Everybody wants to know how often they should 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 many times per day they’re supposed to post – 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?
(And what has Facebook had to say about it?)
Let’s take a look!
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.
(You might even hear people suggesting fifty Tweets per day.)
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 Twitter 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 you should post on social media – and for starters, you can take some advice directly from 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 create 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!
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?
Twitter gives you a similar set of options 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!
There truly isn’t one universal answer for how often you should post on social media – so 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!
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