Trying to figure out how often to post on social media? It’s an important question to ask because when it comes to the social space, more is not always better.

So if you’re looking to optimize your social media strategy, you do want to find the sweet spot where you’re maximizing the engagement for each of your posts. If posting more often doesn’t yield a worthwhile increase in engagement, you’re just wasting your time, right?

To help you find where that sweet spot is, I waded into the data and came away with a key conclusion for each major social media network. If you’ve been struggling with how often to post on social media, keep reading to learn what the data says.

How often to post on social media by network

Further down this post, I’m going to dig into each set of conclusions in greater depth. But if you just want a quick way to figure out how often to post on social media, here’s a bird’s-eye view:

How Often to Post on Social Media
NetworkHow often to post
TwitterTweet 3-5 times per day
FacebookMost brands should post once per day
InstagramMost post 1.5 times per day, but there’s no loss in engagement when posting more frequently.
PinterestPin ~3 times per day for optimal traffic
LinkedInPost once per day during the workweek (~20 posts per month)

How to use this data

This post is about learning how often to post on social media to get the most bang for your buck.

For most of the data I’ll show you, what’s being referenced is engagement per post. So posting more often can still get you more total engagement. However, the marginal engagement increase of each post is less.

What do those terms I’m flinging about mean?

  • Total engagement – the sum of all the engagement across all of a day’s social posts.
  • Engagement per post – how much engagement each single post receives on average.
  • Marginal engagement – how much engagement each additional post will bring.

So, as long as you’re not spamming, you might get more total engagement from exceeding the recommended frequencies. You just need to remember that you’ll have to spend more time for less engagement the further you push past the suggested limits.

For best results, combine these insights on how often to post on social media with our collection of data on the best times to post on social media.

Okay, let’s dig into the data:

How often should you post on Twitter?

How often should you post on Twitter
 Takeaway: Post 3-5 times per day to maximize engagement per tweet. Posting more often may not even increase total engagement until you cross the 20+ tweet per day mark. 

Socialbakers analyzed 11 thousand tweets from big brands and concluded that there was a dropoff in engagement after the third tweet posted per day. In fact, after three tweets, each additional tweet barely moved the needle on total engagement.

Note; here’s what Socialbakers mean by total and average engagement rates:

– Total ER = ((total number of replies + retweets + favorites) / the number of followers on the given day) x 100
– Average ER = ((total number of replies + retweets + favorites / number of tweets posted that day) / number of followers on the given day) x 100

Track Social ran a similar analysis on tweets and found that tweeting 2-5 times per day outperformed both a single tweet and 6+ tweets per day. However, Track Social only looked at Retweets, not other measures of engagement.

But the most interesting conclusion from Track Social is actually this:

There’s not that much difference in total engagement between tweeting 4-5 times per day and tweeting 11-15 times per day. So if you want to maximize your ROI, you’ll get a bigger bang for your buck posting in the 4-5 times per day range.

How often should you post on Facebook?

How often should you post on Facebook
 Takeaway: Most traditional brands should only post once per day for maximum engagement. Media companies can get away with a higher posting frequency. 

Before I give you the data for Facebook, I want to lead with one caveat. As you may know, Facebook has tweaked their news feed quite a bit over the past few years. One constant across all of these tweaks has been a decrease in organic reach for Facebook pages.

Some of the data I’ll talk about comes from before those tweaks were made. So as with any marketing data you see on the Internet, treat it as a starting point, not gospel.

Okay, with that out of the way, here’s what the data says:

According to HubSpot’s 2015 Facebook post frequency benchmarks, they found that the ideal Facebook posting frequency depends on how many followers a page has:

  • For pages with fewer than 10,000 followers, pages got the highest engagement when they posted one or fewer posts per day. After that, each post got ~60% fewer clicks per post.
  • For pages with more than 10,000 followers, brands received the most clicks per post when posting between 1-2 times per day (that is, 31-60 times per month).

So if you want to keep your clicks per post high, don’t bombard your visitors with multiple posts per day.

Data from Track Social backs up HubSpot’s benchmarks. Track Social found that there was a significant drop off from a page’s first post to its second post. On average, the second post only got 57% of the likes and 78% of the comments per post.

Big brands know this data, which is why they only post once per day on average according to a study from Socialbakers. While big brands posted infrequently, media companies like the New York Times, BBC, and others posted much more, averaging about seven posts per day.

How often should you post on Instagram?

How often should you post on Instagram
 Takeaway: The average for big brands is 1.5 posts per day. But as long as you’re posting quality content, you can exceed that without a drop in engagement. 

Compared to Twitter and Facebook, there’s not as much data on optimal Instagram posting frequency.

Union Metrics published a whitepaper based on data from looking at 55 brands on Instagram. They found that the average brand posted 1.5 times per day.

So is it optimal to post 1.5 times per day? Not necessarily. Because Union Metrics also says that they “haven’t seen any relationship between the amount of content a brand posts each day and the engagement rates those posts receive, and definitely not a negative one.”

So as long as you’re releasing quality material to a cultivated audience, there’s no published negative effect to posting multiple times per day.

Anecdotally, Foundr Mag built a massively successful Instagram following on the back of posting “every three to four hours.” Best of all, most of this growth was with easy-to-create quote images.

How often should you post on Pinterest?

How often should you post on Pinterest
 Takeaway: Post somewhere in the range of 3 pins per day for optimal traffic. 

According to a survey of 200 marketers from Piqora (formerly Pinfluencer), most of the brands surveyed posted between “a few a week” and 3-10x a day with similar levels of success. While some brands pinned more than 10 times per day, fewer of those brands stated that their traffic was “absolutely blowing up.” So sticking under 10 pins per day led to faster growth.

Similarly, unpublished internal research from DowSocial also points to pinning 3x per day as the optimal strategy.

No matter how often you post, make sure to always optimize your images for Pinterest.

How often should you post on LinkedIn?

How often should you post on LinkedIn
 Takeaway: Post once per day during the workweek. 

Thankfully, you don’t have to trust third-party data with LinkedIn. According to their Small Business Guide, posting 20 times per month helps you reach ~60% of your audience on LinkedIn.

That equals about one post per weekday, which makes sense given that the best time to post on LinkedIn is during business hours.

Wrapping things up

When it comes to how often to post on social media, more is not always better. Pinterest and Instagram seem to do especially well with high frequency posting. But the marginal return from other social networks rapidly decreases as you increase your posting frequency.

As always, I encourage you to test these insights for yourself. How often to post on social media still depends on your specific audience. Trust, but verify!

What’s your posting frequency right now? Right in the sweet spot?

(All charts built with Visualizer Lite.)