In today’s changing digital landscape, nimble marketers embrace innovative new marketing opportunities to spur additional brand engagement and exposure. Instagram is one such platform with enormous potential for savvy digital marketers.
For those needing to be convinced of Instagram’s potential, Forrester Research looked at the ratio of interactions to total followers for 2,500 brand posts across 7 major social networks. Instagram blew the other social networks out of the water.
Overall, Instagram’s engagement ratio was 60 times greater than Facebook and 140 times greater than Twitter.
The Forrester data also allude to a particularly effective Instagram strategy: cross-posting images and video from other platforms, like Facebook and Twitter.
Forrester Research provides a notable example in which a Red Bull video accrued only 2,600 likes from its 43 million Facebook fans, but a whopping 36,000 likes from its mere 1.2 million Instagram followers. Put differently, the high engagement ratio on Instagram makes it a prime channel for cross-posting content.
Another obvious perk of Instagram’s image-based platform is the opportunity to show off products directly to the consumer. According to Quicksprout‘s findings, image quality is more important for consumers’ purchasing decisions than product info, a detailed description, or ratings and reviews.
So not only does Instagram offer prolific social engagement, but its ability to put quality images directly in front of the customer also brings the customer that much closer to purchasing products.
A January 2014 study conducted by Olapic and L2 found that Instagram is not only the fastest growing social network, but also the fastest growing of the top 10 mobile apps. Perhaps more significantly, Instagram boasts the highest rate of conversion from browser to shopper of any social channel.
Still, Instagram enjoys yet another advantage: pictures are the same in every language! As an image-based platform, Instagram offers the opportunity for companies to engage with fans globally — without the need for translation.
Overall, posting content on Instagram has proven to benefit marketers across multiple meaningful metrics, whether they be social engagement or revenue-contributing conversions.
There is no question that Instagram is a vital platform for marketers. But what are the best ways to boost engagement on the platform. Upon closely examining top-performing Instagram content, some fascinating trends emerge.
Little-Known Instagram Tips That Maximize Engagement
Research conducted by Georgia Institute of Technology and Yahoo Labs found that Instagram pictures with human faces are 38% more likely to receive likes and 32% more likely to receive comments than those with no faces.
What’s more, photos showing real customers using products garnered 30% more engagement. Brands posting photos of faces interacting with their products can get the best of both worlds — higher levels of both engagement and conversions.
Another interesting Instagram tip stems from an analysis of color theory. Visual analytics platform Curalate found a fascinating anomaly in their research on Instagram engagement: pictures with blue as the dominant color performed 24% better than those with red and orange. Bright pictures also saw 24% better engagement than dark ones.
Marketers must also consider not just what they post, but when they post it. TrackMaven’s own Instagram report found that time of day was relatively unimportant for image posts when determining effectiveness by interactions per post. These posts tend to garner equal engagement during business hours, after work hours, and over the weekend.
This is not the case for Instagram videos, however; videos are most effective after business hours. Instagram videos posted on weekends or during business hours see lower levels of engagement overall.
According to TrackMaven’s report, hashtags can also boost a post’s interactions significantly. Instagram posts with more hashtags see a positive correlation with engagement, up through 4-5 hashtags. The effectiveness of hashtags proves that consumers use Instagram as a social discovery platform to find new, relevant content, rather than just sticking with the accounts they follow. In other words, hashtags increase the reach and longevity of a brand’s posts.
Takeaways and Conclusions
- Instagram yields a higher rate of engagement and converts more browsers to shoppers than other social channels.
- Effective Instagram posts include real customers using products in photos.
- Instagram photos that are bright and use blue as a dominant color see more engagement.
- Hashtags increase the discoverability — and potential engagement — of Instagram content.
- Instagram videos posted after business hours yield more interactions on average.
Since Instagram engagement aligns closely with business objectives, an effective Instagram strategy is uniquely important for a brand’s success. Implementing these tactics will go a long way toward optimizing one’s Instagram content.