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How Often Should You Post on Instagram? A Guide for 2022

Succeeding on social media can often seem like a never-ending juggling act where the smallest slipup can bring about cataclysmic problems. And while the reality is definitely more tame, it’s still important to optimize your profile so you can reach as many people as possible while garnering positive brand awareness. One essential part of optimizing your profile is figuring out how often you should post on Instagram.  

Even if you create scroll-stopping content that you’ve poured hours of work into, it won’t matter if your audience doesn’t see it. Have you shared that one amazing post that you were sure would propel your account to new heights, only to have nothing happen? Even worse, your post gets less liked than usual?

Accounts of all sizes face this problem at one time or another and while the problem isn’t always simple to find, if you already have your captions, hashtags and branding nailed down, the issue could be when and how often you’re posting. 

Sharing posts at the right time and at the right frequency can massively affect your engagement and reach. 

So how often should you post on Instagram? And what’s the best time to reach your audience? Well, we’ve done the research and in this article, we’ll be going over how often businesses should post on Instagram and what times are the best for reaching your audience. 

Is posting frequency on Instagram important?

With a forecast predicting nearly 1.2 billion users worldwide by 2023, Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms and the second most popular one after Facebook. 

The platform’s user base prefers visually-rich content and features like Stories, Reels, IGTV and Live can help your business reach new audiences, convert customers more seamlessly and convey your core branding in a creative way. Instagram’s myriad of tools and primary demographic of millennials, the highest-spending age group, has attracted businesses of all sizes.

Although the average lifespan of a post on Instagram is usually 48 hours, you can stretch the longevity of your content by paying close attention to aspects like hashtags, replying to comments and using trends filters or stickers.

Though businesses definitely have the opportunity to reach a good amount of people on Instagram without spending on any ads, the platform’s algorithm is pivoting to a pay to play model for businesses. Even though organic reach on Instagram is slowly dwindling, upkeeping your profile and posting quality content is a must, even if you rely on ads for reach. 

As we already mentioned, the frequency at which you share posts can affect your profile in different ways. This quote from Neil Patel sums it up pretty well:

“If you post too infrequently, your audience will forget that you exist and you will quickly fade into the deep dark recesses of their minds. However, if you are posting too often, you will become a complete nuisance and they will dread seeing your posts overcrowding their feed.”

Let’s explore those two scenarios a little deeper. 

Posting too little 

Posts are the lifeblood of your social media accounts. For a large percentage of your audience social media is the only way they receive news, launches and updates regarding your product. Social media is also an easy way to service customer complaints or inquiries. 33% of people aged 18-34 have contacted a company’s customer service via social media.

If your Instagram page lays dormant, people will simply stop caring. Not only will you lose followers but the algorithm will analyze your lack of engagement and categorize your account as irrelevant. As a result, your page won’t garner any more organic reach. Long story short, being inactive on Instagram is a death sentence for your brand’s profile. 

Posting too much 

So posting too little is a big no-no. But is it possible to post too often? 

We all know what spam is. Once your audience sees your brand as spammy, there’s no going back. The problem is, many accounts post too much without even realizing it. Social media users are very stringent about their personal virtual space. If you’re cluttering their feeds with content, even content that might be great, you’re going to annoy your audience. Spam can easily lead to content fatigue, which isn’t a situation you want to end up in. Now of course, the amount of posts you should be sharing can vary by industry. 

For example, news outlets like The New York Times share upwards of 6 posts per day. 

The number 1 rule on Instagram is consistency. When you keep to a regular posting schedule you’re letting your audience know what to expect and when to expect it. This drives engagement and subsequently pushes your profile in front of newer audiences. One thing you should avoid is sharing several pieces of content in rapid succession then not posting for a few days. If you want to share multiple photos at the same time, use Carrousels instead of single static posts. Spread your posts out evenly over the span of the week and keep to a manageable schedule. 

That being said, keeping a consistent posting schedule isn’t always the easiest to do. Life sometimes gets in the way and that post that was supposed to go out on Monday? Well, it’s getting pushed further and further into the week.

If you’re looking for a quick solution, you could consider scheduling your Instagram posts with a tool like Kontentino. Kontentino is a social media management tool made for teams. Plan, edit and schedule content while keeping your team aligned. 

