Instagram Report: How to Post Like the Fortune 500


This post features insights from our new ebook, The Fortune 500 Instagram Report. Download your free copy to learn how America’s biggest brands use Instagram, including the best times to post, trends in hashtag and filter usage, and more.

Fortune Magazine’s annual Fortune 500 list ranks the dominant revenue generators in American business. Given the huge success of Fortune 500 companies in the business world, is there something ROI-hungry marketers can learn from their marketing strategies?

We analyzed a year’s worth of Instagram content from Fortune 500 brands to find out. Our new ebook — The Fortune 500 Instagram Report — examines the Fortune 500’s usage of Instagram, including their posting strategies, benchmarks for follower growth and engagement, and more.

Why Instagram? Because amongst both B2B and B2C brands, Instagram is the social network with the highest average engagement levels. In fact, B2B brands sees 20 times more engagement on Instagram than on LinkedIn.

Our findings indicate that there are a few major areas of disconnect between how major brands use Instagram, and how consumers engage with brands on Instagram. Here are two key areas of discord:

What is the most competitive time to post on Instagram?

Too many marketers are still treating Instagram — and digital marketing in general — as a 9-to-5 job. Our data shows that brands publish far fewer posts on the weekends. By and large, Fortune 500 brands post on Instagram during the East Coast work day. In fact, 9 a.m. through 9 p.m. ET is the most competitive time to post on Instagram; 88 percent of Fortune 500 Instagram photos are posted within this 12 hour window.

The rise of mobile is blurring the distinction between work and personal Internet usage, but social media is a leisure time activity for many digital consumers. Marketers need to understand when their brand’s audience is active on Instagram so that they can publish content when it’s most likely to be seen. We uncover the most effective days of the week and times of day to publish on Instagram for Fortune 500 brands in the report.

The case for brand authenticity on Instagram

The findings in our report also indicate that there is a dramatic mismatch between the most popular and most effective Instagram filters used by Fortune 500 brands. Our research shows that 89.03 percent of Instagram posts from Fortune 500 brands have no filter.

This finding flies in the face of the original intention of the Instagram platform: to make your everyday photos look better. Filters are essential to Instagram’s appeal for individuals, but brands — and Fortune 500 brands in particular — hardly use them.

The most popular filter among Fortune 500 brands, Juno, is used in only 1.98 percent of posts. However, our research shows that there are twelve filters that perform better on average than the Normal or no filter option for Fortune 500 brands.

This finding indicates that there is an appetitive for authenticity on Instagram. Brands need to remember and respect that their content is appearing not amongst a feed of other brand-generated content, but among content from users’ friends and families as well. Remaining true to the aesthetics of each social network (i.e. taking and editing photos natively in each platform) could prevent the jarring “this is obviously an ad, let me ignore it” effect on social media.

These are just a few of the insights featured in The Fortune 500 Instagram Report.

Download your free copy to learn more about the components of top performing posts, along with benchmarks for Instagram follower growth, engagement, and more.

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