It’s the question that social media users and marketers alike ask themselves: how much is too much or too little for Instagram? As social media grows in users, volume and opportunity, the best practices and strategies for maintaining a successful Instagram account change often and become more complicated. As you’re planning your content, a series of questions might run through your head:
- Am I posting too much or too little on Instagram?
- Do constant posts from the same account tend to annoy you?
- How do I come up with new creative content that will make my account stand out?
- Should I be using Stories?
- Should I be posting more videos?
The short answer is that it depends on your account or company and what works best for you. It may require some research for your individual account and your followers and what they seem to like and engage with. For some companies, posting a few times a day keeps their followers engaged, while for others, posting only a couple times a week may suffice.
Why is social media important? Since the first social media site ever went live in 1997, the use of social networking sites and apps has grown to become a regular and vital part of our society. According to Pew Research, the percentage of adults in the United States who use at least one social network grew from 5 percent is 2005 to 72 percent in 2019. Social media has not only become a way for people to connect with each other, it’s become an important tool for businesses of all kinds and sizes to reach their customers. Social media can help to:
- Increase your brand’s awareness- According to WeAreSocial.com, there are 3.8 billion social media users worldwide. Instagram gives you a place to reach a good amount of these users all at the same time with curated content to draw them to your brand.
- Put a face to your brand- Instagram gives you a place to share photos or Stories featuring real employees or executives from your brand to put a face to the name. This will often remind your customers that there are real people behind the brand name.
- Keep your brand at the top of mind- When users see your content regularly or see their friends engaging with your content, your name may come to mind when they’re looking for a good or service.
- Increase traffic to your website or blog- Your followers can stay up to date with your blog posts, new products or updated services, and you have the opportunity to present them in a creative way.
- Boost sales- Using your social to promote your products or services or creating ads that promote them can help to drive users to your business and become customers.
Before you start crafting your social media strategy, ask yourself what you hope to accomplish with your content on Instagram. Your goals may vary depending on what kind of business or individual you describe yourself ask. Many fall under one of the following buckets of social users:
- Businesses trying to gain awareness of their brand
- Businesses hoping to gain followers that ultimately lead to sales
- Businesses using Instagram to promote their goods or services
- Individuals trying to come up with new and original content
- Individuals hoping to grow their brand through Instagram
- Individuals or businesses looking to grow their followers and/or engagement
If you’re looking to grow your Instagram game, pay attention to these 8 tips for how to strategize on Instagram.
#1: Don’t Overthink It
Instagram was created as a social media site for sharing photos and videos, so having imagery that will engage your audience should be your biggest focus. Pay attention to what types of photos or graphics your targeted audience engage with and prioritize this type of content for the future. If you’re unsure of what your target audience looks like, Inc says you can determine your target audience by looking at your current customer base, analyzing your competition and thinking about your product/service in terms of an audience.
#2: Overcome the Bully
As social media grows, people fear rejection or criticism from their peers about their content or frequency of posting. One negative reaction can scare you away from posting your regular content at your normal frequency, but when it comes to your haters, try to avoid holding back. Someone is going to be upset at everything you do, and you can’t let that stop your winning strategy. A good rule of thumb is to consider if a political, controversial or potentially offensive post would offend more than 5 people, it may be best to shift to a different post.
#3: Analyze your Performance
If you’re stuck when trying to figure out what type of content will best engage your followers and target audience, consider scrolling through your last 15-20 posts. Examine which posts had the most likes, comments and gained followers, and which had the least. With business accounts, Instagram offers an insights tool to show you your best performing posts with metrics. Once you make note of the type of content that interests your followers, shift your strategy to focus there.
#4: Utilize Hashtags
Using hashtags in your posts provides a way for users to find your content based on their interests. An article from Later stated that Instagram posts that used at least one hashtag average 12.6 percent more engagement than posts that don’t use hashtags.
If your brand focuses around clothing, for example, do some research on what hashtags have the most posts and engagement, such as #clothinggoals, and add them to your posts to add visibility to your content.
#5: Find a Niche
Many popular Instagram accounts follow some sort of trend or niche that catch the eyes of their followers. Whether it’s a visual aesthetic, a continuing series on your Story, or regular weekly content, finding that “thing” that interests your audience can grow your following exponentially. For inspiration, check out these top performing social media campaigns from April 2020 and analyze what they did and how it worked for their brand.
#6: Be Consistent
If you’re posting 3 times a day for two weeks, and then all of a sudden cut down to one post per week, your follower count and loyalty may suffer. It’s also important to be consistent in the times of the day that you post, because your followers may start to expect a post or become excited waiting for your content. Your content is a big part of what brings your audience back to your page time and time again. If you’re new to content creation and need advice on creating meaningful and creative content, check out this blog. As far as timing, ExpertVoice came up with the best times of each day to post on Instagram according to their research:
- Sunday between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
- Monday between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
- Tuesday at 5:00 a.m. or anytime between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
- Wednesday at 5:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.
- Thursday at 5:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.
- Friday at 5:00 a.m. or anytime between 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Saturday at 11:00 a.m.
#7: Using Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories is a feature added in the last few years as a way to share short videos or photos with your followers that disappear after 24 hours. Stories are usually seen as quick “updates” on your life that wouldn’t always be something you’d add to your feed, but you still want your followers to see and know about. Instagram Stories include features like filters, games and stickers that enhance the content you’re posting, but there is a specific “art” to posting on Stories.
#8: Record More Videos
Videos are becoming more of a commodity on Instagram, especially with the addition of the IGTV feature, where longer videos can be posted to create a series. According to Business of Apps, 66% of users view videos from brands they like or follow. Videos that relate to your brand or content strategy provide a great way to engage your audience while providing more information and/or entertaining your followers. New to using video on social? Check out these tips for creating video for Facebook and Instagram, especially if you’re running a small business.
In short, there is no perfect number of posts to reach on Instagram each week or month. As much as you might look for a benchmark to compare to, Instagram content varies greatly on the brand and the type of business they run. It takes time, effort and research to figure out what will work best for your account. Instagram is a great tool for both individuals and businesses in our current society, so if you’re not already on Instagram, head over and make an account now!