How often to post on Instagram

We’ll break this down further and even get into Instagram’s different content features, but the general rule is 1.5 – 3 times per day. This is the amount that most major brands on Instagram use, which means it won’t work for everyone. 

There are a few factors you should take into account when tailoring a posting schedule: 

  • Your goals 
  • Your current account size 
  • Your niche 

Most businesses, when asked, will say that their #1 goal on Instagram is to get followers. And while a big number can certainly look impressive from a distance once you dig deeper, the amount of followers a brand has is usually arbitrary. A brand with 300k followers and only 3k likes per post is either a signal of audience fatigue or fake followers. That’s not good. Your engagement rate (number of comments and likes/ follower count)  and reach rate (number of accounts reached per post/number of followers)  is what you should really be looking to improve. 

That’s where your account size comes into play. Generally speaking, the smaller your account, the more you want to post. If you only have a few hundred to a thousand followers, you want to be posting up to twice per day. 

When smaller accounts post quality content that people enjoy, the algorithm will push your account to more people, boosting your reach rate and subsequently your engagement rate; which is also a good signal for the algorithm. 

Just remember to provide value. If you ever find yourself wanting to share something of lower quality just to fill your feed, don’t do it. The Instagram algorithm knows exactly what posts are interesting to your users by analyzing how long they spend consuming your content and whether they engage or not. If your profile sees consistent dips in engagement and positive impressions, you could get penalized. 

Instagram has come out with multiple content features recently, features that you should be taking advantage of if you aren’t already. In addition to the traditional feed posts and stories, Instagram Reels and IGTV can be great avenues for growth. Here’s how often you should use each medium:

How often to post Instagram Reels 

Instagram released this feature in 2020 as a way for people to share short video clips. The feature was released in an attempt to join the bandwagon of short-form video sharing and compete with the Chinese social media giant TikTok. Since its inception and consequent success, the Reels feature has attracted businesses of all sizes. Different brands are sharing tutorials, case studies, hopping on trends and promoting their products. Since Reels are a relatively new feature there isn’t a concrete number for how many times one should use it. A good rule of thumb is to share a Reel when you have something worthwhile and scroll-stopping  for your audience. Considering Reels are becoming a massive part of many brands’ content strategies, posting 4 – 7 Reels per week can maximize the amount of new accounts you reach.

Feed posts

Feed posts count as any content that is visible on users’ timelines. As we covered earlier, share 2 posts per day if your account is smaller and no more than once per day if you already have a larger, dedicated user base. If you want to post multiple images then use Carousels. 

How often to post Instagram Stories 

It’s been long debated among social media experts whether posting more stories leads to better results or not. It’s much easier to come across as spammy when your content is cluttering users’ feeds but with Stories you have more leeway. If you look at most major brands, they’re usually sharing 4 – 7 stories per day. Instagram themselves post multiple stories in a 24 hour period. 

Instagram TV

Instagram TV, previously called IGTV, is a place for brands to share longer videos, up to 60 minutes long,  on their profile feed. Think of Instagram TV as Instagram’s version of YouTube. Since most businesses don’t create long videos as often as they do images and short-form video, keeping Instagram TV  posts to one per week is just fine. 

Now that we’ve gone into depth about how often you should be posting on Instagram, let’s go over timing. 

When is the best time to post on Instagram? 

In terms of time zone, working in Central Daylight Time (CDT) is top for getting the most engagement. 

  • Best time to post: Tuesday 11am – 2pm
  • Best general posting window: Mon to Fri 11am
  • Best day: Tuesday
  • Worst day: Sunday

Now, this is a general model that works for MOST businesses but if you really want to stand out it’s important to study your audience. 

Head to your analytics and see which posts got the most engagement. Now check the dates and times that those posts were shared. If you notice a pattern then stick to it, it’s working. If you’re wondering how often you should post on other social media platforms, check out this article.  

Listen to your audience and to your data. 

We hoped that this guide helped you figure out how often you should be posting on Instagram. While the numbers we cited here are a solid guideline for most businesses, it’s important to listen to your audience. What kind of content is resonating with them the most? During what time of day are they most active? Analyzing these things and switching up your strategy accordingly is what will really push your profile to new heights. 

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Julius Preloznik

Julius is a growth marketing enthusiast with a knack for creating content around digital marketing strategies. His specialities outside of work include skateboarding and consuming a ridiculous amount of salmon.
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