How Often Should You Post on Instagram for Consistent and Lasting Growth?
“How often should I post on Instagram to gain more followers?” “How often should I post on Instagram to keep my audience engaged?” Figuring out the right posting frequency is not rocket science — but it’s not easy, either. Taking into account shifting trends, algorithm updates, and social media fatigue (SMF — this is a real condition!), the ideal number for posting frequency also changes over time. But there are general guidelines that can help you stay on target (albeit with a minimal margin for error).
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How Often Should You Post on Instagram to Grow?
There’s no magic number that answers the question, “How often should you post on Instagram to grow?” There are a lot of variables at play that determines the best number for a particular Instagram account. These variables include but are not limited to the following:
- The type of account you have — is it a personal account or a business/creator account?
- The industry you’re in, if you have a business/creator account.
- The type of audience you’re targeting.
- The type of content, product, or service you’re posting.
- How many followers you have.
- Trending hashtags relevant to your business/brand/industry.
Gaining more followers and growing on Instagram is the ultimate goal for most Instagram users. Knowing how many times you should post per day, per week, and per month is a must for a successful growth strategy. Let’s take a look at what some studies and industry experts say about Instagram posting frequency.
- A 2021 social media engagement analysis of 14 industries across Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter found that the average posting frequency on Instagram is 4 per week.
- An older study conducted by Tailwind, which may still be relevant today, found that posting once per day can lead to a higher increase in followers.
- Later’s 2021 analysis of 81 million feed posts (excluding Reels and IGTVs) found that the more posts per week, the greater the reach.
How many times is enough?
The aforementioned Later study further found that how often you should post on Instagram per week to maximize reach and engagement typically varies based on follower count. Their recommendations are as follows:
- Less than 1,000 followers – 14 posts per week, or two posts a day
- Between 1,000 and 250k followers – 14 to 20 posts per week for highest reach; one post per week for highest engagement per post
- More than 250k followers – one post per week for maximum reach and engagement per post
So based on Later’s findings, the higher your number of followers, the less often you should post on Instagram to maximize reach and engagement. This makes sense as accounts with lower follower numbers need to exert more effort through a higher posting frequency to increase their reach and engagement. They need to reach and engage new audiences to grow, so posting twice a day or 14 times a week is advantageous. However, accounts with more than 1,000 followers must also find the right balance between their number of reach and rate of engagement per post.
A high reach doesn’t always equate to a high engagement rate when an account posts too many times because their audience will not engage with each and every one of their posts. In such instances, audiences will begin cherry-picking which among many posts they’ll like and comment on.
Accounts with higher follower counts, on the other hand, can simply rely on their existing community to maintain good numbers for reach and engagement. These accounts have already established themselves on the platform and their high follower numbers practically guarantee that even a single post per week will reach a significant percentage of their target audience.
How often should you post on Instagram vs when should you post on Instagram
How often you should post on Instagram, whether daily or weekly, should also follow the established best times to post on Instagram. These times differ across niches, industries, audience types, and content types. In addition to knowing the current trends within your industry and for your type of audience, you can narrow down further the ideal posting times for your brand/business by analyzing your Instagram Insights.
Use the information from your Insights to experiment with various posting times — while also taking into consideration how often you should post on Instagram daily or weekly. Keep an eye on how your Insights data changes, i.e., did your post at a particular time reach more people and/or receive more engagement? Once you’ve figured out a posting schedule that optimizes your posting frequency for reach and engagement, just stick to it. If you notice a decline in your numbers, this could indicate a trend shift in your industry or maybe the result of an algorithm update. You’ll have to repeat your trial and error process to re-establish your solid footing on the platform.
How Often Should a Business Post on Instagram?
One of the key considerations to help figure out how often a business should post on Instagram is their competition’s posting frequency. The most recent reports indicate that businesses post an average of 1.56 times per day. Hootsuite’s recommended strategy is to post feed content 2 to 3 times per week, and the same number for Stories. If you want to stay competitive, you have to match this number.
For specialized niches and smaller industries, doing some research on your competition will give you more valuable insights. Visit the pages of your biggest competition and scroll through their posts. Take note of the following:
- How many times they post per day and per week.
- What times they usually post.
- The times and days when their posts received the highest engagement.
Based on the information, you can opt to match their posting frequency and schedule if your follower numbers are not too far off from theirs. Or you can post one or two times more than they do if you’re still far behind in terms of follower numbers; just remember to always consider your optimal times for posting, as well.
How Often Should an Artist Post on Instagram?
With regards to how often an artist should post on Instagram, artists can enjoy a bit more flexibility with their posting frequency. Two to three times a week is a good place to start.
Keep in mind that a posting frequency that is both consistent and manageable is the bigger consideration for artists. Their audience’s online behaviors and their competition’s account practices typically play a less significant role in an artist’s content schedule strategy. You need to post consistently so as to remain relevant to your audience, but your posting frequency must also allow you to focus on the more important work — which is your art. If you have an event coming up or a new piece you want to promote, you will naturally be posting more frequently over the weeks leading up to it.
It’s also okay to take a break from social media so you can devote your time and attention to your work, or if you need to look after your mental wellbeing. Before going off the grid, take some time to inform your followers via a post. Don’t forget to log out of your Instagram account to keep it secure while you’re off the platform. You may also opt for temporary account deactivation.
Final Thoughts: Find the Balance Between Too Much and Too Little
How often should you post on Instagram for consistent and lasting growth? What works for others may not work for you, but knowing the current trends overall and within your industry will put you on the right track.
Remember that posting too many times may do more harm than good if it causes your engagement rates to fall; it might also make some of your followers want to see less of you. Posting not enough times, on the other hand, will most likely put you at the receiving end of “out of sight, out of mind.” Instagram’s algorithm will also give your posts a low relevance score, which will greatly lower your post reach if you have minimal account activity.
Once you’ve figured out the ideal posting frequency for your business, you have to post consistently. Of course, you also have to make sure that you’re posting high-quality and interesting Instagram content each and every time.
If you need additional help growing on Instagram, you may want to consider teaming up with an expert in Instagram growth strategy, such as Path Social. Take advantage of Path Social’s advanced AI targeting technology and organic promotion approach with the help of their in-house team of experts. Start growing and gaining Instagram followers today!