Visual content has become the most in-demand form of content. Photos trump text and videos trump photos.
Well, Instagram decided to make photos and videos, the best content we can post, the core of their platform.
Unlike any of the others, this is an opportunity to create and curate high quality visual content to best represent your brand as well as interact and engage with other instagram accounts on common interests.
New Instagram Stats & Best Practices
Even though we are limited to the best content types on Instagram, many have a hard time getting their footing.
Here are some super stats to help you become highly successful on one of the most popular, yet underutilized social sharing platforms out there.
- With over 400 million users, Instagram has passed Snapchat, Pinterest, and Twitter for active users. According to MediaKix, they recently passed their 500 million user mark when you include new and non-active users. And a whopping 300 million actually use the platform every day.
- Instagram is continuing double-digit growth and is expected to see a 15% growth in the US compared to 3% within the general social media sphere.
- When it comes to age demographics, 52% of teenagers use Instagram, compared to 41% that use Snapchat, according to a Pew Research Center report.
- Incredibly, more than 75% of Instagram’s users are people who do not live in the U.S. Instagram’s own stats page identifies Asia and Europe representing more than half of their user-base.
- They’re called selfies, not facies, but photos showing faces received 38% more likes than photos that don’t show faces. This News Center says, “Faces are powerful channels of non-verbal communication. We constantly monitor them for a variety of contexts, including attractiveness, emotions, and identity.”
- Interestingly, each image should have one single dominant color to maximize interest and engagement. Jennifer Beese says one dominant color per image will earn you 17% more likes than a multi-color image.
- Jennifer Beese also says images with more negative space earn 29% more likes. This is a significant percentage so it’s worth playing with your image style.
- In a discussion on Hashtags, Neil Patel reports posts with 11 or more hashtags per post receive 80% more interaction. Instagram allows 20 hashtags per post, so why not maximize hashtags and maximize visibility?
- Michael Aynsley runs through some great best practices when it comes to hashtags. In particular, a useful 4-step list on how to discover the best hashtags for your post and niche.
- Posts that included a location tag had a 79% higher engagement rate in this Instagram study.
- Posting too often actually decreases likes and comments. Most companies understand this and subsequently, a posting frequency of 11-20 times per month was the most common according to an Industry Report.
- It turns out, 50% of the comments you’ll receive on your posts come in 19 hours after being posted. Another 10% are received 19 days after posting. Post lifecycle is important to be aware of when you are setting expectations for how your posts will perform.
- Don’t try too hard. Accounts that blindly post too many images with text have less engagement. However, Andrew Hutchinson says, “people are generally on Instagram to see inspiring images, the focus is largely on art or aspirational desires. As such, the brands that can deliver great images with subtle, natural branding elements stand out.”
And that’s a potential gold mine for world class online wellness coaches and fitness pros like you who are uniquely positioned to create and deliver extraordinary video content and images of themselves in action.
Stories are the Latest
Yes, Instagram capitalized on the fact that photos and videos are the best form of content.
To help maximize this knowledge and to compete with Snapchat, they’ve recently added Stories.
Stories are live videos and photos collected into one stream that lasts 24-hours. Unlike the photos and videos you create, stories do not remain in your curated gallery.
Stories show up at the very top of a user’s feed. If you create daily stories, you’ll ensure you are always at the top of your followers news feed, every day, with fresh content. That kind of constant visibility is priceless.
Instagram also added the option to send direct messages. If a story creator allows messages, it’s a great way to comment on stories without it being a public response. Not only can you direct message them, but you can provide feedback, look for collaboration opportunities, and see connection requests.
Finally, Instagram has never offered analytics before. However, because they know Stories is a new feature, Instagram understands that users will want to know whether using the new feature is really working for them.
So, they’ve created analytics in the form of a number at the bottom of each story. Swipe up to view details of each section of your story.
Kristi Hines has a great to-do guide if you’re looking for step-by-step instructions on creating your first story.
This nifty platform is still finding its legs so there are some features and functionality that many would say is missing from Instagram.
Luckily, there are many third party apps that allow us to connect, track, and manage our account to optimize your usage.
- Being able to measure analytics is at the heart of any tactical endeavor. Minter.io is an app that lets us measure our activity and interactions so we can pivot and adjust as needed. Why not be as effective as possible?
- Social Rank is a popular way to analyze your followers. There are a few apps that do this. Social rank allows you to view your followers according to engagement ranking, hashtags they use, and geographical area.
- Instagram hasn’t shared its API, which just means we can’t yet use a third party app to post to Instagram. This is especially a bummer if you like to schedule posts in advance.
- However, many third party apps do allow you to keep your posts in a gallery and schedule reminders to post to Instagram. Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Buffer have all integrated this feature.
- Sometimes, just posting your own content to Instagram doesn’t seem like enough. We can enhance our gallery by posting other people’s content to our feed because it’s ‘on-brand’ and relevant. Yotpo is an app that lets you search for images that are relevant to your brand and then ask the original poster for permission to repost their image to your gallery. Repost also does this by including the original post attribution on the image when you share it.
Instagram can help just about anyone boost their reach and visibility.
Armed with these cool stats and best practices, the latest on the new Stories feature, and some of the best apps to help you optimize how you track your Instagram activity, you’re bound to see big improvements and an uptick in likes and comments.
Just don’t forget that Instagram is about creating content that expresses what you’re all about, in pictures. You, your brand, your followers; just remember to be yourself and your authenticity will shine through!
Super Bonus Tip: