Apart from being possibly the most engaging social platform out there, Instagram has many characteristics that make it the first choice of many marketers. Here are 7 pretty important ones.
With over 700 million monthly active users (MAUs) Instagram is the second most powerful social platform after its sibling (or parent, depending on how you judge). It’s also highly engaging, and has a very loyal set of users who spend a significant amount of time uploading and engaging with mostly user-generated content.
These characteristics, as well as the recent addition of several new features, or the development of tools for businesses (including business profiles), make Instagram a great platform to use for B2C or even B2B purposes.
If your strategy is right.
SproutSocial recently published a blog post featuring 18 important stats about Instagram. We chose 11 of the most critical ones for you, and explain why you should care about them. Being able to make them actionable is a plus!
1. There Are More Than 250 Million DAUs on Instagram Stories
Instagram blatantly copied Snapchat’s flagship feature just over a year ago and bet that it would succeed. Of course it did. Succeed, I mean. Instagram stories currently has 250 million Daily Active Users – about 70-80 million more users than Snapchat has altogether, according to recent data.
Why do we think it’s important? Well, for one it represents a huge opportunity to reach very engaged users. Stories disappear after 24 hours, and this creates a sense of urgency – and thus, more engagement. Let’s also not forget that Instagram Stories are linkable to external sites (if you have a business profile with more than 10k followers) – something ordinary Instagram posts are not. To round it all off, Instagram offers Stories Ads as well. And that’s a huge bonus in itself.
Action: Examine how you can take advantage of Instagram Stories. Here are some great examples to get you started.
2. Most Instagram Posts Are Never Seen
In 2016, Instagram started switching to an algorithmic feed, as opposed to a reverse chronological one. The reason? Well, saturation is one. With over 95 million images being shared on the platform each day, and users each following hundreds – if not thousands – of other accounts, it gets really hard for that content to be seen by everyone.
So, how does one get posts seen more often? By working on engagement. Engagement is the big driver of Instagram‘s algorithm, and will help your content reach more eyeballs.
Action: Stay relevant with your audience, by creating better and more differentiated original content. Also, geo-tag your posts. That will lead to more engagement as people search for them.
3. Instagram Gets More Engagement on Weekdays
You may think that most people go on Instagram on weekends. You might be right… But apparently, most engagement on Instagram actually happens during the week. In its analysis, SproutSocial rounded up various studies on the best times to post on various social platforms/networks. And it found, that engagement is higher Monday through Friday, with an emphasis on Mondays.
It also found that 3 p.m. is the worst time to post on any day, whereas 2 a.m., 8.a.m. and 5 p.m. are recommended as the best. 8.a.m. and 5 p.m. are a logical assumption – people waking up, or leaving work, respectively… but what about 2 a.m.? Are so many Instagram users night owls. It seems so. On the flipside, Instagram videos posted at 9 p.m. get 34% more engagement… What’s that all about?
Action: Our recommendation is that you always test different posting schedules, eventually finding one that works best for you or your brand. Finding out your audience’s habits is also very important. If you know what time they do things during the day, you can tailor your posting schedule to them.
4. Instagram Photos Generate More Engagement Than Videos
Video is one of Instagram‘s recent additions, but it grown a lot. Yet, it seems that Instagram remains a photo-first platform, as photos still generate 36% more likes than videos. This could be due to the fact that many content creators haven’t yet learned that shorter videos perform better. Engagement takes a drop after just a few seconds. In fact, it decreases, as the length of a video increases.
Despite the difference in engagement overall, video presents a great opportunity to capture people’s attention.
Action: Create short, to-the-point videos, that grab people’s attention. Finally, videos on Instagram should be created to be watched without sound. As people scroll, they need to see something that is truly “thumb-stopping.”
5. Most Top-Performing Instagram Posts Feature Products
Despite the user-generated nature of Instagram, its users seem to really enjoy seeing photos of products as well. In fact, according to research from L2, 65% of top-performing posts from brands actually feature products. The same research also found that lifestyle content also performs well, with 43% of posts in the category. Images or videos from an influencer or celebrity (29%) are also popular.
Before thinking that you should ramp up the frequency of your product content, remember that you should be providing useful content to people 80% of the time.
Action: Strive to get people excited about products by showcasing them in new and innovative ways. Remember that you can feature your products, but it’s always good to couple product posts with others that show people how they solve their problems or cure their pains.
6. Photos With Faces Get More Likes
We might have just talked about how photos of products are big performers, but what if we’d also tell you that photos with faces get more likes? Yes, they do. Photos with faces get 38% more likes than ones without. People like seeing other people. So, some of your images should contain them.
It doesn’t mean that you should be constantly taking selfies, or adding people to posts randomly. Showing people doing things, using your products, having fun… all these things are universally liked, and will get more engagement.
Action: Find ways to get more people in your photos – whether they are product or lifestyle-related, you will get better results all round.
7. User-Generated Content Has Higher Conversion Rates
One of the reasons influencer marketing is so successful, is that it’s user-generated content, with a little product sprinkled in there. User-generated photos have a 4.5% better chance of leading to a conversion if seen. If users interact with a user-generated photo this chance is increased to 9.6%.
Action: Avoid stock photography on Instagram. Anything that looks more user-generated will have a lot more impact. Also, it will help sales. Not just us saying so. The numbers back it up.