Editors note: This Instagram research is current as of January 2017. We will continue to update the research and resulting action points as necessary.
We know from Pew Research that,
- 32% of all Americans in the US use Instagram,
- Instagram use is highest among young adults (ages 18-29), particularly in comparison to other social media platform usage rates; 60% of Americans aged 18-29 use Instagram, and
- Women use Instagram more than men (38% versus 26%).
Pew Research found that more than half of Instagram brands and audiences log in daily to the platform and more than a third log in multiple times throughout the day.
AUDIENCES & ACCOUNTS
- Locowise measured the average engagement per post on Instagram was 2.81%; on Facebook, engagement was 0.25%; and Twitter engagement was 0.21% per post.
- Quintly measured engagement as interactions per post divided by number of followers; they found Instagram's interaction rate was 4.8 versus Facebook's interaction rate of 0.72.
- 96% of audience engagement on Instagram is in the form of "liking" a photo or video and the rest of engagement is via comments or direct messages.
- Brands on Instagram post an average of 2.3 times per day.
- The average Instagram account grows followers by nearly 2% each month.
“The Instagram algorithm favors posts that have more engagement within the first few hours of being posted. This means that you need to share highly relevant and eye-catching content.
— Sprout Social
- Your content needs to generate immediate engagement otherwise the Instagram algorithm will present the post later in audiences' feeds.
- Audiences engage more with photos on Instagram than with video.
- Instagram posts with 11 or more hashtags receive the most engagement.
- Telling your audience what to do — using words such as "like" and "comment" — results in 89% more likes and 2,194% more comments.
- Including hashtags and questions increases engagement over posts without them, but including exclamation marks decreases engagement.
When to Post
- Most brands post during traditional work week days and hours; and Instagram feeds heavily concentrate on US East Coast times.
- Brands are far less likely to post on weekends; Sunday is the least competitive day to post to Instagram. As a result, Sunday posts see more engagement than posts on any other day of the week.
- Thursday and Friday are the most competitive days on Instagram.
- Posting between 6am and 12pm increases engagement.