How often should you post to Instagram each week? Should you post on Instagram every single day?
If you work in social media, you’ve probably asked yourself these exact questions at one point or another.
To discover the answer, Later analyzed over 81 million feed posts (excluding Reels and IGTVs). Here’s what we found:
Based on our analysis, the more you post on Instagram per week, the greater your overall reach will be. Similarly, posting more typically equals more likes and comments in total.
However, the rate of reach and engagement per individual post varies as more posts are shared — and this changes even more depending on how many followers an account has.
For accounts with under 1K followers: posting 14 times per week delivers the highest reach and engagement rates per post.
For accounts with 1K-250K followers*: posting 14 or 20 times per week delivers the highest reach rate per post, while posting once per week delivers the highest engagement rate per post.
For accounts with 250K+ followers: posting only once per week delivers the highest reach rate and engagement rates per post.
*NOTE: When we analyzed the results in smaller ranges (e.g. 1K-10K followers, 10K-20K followers, 20K-30K followers, etc.), the findings were the same — hence why the 1K-250K range is grouped together.
Reach rate is a valuable indicator for brand exposure, while engagement rate can indicate how well your content is resonating with your community.
In an ideal world, you want your reach and engagement rates to be as high as possible for every post you share, while still posting frequently enough to make an impact.
When we look at the data as a whole, reach and engagement rates per post are optimal when 14 posts are shared per week (or twice per day, on average).
However, when we segment the data by follower count, some seriously interesting trends arise.
For accounts with less than 1K followers, the more feed posts you can share on Instagram per week, the better.
Both reach and engagement rates per post improve as posting frequency increases per week, with the average engagement rate climbing from 3.1% at one post per week, to 4.9% at 20 posts per week.
To put this into perspective, if an account has 500 followers, the number of engagements will grow from 15 (at one post per week) to 500 (at 20 posts per week). That’s quite a significant increase.
This is likely because these micro accounts don’t have a large community of followers as their primary source of engagement — they’re relying on new audiences to comment and like their posts via hashtags — and reach rate grows with each additional post shared.
For accounts with between 1K-250K followers, reach rate per post still improves as more feed posts are shared, but engagement rates see a significant decline.
This could be due to audience fatigue, a drop in content quality as volume increases, or the fact that the Instagram algorithm typically only promotes your most recent post to your followers.
For accounts with over 250K followers, both reach and engagement rates per post decline significantly as more feed posts are shared per week.
This decline in reach rate could be due to the fact that these mega accounts are less likely to rely on hashtags as their primary source of reach.
Instead, they rely on their existing community to engage with their content and drive virality — and for this group, posting more per week results in a major drop in engagement rate per post.
It could also be that accounts of this size are more focused on using Instagram Stories to engage with their community. Stories are informal and engaging, making them perfect for daily interactions and relationship-building. Learn more about how to build a strong community on Instagram here.
ICYMI: With Later, you can plan and schedule a full week’s worth of Instagram posts in less than twenty minutes, so you can increase your posting volume without losing time from your busy schedule.
Based on Later’s analysis of over 917K unique accounts, users that post more times per week typically have more followers.
As you can see, there’s a clear correlation between posting frequency and the average number of followers an account has.
However, it’s worth noting though that this could be due to the type of accounts that are posting more frequently.
For example, a professional influencer or well-known brand is likely to post more per week than an everyday user — it’s much more likely to be a full-time profession, rather than a part-time side hustle.
So, what does it all mean? Should you be posting on Instagram every day to grow your following? The answer is that it all depends on your goals.
If your goal is to reach new audiences, posting more frequently on Instagram, paired with an effective hashtag strategy, is always a good idea — especially if you have under 250K followers.
According to our analysis, for the best reach rate per post, you should post:
14 times per week if you have under 1K followers
14 or 20 times per week if you have 1K-250K followers
1 times per week if you have over 250K followers
If your goal is to increase your engagement rate, you should post:
But try not to get too caught up on the numbers — protecting your mental health and creating quality content that drives real value for your audience should always usurp quantity.
And remember: there is no one-size-fits-all approach for posting frequency on Instagram. Instead, use this data as a starting point to gather insights and experiment with your own account to find what rings true.
With Later’s free social media management platform, you can plan, prep, and schedule your Instagram posts from one easy-to-use dashboard, so you can create a best-in-class content strategy that supports your goals.
Plus, you can visually plan how your posts will look in your Instagram feed before they go live — so your profile looks on point and tells a cohesive story. It’s one of the best ways to convert profile visitors into followers!
Plan and preview your Instagram feed in advance with Later for free! Sign up and start creating an awesome Instagram account today:
Editor’s Note: Study based on analysis of 81M Instagram feed posts published via Later between 2019-2021, from 917K unique users. Excludes Reels and IGTV posts. Data by Annie Yao.
Source: later.com, originally published on 2021-08-25 14:26:42