Here are Edgar we’re big on the three Rs – recycle, respost and reuse!
That means that we believe that the most effective way to run social media marketing for your small business is to create a library of evergreen content that keeps working on autopilot to attract and educate clients. (Hint: that’s exactly what MeetEdgar does for you, you can start a free trial today to see for yourself!)
We’ve written extensively about evergreen content and how to work it into your social media strategy. Check out our posts on How to Write Evergreen Content, 10 Evergreen Content Examples, and How to Create an Evergreen Content Strategy.
BUT there has still been a big question about one of the more popular social networks.
Can you repost the same content again and again on Instagram?
When Instagram first started, it definitely felt like a place to share casual, spontaneous photos from your life. But it has evolved into a top marketing channel for entrepreneurs. With reels, stories, and IGTV in the mix Instagram is definitely no longer just a place for casual snapshots, and many entrepreneurs have gone pro in how they plan and create their Instagram content.
BUT many people still seem to think there’s something a taboo about up-cycling content on Instagram. Does anyone do it? Is it even allowed? Will it make your followers run for the hills?
We decided to find out!
Here’s what happened when we re-shared the exact same Instagram post just a few weeks later.
First, our hypothesis: being behind-the scenes at MeetEdgar we know that the same content re-posted at a reasonable interval will almost always perform as well the second time as it does the first time. We also know that the interval between posts can be MUCH shorter than most people believe.
Knowing this, we decided to run our experiment by sharing the same post just a few weeks after the initial share. If the results were not a train wreck, we’d know that you can definitely safely wait months between shares and get excellent results.
These posts are from our sister company, Paperbell. Paperbell has a pretty small Instagram account, at the time of posting it was less than a year old, with about 650 followers. (Yup, hasn’t even broken the 1k club yet!) So these numbers are small but hopefully they’re relatable for your business.
Repeating Useful Content on Instagram
First up, we decided to re-run a post that had done well that featured an info-graphic pulled from our blog content.
We actually ran this one a bit too close together as you can actually see the same content repeated on our grid! Oopsie! We’d definltey recommend that you space out your recycled content enough so that it doesn’t show again in the same grid view.
We initially ran this Instagram grid post on Saturday February 27th, then repeated it again just about two weeks later on Thursday March 15th.
Here are the stats:
So this post definitely did better it’s first go-around, in all measures except profiles visits (those actually doubled the second time we ran it). This could be random, could be because it ran on a Saturday when there can be higher traffic on Instagram, or could have been because people had already seen the post.
So, was it worth repeating?
Even if posts always did worse in later postings (which to be clear, definitely isn’t the case across the board) the repost only about two weeks later still got 21 likes, 2 comments, 9 saves, 6 profile visits and reached 111 people which for our small account is great performance.
Interestingly the metric that went up significantly, profile visits, is one of the most important ones for a small business. It’s very likely that they visited our profile to find our link which means they may visit our site and become a lead or customer.
We saw the same consistent rate of about 10% of viewers saving the post both times. (The number of saves out of the number of reach.)
Repeating Inspirational Content on Instagram
Let’s look at one more post for our mini case study, this time with one of Instagram’s most popular types of evergreen content, the inspirational quote.
This one we managed to space out a bit longer, but still not a full month in between posts. We’d suggest waiting a few months between repeat content so that people are less likely to pass over content that looks familiar.
This post had lower stats across the board compared to the one above, let’s see what happened when we posted it again.
This post saw lower everything the second time – fewer likes, comments, saves and reach. What we think is interesting is again it was still worth the repost! The stats on the right are very in line with our average performance on Instagram.
So even though this post wasn’t a home-run, it was fine. And sometimes “fine” is all the performance you need, particularly if Edgar is just re-running the same content for you and you don’t have to do a thing!
If you choose a longer interval, say 6 months, you get to take advantage of compound growth on your profile. You didn’t have to do any work to re-post the exact same post but the odds are very high that you’ll see higher stats 6 months later simply because your overall follower count has grown.
Recycling Content on Instagram: Take-Aways and Strategy
We think that our mini case study repeated the same content a bit too frequently, even showing the same post again on our grid view! (Whoops.) However, will be recycling our content on Instagram moving forward?
Why? Because it’s all about the mix.
To be active on Instagram, you have to pump out a LOT of content. Posting 5x/week means you need 260 posts per year! So what if just 100 of those were evergreen? You could look through your account history and pull 100 posts that performed well for you. Or if your account is new, start using Edgar to build up that library of evergreen posts now.
The best Instagram strategy isn’t all-or-nothing. If you have content that has proven to drive saves, likes and profile visits it just makes sense to run that content again.
Look at our numbers above – we’re only reaching about 5-15% of our following with any given post. So when you repeat content, you give that OTHER 90% of your audience a chance to experience the goodness!
AND it also makes sense to keep updating your Instagram. Keep things fresh with your new content, with what’s on your mind now, with what feels relevant this month.
So should you repost the same post on Instagram?
YES. (As long as the posts aren’t tooo close together.) Should you create new content as well? ALSO YES!
And Edgar handles both!
Other tools, even ones that specialize in Instagram, make it darn near impossible to cycle through your best content. Edgar does it automatically! (But only when you say so. Don’t worry, he won’t fall in love what that one that happened to use a fish graphic and start posting it every hour.)
Have you been brave enough to up-cycle your content on Instagram? We’d love to hear your results!