How Often Should I Post on Instagram? Your Guide To Optimal Posting Times

June 13, 2018
Kyra Goodman

What’s the biggest question you have about leveraging Instagram to market your business? You guessed it! You're not alone in trying to figure out: How often should I post on Instagram? Sure, maybe you’re trying to figure out how to take better

What’s the biggest question you have about leveraging Instagram to market your business? You guessed it! You're not alone in trying to figure out: 'How often should I post on Instagram?'Sure, maybe you’re trying to figure out how to take better photos. Or, perhaps you’re wondering what hashtags you should be using. Heck, maybe you’re still trying to wrap your arms around what hashtags even are.Those are all great questions. But, if you’re like most people, this particular inquiry has probably popped into your brain a time or two: How many times per day should you post on Instagram?We get it—knowing how often to post on Instagram can be tough, especially when there’s so much (often contradictory!) advice out there.Here’s the deal: There’s not one blanket answer that works across the board. How frequently you should be posting can vary based on things like:

  • Your business
  • Your audience
  • Your goals
  • And so, so much more

But, let’s face it—you came here for an answer. So, let’s roll up our sleeves, dig into some research and some examples of successful accounts, and see if we can widdle things down to a more concrete, helpful resolution to this oh-so-common Instagram Inquiry. And we’ll also show you how quick and easy it is to use Sked (formerly Schedugram) to run a consistent posting schedule.

How Often Should I Post on Instagram? What the Experts Say

If you’ve researched this question before, you’ve likely come across some advice and statistics from various experts that provide a very clear answer to exactly how often you should be posting.It depends - some places and people suggest one a day, all the way up to 10! A post for the SumAll blog says that two photos per day is the magic number.And then there are other experts, like Neil Patel in an article for Forbes, who state that, “Unlike Facebook and Twitter, posting frequency is not all that important for your Instagram marketing.”Are you scratching your head? We certainly can’t blame you. All of these different digits and pieces of advice are enough to make you cross-eyed.Even after wading your way through all of those tips and best practices, you’re still left wondering: Exactly how many times a day should I post on Instagram?

Instagram Posting-Frequency: There’s Not One Right Answer

Like we said earlier, there’s not one magic bullet answer that is guaranteed to work for everybody. A posting frequency that works well for you might be totally different from the posting frequency that the business around the corner relies on—and that’s OK.There are brands who have been successful posting once every couple of days, and there are others who have experienced great engagement posting 12 times per day. It all depends.So, now what?The first thing you need to do when determining how often you should be posting to Instagram is to return to your goals. Why did you start using Instagram as a marketing channel to begin with?Was your main goal to grow your following and increase your brand awareness? Well, then it’s probably smarter to stick to the higher end of the recommended posting frequency. After all, the more content you put out there, the better your chances of getting even more eyeballs.But, if your objective was to really strategically promote a specific product? That might not require that same avalanche of posts—you’d be better posting one or two highly strategic photos per week instead.Are you seeing how much your goals play a role in exactly what you do on Instagram? That’s the touchpoint you should always be returning to before making any changes to your strategy.When addressing how often you should post on Instagram, there’s another important point that we couldn’t go without mentioning: consistency, consistency, consistency. Like marketing expert, Neil Patel, mentioned in that article for Forbes that we linked above, it might not be posting frequency that carries a lot of weight on Instagram. In contrast, your success might be closely tied to your consistency.“If you make a habit of posting several times a day and then transition to only a few times a week, you will start to lose followers and generate less engagement per post,” explains Patel in that Forbes article.The opposite is true as well. If you’ve gotten your followers into the habit of only seeing your content a couple of times each week, they can easily feel spammed when you start overwhelming their feeds. That could also cause you to lose followers.So, while posting frequency is important, don’t become so wrapped up with that single number that it’s all you focus on. As Patel explains, “This means that the best posting frequency for Instagram is the posting frequency that you can consistently maintain for the rest of your natural life.”Your own bandwidth and capabilities are something you need to seriously consider when figuring out your strategy moving forward.Need help being as consistent as possible with your Instagram posts? Sked can help!

How Often to Post: A Look at 8 Different Brands and Businesses

Alright, now that we’ve laid the groundwork, let’s dig into some specific examples, shall we?As we mentioned previously, how often you should post on Instagram varies depending on a lot of factors.Below, we’ve broken down Instagram accounts in various industries to share their follower count, estimated posting frequency, and why we think what they’re doing works so well.

Example #1: Local Business

Account:Tempest Coffee Collective[caption id="attachment_4128" align="alignnone" width="721"]

Tempest Coffee Collective - How Often Should I Post on Instagram - Sked Social

'How Often Should I Post on Instagram?' - Sked Social[/caption]Image SourceFollower Count: 2,322Posting Frequency: 2-3 times per weekWhat They Do Well: Compared to many accounts out there, Tempest’s posting frequency is on the lower end. It makes sense—they’re a small, local coffee shop who probably doesn’t have the same resources and dedicated social media team as a large brand.However, they still do a stellar job with their Instagram account. They’ve done a great job cultivating a cohesive aesthetic (featuring many drool-worthy photos of coffee and pastries) and using witty captions to engage followers. Despite their follower count not being huge, they have great engagement—with numerous likes and comments on nearly every post.

Example #2: Retail

Account:Staples[caption id="attachment_4129" align="alignnone" width="719"]

Staples - How Often Should I Post on Instagram - Sked Social

Staples[/caption]Image SourceFollower Count: 55,300Posting Frequency: 1 post every two weeksWhat They Do Well: For such a large brand, you’d assume that Staples would be posting to Instagram numerous times per day. However, the company actually keeps things pretty spread out—only posting once every couple of weeks.There are some stretches where they’ll post a related series of three videos or images all within the same day. But, after doing so, they seem to return to their more spaced out posting schedule. Despite being on the lower end of the spectrum, it works well for them.You wouldn’t necessarily think that office supplies would make for exciting Instagram content. But, Staples knocks things out of the park by using fun and colorful animations and leaning on quirky holidays (like National Paperclip Day, for example) to generate excitement around their brand.

