As a top player in the big bad world of social media, Instagram has certainly skyrocketed in recent years. Since launching on iPhone in 2010, the photo-sharing platform has grown from 1 million monthly active users to 700 million as of April this year.
Yes, the figures are indeed impressive, serving to turn the social networking channel into a major marketing gateway for businesses of all natures. To give you a bit more insight into the topic, here are the latest Instagram stats. Have a read – you may just be surprised at what this nifty tool could potentially achieve for your business.
1. 7 out of 10 hashtags are branded
Hashtags are paramount to driving and organising content on Instagram, harnessing the power to send a topic trending on a global level. Naturally, many businesses have recognised this power and are using it to their advantage, resulting in a huge leverage of branded hashtags.
Essentially, branded hashtags are the digital-age equivalent of a brand slogan. They are completely unique to your brand, working to turn shiny new businesses into recognised household names. A branded hashtag can vary from the name of your company to a product or a related tagline. Creativity is key here – you want something that’s catchy, inimitable and easy to spell (after all, you want users to adopt your hashtag in their own posts).
While on the topic, you may be wondering just how many hashtags are ideal. Even though Instagram allows up to 30 per post, research suggests the magic number is 11.
2. 80% of users follow at least one business
Like many social networks, Instagram is great for connecting you with new customers. In fact, stats say that 60% of users discover new products and services via the platform, making it a brilliant marketing gem for businesses. Just consider labels like Frank Body, Pana Chocolate, Sugar Bear Hair, Pepper Mayo, Mon Purse… the list goes on when it comes to businesses that have ‘made it’ thanks to Instagram.
And, now that Instagram has set up Instagram Business – wherein business owners can create a profile with additional contact information and access to performance analytics – it’s becoming an even more prolific tool for churning out sales. According to the channel’s latest statistics, over 120 million Instagram users visited a website, got directions, or called/emailed/direct messaged a business as of March 2017.
3. Mobile ad revenue is predicted to generate around $4 billion this year
As illustrated in one of our latest blog posts, mobile ad revenue is reaping in mammoth monetary rewards for Facebook. The same goes for Instagram. With one million advertisers now on the platform, Instagram has managed to surpass projections as predicted by financial analysts: now, figures for mobile ad revenue are looking to reach a whopping $4 billion by the end of 2017. Ka-ching.
4. 25% of Instagram ads are videos
Video content is another element that’s quickly gaining traction within the social media realm, both on Facebook and Instagram. Though they are costlier than photo advertisements, Insta videos of up to 60 seconds long are most effective at garnering a higher engagement rate with audiences.
The key here is to bait your audience within the first 3 seconds, and to add captions – consumers are more likely to watch videos on social platforms with the sound off. Oh, and if you’re wondering when to post your videos on Instagram, research shows that 9pm tends to be the optimal time, resulting in 34% more interaction. 3-4pm, on the other hand, can be a bit of a no-go zone, so best to avoid publishing content then.
5. Photos generate 36% more ‘likes’ than videos
Whilst video consumption has certainly snowballed, photos still manage to hook the highest number of ‘likes’, thereby proving an integral tool for engagement with your users. This could be for a few reasons: users are likely to continue scrolling after watching a video rather than taking the time to engage with it, or your video simply may not drive your user to take action, in which case you may want to reconsider your approach.
6. 65% of the highest performing posts feature products
Perhaps surprisingly, product posts beat lifestyle and celebrity content when it comes to raking in the Insta likes. This means that as long as you have a strong stylistic eye when shooting your products, you have a good chance of magnetising an audience. Given that other marketing methods such as celebrity endorsement and influencer sponsorship can be a bit of a drain on the budget, this makes great news for businesses – particularly those in the retail sector.
However, it’s important not to go overboard. The 80/20 rule applies here – in other words, 80% of your social content should centre upon educating, inspiring and entertaining your audience, while the remaining 20% should be self-promotional. After all, no one likes a bragger.
7. Photos with faces get 38% more likes
While on the topic of top-performing posts, keep in mind that consumers love to see faces. This doesn’t mean you should scatter your profile with duck-face selfies; instead, try including striking portraits with your products and quirky photos of your team that showcase your brand’s personality. This is particularly handy for B2B and service-based businesses that don’t have the luxury of beautiful products to photograph.
8. User-generated content has a 4.5% higher conversion rate
Instagram users love to see their fellow peers getting recognised by top-notch brands, which is why user-generated content has such a high chance of converting an audience. You can implement this technique into your social strategy in a number of ways: for instance, instilling a ‘Photo of the Week’ segment where you repost photos shot by your customers is a great way to show users that you pay attention to those who invest in your business. Frankie Magazine is a great example of this, regularly ‘re-gramming’ shots captured by their followers that encapsulate the brand’s culture and trademark style.
Still not convinced? Think about it this way: we live in an age where we thirst for acknowledgement on social media – if a customer knows they have a chance of boosting their Instagram exposure thanks to your business, there’s a decent chance they’ll show interest in your profile.
9. 50% of captions and comments contain emojis
We’ve already reiterated the importance of visual content on Instagram, so perhaps it comes as no surprise that half the text published on this platform contains emojis. And, with almost 2,000 to choose from these days, can you really blame users for getting a wee bit excited at adding a few cute visuals to hammer home their ideas and emotions?
So, what’s the most popular emoji? *Drumroll*… According to digital commerce platform Curalate, the winner is the single red heart, which has been shared more than half a million times. Following this timeless symbol of lurrrve are smiley face emojis, more heart emojis, kisses and the thumbs-up. Evidently, Instagram seems to be a place that breeds positive vibes.
10. Location posts get 79% more engagement
Slapping a location on your post can work wonders for boosting engagement, and it only takes a second. With Instagram continuing to expand its geo-tagging features, more and more users are jumping onboard the location bandwagon – to the point where it’s almost become a standard expectation on posts.
For businesses, this means plenty of benefits. You can tout the location of your brick-and-mortar store, helping you to land within the newsfeed of users scouring that area. Service-based businesses can broadcast their stall at a trade fair where consumers can go to find out more information. For e-commerce retailers, you can showcase what kinds of local events your team members are getting involved within. The possibilities are boundless.
11. 70% of posts aren’t seen
Instagram is powerful, sure, but that doesn’t mean your posts will always get seen. With literally millions of users pouring over the platform every day, the competition is certainly tough. Instagram battles with content overload, which has led the channel to implement a new algorithm that offers up content to users based on past page engagement.
Herein, businesses need to get really savvy if they want to tap into their customers. Get innovative and creative with your posts, and don’t be afraid to try new features (such as Live videos or Instagram Stories). Remember that digital users only have a short attention span, so make your posts sing loud with fresh, eye-catching content complete with branded hashtags and location tags.
12. Engagement with posts is highest on weekdays
There’s no cut-and-dry answer to when the best time is to post on Instagram, but an overall roundup of the data is a good way to ascertain a solid average. Thanks to the guys at Sprout Social, they’ve done just that, revealing the following:
13. The primary age demographic of users is 18-29 years old
As with any marketing strategy, you need to get to know the kind of audience you’re playing with. Herein, it should help businesses to know that the core group of users engaging with Instagram are those between the ages of 18 and 29 – in other words, millennials and Gen Zs. If this is your target audience, then congrats – Instagram is a marketing goldmine for your business. Just be sure to craft your message in a way that will tap into their wants, needs and interests.
14. There are more than 250 million active daily users on Instagram Stories
This is huge news for advertisers. Since launching around just a year ago, Instagram Stories has overtaken Snapchat in terms of daily users – a colossal feat for the social network that was originally based on simple photo-sharing. Operating just like Snapchat Stories (i.e. your content disappears after 24 hours), Instagram Stories is a great way for businesses to advertise their latest goods. Just ask AirBnB, a globally-loved company that has reportedly managed to double its digits in ad recall thanks to this tool.
With photo or video format both available, Instagram Stories is quick and easy to set up. Furthermore, because each ‘story’ automatically rolls on from the last one a user has selected, businesses have a greater chance of upping their exposure without forcing themselves into users’ lives.
We get it – all these numbers and stats can feel a bit like information overload. How can you apply this bubbling fountain of newfound knowledge to your social media marketing efforts? Well, here’s a simple wrap-up:
- Come up with a catchy branded hashtag and spruik it on your posts. This could be a blanket hashtag to accompany all your posts, or temporary hashtags to advertise latest deals or contests.
- Play around with video content. Keep it 60 seconds max, insert captions and ensure it’s dynamic enough to make users pause their scrolling.
- Continue posting photos to rake in easy ‘likes’.
- Show off your products, but don’t go overboard. Instagram is about displaying what your business can offer while building a unique brand culture – in other words, creating a face for your business.
- Speaking of faces, bring them into the mix! Even if you’re a serious business, a few team photos help to solidify that brand culture you’re seeking to establish.
- Recognise your users and feature their homages to you. If they post a great shot with your brand tagged, repost it! (Don’t forget to credit them for their photography!)
- Don’t be afraid to throw in a few emojis with your comments and captions. Simply put, Instagrammers love them.
- Tag your location. It will help increase your chances of being seen.
- Post on weekdays, either at 2am, 8am or 5pm – in other words, when people aren’t busy at work.
- Remember who your audience is (i.e. primarily millennials and Gen-Zs), and structure content that will appeal to them.
- Get active on Instagram Stories. It can weave digital magic for advertisers.
At the end of the day, just remember to stick at it. Instagram success doesn’t happen overnight, but at the rate the platform is growing, it’s highly worth capitalising on the power of this social network. Keep working on curating your Instagram profile, post fresh content regularly, and stay on top of trends and the latest algorithms.