How Often to Post on Instagram in 2024: The Ultimate Guide

As an Instagram marketer, you know that posting great content consistently is key to growing your following and engagement. But the million-dollar question is:

How often should you post on Instagram to maximize your impact?

The answer isn‘t as simple as X posts per day or week. But there are research-backed guidelines and strategies you can follow to find your brand‘s posting sweet spot.

In this guide, we‘ll dive deep into the data around optimal Instagram posting frequencies, as well as expert tips for putting that data into practice.

What the Data Says About Instagram Posting Frequency

Let‘s start with some cold, hard numbers. Here‘s what the latest research says about how often you should be posting to Instagram:

Feed Posts

A 2022 HubSpot survey of 500+ global Instagram marketers found that, for feed/grid posts:

  • 45% post multiple times per week
  • 23% post multiple times per day
  • 23% post once per day
[Chart showing HubSpot data on Instagram feed post frequency]

Instagram chief Adam Mosseri has also suggested posting 2 feed posts per week as a general best practice.

So for feed posts, aim to post anywhere from 3-7 times per week (or about once every day or two). Posting multiple times per day is likely too much for most brands.

Stories

That same HubSpot survey found that, for Stories:

  • 43% of marketers post multiple times per week
  • 23% post multiple times per day
  • 23% post once per day

Marketers also say the ideal number of Stories to have live at any given time is 4-7.

[Chart showing HubSpot data on Instagram Stories posting frequency]

Since Stories disappear after 24 hours, this data suggests posting to Stories around 4-7 times per day. Most brands post to Stories more frequently than their main feed, often multiple times per day.

Mosseri recommends posting 2 Stories per day as a minimum. But posting anywhere from 2-10 times per day on Stories is reasonable.

Reels

Instagram is really pushing Reels – its short-form video feature designed to rival TikTok. Reels are discoverable in a separate tab and have their own set of best practices.

Instagram hasn‘t provided official guidance on Reels posting frequency, but most experts recommend posting at least 4-7 Reels per week.

Reels generate tons of engagement, so post them as often as you have quality video content to share. Don‘t post sub-par Reels just to hit a quota.

IGTV and Live

Because of their longer-form nature, IGTV and Instagram Live posts can be done less frequently. Some brands excel with weekly IGTV series, while others only post monthly.

For Live broadcasts, once per week is a good cadence to get started. Some larger brands and influencers do daily or almost-daily Lives.

Focus on delivering high-value video content consistently vs. a set frequency. Quality trumps quantity with IGTV and Live.

How the Instagram Algorithm Factors In

Before we get into more posting tips, it‘s important to understand how Instagram‘s algorithm works. The algorithm is what determines which posts get shown to whom, and in what order, in each user‘s feed.

Instagram hasn‘t shared the exact details of its algorithm, but here‘s what we know:

  • The algorithm wants to surface the most relevant, compelling content to each user based on their likes, comments, searches, and viewing behavior
  • Recency of posts is a big factor. Newer posts are shown before older ones.
  • Consistent engagement is key. If a user regularly likes, comments on, or interacts with your posts, they‘re more likely to keep seeing your content
  • The algorithm can tell how long users spend viewing a post, and favors posts that spark longer viewing times
  • Posting too frequently can backfire if it leads to lower average engagement per post

So while posting frequency definitely matters, it‘s just one piece of the algorithm puzzle. You can‘t game the system by posting constantly – that will likely just annoy followers and tank your engagement rates.

Instead, focus on consistently posting high-quality, engaging content that your audience wants to see and interact with. That‘s what will keep your posts showing up at the top of users‘ feeds.

Strategies to Find Your Ideal Posting Frequency

With all that data and algorithm info in mind, here are some tips to help you zero in on the posting cadence that works best for YOUR brand and audience:

1. Check Your Analytics

Your Instagram Insights are a treasure trove of data on when your audience is most active and which of your posts perform best. Use this data to refine your posting strategy.

Go to the Audience tab and look at the days and times when your followers are scrolling their feeds. Try scheduling your posts to go live during these peak activity windows.

Then head to the Content tab and filter your feed posts and Stories by engagement rate. Make note of any patterns that emerge in your top-performing posts.

Do certain formats or visual styles seem to consistently drive more likes, comments, and shares? Do posts published on certain days or at specific times generate more engagement? Do shorter or longer captions correlate with more interaction?

Spotting these trends will help you understand what resonates most with your unique community. Apply those insights to optimize your posting strategy for maximum impact.

2. Analyze Competitors and Industry Leaders

Look at how often the top brands in your industry or niche are posting on Instagram. While you shouldn‘t copy them exactly, this can give you a good benchmark to aim for.

Pay attention to the formats and content types they post most often. And note which of their posts seem to get the most engagement from their audience (which may overlap with yours).

You can also learn a lot from influencers in your vertical. Many influencers post very frequently (multiple times per day) to keep their fans hooked. While this cadence may not be realistic for you, take note of how they structure and vary their content mix to keep followers engaged.

3. Survey Your Audience

Want to know how often YOUR specific followers want to hear from you? Ask them!

Use the Questions sticker in an Instagram Story, or post an open-ended question on your feed, soliciting feedback on your content and posting frequency. You could ask:

  • How often do you want to see posts from me? Daily, a few times a week, weekly?
  • What content do you want to see more of from me?
  • What would make you engage with my posts more often?

