It is difficult to know when and what to post on social media channels for optimal success. Post too much and you risk turning people off and losing followers, post too little and you risk losing people as they miss out on your posts. What is the optimum amount and how often should you post on social media?
What’s the Magic Number?
When it comes to working out a social media schedule, first of all you need to ask yourself what is achievable for you.
- How much time do you have?
- Who is going to be posting?
- Will you hire an external agency?
- How much do you know about social media?
- Are you going to be consistent?
Whilst you shouldn’t be posting as little as once a week, you do need to find a level that you are comfortable with. It is important to find a number and stick with it. Social media algorithms change frequently but one thing that hasn’t changed is it’s requirement for consistency when posting. Each platform is different. For Facebook, you should be aiming for at least 3-4 posts per week but no more than about 6. Don’t post multiple times a day and then nothing for 2 days.
Find a rhythm. Instagram likes daily content – 1-2 posts per day but no more. too much and you will start to lose followers. Twitter is a different beast. You can post multiple times a day on Twitter – it is recommended. The more you can post the better.
We have tested this theory on many occasions. With one particular client we had a great rhythm going with a daily Instagram post. Occasionally we would rest it for a day – usually a Saturday when engagement was lower. One day though there was a great stream of content to share so we thought we would share multiple posts. After that likes dropped significantly on posts for the next week or so.
We went back to posting once a day and the visibility come back. It’s easy to get carried away with too many posts when you have time or not enough when you are rally busy, but it will effect your social media efforts and make everything so much harder.
Best Times to Post on Social Media
There is lots of conflicting information on what time of day to post. This changes regularly too so we could give you advice today and it could change again within a few months. To keep this content evergreen, we recommend that you refer to Sprout Social – they have the up to date research on best times of day. They publish handy little charts like this:
As you can see, the best time for engagement on Instagram tends to be weekdays between 11 and 12. On a weekend the engagement is not as high as in the week. We would recommend saving your best posts for these times and perhaps only posting once over the weekend. Don’t forget that as well as permanent Instagram posts, you can also play around with stories and other forms of content.
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment with Social Media Content
Our advice is to experiment with different types of content, at different times of day. The statistics are based on a cross section of people and could vary wildly between industry, age group, audience etc. There are so many factors to take into account when considering when the audience is online. We all tend to check our phones at different times. you will know from your own habits when you are most active on social media and the amount of content you see from someone.
When you are first starting out, you can afford to experiment and find out what works best for you. Just be sure not to deter too much from this when you have found a formula that works for you.
Resist the Temptation to Over Post
It’s difficult not to post when you have something exciting to say. As a social media agency, I am currently saying to my clients that we should not post everything all at once. Besides, once you have used it all, what do you post next? Instead, create a content calendar. You know what you want to post, you just need to work out the best time for each post. you can use handy scheduling tools to make sure you don’t forget to post it.
In fact, scheduling up a couple weeks of content at a time is great. If its evergreen content, you can schedule it as far in advance as you like however, if it’s time sensitive content, or you know that there is a fresh stream of content coming, we tend to wait and just plan a couple of weeks at a time. We always have the room to change things around if needed.
Create a plan based on sales, seasonal trends, peaks and troughs, new products, events etc. Reviews, quotes, images and other such content can be saved for the days when you don’t have as much to say. A typical week mighty look like this:
- Monday – Monday motivational post – something to make people laugh or stop them scrolling
- Tuesday – a sales post – have you seen our latest product for example
- Wednesday – an example of work you have done for a client
- Thursday -a. review or a graphic
- Friday – curated content or something that is going on in the office
- Saturday – here’s what we are doing – how about you?
If you are posting 3 times a week you may decide to post the following
- Tuesday – ENGAGEMENT POST – what are you doing, share a photo, show us your dog etc
- Wednesday – sales post – something that directly promotes your business or a link to your latest blog
- Friday – Did you know? Interesting fact, something to do for the weekend…
For 3 times a week post, you can actually work on a 2 week schedule – find 6 types of posts and alternate them
- Funny post
- Sales post
- Link to blog or curated content
We tend to work to this latest list and prepare a few weeks at a time. We often emulate funny posts that we have seen and recreate a version in an app like Canva for example. Canva is great for allowing you to create things you have seen in your own image. It also allows you to make graphics out of reviews etc. We love it and find that it makes light work of social media content creation.
How Often Should You Post on Social Media?
As you can see, the question “how often should you post on social media” has no hard and fast answer however, by following a few basic principles, you can get yourself into a nice routine that works for you and your business.