Everybody wants to know the answer to the age-old question: how often should you post on social media?
(We bet you’ve wondered once or twice.)
And why wouldn’t you?
Of course, everyone wants to know exactly ‘how often should I post on social media?’ – the objective, universal solution to getting the absolute best results. It would be pretty nice to set it, forget it, and literally never think about it ever again!
So why is this question so hard to answer? What IS the answer?
It’s a mystery that’s been plaguing social media marketers since Homo erectus first live-tweeted the discovery of fire – so we dug deep, and we’ve got some answers.
Want to see what we learned?
How often should you post on social media?
Let’s take a look at the answer for three of the most used social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
First things first: nobody agrees about any of this
Asking social media experts about how often you should post is like asking the attendees of a family reunion about their politics – everyone has a strong opinion, nobody agrees, and someone always ends up throwing a bowl of potato salad.
You can’t trust an expert.
Here’s the proof.
One expert’s research might say you should post on Facebook twice a day at minimum, while another says you should post twice a day at maximum.
Obviously, these recommendations and “best practices” tend to vary – and in some cases, they vary a lot.
But here’s the thing:
None of them are wrong.
Nobody can agree about how many times you should post because that answer is different for everyone.
And because that answer is different for everyone, even studies that look at lots of different marketers aren’t necessarily going to find commonalities or conclusions that are relevant to YOU.
We could study 10,000 accounts, but if their audiences are different from yours, the results don’t necessarily reflect what you should be doing!
This doesn’t mean that there isn’t an answer for this question, though.
(There just isn’t a universal answer, or one you can find with a quick Google search.)
There are ways to determine how often how often to post on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
For starters, you can take some advice directly from Facebook.
How often should you post on Facebook according to Facebook?
In October 2017, Facebook released its comprehensive News Feed Publisher Guidelines – an 8,400-word guide detailing all their top do’s and don’ts for posting content that’ll get results.
You can read the whole thing here if you’ve got a little time to kill, but we’ve already found you a few very interesting gems regarding how often you should post.
For example, Facebook says that you should post frequently.
Facebook shows people content that they think will interest them on an individual basis – so the more quality stuff you post, the higher your chances of connecting with an audience.
(We wrote about how exactly Facebook decides who sees your updates in this blog post.)
You don’t have to worry about accidentally spamming people, either.
Because Facebook uses an algorithm that determines who sees your updates and when Facebook also prevents the people in your audience from seeing too many of your updates.
In their own words, “you don’t need to worry about spamming your fans or followers provided that the content you post is new and high quality.”
(We know – it’s a big relief.)
Does that mean you should share 100 Facebook updates every day? Probably not – but it also doesn’t mean you need to stick to just one or two per day out of fear of overdoing it.
And their other big piece of advice regarding how often you should post?
Don’t look for a silver bullet when posting to News Feed.
Here’s what they have to say:
“Publishers succeed in many different ways and with vastly different posting strategies. There’s no single right time to post, number of posts, or type of post that will work across all publishers. It’s about creating great content you think your audience will find interesting.”
“[Don’t] copy your competitor’s strategy. Every audience is different. Use your own insights as your guide to creating a posting strategy your fans will respond to.”
So there you have it, straight from the source – there is no universal answer to the question of how often you should post on social media.
But you can still figure it out for yourself.
You’ll have to get your hands a little dirty, but this is absolutely something you can determine on your own.
Wanna see how?
We’ll show you!
Finding your sweet spot
For starters, if you visit your Facebook Page’s Insights tab and click on Posts, you’ll see a full breakdown of when the people in your audience tend to use Facebook.
It displays in a chart like this, which breaks down both day-by-day and hour-by-hour:
For example, if we were deciding the most valuable times for sharing updates, we might not pile too many into that valley between 3 and 6 am, when not many of our followers are on Facebook.
(This isn’t too surprising for us, given that nearly 3 out of 4 of our followers are in the US or Canada – something you can learn in the People section of your Insights.)
The Posts section of your Insights also shows you your posting history – what you’ve shared and when, along with the reach and engagement for each update.
This is where you can periodically check on the performance of your individual updates.
But let’s say that instead, you recently changed your posting routine. Maybe you went from posting once a day to posting three times a day, and you want to see what kind of effect that’s having.
The Overview section of your Insights shows you a more holistic view of your performance over time, so you can see how stats like your engagement and reach fluctuate as you post more or less frequently.
As you add more updates to your schedule, are your stats improving, or moving in the other direction? What about if you take a few off your schedule, or vary the types of posts you’re sharing?
How often should you post on Twitter?
Here’s how knowing how often to post on social media gets more complicated…it changes for each channel!
But don’t worry, Twitter gives you a similar set of options to Facebook for tracking the effectiveness of your updates.
In your Twitter analytics, the Tweets tab gives you stats like impressions, replies, Retweets, and link clicks for the date range of your choosing.
So again, if you make changes to your posting routine, you can easily compare the results of that routine to the results of your old one!
Just remember to consider that more than one factor can influence those results. If increasing your frequency appears to have a negative effect during a certain period, consider also the content of the updates you shared during that period!
For example, here are two days where we shared the same exact number of Tweets and replies – but on one day, we had nearly 3,000 more impressions. This is a case where we can rule out frequency as a factor, and focus instead on analyzing things like content and posting times:
Experimenting takes time and patience, but it’s worth it – and this is where you can see your hard work paying off!
When it comes to Twitter, you should also remember it is absolutely fine to keep reposting the same tweets. The lifespan of a tweet is less than half an hour, which doesn’t give a very big window for your audience to see them! For the best results, try resharing the same tweet at different times of the day.
How often should you post on Instagram?
Instagram is a whole different ball game. The visual nature of the content means you can post less to your feed than firing out a quick Tweet. It’s also more difficult to find quality images you want to share that will be useful to your audience.
The amount you post on Instagram depends on your goals. If your goal is engagement, you don’t need to post as often as you do if your goal is visibility and audience building.
Posting also depends on the number of followers you have, if you have hundreds of thousands of followers you won’t need to post as regularly as if you are trying to grow a new brand.
It also depends on the type of content: if its a reels, feed post, or story. Instagram stories, for example, should be posted with a lot more frequency than regular feed posts.
As a general rule for Instagram, posting once a day to your feed should be enough. But don’t just post for the sake of it! If you don’t have anything useful to share with your audience, don’t post!
This is where using recycled content comes in; Edgar can help with that. Give old content a fresh look and provide value to your audience by scheduling content in advance.
Instagram stories on the other hand are a great way to engage your audience and remind them you exist. The more stories the better! Post multiple stories every day to help grow engagement with your audience. But remember to only post things you think will have value to your audience.
What about LinkedIn?
It’s generally recommended to aim for a posting frequency of at least once per week. But again, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The LinkedIn algorithm is programmed to not display too many posts from the same company to the user, so you shouldn’t overpost neither.
Another interesting fact is that, as LinkedIn is a professional network, it is perfectly normal to see a decrease in the number of clicks outside of business hours.
Consistency is one of the most important ingredients to gain favor from the LinkedIn algorithm. Stay active without overwhelming your network, and adjust your posting frequency based on your audience’s preferences and your own capacity to create valuable content.
What’s YOUR posting routine like?
Next time you’re wondering how often should I post on Facebook? Just remember, there truly isn’t one universal answer for how often you should post on social media. Use your analytics and data from your previous posting schedule to determine a strategy that works best for YOU.
What’s YOUR answer? Have you found that less is more? Or do you crank ’em out as fast as you can?
Share what you’ve seen (and see what others have learned) in the comments!