How Often Should You Post on Social Media? See The Most Popular Research [INFOGRAPHIC]

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How Often Should You Post on Social Media? | SEJ

It seems like a great portion of the social media research we do at Buffer often comes back to a few big questions for social media sharing.

How do I get more followers?

What should I share?

When should I share it? 

And how often should I be sharing?

Social media frequency is one that we’ve enjoyed experimenting with a lot at Buffer. How many times per day should we posting? Is it different for individuals versus companies? I personally share to Twitter four times per day, and we share to Buffer’s Twitter account 14 times per day. Do these frequencies make sense?

Fortunately, we’re able to check in with a bunch of great research on frequency to get a baseline for what might be best practice for a social media schedule.

We’re incredibly grateful for our friends at SumAll for placing all this awesome research into a beautiful infographic that makes the question of “how often to post” a breeze to answer.

Infographic: How Often Should You Post on Social Media?

How Often Should You Post on Social Media? | SEJ

If you’re interested in the second half of the infographic—with details on LinkedIn, Instagram, and blog posts—visit the SumAll blog to see Part 2 of the How Often to Post graphic.

SumAll is one of our favorite social media tools. They do social media tracking better than anyone we’ve found—all your data, all in one place, for free. It’s been awesome to collaborate with them on this project as well as others.

Best Practices for When to Post on Social Media

To recap what you see in the infographic here at Buffer and over at SumAll, I’ve placed each of the best practices for social media posting frequency below.

Twitter: 3 Times Per Day, or More

Engagement decreases slightly after the third tweet.

Facebook: 2 Times Per Day, at Most

2x per day is the level before likes & comments begin to drop off dramatically.

LinkedIn: Once Per Day

20 posts per month (1x per weekday) allows you to reach 60 percent of your audience

Google+: 3 Times Per Day, at Most

The more often you post, the more activity you’ll get. Users have found a positive correlation between frequency and engagement. When posting frequency wanes, some have experienced drops in traffic up to 50%.

Pinterest: 5x Per Day, or More

The top brands on Pinterest have experienced steady growth – and in some cases rapid or sensational growth! – by adopting a multiple-times-per-day posting strategy.

Instagram: 1.5 Times Per Day, or More

Major brands post an average of 1.5 times per day to Instagram. There’s no drop-off in engagement for posting more, provided you can keep up the rate of posting.

Blog: 2x Per Week

Companies that increase blogging from 3-5X/month to 6-8X/month almost double their leads.

Key Research for How Often to Post on Social Media

The above best practices are super clear and simple if you’re interested in getting started with a frequency framework for your social sharing. As with all research-backed best practices, I’d encourage you to use these as a starting point for your own tests to see what’s best. Your individual scenario may call for more or less than what’s recommended.

Also, I know many are interested in where these recommendations come from (we dig this type of stuff, too!). Here’s a bit more about the research and resources that have helped to establish the baselines for how often to share to social media.

Twitter: 3 Times Per Day, or More

“Engagement decreases slightly after the third tweet”

During the summer of 2013, Social Bakers took a random sample of 11,000 tweets from top brands and found that a frequency of three tweets per day was the point where brands saw their highest engagement.

In the chart below, Total ER (total engagement rate, in blue) and Average Tweet ER (average engagement rate per tweet, in purple) meet in the sweet spot right around the third tweet.

How Often Should You Post on Social Media? | SEJ

A 2012 Track Social study found that the per-tweet engagement peaks at around five tweets per day.

Does three to five tweets per day seem a bit … low?

Perhaps.

Interestingly, in the same Track Social study mentioned above, per-day engagement—the total number of interactions that occur throughout the day, regardless of how many times you post—showed a steady rise all the way to 30 tweets per day. In other words, you could post up to 30 times and still continue to see positive effects on engagement—effects that might not top the maximum per-tweet levels at five tweets per day, but still worth exploring.

How Often Should You Post on Social Media? | SEJ

Facebook: 2 Times Per Day, at Most

2x per day is the level before likes and comments begin to drop off dramatically.

A lot has changed for the Facebook News Feed in the past couple years, so it’s worth noting that the best research on Facebook frequency comes from a Track Social study from 2012 and a Social Bakers study from 2011.

These studies conclude that it’s best to post to Facebook 5 to 10 times per week, or 1 to 2 times per weekday.

From the Track Social findings:

When a brand posts twice a day, those posts only receive 57% of the likes and 78% of the comments per post. The drop-off continues as more posts are made in the day.

LinkedIn: Once Per Day

20 posts per month (1x per weekday) allows you to reach 60 percent of your audience.

As part of the LinkedIn small business guide, the network shared an interesting stat that relates to how often you should be sharing to LinkedIn. Share 20 times per month to reach 60 percent of your audience.

Twenty times per month divided by four weeks per month equals five times per week. Five times per week fits perfectly with a once-per-weekday posting schedule, ideally suited to reach the audience on LinkedIn, which is full of professionals who figure to spend their most time on LinkedIn during business days.

