What began as a simple photo-sharing app among friends has grown into a global community of consumers and brands. The Instagram statistics show it all as the social network now has more than 400 million members who share in excess of 80 million photos and videos each day.
Home to creativity in all its forms, Instagram is a place where you can find everything from images of faraway places to the newest looks from today’s hottest fashion brands. The community continues to grow and thrive, and as Instagram’s user base increases, so do the benefits for celebrities, athletes and brands.
Here are five Instagram stats that will help optimize your engagement and make the app a greater part of your social media marketing strategy:
1. Instagram Brand Engagement Ranks Highest at 4.21%
Last spring, Forrester analyzed more than 3 million user interactions with over 2,500 brand posts on seven social networks. Unfortunately those brands achieved less than a 0.1% engagement rate on six out of the seven platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.
Instagram posts, however, generated a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21%. That means the app delivered brands 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter. These are the Instagram stats you cannot ignore when considering which platform to use. Let’s look at a real life example of this difference.
Red Bull posted a photo of Lindsey Vonn on both Facebook and Instagram. Currently, the brand’s 45 million Facebook fans had liked the photo just about 20,000 times, while its 4.6 million Instagram followers had liked the photo more than 71,000 times.
This doesn’t mean that you should stop sharing branded content on other social networks, but it could influence the formats in which you share. For example, a May 2013 study found that engagement is strongest for text updates on Facebook. It’s all about diversifying your content and playing to each platform’s strengths.
2. Half of Instagram Comments Are Posted in the First 6 Hours
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that most comments on Instagram happen quickly. On average, posts by top brands receive 216 comments, with 50% of comments being posted in the first six hours and 75% posted within 48 hours.
However, the study also found that high-performing posts–posts with double the average engagement–see comment volume peak later, taking more than 13 hours to hit 50% of total comments. High performing content on Instagram has a longer shelf life than average posts, which is why it’s important to focus on quality.
Rather than continuously putting out fresh content for the sake of having something new available, devote time to creating high-quality, eye-catching content. Remember, Instagram users scroll through a single stream of images, even when they’re using discovery tools or searching specific topics. Your post should stand out even as it ages.
3. Instagram @Mentions in Captions Earn 56% More Engagement
Whether it’s an affinity for brevity or something instilled in us by Twitter’s character limit, brands on Instagram are focused on keeping captions short. The average caption on Instagram is 138 characters long, including hashtags. According to Simply Measured, there’s also little correlation between text length and engagement rate, so don’t be afraid to use extra space if it’s needed to convey your message.
While text length doesn’t greatly impact social media engagement, what’s being said certainly does. On average, posts that include another user handle in the caption receive 56% more engagement than those that don’t. However, this isn’t license to spam streams with @mentions. The tactic has proven successful for those that incorporate the feature authentically and relevantly. Anyone abusing @mentions will be deactivated, so take a conscientious approach to addressing fellow members directly.
4. Adding a Location Drives 79% Higher Engagement
In addition to @mentions and hashtags, there’s one more thing that’s likely missing from your Instagram post: location.
Instagram Photo Maps let you showcase where you’ve taken your photos and give users another way to discover your content. This feature is turned off by default, but here’s a good reason to turn it on: posts tagged with a location receive 79% higher engagement.
This isn’t really something that brands have adopted en masse yet. Of the 6,075 Instagram posts included in that study, only 307 had a location tagged. But, the Instagram stats show that this additional element paid off for those who used it.
5. Open Backgrounds & Single Dominant Colors Get More Likes
In order to determine which types of photos drive high-performing Instagram posts, Curalate examined more than 30 image features across more than 8 million Instagram images.
Of the data collected, here are some of its most noteworthy Instagram stats:
- High lightness generates 24% more likes than dark images.
- A high amount of background space generates 29% more likes than those with minimal space.
- Images featuring blue as the dominant color generate 24% more likes than images that are predominantly red.
- A single dominant color generates 17% more likes than images with multiple dominant colors.
- High levels of texture generate 79% more likes.
While the study lacks data on why these settings are preferred, Curalate theorizes that the absence of chaos helps viewers focus, while various ridges and shadows “grab eyeballs and cause a user to stop and take a harder look at a photo.” Of course there isn’t a set formula that promises success. We recommend setting up your own experiments to see which of these options return higher levels of engagement for your photos.
How to Track Your Own Instagram Stats
Now that you’ve learned a bit more about the telling Instagram stats, you should be looking for a way to track, monitor and breakdown the Instagram analytics for your business.
Our integration tools help organizations find the hashtags and keywords that are associated with their business. With tracking and measuring tools, you can view likes, comments and your total engagement over a set amount of time so you have an easy way to gauge activity over time.
Talk to your social team about the Instagram stats mentioned above and see how they’ll impact your overall strategy.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.
@longboardsusa great article, however I found that using a consistent background (not white) gave better results when we tested for http://longboardsusa.com.
So I think it also depends on you audience and what they are seeing all around.
@jfredson We're currently in the planning stages for an Instagram integration. No specific details about the integration and timeframe to share just yet, but stay tuned!
@prosperitygal No guarantees but we are definitely getting closer!