During our many webinars and livestreams here at Constant Contact, we often see a trend; small business owners recognize the benefit of using social media platforms for their marketing, but they’re not sure where to start or how often they should be posting.
In fact, the most common comment we hear is “I’m not sure how often to post on social media,” followed closely by, “what should I be sharing on my business’ social media accounts?”
Below, you’ll find helpful suggestions for when and what to post on each social platform.
If you’re new to any of these social networks, or even to social marketing as a whole, you can use these tips to help you get started. As you start to build your presence on social media, it’s important to remember that these are only best practices. Tweak your strategy to find a balance of content and frequency in posting that’s right for your business.
Social media marketing is not one-size-fits-all, but these are great guidelines to help kick off your content schedule if you’re just getting started or experimenting with what works best for you.
How often should a business post on social media?
Each social media platform has slightly different best practices. In order to decide where you should start, you need to consider what your goals are. If you’re not sure which platform makes the most sense for your business, check out our social media platform cheat sheet to get started!
With every platform, there is one consistent best practice to keep in mind: quality over quantity. Make sure what you are posting is relevant to your audience, pertinent to your business or industry, and high-quality content that your followers will find valuable. Never post just to post. Each piece of content should have a specific goal in mind, whether that’s brand awareness, making a sale, getting event registrations, gathering donations, or just to make your customers smile.
Now, let’s jump into each platform and what works best.
How often to post on Facebook
Facebook, at large, is a low-volume, high-value platform. Fans, also known as followers, may get frustrated with too many posts, so it’s important to keep your posting cadence low, between three to seven times a week. In fact, “too many updates” is one of the most common reasons people ‘unlike’ a Facebook Page.
Also, keep in mind that your posts may not be seen by your followers when they are posted. This means if you are promoting an event, you should not wait until the day of to post. Instead, plan to post five to 10 days beforehand to allow your followers the chance to see it prior to the event.
Make sure you are getting the most out of your posts by checking your active follower data. You can find this information by viewing your Page Insights on Facebook.
How often to post on Instagram
If you run a business that is highly visual, such as a coffee shop, travel agency, art museum, or photography business, then Instagram is certainly the place for you.
For Instagram, keep your in-feed posts to no more than one per day. Much like Facebook, it’s important to take note of when your followers are online and plan your content to be posted during these peak times. You can find this information by visiting your Instagram business profile insights and navigating to the audience page to view your followers’ most active times.
You may also want to experiment with Instagram Stories, Reels, and IGTV. These are some of Instagram’s newer content types.
Instagram Stories posts are short bits of content that disappear in 24 hours. They’re a great way to show your supporters or customers the more human side of your business, such as videos of your day-to-day tasks, a sneak peek of a new product you just got in stock, or even a bit of your life outside of your brick-and-mortar location. Since they have a short shelf life and are less formal than regular Instagram posts, feel free to post away! Keep in mind that you still don’t want to overwhelm your followers, so try to stay between three to 10 Stories posts per day.
Instagram Reels were announced in August 2020 and are a great way to make and share how-to content. If you’re a photographer, you can use Reels to show the difference between your SOOC (straight out of camera, for our non-photogs) images vs. your final deliverables, giving prospective clients a glimpse into your shooting and editing style. For fashion designers or personal stylists, use Reels to show off different ways to style an outfit or your favorite seasonal wardrobe must-haves. Your posting cadence for Reels will depend on your ability to create them, but posting a few per month will provide your followers with enticing content to keep them wanting more and looking forward to your next post.
Last but not least, IGTV. Short for Instagram Television, IGTV was announced in 2018 to bring a long-form video option to Instagram. Videos that are posted in-feed, meaning to your actual profile on Instagram, can only be up to one-minute long. However, with the addition of IGTV, users can now upload videos up to 15-minutes long from a mobile device, and up to 60-minutes long when uploading from a computer! When sharing these IGTV posts to your feed, viewers will automatically be able to view the first minute before being prompted to watch the rest on IGTV. These are great for content that would normally be reserved for YouTube, such as long-form explainer videos, interviews, or tutorials. Since this content takes longer to produce and has higher production value, reserve IGTV posts for special moments and try not to do more than a couple per month.
How often to post on Twitter
Twitter is one of the more fast-paced platforms. Here, content is focused on quick updates that are less than 280 characters long. You’ll see the most success if you’re trying to drive link clicks, so sharing new items from your online store or a link to your nonprofit’s donation page are both great strategies for Twitter. It can also be particularly helpful for businesses that are offering customer service via social media or news/media organizations looking to share real-time content with their followers.
When it comes to posting on Twitter, try to stay in the one to three Tweets per day zone.
This is also one of the platforms where sharing other users’ content is easiest — and most valuable. For example, a Tweet from a happy customer would be a great thing to retweet on your business’ account!
How often to post on Pinterest
If you are a blogger, chef, teacher, daycare owner, interior designer, or real estate agent, Pinterest is an absolute goldmine for your social media strategy.
Although technically a social network, Pinterest really acts as more of a visual search engine. Think of it as the Google or Bing for visual content such as recipes, decor ideas, and more. Pins, which are what posts are called on Pinterest, are meant to be attention-grabbing graphics that drive users back to a link, often a blog post or website landing page.
When it comes to how often to post on Pinterest, the sky’s the limit! Whereas Facebook and Twitter are passive platforms, meaning a user sits back and reads what pops up in their feed, Pinterest is more hands-on and proactive. Users actively search for what they’re looking for, as opposed to being served it. This means you will not risk bombarding followers with notifications or taking over their feeds with your posts. Instead, it’s important to focus on creating valuable content that will catch the attention of a scrolling user. Make sure to create new content often for Pinterest, as the platform tends to give preference to new pins in a user’s smart feed (this is the term Pinterest uses for a user’s home page).
If you’re looking for a specific range, we recommend between one to five posts per day.
Plus, if you sell physical products, Pinterest’s Product Pins are a must. Product Pins contain pricing info, availability, product titles and descriptions, allowing users to learn all about your product directly within Pinterest — and easily make a purchase!
How often to post on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the suit and tie of the social media world. While most social platforms are designed for the user to focus on their personal interests, LinkedIn is a profession-driven platform with content focused on the 9-to-5 of a user’s day. If you run a software business or are a business-to-business company, also known as a B2B, LinkedIn is a great fit for you.
Engagement drops significantly if you do multiple posts in one day, so posts on LinkedIn should be no more than once a day, focusing your content on the weekdays rather than the weekends. Try to aim for between three to five posts a week.
Tips to make sure your small business is on the road to social media success
No matter which platform(s) you decide to focus on, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- We said it before and we’ll say it again — quality over quantity is absolutely key. Focus on creating good content and don’t rush a post out just because you feel that you need one to check off your content calendar.
- Use a good mix of content, such as video, GIFs, images, links, polls, etc. to keep your followers engaged.
- Check that you’re using the appropriately sized images for each platform.
- Make sure that your imagery is representative of your customer base and try to use real, authentic photos that you take of your products, employees, and customers when you can rather than relying on stock photos.