This is an ever-changing debate. There are high profile influencers who say to post 3-4 times per day on every platform. Just a couple of years ago, it was up to 10 times per day. What we have seen though is a shift from simple quantity to quality. And, that shift is from the platforms themselves—what they are rewarding with more exposure through their algorithms.
What we do know, is the official word (from the platforms themselves) changes. Often. So, what we are about to share with you here could possibly change again in the next 6 months or year from now. As of today, this is what we know…
What are Social Media Algorithms and Why They are so Important to Understand
You’ve likely heard of the social media algorithms. These are the systems used by the social media platforms to determine (and each one is different) what your content is and how it lines up to what they are currently valuing. Their end game is to make money. The way they make money is by keeping their customers (social media users) on their platforms for longer periods of time. That is their goal—to keep each user on the platform more often and for longer times.
The social platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and all of the others you can think of) invest a great deal of money in to determining the trends and behaviors of their users. All in order to serve them more of what they (the users) like so they will stay longer and thus generate more revenue for their platform. You can relate to that from a business perspective—you want to give your customer the best experience so they return more often and spend more money when they do.
So, the algorithms are constantly scanning the use and engagement by every user. This computer formula sees what makes a person stop and read or watch or flip through or click or comment or save or share—what content makes them engage and stay there a tad longer. Then, they serve more of that content to that person. And, equally important, do not share content that person skips past or does not regularly engage with.
This is why you can follow an account and then a month later realize you haven’t seen any posts from them And the reason is you simply scrolled past their posts and did not bother to like, save, share or comment. If you are not engaging they show you less of the content. And the same is true of your content to your followers.
This is why the data changes so often. This year alone, we have seen numerous changes in offerings, rankings, reach, growth from several of the platforms. They are tweaking their offerings to regain or simply gain market share.
So, what does this mean to you today? It means this information will continue to change.
High Profile Influencers Post 3-10 times Per Day, Should my Restaurant do the Same?
That all depends. Do your social accounts have hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of followers and high engagement (hundreds of likes, comments, shares and saves)? Probably not as a local restaurant. And, that is okay. In that case, no, you should not be posting 3-10 times per day.
What we have found in the latest research is if you have a smaller account 10,000 and below and/or your engagement is not outstanding, your account will benefit most from simply posting 1 time per day. And, consistency is rewarded more than frequency. Keeping a consistent schedule of even 3-4 days per week, every week is more important to your reach than posting multiple times per day.
What Happens When I Post Twice in the Same Day
For any size account, when you post a second time during a day it can cannibalize that first post—stop it in its tracks, more or less. Unless, that first post was going viral already. What you will see is the combined reach (how many users the post is shown to) is about the same as it would have been for a single post, maybe a little more, but a lot times the same or less. This is not always true, but mostly.
The second thing that happens is the algorithm pays attention and if that second post then gets little to no engagement your account can be penalized. Especially when this is done often. What this typically tells the algorithm is you are sharing content your clients are not interest in (happens frequently with sales-y content or off brand content the user does not recognize or relate to).
When the algorithm thinks you are sharing too much content (annoying your followers and their customers) or that your content is spam-y your account will be penalized. This means you content will simply not be shown to as many users (whether they already follow your account or not). You have then lost momentum instead of gained it by posting twice per day.
The best route is to post your extra content to your stories. Even here, make sure to keep it on brand and think of the customer, not yourself. Think of what they will actually want to see and engage in.
How Often Should My Restaurant Post on Social Channels for Optimal Results
Channels under 10,000 - 20,000 followers with low to moderate engagement should opt for no more than once per day, with consistent brand aligned posts being key. Think about your brand story and what you want customers to know about the experience they can expect with your brand. This likely will include posts from the 4 main categories for restaurant. If you skipped straight to this section, go back to the top and read the other sections to understand why this is true for your account.
What About Daily Specials or Events or Customer Reviews
These can be planned ahead, designed on-brand, to be a part of your overall posting strategy and scheduled straight into your feed. If you already have a planned feed schedule and have a spontaneous special or event you want to share, add that to your Stories section on Instagram or Facebook.
For sharing posts by customers, pick a few to share to your stories. Again, with everything you share, ask if it is on brand and would it relate and speak to your ideal customer and employee.