Social media is an indispensable tool in the nonprofit marketing toolbox. It allows nonprofits to reach a massive audience (3.6 billion people worldwide). It can help keep supporters engaged through interactive content. And, to top it off, nonprofits can join and post on social media for free!
But to make the most of social media, organizations need to know how often to post. They need to strike the right balance between posting too much, overwhelming followers; and posting too little, thus underutilizing the resource. Unfortunately, there is no golden rule for posting frequency. It really depends on a number of factors, including the organization, the platform, the number of followers, and how you define success (follows, interactions, etc.).
The Latest Benchmarks
Just look at the results from Rival IQ’s 2021 Social Media Industry Benchmark Report, which examined social media use in 14 key industries. According to the report, the average brand posts on Facebook 5.5 times per week but the top 25% post 11.4 times. Similarly, the average brand “tweets” 4.4 times per week but the top 25% tweet 12.6 times. Finally, the average brand posts on Instagram about 4 times per week, but the top 25% post almost 7 times. The results vary somewhat by sector—for example, alcohol brands post less while sports brands are “downright prolific." But overall, the key lesson is: more is more.
Another study, focused specifically on nonprofits, has a more nuanced finding. After examining the engagement data from Hubspot’s 2015 benchmark study, it determined that “there are two sweet spots for nonprofits when it comes to getting the most interactions per week: nonprofits that post 1-3 times a week and those that post 10+ times a week." Thus, nonprofits should strive to post more frequently, but smaller organizations may find success with just 2-3 posts per week.
Quality & Consistency
Before you start creating posts, there are a few other points to keep in mind. First and foremost, quality matters more than quantity…and building quality content takes time! So consider your team’s content creation capacity and set realistic goals. If your team has little bandwidth, posting higher quality posts less frequently still works. Or alternatively, focus your team’s efforts on just the top platform(s) used by your target audience.
On a related note, consistency counts! Social media algorithms “prefer pages with a stable output of well-performing posts." This approach will also help sustain your audience’s interest and paint your nonprofit as "reliable." So instead of posting 20 times on Monday and 2 times on Tuesday, aim for the median each day. For help, consider using a social media scheduler tool like Hootsuite, Buffer, or Sendible.
Finally, remember that a “post” doesn’t necessarily need to be original content. Repurposing previous content, retweeting your favorite mentions, or sharing a relevant article on Facebook can all help meet your daily quota. For more ideas on what to post, check out this article.
Last Tip: Be sure to keep an eye on your page’s analytics every few weeks to monitor your progress. If you are still not reaching your social media goals, experiment! This could mean incrementally posting more/less, or even posting at a different time or day of the week depending on when your audience is the most engaged.
If you liked this article, feel free to check out our other blogs on the top affordable marketing tools for nonprofits and tips to elevate your nonprofit’s social media tactics.