Earlier this month, Instagram announced that it has more than 150 million users, 16 billions photos shared, 1.2 billion likes daily, and on average 55 million photos per day. While consumers have taken to the photo-sharing service quickly, many Fortune 500 companies still aren’t using the app.
But that doesn’t mean big brands aren’t adopting Instagram. Brands like Nike, Starbucks, and Whole Foods are among some of the biggest players on the service. The competitive analysis firm TrackMaven has released a study that revealed how Fortune 500s are using Instagram, and how you can find success on the platform, too.
The company first took a look at the percentage of active accounts versus inactive and found that of the 123 Fortune 500 companies using Instagram, about 22 percent of them had active accounts. Some of the most active brands (based on followers and photos/videos posted) include Nike, Starbucks, Apple, and Whole Foods.
TrackMaven also looked at what type of content performs better for Fortune 500s. Photos still appear to be doing better for brands than videos, but it’s possible that the gap is due to Instagram’s video service being so new. It’s also worth noting that more people interacted with videos during off hours, suggesting the consumers are more likely to engage with videos when not at work or school.
One feature to brands of all sizes should be taking advantage of is hashtags. According to the study, number of hashtags correlated to the success of the content.
“Looking at the interactions (the sum of likes and comments) per 1,000 followers compared to the number of hashtags used, there is a strong correlation to the number of hashtags used and effectiveness up to 5 hashtags which has the highest average at 21.21 interactions per 1,000 followers,” TrackMaven stated in its report.
That said, make sure that the hashtags you’re using are relevant to the content you’re sharing. The company also suggests integrating hashtags into your post caption instead of jumbling them all at the bottom. However, if you plan on sharing your photo or video on Twitter, it’s worth keeping the 140 character limit in mind when crafting your caption.
You can download the full study for more information on video performance, hashtags, and the best times to post to Instagram (spoiler alert: every time of every day). The data, as well as its upcoming ad product, should encourage other brands to look into incorporating Instagram into their marketing strategies.
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.