Instagram is an effective social media campaign for making an organization more visible to customers, and often comprises part of that organization's digital strategy. Many Fortune 500 companies rely heavily on Instagram visibility to promote brands such as Nike, Ralph Lauren, Starbucks and Whole Foods. Instagramming is also an important part of social media for small business interests due to its low cost. Search Engine Watch discusses a TrackMaven study of the ways that Fortune 500 firms use Instagram visibility as part of their digital strategy. These methods include the use of videos, hashtags and posting schedules.
Instagram Visibility Overview
The TrackMaven study shows that Instagram photos are still more effective than video for achieving marketing goals, probably because Instagram’s video service is still new. The volume of user interaction with photos varies only slightly between business hours and non-business hours, but video performs significantly better during off hours. The primary reason for this difference is probably due to the audio component, which may be overheard by the user’s coworkers and supervisors.
A digital marketing strategy should use Instagrams with more hashtags, according to the TrackMaven study. This study shows a significant correlation between the number of hashtags in content and the marketing success of that content. The study compared the number of hashtags in a post with the number of user interactions, defined as the sum of the comments and likes for that content. The results showed that the optimum number of hashtags in a post was five, which provided an average of 21.21 interactions for every 1,000 followers.
Instagram added video-sharing to its capabilities in 2013, which many Fortune 500 companies have been slow to adopt as part of their digital strategy. Increasing the number of videos on your account can increase the number of interactions you have with your followers, since Instagram is such a visual platform. An Instagram video currently receives an average of 24 interactions, making it only less effective than photographs. The slow adoption rate of video by Fortune 500 companies helps smaller businesses meet their marketing goals more easily. The short duration and ease in uploading also businesses to market their brand effectively with Instagram videos.
The rules of etiquette for using Twitter as part of a digital strategy generally limit the number of hashtags in a tweet to two, but this restriction doesn’t apply to Instagram. However, a larger number of hashtags requires you to integrate them seamlessly throughout the post, rather than placing them all at the bottom. The TrackMaven study shows that larger marketing efforts can benefit from more hashtags, such that up to 11 hashtags can increase the average number of interactions per post by 77.
Most Instagram users have a mobile device, so they tend to use the platform at all hours. This posting behavior means that Instagram is less likely to have an ideal posting time compared to other social media sites. The digital strategy of Fortune 500 companies typically involves posting during business hours, although the TrackMaven study doesn’t indicate a clear advantage for this strategy. Businesses that use Instagram to achieve their marketing goals will generally need to experiment to find the best posting time for their brands.