Luisana Cartay
Luisana Cartay 1 August 2018

3 Reasons Why Posting Rate Doesn’t Matter As Much As You Think It Does

Understandably, brands are increasingly wary of crossing the line between sharing content and instilling discontent within their followers. And collectively, we imagine the number one culprit of user annoyance with brands on Instagram to be posting too much.

On top of that, there’s engagement rates to worry about. Imagine the social media managers kept awake at night with the anxiety of posting rate. Will posting too much take engagement away from our account? Or maybe worse, not posting enough will get us lost in the algorithm labyrinth.

But most of these fears come from rumors or mere conjecture. 

Here are our 3 reasons, based on data collected from Instagram, that posting rate does not matter as much as you think it does. 

1. Posting more often doesn’t actually decrease reach like you think it does

Though everyone imagines that over-posting is the worst Instagram crime to be guilty of, look to the data and you’ll find that it’s really not as much of a detriment to your brand as you may think.

In a Photoslurp study, we found that while engagement per post may decreases with multiple posts in a day, the daily engagement rate is where you win that engagement back.

So while you see the number of likes and comments per post go down as you post 2 or 3 posts in a day, what you may not realize is that you’re gaining more engagement overall for being an avid poster.

Double Agent posts at a rate of 4.8 per day. To many that may seem like way too much.

But in our study, they were the highest scoring brand in terms of engagement (16.25% of their followership per day).

While you may think that you’re losing interest with too multiple posts, don’t mistake fewer likes for less engagement.

2. Users are more likely to unfollow a brand for irrelevant/uninteresting content than for over-posting

Think about the last time you unfollowed an account on Instagram. What got you to hit the unfollow button?

In the same study, we also took a survey on what causes Instagram users to unfollow brands.

The study asked: What causes users to STOP following brands on Instagram?

Answer choices were (A) Not being interested in the products anymore, (B) Content not being relevant or interesting, (C) The user doesn’t see value in following brands in general, (D) The user doesn’t like the brand anymore, (E) The brand has too many followers, (F) The brand posts too much, and (G) Other.

Only 25% of respondents said that over-posting causes them to hit the unfollow button. This is way behind product relevance (42%) and content not being relevant or interesting anymore (44.5%).

Think about it: over-posting really just means that you’re posting too many things that a user doesn’t want to see. If a brand posted 15 times in one day, but every single post made the viewer laugh out loud, do you think they would choose to unfollow them?

Fashion brand Loavies posts at a rate of almost 5 times per day, and they have a high engagement rate according to the study (6.39%).

Because they’re constantly hitting the mark with their content, they keep up the high engagement rate. Their content speaks to their users, shows off their cool products and stylings, and is constantly providing followers with a reason to enjoy seeing 5 posts per day.

So in the end, content wins again. Which brings me to my last point about why posting rate does not matter as much as you think it does…

3. Content is really what matters

We’ve learned that posting frequently doesn’t drastically harm a brand’s engagement rate like we’re often told. And, notably, that relevant content is a higher priority.

So basically, if you have the capability to produce images or access to solid content to post, do it as often as you like. If you don’t, maybe be a bit more conservative, not for the sake of engagement, but for the sake of your sanity.

But what if your brand is struggling to constantly produce high-quality content? Consider asking your customers permission to use the content that they have created about your brand in your marketing strategy.

With a customer content strategy, you get high-quality content and engaged customers, who are choosing to use your hashtags, like your posts, and follow your products because they want to be a part of your community.

Look at watch brand Daniel Wellington. They have a high daily engagement rate according to the study, and they kill it with earned content.

They have a posting rate of 3.1 times per day. With UGC, they have engaged customers and a social media manager who, I’m assuming, doesn’t have to pull their hair out over creating new content.

What to take home

Posting rate doesn’t drastically harm engagement rate, so it’s not something that your brand should shy away from. Depending on your audience, your brand will likely find your own optimal posting rate. But you can rest easy knowing that you’re not risking the demise of your brand by posting multiple times per day if you have the content for it.

Test it out for yourself. See what works, but don’t spend another sleepless night in fear of being labeled an over-poster (unless you’re posting like 20 times a day, in which case, maybe tone it down).

And, if you’re worried that your brand isn’t posting enough due to lack of quality content, consider User Generated Content. The more you encourage people to take pictures of your products, the more you’re encouraging them to buy your products. Then, you can rest easy knowing that your high-quality customer photos are doing most of the work for you.

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