Google+: 3 Times Per Day, at Most

Stone Temple Consulting’s Mark Traphagen and Socialmouths’ Daniel Sharkoveach shared graphs from their own sharing on Google+. Their takeaway:

The more often you post, the more activity you’ll get. Users have found a positive correlation between frequency and engagement. When posting frequency wanes, some have experienced drops in traffic up to 50%.

The 50 percent drop in particular was mentioned by Sharkov. He noticed a large portion of traffic coming from Google+ when he was sharing more to the network; when the sharing stopped, so did the traffic.

How Often Should You Post on Social Media? | SEJ

Pinterest: 5x Per Day, or More

The top brands on Pinterest have experienced steady growth – and in some cases rapid or sensational growth! – by adopting a multiple-times-per-day posting strategy.

In 2013, visual marketing service Piqora interviewed big-time brands like Whole Foods, Lowes, LL Bean, and more to see what they had experienced on Pinterest. The brands shared the correlation they’d noticed between frequency of pinning and traffic growth, with spikes in growth occurring most between “a few pins a week” and “3 to 10 pins per day.”

How Often Should You Post on Social Media? | SEJ

 

Instagram: 1.5 Times Per Day, or More

Major brands post an average of 1.5 times per day to Instagram. There’s no drop-off in engagement for posting more, provided you can keep up the rate of posting.

Social media analytics site Union Metrics spent time analyzing 55 of the most popular, active Instagram brands to learn the best practices for timing, frequency, and more.

They found that most brands share once or twice per day to Instagram. 

Some shared as much as 10 times per day and did not notice an appreciable loss in per-post engagement. This hints that it may be possible to post more often—waaay more often—to Instagram than it seems, provided the quality of the post is still present.

Blog: 2x Per Week

Some of the best research into the effect of frequency on blogging comes from a 2012 HubSpot study of over 7,000 businesses. Among the many interesting benchmarks and takeaways from the study, there was this fascinating note:

Companies that increase blogging from 3-5X/month to 6-8X/month almost double their leads.

Six to eight times per month would equate to 1 to 2 times per week.

Summary

How often should you post to social media?

We’re grateful for all the amazing research out there that gives us some answers to the question of frequency. These answers are great opportunities to start discovering what’s  ideal for your unique situation.

Use these guidelines as a jumping off point for your own tests. And feel free to share the results! We’d love to know what works and what doesn’t. :)

Image sources: SumAll, Track Social, Social Bakers, SlideShare, Socialmouths, Placeit

 

This post originally appeared on Buffer, and is re-published with permission.

 

 

Kevan Lee
Freelance writer by day, sports fan by night---and sometimes vice versa. I write about email and nutrition (not at the same time) and a whole... Read Full Bio
Kevan Lee
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  • Thanks for linking my data on Google+, Kevan. I would strongly emphasize as you do that many of these are more applicable to brand accounts than personal.

  • Thanks Kevan for sharing this post! Your post reminds me to be careful whenever I share something on social media. I share 6-7 tweets and 4-5 fb posts daily, and i don’t even noticed these figures.

  • Hi there, now I am almost tired to congratulate you to every piece of content you are sharing with us :). Nevertheless, congrats again. Truly helpful… only missing info is how many blog posts do you recommend on weekly basis. I know, it’s not social.. but it would be nice to know your opinion about it. Regards,

  • I’m glad there’s a range because personal study disputes a few things and confirms some here.

    For instance, I’ve found that mixing blog posts with original quotes and sharing of other people’s links and missives has increased not only the number of new connections but the number people sharing my items and talking to me here and there. I only post between 9:30 in the morning and 11:30 at night unless I’m up (which I usually am), where any activity occurs though. I’m posting at least 50 times a day and it’s working well for me.

    On the other hand, I’ve slowed down a lot of Google Plus and now it seems like whenever I’m there I’m in a ghost town where no one’s paying any attention to me.

    Facebook… it’s always the wild card because with their algorithms I’m ignored most of the time anyway, and I have no idea why certain posts catch on. Goofy stuff there. 🙂

  • KP Kelly

    I agree with some of this, with the obvious exception being Twitter. You need to tweet, especially as a business, twenty times per day. Twitter is very different from other networks like Facebook. If you tweet only three times per day, you have very little chance of being viewed. In managing over 27 Twitter accounts, I’ve never once seen engagement do anything other than increase and new followers increase with more tweets. Tweet often. The advice with Facebook is sound. Facebook does have diminishing returns if you post more than three times per day.

  • Faiza Farooqi

    Hey,

    I want to add here, the fact, that for a brand these might be a little less to post unless they keep up the quality for each post !! People should not ignore that these stats will work great if the post are given the quality they deserve..

    “A single post a day can work, if it’s loud enough to be heard and remembered” #myquote 🙂

    Though i must say i don’t understand how 3 – 14 tweets works for buffer, since the life of tweet is so short, i hardly believe that 3 posts would be seen by enough people even at peak times.. Specially influencers, who have so many followings that their timeline is always running !!

  • Very nice insights on social media marketing Kevan. I’ve seen some brands flooding the social media, specially on twitter and that is how they lose followers (Me) but i bet this would be obnoxious for every person that you either tweet or share posts on other social platform like anything. Thanks for sharing!