In the ever-evolving landscape of social media, Instagram continues to be an important platform for brands and businesses alike looking to connect with their audience and share entertaining content. The question of how often you should post on Instagram is a top consideration for those looking to maximize their engagement and impact. Striking the right balance between maintaining a consistent presence and avoiding over-saturation can be tricky, as both factors are heavily influenced by elements such as algorithm updates, audience preferences, and the nature of the content being shared. In this environment, understanding the current best practices for posting frequency on Instagram is key to achieving results and making the most of this visual-centric platform.
We bet you've asked yourself, “What are the best times to post on instagram?” many times, and possibly found many different answers.
Since the Instagram algorithm's inception, it's been really tough for brands to nail that Instagram posting frequency sweet spot. Many factors are now at play when it comes to a content distribution strategy, and a non-chronological feed basically means that it’s difficult to predict when their posts will be seen by their followers, even when actively monitoring activity stats.
This can prove to be problematic for a business trying to optimize all visual asset output on such an important channel — this includes adding trending Instagram hashtags and Instagram alt text. Social media has made brand marketing so much more effective, yet much more complex than it once was. The proximity to consumers offers closeness and insight into a brand's target market that never would have been possible before, but its incessant evolution makes it impossible to keep up with, let alone master.
Yes, how often you post on Instagram is important. In terms of how often should you post on Instagram, frequency is everything. By posting at least once a day, you show your followers that you’re dedicated to your account, build trust, and also have a lot of interesting things to show them. If your posting schedule is less frequent and more sporadic, followers will often lose interest and eventually unfollow if they feel like they can’t expect regular content. Always remember, one size does not fit all and it's best to try different posting cadences to find what works best for your brand.
Where there's data, there are facts — and while things change literally every single day on Instagram, the numbers are always on cue. Post engagement is the holy grail of Instagram success, but attaining the highest reach per post is also an important KPI, especially as audiences become increasingly flooded with new content to consume.
To figure out how often to post on Instagram based on reach, we took a sample of 1,400 brands that posted between one and five times a day over the past six months, then analyzed their account reach to see if output frequency was correlated. Here's what we found.
If you post on Instagram once a day, that asset is likely to have a +3.39% individual improvement over your average reach, but it decreases from there. If you post twice a day, both assets risk having -3.12% of the reach that an average post would have gotten. If you post three times a day, it goes down to -6.17% of the average reach, and so on.
So if you've been wondering whether how much you're posting every day affects the reach of your creative assets, the answer is yes. The more you publish to your Instagram feed, the less reach your individual posts receive. With that said, the more you post, the higher your overall reach will be. While the reach on unique posts statistically tends to be lower when posting more, that's still almost double the impressions you might get if posting less. It's simple math and you gotta find what's right for your brand according to your goals and Instagram strategy.
Remember that these are averages, and some accounts fall way above or below these figures.
Here's a graph to properly illustrate how much reach all of those beautiful Instagram posts would get you.
Now that you know how often you should be posting, the hard part is out of the way. In order to establish a maintainable Instagram posting schedule, investing in a social media content calendar and a scheduler tool is a must. Features like Dash Hudson’s multi-channel Scheduler give social media managers the ability to schedule posts in advance, meaning it has never been more simple to stay on top of your content strategy and post as often as you need to.
While this can vary depending on your content type and audience, there are a couple of days of the week that are historically the best (and worst) to post. Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays are days where brands typically see more engagement on their posts, while Sundays are going to be a low-performing day due to the nature of it being the come down from the weekend.
Keeping an active Instagram profile is one of the best things you can do to boost followers and engagement. If you have enough meaningful content that benefits your followers to post every day, do so. Refrain from posting to your feed more than once a day though, as engagement starts to decrease after that one post per day threshold.
A good rule of thumb is to treat reels like they are a part of your feed. You don't want to overload your followers' feeds with multiple reels a day, hoping that something lands with them. Create and post thoughtful and entertaining reels, but no more than once a day if you can help it. If you want to get granular on what’s working and what’s not, Instagram Reels by Dash Hudson offers a full suite of tools that give you the ability to not only analyze content performance, but also to compare content through customizable metrics like content type or featured creator, and much more.
While there are many great ways to discover the best time to post, a simple way to check optimal posting times are to check your analytics in Instagram to see when your audience is most active during the week.
To check when your audience is most active:
A great way to ensure you share content during the best times to post are to schedule your posts schedule and auto-publish Instagram stories with a Scheduler tool like Dash Hudson. This lets you easily create and post content during business hours, even if your audience is most active at 1AM on a weekday. Pre-scheduling content also allows you and your team to be agile, and free up room in the day to share spur-of-the-moment Instagram trends.