Alternatively, you could use a survey tool like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms to collect more in-depth feedback.

Letting your audience weigh in takes the guesswork out of your posting strategy. Just make sure to actually implement what you learn from their responses!

4. Measure Results Over Time

Finding your ideal posting frequency is an ongoing process, not a one-and-done deal. Your audience‘s needs and preferences may change over time.

Commit to reviewing your Instagram analytics at least monthly to see how your posting strategy is working. Are your engagement rates holding steady or increasing? Is your follower growth on track with your goals?

If you‘re happy with your results, keep doing what you‘re doing. If you see a plateau or dip in performance, don‘t be afraid to switch things up and see if posting more or less frequently moves the needle.

You can also keep a pulse on your progress with Instagram analytics tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, or Later. These platforms provide robust visual reports on all your key metrics.

The only way to know if your posting frequency is driving results is to test, measure, and continuously adapt. Let the data be your guide.

Putting Your Posting Strategy Into Practice

Once you‘ve identified a posting frequency to aim for, it‘s time to get organized with a content calendar and scheduling workflow.

Create a Content Calendar

Planning your Instagram content a month in advance ensures you‘ll actually hit your posting goals. A content calendar is essential for executing a consistent, cohesive strategy.

Map out the general dates and times you plan to post each week, based on your target posting frequency and the audience insights you‘ve gathered. Then brainstorm specific content ideas to plug into your calendar:

  • Holidays and seasonal events to highlight
  • Product launches or brand campaigns to promote
  • User-generated content or influencer features to curate
  • Educational posts or tutorials to create
  • Behind-the-scenes or company culture content to share

Outline your key content pillars or buckets to ensure you‘re posting a balanced mix of original, promotional, engagement-oriented, and brand-building content over time. You can always swap in timely content as needed.

[Example of an Instagram content calendar showing post cadence and topics]

Schedule Your Posts

With your content calendar mapped out, scheduling your Instagram posts ahead of time is the easiest way to stick to a steady rhythm. Consistent posting is crucial for keeping your audience engaged and sending positive signals to the algorithm.

Instagram business accounts can schedule feed posts and Stories directly through Facebook Business Suite. Or you can use a third-party Instagram scheduler like Hootsuite or Sprout Social.

These tools allow you to compose your posts ahead of time, complete with captions, tags, and hashtags. You can then set them to automatically publish at the dates and times you specify.

[Screenshot of Instagram post composer in Hootsuite dashboard]

Success Stories: Brands Killing It With Consistent Posting

Need some inspiration for your own Instagram strategy? Let‘s look at a few real-world examples of brands making the most of consistent, high-quality posting.

Mejuri

The DTC jewelry brand @mejuri posts to its feed 1-2 times per day and to Stories 4-6 times per day. This keeps Mejuri top-of-mind with followers and the algorithm.

Mejuri‘s content spans a few key pillars:

  • Product photos showcasing new launches and collections
  • User-generated content and customer reviews
  • Lifestyle photography featuring Mejuri products
  • Educational content about material sourcing and production

This mix keeps Mejuri‘s feed fresh while driving awareness and conversion around its core products. With 1 million+ followers and 25k+ average likes per post, the brand‘s consistent posting is paying off.

Peloton

Connected fitness company @onepeloton posts to its feed about 5 times per week (almost daily). But on Stories, Peloton posts upwards of 10+ times per day – keeping its 1.3M followers constantly engaged.

Peloton‘s Instagram content features:

  • Peloton class clips and instructor highlights
  • Inspirational user-generated content and transformation stories
  • Spotify playlists to sync with Peloton workouts
  • News and announcements about platform updates
  • Memes and inspo posts for the Peloton community

By serving up valuable content around its core offering at a steady clip, Peloton keeps fans coming back for more.

Bon Appetit

Food magazine @bonappetitmag publishes 2 feed posts and 5-8 Stories per day on average – a cadence fitting for a media brand.

Bon Appetit‘s feed follows a predictable pattern to train followers to tune in:

  • Long-form videos sharing recipes and cooking tips on Sundays
  • Photos teasing the new print issue on Tuesdays
  • Recipe galleries and short-form videos throughout the week

Stories fill in the gaps with:

  • Daily recipe ideas and ingredient spotlights
  • Polls and quizzes to drive audience engagement
  • Behind-the-scenes content from video shoots
  • Q&As with Bon Appetit editors and contributors

This consistent variety has helped Bon Appetit amass 3.8M Instagram followers who regularly devour its content.

The Key Takeaway

While there‘s no universal rule for exactly how often to post on Instagram, there ARE proven tactics you can use to find your brand‘s posting sweet spot.

Start with the benchmarks for each format shared in this guide, and customize your strategy based on your analytics and audience insights.

Focus on delivering maximum value to your followers with every post – whether you‘re sharing once per day or once per week. Quality and consistency are more important than hitting some magic posting quota.

Stay flexible, keep monitoring your metrics, and adapt your posting strategy as you learn what works for YOUR community over time.

With a data-driven posting cadence and a commitment to serving your audience‘s needs, you‘ll be well on your way to Instagram growth and engagement.