, regrams from influencers we work with, videos and lifestyle content, so that our followers are seeing a good mix of posts from us in their feed.
And needless to say, good content gets more engagement, so you can keep up with the velocity of frequently good content, then go for it! For example, I posted 3-4x more during Coachella but since it was good content, and insta goes off during Coachella, all my posts outperformed. However, if I tried to post that often normally, then the content is going to get stale and naturally my engagement will drop. (No, my everyday life is not as exciting as Coachella).
Depends on your capacity. At Showpo, we have a social team who can take the photos and schedule them. If you don’t have this resource or time available yourself, then it’s totally fine to post less frequently. It’s better to be consistent. E.g you don’t want to do a campaign shoot and then go from posting once a day to 5 times a day.
The average brand posts 1-2 times a day but we post 10 because it works for us. I know that if went down to 2 posts a day (which has happened when our scheduling tool stuffs up) we don’t see a surge in engagement!
So decide what you can actually manage consistently and use that as a starting point.
Anyway, so whilst there’s no exact number for how often to post, here’s some action points to get you started:
- Go with the average (most brands post 1-2 posts a day)
- Work out what you are capable of consistently producing – if it’s more, then maybe you do post >2 times a day
- Mix up your content so even if you’re posting more frequently it feels fresh
- Keep an eye on analytics