Instagram has had quite an impact on the retail web. It continues to be an excellent way to connect with smartphone-wielding teens, and its userbase of 90 million monthly users provides marketers and brands with a huge audience just waiting to be reached. Unfortunately, since it’s still a relatively new network for brands to utilize, a lot of best practices are just discovered through trial and error. Our friends at Nitrogram, though, recently released an extensive white paper dealing with the ins and outs of brands on Instagram. Here are the five big takeaways we identified from the study.
Engagement with Instagram photos is immediate.
Up to 50% of engagement can be expected within one hour of the photo being posted, with close to 90% of overall engagement within 24 hours of publishing. This means that planning on when to publish that post can make a huge difference in your engagement. If you do it at a time when your audience isn’t online or in app, it will quickly get buried and ultimately lost, simply because of the amount of content constantly being added to their feeds. Keep the platform’s immediacy in mind!
Weekdays generally drive the most engagement, but weekends may also be effective for your brand.
This is one of those situations where what works for one brand, won’t necessarily work for your brand. This is going to require you to analyze your audience engagement and then determine when they seem to be the most engaged.
Some brands see up to 60% increases in average engagement with certain more pronounced filters.
Believe it or not, filters can make or break a photo. Once again, trial and error is going to come into play, but use your backlog of photos to see if you can come to some conclusions. Are there photos that saw similar engagement and featured the same or similar filters? Find filters that will highlight your subject and your audience will notice.
Descriptive hashtags are preferable to generic ones — generic tags are lower in quality and only lead to fickle engagement.
The more descriptive you can get with your hashtags, the better. Descriptive hashtags are of a higher quality and can bring in better traffic for you than lower quality, general hashtags. If you’re not sure what tags fall into what category, do some research and see what performs well but also seems to get good, consistent engagement.
3-5 terms are usually enough to guarantee a precise description of the content posted.
Once you’ve identified your effective hashtags, don’t go crazy with them. Research has shown that fewer hashtags lead to better engagement on Twitter and the same is true for Instagram. Use a few great hashtags to ensure that you’re getting high quality engagement while not cluttering feeds or making your post look messy.
Learn more about using Instagram for business with our section devoted to that very strategy.