How Many Times a Day Should You Post to Instagram Stories?
A general rule of thumb you may have heard regarding social media for small businesses is to post at least once a day and no more than three times a day on a given platform. But there are exceptions — and Instagram Stories is one of them.
On most social media feeds, it’s considered rude and spammy to post many times a day because your followers will have to scroll through everything you post to get to the other stuff they might want to see. Posting too often is a surefire way to get yourself unfollowed. But Instagram Stories is, if you’ll pardon the expression, a whole other story: your Stories are all located in one specific section of the feed that is easy to skip over if your followers aren’t interested in seeing everything you have there.
However — and this is a big “however” — just because you can post 100 Stories a day doesn’t mean you should.
While there’s no set formula for calculating the exact numbers of stories you should post per day, taking the following points into consideration will help you find the right rhythm and frequency for your business that will draw your followers in rather than drive them away.
1. Only post content that adds value
Each Story you add to your feed should be of value and interest to your target audience.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be on-brand 100% of the time — sometimes deviating a bit from your usual content is refreshing, especially if you’re doing so to share something personal. But you should still be sure to stick to engaging content that will help your followers get to know you and provide them with information they will appreciate. Don’t post just for the sake of posting.
2. Avoid being spammy and over-promotional
Social media is meant to be a platform for engaging with people and building personal connections. Using it only for advertising undermines that goal, and creates a sense of distance between you and your followers. You can certainly create posts that are pure advertisement, but these should be tucked in between other posts that add value for your followers: inspiration, useful information, and entertainment.
The same is true for your Stories feed. If every time someone clicks on your profile photo on the Story feed, they see another advertisement, they’re going to click past very quickly and may end up unfollowing you.
3. Spice up your Stories
Even if you’re posting the right kind of content, you’re competing with a whole feed for your followers’ attention. If you want to keep their interest, you need to make your Stories stand out.
One easy way to take your Stories up a level is to use Boosted to turn your plain images or footage into standout videos with cool animations, effects, and music. By using the templates in the app, you can also create a series of slides that complement each other and flow nicely in sequence.
Here’s a recent Story from @boosted_social that included a Boosted template:
Be sure to add relevant stickers, too — especially interactive stickers such as polls, questions, and emoji sliders.
4. Use Story analytics as a guide
The best litmus test for how often to post Stories is to look at what actually happens in real time — that is, to keep tabs on your Story analytics within Instagram Insights.
Your analytics will tell you how your Stories are performing and how well they’re holding your followers’ interest. If you notice that followers consistently drop off after 5-6 slides, for example, that may mean you’ve found the upper limit of their attention span. But it also might mean that the last few slides weren’t engaging enough, so it’s important to pay attention to the actual content they’re reacting to and not just the numbers. Trial and error can go a long way here when you’re keeping a close eye on the numbers.
You can learn more about how to view and interpret your Instagram Story analytics in our previous post, Understanding Your Instagram Stories Analytics.
The bottom line
When it comes to Instagram Stories, there’s nothing as valuable as consistency. Strive to show up on Stories daily, with at least 3-4 frames posted in a 24 hour period. Sharing Stories daily is much better than the sporadic Story with 10 frames.
The truth is though, that the right amount of Stories per day depends on many different factors: your industry, your particular audience, and the kind of content you’re putting out. Create a Story strategy that’s customized for you & your business. Be realistic about the time & resources you have available to create content.
Also, while you’re in pursuit of the ideal Instagram Story quantity, don’t lose sight of the quality of your content. There’s no replacement for high-quality, engaging content that makes your followers want to see more from you. For endless Story content inspiration, check out 50 Engaging Instagram Story Ideas for Your Brand.
- Try using Boosted to make your Stories more engaging.
- If you haven’t already, familiarize yourself with Instagram Insights and particularly the Story analytics section.
- Experiment with your Story-posting frequency — but be sure to post only Stories that are relevant and valuable to your audience.
- Track your analytics carefully and notice any patterns that emerge from the data that may indicate an ideal number of Stories to post per day.