If you didn’t know, I’m fairly active on Instagram (specifically on Bookstagram). I had been posting on and off for years but only recently started posting daily again. At the end of August, I had so many photos waiting to be posted, I decided to try posting twice a day.
One of the mysterious algorithm claims that had been floating around for years was that the algorithm favoured accounts that post more frequently and consistently. But I wasn’t sure if this was actually true. There are so many different do and don’t tips out there.
Being a scientist, I decided to keep track of how my stats changed and make this a Very Accurate and Super Legit scientific experiment with Amazingly Valid Results.
(It’s not really that scientific. There are so many uncontrolled variables that affected things. Plus veterinary science doesn’t really translate well into studying social media haha).
My stats before I started posting twice a day
Because I’m silly, I didn’t think about the experiment until after I started posting twice a day. So I do not have an accurate control post to compare the stats.
My account was doing pretty well in the middle of this year! I use a business account, and have been for a few years. I had recently changed my theme and really loved the community I found on there and my account was starting to grow, slowly but surely. My weekly stats for my account overall were:
- Reach = 1825
- Impressions = 6790
- Interactions = 250
- Followers = 1759 (+14 compared to the week before)
After my first 24 hours of posting twice a day, the very first post had the following stats:
- 281 likes
- 49 comments
- Reach = 785 (75% non-followers)
- Impressions = 825
I looked at another post that was two weeks old at the time as another control.
- 256 likes
- 40 comments
- Interactions = 3
- Reach = 473 (51% non-followers)
- Impressions = 530
And after posting twice a day for about 6 weeks?
Before I actually calculated how much things had changed, I didn’t think posting twice a day had really changed much. But I was wrong! For my account stats at least. Overall, my account stats improved pretty well, but the stats of the individual posts didn’t change all that much.
Actually, at first my stats went down when I started posting twice a day. Initially it was a MASSIVE downturn because Instagram shadowbanned me (I never entirely figured out if it was because of the engagement groups I was tagging or hashtags I was using. Either way something made it think I was a bot). I thought maybe once I got a system down and had been posting consistently for a week or two the individual posts would improve…
Yeah that didn’t happen.
In a way it does make sense when you think about it. Instead of having the one post being the first on your home page for a full 24hrs, your audience’s attention is split between two posts instead of one. If you combined the stats from both posts in a 24 hour period, it would probably be slightly higher compared to when I was posting once a day. But I am too lazy to do that comparison.
My overall 7 day account stats for the week I finished the experiment:
- Reach = 2124 (16% increase)
- Impressions = 7687 (13% increase)
- Interactions = 3294 (121% increase apparently!!)
- 1990 followers (13% increase)
And the 24 hour stats for the final image of posting more than once a day:
- 174 likes
- 50 comments
- Reach = 315 (42% non-followers)
- Impressions = 358
What were the other variables?
Like I said before, there were so many uncontrolled variables I did not account for. And silly mistakes I made. These included:
- The algorithm apparently changed right as I started to post twice a day.
- I joined engagement groups, and then had to split up which engagement groups I tagged in each post. Instagram didn’t like them being tagged twice a day and so hid them from some groups until admin approved them.
- I participated in a few shout out for shout outs (though you would think this would improve things…)
- Uni work got in the way of the time I was spending on Instagram! I had a lot of assignments and work so I wasn’t engaging as much with other accounts.
- I started changing up my hashtags for every post (I used to have the same core hashtags for every post. Now my hashtag reach and interactions are half of what they used to be).
- Reels started! And the algorithm really heavily promoted those over normal photos.
- I post a lot of older and less popular books, which don’t usually have as much reach with hashtags.
It’s hard to tell just how much of the improvement was natural growth of my account vs what can be attributed to the more frequent posting.
What will I do now?
Honestly, I’m going back to posting once a day. Posting twice a day is EXHAUSTING, and it was starting to get in the way of my enjoyment of Bookstagram. Especially considering the fact that it wasn’t yielding overwhelmingly positive results on individual post stats.
What about you? How frequently do you post on Instagram? Have you had issues with the algorithm recently?
You made the research geek in me come out! I enjoyed this super scientific experiment. Thanks for sharing and ensuring we all retain our sanity!
itskoo recently posted…Written in the Stars (2020)
I felt like such a nerd writing it this way haha. It was fun when I wasn’t getting frustrated about how bad the actual reasearch was realistically haha
That is cool experiment. Thank you for sharing
Thank you for this. I vote in favor of retaining my sanity and posting every other day lol
Definitely better for the sanity when you’re already busy!