Social Media is a crazy ride: first there's the algorithm that underpins how the whole thing works, then there's the followers, hashtags, content, captions, tagging etiquette, etc etc. The list of things to take into account seems exhaustive and in my opinion - is. Gone are the days of simply posting a pretty picture with a cheeky caption and getting likes, comments and shares. If you own a business that has Social Media at the centre of your marketing strategy, then making sure you maintain your reach and grow your following will be your key imperatives to securing future sales.
In the JOURNAL, I've spoken about follower growth and engagement, developing a sound hashtag strategy, nailing captions, curating your content, maintaining reach - but the one thing I've been meaning to discuss is posting frequency: i.e. how often you should be posting, especially on a platform like Instagram.
So how much is too much? And how much is too little? Some fancy studies have been conducted to help us answer this conundrum and the results are quite telling.
One would assume that posting too much would be a sure fire way to lose followers: after all, your followers constantly seeing your content pop up on their newsfeed all day, every day would probably irritate them, right? And infrequent posting would bore your followers to the point of "unfollow".
Studies have shown that the more your post, the better your reach, engagement and follower growth. Makes sense right? Instagram wants to reward users who make regular use of their platform. Accounts that post on a more regular, frequent basis saw incremental increases in their followers, reach and engagement while accounts that posted far less often had negative or slower growth.
One particular study tracked 100,000 Instagram profiles of varying sizes and post regularity to judge the effects of posting frequency on their overall follower, engagement and reach growth. They then segmented the profiles into 3 groups: (1) A group that kept their post frequency to less than 1 post per week (2) A group that increased their posting to between 1 and 6 times per week (3) A group that increased their posting to over 7 times a week. This is what they found:
THE MORE YOU POST TO INSTAGRAM, THE MORE LIKES YOU GET:
< 1 times per week: saw an average of 1,056 likes per month
1 - 6 times per week: saw an average of 4,383 likes per month
7 + times per week: saw 13,677 likes per month
These profiles were tracked for a 3 month period - look what happened to their engagement rates during that time:
THE MORE YOU POST, THE BETTER YOUR ENGAGEMENT:
The "< 1 times per week" group: saw a small 3% increase in their engagement rates
The group that increased their posting frequency between 0 and 100% saw a 9% increase in their engagement rates
The group that doubled their posting frequency saw an impressive 19% growth in their engagement levels
THE MORE YOU POST, THE BETTER YOUR FOLLOWER GROWTH:
< 1 posts per week: their follower growth was small at 14%
1 - 6 posts per week: their follower growth was pretty impressive at 26%
7 + posts per week: their follower growth was a eyewateringly good 56%
So the data shows that the more you post on Instagram, the better your overall growth will be.
It's quite surprising to note that 95% of the profiles on Instagram post less than 6 times a week. 2/3s post between 1 and 6 times weekly, while just short of 1/3 post less than that. Only a sad 5% post at least 7 times a week. So if you think about it - there's a slight 5% chance you are posting at the right frequency.
So to turn this around, consider the following: If you've been posting once or less than once a week, by simply posting between once and 6 times a week, you could pretty much double your follower growth. If you've been posting less than 6 times a week, try increasing that to over 7 times a week and see how it affects your growth metrics.
Thankfully getting these changes underway takes not much effort and no capital investment from you - so make the change and see your growth prospects improve.