TrackMaven analyzed a year’s worth of Instagram content for both B2B and B2C Fortune 500 brands and recently released their 2016 Fortune 500 Instagram Report. It turns out the number of Fortune 500 companies with an Instagram account have doubled since their 2013 report. Today 50 percent of Fortune 500 companies are on Instagram.
There is a lot more useful information where that came from for any organization looking to up their Instagram game. Here are some of the highlights from which you can learn and apply to your own efforts.
How Should You Define Engagement?
You are not going to find a lot of comments on Instagram. In fact, when it comes to engagement only about 1 percent is attributed to comments. Almost 99 percent of consumer engagement with Fortune 500 brands comes in the form of “likes.”
So, don’t be disappointed if you see similar results. It appears that Instagram is more about engagement and less of a community platform.
When Is The Best Time To Post?
Here is where things get interesting. Most Fortune 500 companies are posting throughout the week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, but slack off on the weekends. However, the highest engagement happens on Sundays, and the highest impact scores occur between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. no matter what the day.
You are going to see your highest competition on Thursdays and Fridays and the lowest engagement, as it is probably difficult for consumers to keep up with the active feed. Meanwhile, if you are posting late at night or on Sundays, you are going to have fewer organizations competing for eyes.
To Hashtag Or Not To Hashtag?
Instagram posts with a question mark or hashtag did marginally better than posts without anything. As for excitement, you may want to ease off on the exuberance meter because a post with exclamation points actually did worse than post without anything.
Ask your followers questions, and pick up new viewers through the smart use of hashtags. Don’t tell people what is exciting by using an exclamation point, let them decide for themselves. You will know when you're getting this right when the average number of “likes” you get starts steadily increasing.
Get Creative With Filters
About 89 percent of Fortune 500 companies did not apply any filter to their Instagram posts. TrackMaven attributes this to “a tendency for Fortune 500 brands to upload pre-designed photos and videos to Instagram.” When they do use filters, they tend to gravitate to June, Lark and Clarendon.
That said, the Mayfair filter has the most impact on engagement when it is used, and the use of no filter or “normal” ranks lower as the 13th most effective filter for these organizations.
Think about what you are posting and how authentic it is. A heavily produced image that reads more like an ad may be far less effective than a simple post with a poppin' filter. Just be sure to include your brand in there, so people know where the photo came from even if it has been passed around.
What Examples Should You Follow?
Track Maven ranks Starbucks as #2 in Fortune 500 by Instagram Follower Count, but rank them #1 overall because of their off the charts follower engagement. Other Fortune 500 rankings include Nike -Most Popular Instagram Account, Publix - Most Impressive Growth, Foot Locker and Live Nation - Most Avid Instagrammers, and Disney - Best Instagram Videos.
Who do you follow on Instagram for inspiration?