Keep these best practices in mind when determining how often to post to social media.
Creating valuable, relevant content in a strategic and consistent manner creates demand for your products and services and drives profitable customer action. But as BuzzFeed’s Jonathan Perelman said, “Content is king, but distribution is queen and she wears the pants.”
It’s not enough to just create interesting and pertinent content; you have to put it out there to reach your target audience. Moreover, the content needs to be delivered consistently over time, at the right time, and in the right place.
With social media networks changing daily, it’s hard to keep up with where to distribute content, much less how often. Countless studies have attempted to solve the social-media-frequency equation. And while audiences vary across industries, best practices give us some general guidelines.
Here’s our assessment of social media posting frequency.
Twitter: 40 per day*
*Big caveat here: 40 tweets per day is what we’ve found works for us and most of our clients. Let me explain.
Socialbakers suggests that posting to Twitter three times per day is the ideal frequency for brands. Buffer posts to Twitter 14 times per day. Fronetics happens to tweet 40 times per day. So last spring, after seeing the Socialbakers and Buffer stats, we conducted a month-long experiment to see how dropping our posting frequency closer to their benchmarks would affect our engagement.
As we’ve written about before, it wasn’t pretty. We confirmed that our engagement, web traffic, lead generation, and other key performance indicators are at optimal levels when we tweet 40 times per day.
Your company, or your marketing partner, should conduct due diligence and determine what the right frequency is for your business. Yes, you may realize a significant decline in engagement in ROI during your experiment. On the other hand, you may realize an increase in engagement and ROI — captured with lower output in terms of time and resources.
Facebook: 1 per day
Most companies find that posting 1 time per day is their sweet spot for most social media networks. Facebook is no exception: The network’s algorithm values quality over quantity, so the more engaged your followers are with your content, the more likely they are to see your posts. This also means that posting content that does not facilitate engagement can actually decrease the likelihood that followers will see your posts.
One sure way to encourage disengagement is by overwhelming your audience. We all have that friend or company we follow that posts too much — don’t be like that person.
Remember that the lifespan of a Facebook post (about 5 hours) is significantly longer than that of a tweet. So you don’t need to provide a constant stream of content to get your audience’s attention. Your focus should be distributing the most relevant, interesting content you can, at a time when most of your audience will be on Facebook.
Instagram: 1-2 per day
There’s an unwritten rule among Instagramers that a user shouldn’t post more than once per day. We generally agree for the same reason we don’t think brands should post more than once a day to Facebook: Don’t overwhelm your audience because the lifespan of your posts is pretty long. In fact, a Union Metrics study found that many Instagram posts continue to receive engagement for days — even weeks — after posting.
Most brands end up posting 11-20 posts per month. If you focus on compelling images with strategic messages, that’s probably a good benchmark to stick with. It’s important to note, however, that another Union Metrics study suggests posting consistency is more important than frequency. Again, taking the time to test the Instagram posting frequency that works best for your business is a worthwhile endeavor.
LinkedIn: 1 per day
A more formal and technical social media network, consider LinkedIn a platform for business-related content. Don’t post here more than once per day — and consider posting only during the workweek. Many professionals don’t check LinkedIn on the weekends, and your content could easily be missed.
Buffer reports that posting 20 times per month (once a workday) allows companies to reach 60% of their audience. To provide the most value for your LinkedIn followers, content should be less promotional and more heavily focused on industry-wide trends and insights.
At the end of the day, optimal posting frequency for your company rests heavily on the audience you want to reach. Experimenting with different social media networks and posting frequencies will give you greater insight into your ideal distribution approach. With these best practices as a guide, let your own analysis be your guide. Maintaining a dynamic and fluid posting strategy will ensure that your social efforts drive followers to action, rather than drive them away.