How often does something need to be shared in the feed or story? And how does the posting affect the reach? Content marketers know these problems only too well. Instagram is an important channel for companies to address users with different formats and to convince them of their offers. For this, you need one thing: reach. More reach means getting more people to pay attention to your brand and product and ultimately increase sales or traffic to your website.
We analyzed 6 million Instagram profiles to determine the post and story benchmarks for 2020. In this article, we look at posts and stories and which format promises more reach.
More Posts for More Followers
We started with the average number of posts and stories published on Instagram in 2020. We grouped the profiles we studied according to their number of followers. It is noticeable that the post and story frequency increases with increasing profile size.
The chart shows an increase in the average number of posts per day as the number of followers increases. Profiles with up to fifty thousand followers post on average less than one post per day. Between one hundred thousand and five hundred thousand followers up to two posts per day are published. From five hundred thousand to one million followers the average number of posts decreases slightly. In the end, it can be seen that not more than 2 posts per day are published on Instagram on average.
The average number of stories increases with the number of followers. Stories can also consist of several frames, similar to carousel posts in the feed, which connect to each other and tell a coherent story. The average number of stories per day is less than 1 for profiles with less than five thousand followers, 2 for profiles with less than fifty thousand followers and 3 for profiles with less than two hundred thousand followers. The first peak of 3 stories per day on average is reached with a profile size of two hundred thousand to five hundred thousand followers. In the group of five hundred thousand to one million followers, the amount decreases slightly before it reaches the top value of 3.43 stories per day from a size of one million followers. With more than five million followers, the number of stories drops again to 2.06. Overall, it shows that an average number of one to three stories per day is common on Instagram. Only profiles with up to five thousand followers publish less than one story per day on average.
Both analyses reveal a clear trend: as the number of followers increases, so does the average number of posts. Besides, it is striking that small profiles often post less than once a day.
Posts Generate the Greatest Reach
Let’s move on to the most exciting question: how can more reach be achieved, with posts or stories? For this, we need to look at the reach per post per follower. The addition “per follower” is important so that posts from profiles of different sizes can be compared. Without the addition of followers, posts of larger profiles will always be more successful in absolute terms than those of smaller profiles. For example, if a profile has fifty thousand followers and a reach of 20% per post, the profile will reach an average of ten thousand followers with one post. In contrast, a smaller profile with a thousand followers and a reach of 30% per post only reach three hundred followers. Since large profiles already have an immense number of followers, they still reach many more followers in absolute terms, even if the reach per follower is rather low compared to smaller profiles. It is, therefore, necessary to divide the reach by the number of followers of the profiles in order to make the reach of a profile comparable.
The analysis reveals that posts on Instagram achieve significantly more reach than stories. It is also visible that the reach decreases with an increasing number of posts, regardless of whether it is a feed post or a story.
Here you get a clear picture: posts generate more reach than stories. It can also be seen that small profiles get more reach per post than profiles with numerous followers. With a number of up to five hundred followers, the reach per follower is greatest with 51.55% for posts and 20.36% for stories.
It is noticeable that stories on Instagram have a much lower reach per follower than posts. For example, a post from a profile with 20 thousand followers reaches 21.86% of followers, while a story only reaches 5.80% of followers.
It should not be forgotten that posts are much longer-lasting than stories. Stories remain accessible to users for 24 hours, while posts are displayed in the Explore branch after publication and then become a fixed part of a profile’s feed. The use of hashtags and locations in posts, for example, is also a powerful means of increasing reach.
Nevertheless, stories are of enormous importance and should be firmly integrated into your content strategy. Stories are often viewed several times and especially these repeated impressions are valuable for your brand or person to convince or to stay in the back of the mind. By addressing your followers personally in stories, you can often convince them of your product or service better than in the feed.
The research shows that both the number of posts and the number of stories per day increase with increasing profile size. The highest numbers are 2.1 posts and 3.4 stories per day respectively. Probably the most important finding is that the greatest reach can be generated with posts. Depending on the profile size, the proportion of followers reached per post is at least twice as high as with stories. You should therefore place great importance on feed posts in order to expand your reach. Stories have a comparatively low reach, but they can help you maintain regular, personal contact with your community and convince them of your offers.
Optimize and automate your social media management
If you would like to track your success, automate your posting and manage all your social media pages over one tool, then try Fanpage Karma for free.