Ah, the million dollar question rears its ugly face again: how often should I post on social media? When sharing content with your audience, how often is too often?
Social media managers share the same dilemma: we all want to create a connection with our audience that is just enough that we don't drive them away. We want to create a balance between sharing and listening and this sometimes results to guessing in terms of what the perfect post frequency actually is.
To help ease your pain, we compiled some research from industry experts to help give you a better picture of how often you should post on social media and even the best times to post on social media to help you get the most out of your social media marketing efforts.
Optimal Times To Post On Each Social Media Network
Most social media managers predict the best time to post by checking out various research data available online (and you'll probably get a different answer for each study you check out). The problem with that is that optimal times vary per brand and what works for others may not necessarily work for you. However, you may use this data as a starting point for customizing your own optimal schedule.
Facebook - 1-2 posts per day
According to HubSpot, how often you post to Facebook depends on how many followers you have. If you have less than 10,000 followers, you should post one or fewer times per day. Once you exceed one post, each post gets 60% fewer clicks per post. If you have more than 10,000 followers, posting 1-2 times per day leads to the most clicks per post.
Data from Track Social backed up what HubSpot had to say, showing there was a pretty big drop off in response rate after one post per day, and an even bigger drop off after two posts per day. Check out this graphic from Revive Social:
As far as the best times to post on Facebook, according to HubSpot, you get 32% more engagement when posting on Saturday and Sunday, and 18% more engagement when posting on Thursday and Friday. The best hours of the day to post on Facebook are at 9 AM, 1 PM, and 3 PM. You'll get the most clicks when posting at 3 PM and the most shares when posting at 1 PM.
Twitter - 3-5 tweets per day
In a study run by Social Bakers, a sample of 11,000 tweets from top brands showed brands see their most engagement when tweeting three times per day and that engagement begins dropping after three tweets per day.
Here are the metrics Socialbakers is using in the above chart:
- Total Engagement Rate is (total number of replies + retweets + favorites) / (number of followers on the given day) x 100
- Average Engagement Rate is (total number of replies + retweets + favorites) / (number of tweets posted that day) / (number of followers on the given day) x 100
According to Track Social, you need to tweet enough to get noticed, which makes sense as they found brands tweeting 2-5 times per day had the highest response rate. if brands only tweeted once a day, there was a 300% difference in response rate, and response per tweet starts dropping off after 5 times per day. This study only looked at retweets, however, and not other forms of engagement on Twitter.
Wednesday is the best day of the week to post on Twitter, according to HubSpot, and the best hours of the day are 12 PM, 3 PM, 5 PM, and 6 PM. Interesting enough, Twitter users are 181% more likely to be on Twitter during their commute, and Wednesday gets peak usage at 12 PM and between 5-6 PM while workers are on their break. If you're a business-to-business company, those tweets perform 16% better during business hours, and business-to-consumer tweets perform 17% better on weekends.
Instagram - 1.5 posts per day+
There is far less data available on Instagram posting frequency in comparison to other networks like Facebook and Twitter. However, Union Metrics released a whitepaper with data taken from 55 top-performing brands on Instagram and found, on average, they posted 1.5 times per day.
However, that does not mean 1.5 posts per day is the optimal posting frequency for Instagram. As long as you're capable of publishing high-quality content that provides actual value to your target audience - go for it. Test the waters and see what kind of engagement you get. There have been no documented negative side effects of doing this.
According to HubSpot, Monday and Thursday are the best days to post on Instagram. And the best times to post on Instagram are 2 AM, 8-9 AM, and 5 PM. Posting a video at 9 PM, however, gets 34% more interactions. You should avoid posting between 3-4 PM. It is best to post on Instagram more during off-work hours than during the work day, as well.
Linkedin - 1 post per day
LinkedIn actually provides data on how often you should post on this network. According to their small business guide, when you post 20 times per month (or 1 post per day during the work week), you'll reach at least 60% of your audience.
This makes sense, as according to HubSpot, the best days to post on LinkedIn are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Their data shows you get very low engagement on Monday and Friday, however, so you might want to test that out and if that's the case, move your 1 post per day dedicated to those days to the middle of the week. The best times of the day to post on LinkedIn are 7-8 AM, 12 PM, and 5-6 PM. Business people are more inclined to read LinkedIn in the morning, similar to a newspaper.
Pinterest - 3 pins per day+
Piqora surveyed some pretty well-known brands, including Wayfair, Zales, L.L. Bean, Ikea, Lowe's, Whole Foods, Macy's, and Meijer, and found most were pinning anywhere from a few times a week to 3-10 times per day. A noticeable number of brands were pinning in excess of 10 times per day, however, fewer of those brands were experiencing rapid growth, so it's safe to assume it's best to pin 3 or more times per day on Pinterest. Kudos to Revive Social for the graphic.
The best days to pin on Pinterest are Saturday and Sunday, and the best hours of the day are 2 PM, 9 PM, and 2 AM, according to HubSpot. Work hours typically deliver the worst results. You should also include a call-to-action in your pins - 80% of people who see your content during peak times wont interact otherwise. HubSpot also suggests associating topics with different days of the week Sunday (food), Monday (fitness), Tuesday (gadgets), Wednesday (quotes), Thursday (outfits), Friday (GIFs), and Saturday (travel).
Keep in mind this is just a rough estimate based on what brands are seeing across the industry. What your brand may experience may be totally different. The best way to determine how often you should post on social media is by experimenting. On each social media network you have a presence, test out different posting frequencies each day, each week, and see what kind of engagement you get. If you notice your engagement does not dip off with more than 1-2 Facebook posts per day, then go for it! Whatever your followers respond best to is what you should go by. Your analytics will tell the true picture - whether you are using native analytics or a social media management platform that provides analytics reporting.
Also, remember that quality always wins over quantity. If you don't have enough quality content to make up 3-5 tweets per day, then don't push yourself just to meet that limit and lower your standards as a result. It's better to tweet less and to tweet higher quality content that is engaging and true to your target audience than to tweet content that your audience has absolutely no interest in and will never engage with. That will have an adverse effect and can actually hurt your brand's reputation. Instead of sharing "fluff", so to speak, shift your focus to content creation and spend time curating quality content and building up a library of content worth sharing with your audience.