Example #3: Software

Account:Evernote[caption id="attachment_4130" align="alignnone" width="714"]

Evernote - How Often Should I Post on Instagram - Sked Social

Evernote[/caption]Image SourceFollower Count: 46,600Posting Frequency: 1-2 times per weekWhat They Do Well: Evernote is a brand that many people know and love. Surprisingly, they don’t have a super consistent posting schedule. But, despite that, they still see awesome engagement with each of their posts.Much of this is likely credited to their leveraging of user-generated content. Within their bio, they ask users to tag their own photos with Evernote’s hashtag (#EvernoteCommunity). Many of the content that Evernote shares on their own grid is from their users and followers—a great way to consistently share fresh content while also engaging and involving their users.

Example #4: Service

Account:WeWork[caption id="attachment_4131" align="alignnone" width="716"]

WeWork - How Often Should I Post on Instagram - Sked Social

'WeWork[/caption]Image SourceFollower Count: 287,000Posting Frequency: 2-3 times per dayWhat They Do Well: WeWork is a pretty dominant player in the Instagram landscape—as evidenced by their sizable follower count and frequent posting schedule.WeWork does a great job of engaging their followers with a consistent amount of posts that keep the brand ever-present and top of mind, without cluttering up their followers feeds.Most of their content features gorgeous photos of their workspaces across the globe, which makes for posts that are equal parts engaging, appealing, and promotional. That’s a tough line to walk, but WeWork makes it look easy.

Example #5: Entertainment and Travel

Account:Walt Disney World[caption id="attachment_4132" align="alignnone" width="719"]

Walt Disney World How Often Should I Post on Instagram - Sked Social

Walt Disney World[/caption]Image SourceFollower Count: 6.7 millionPosting Frequency: 2-3 times per weekWhat They Do Well: When it comes to gorgeous imagery, we all expect a lot from one of the most magical places on earth. And, Disney World definitely doesn’t disappoint.You might be slightly surprised that the theme park doesn’t post even more frequently on Instagram (considering it’s probably one of the most photographed places on the planet, it’s easy to expect an abundance of photos on the daily).But, rather than bombarding followers, it’s clear that Walt Disney World takes a much more strategic approach to Instagram posting.Each and every image is vivid, young at heart, and captures the essence of the brand. And, despite not posting numerous times each day, it’s clear that Walt Disney World is monitoring their own engagement closely. Just take a look—they almost always post on a Friday, which must be a day of high engagement for their own brand.

Example #6: Education

Account:HubSpot[caption id="attachment_4133" align="alignnone" width="722"]

Hubspot - How Often Should I Post on Instagram - Sked Social

Hubspot[/caption]Image SourceFollower Count: 104,000Posting Frequency: 1 time per dayWhat They Do Well: HubSpot is looked to as one of the leading experts on all things marketing, so it only makes sense that their own Instagram account would be top notch.There are so many things that HubSpot does well, it’s hard to zone in on just a few. Their almost daily posting schedule is predictable for followers and undoubtedly adds to their engagement rates.HubSpot is also great at encouraging followers to take action. Whether it’s clicking the link in their bio, checking out a recent Instagram story they posted, or even commenting with an answer to a question, HubSpot uses their Instagram captions to quite literally pull engagement out of their followers—rather than crossing their fingers and hoping it happens.

Example #7: Health and Fitness

Account:Fitbit[caption id="attachment_4134" align="alignnone" width="721"]

Fitbit - How Often Should I Post on Instagram - Sked Social

Fitbit[/caption]Image SourceFollower Count: 560,000Posting Frequency: 1 time per dayWhat They Do Well: While occasionally things become a little more spread out, Fitbit is generally good at sticking to a once-per-day posting schedule—which makes things easy and predictable for their followers.Another thing Fitbit does exceedingly well? It’s obvious that they have a very strategic approach to utilizing Instagram. Much of their recent content promotes their Fitbit Versa specifically (as opposed to any of their other trackers), proving that Instagram is just a piece of the puzzle in the overall marketing strategy for each of their products.

Example #8: Food

Account:Halo Top Creamery[caption id="attachment_4135" align="alignnone" width="714"]

Halo Top Creamery - How Often Should I Post on Instagram - Sked Social

Halo Top Creamery[/caption]Image SourceFollower Count: 707,000Posting Frequency: 6 times per weekWhat They Do Well: Halo Top is another brand that sticks to an almost daily Instagram posting schedule (something that appears to work well for many different accounts).Having fostered almost a cult following in recent years, Halo Top does a great job of capturing their bright, airy, and trendy vibe on their Instagram page.With plenty of witty captions and Instagram giveaways, Halo Top is also skilled at encouraging engagement from its thousands of already-dedicated followers.

Creating Your Own Instagram Posting Schedule

It’s clear that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all digit that answers the age-old, “How often to post on Instagram?” question. It can vary pretty greatly.In looking at the different examples we touched on above, we think aiming to post about three photos per week is a great place to start—provided that’s something you can handle consistently. Remember, consistency is key on Instagram.From there, make sure to keep a close eye on your metrics to determine how that number is working out for you and adjust if necessary. That’s another great thing about Instagram—nothing is set in stone.Need help sticking to a predictable posting schedule for your brand’s Instagram account? Check out Sked to hold up that oh-so-important consistency end of the bargain, and you’re far more likely to see some great results from your efforts.

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