Today, all kinds of brands have a presence on Instagram, from the smallest businesses (shopkeepers, creators) to the biggest international brands (distributors, automobiles, luxury brands).
Some use it as their main social network, which means they have a social media communications strategy exclusively based on Instagram. But in most cases, brands use Instagram as a secondary social network to complement their presence on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.
In both cases, it is important to fully understand Instagram's subtleties in order to take advantage of its potential as much as possible. Let's take a look at the best publication practices for brands on Instagram. What type of content is published? Is it published daily? At what time of day? Do they use hashtags? Filters? Emojis? What publication tools are used?
What types of content do they publish?
Regarding the types of content posted online, photos are still overwhelmingly used most often. They represent 94.2% of content posted according to the research firm L2. Videos are still far behind...
Brands with a presence on Instagram take photos of:
- Their products via customized storytelling like TAG Heuer has done, or take photos of customers with their products like Starbucks has done.
- Their locations, their offices, their business or places, events, photo shoots and fashion shows like Burberry has done.
How often do they post and at what time?
Brands post on Instagram often: a little more than 5 times per month on average (an Over-Graph figure, based on 1500 accounts).
Other information offered by L2: brands now post on Instagram even more often than they post on Facebook.
Morning is the most interesting time, and posting between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. is recommended for maximum engagement according to this study done by Over-Graph.
A personalized version of this analysis has been launched: brands can learn the best time of the week for them to post by asking the question on our Instagram account. More information here.
Do they use hashtags?
Not a lot. Contrary to what you might think, brands don't use that many hashtags in their Instagram posts. A SocialBakers study provides the following information: 25% of posts have no hashtags and 50% contain between 1 and 3.
Do they use filters?
Not anymore! This same SocialBakers study shows that more than 80% of the photos are not modified by Instagram filters. Brands prefer to retouch their photos using their graphic designers who use better-adapted software.
Do they use emojis?
Over-Graph has analyzed the use of emojis from a sample of more than 9 million conversations on social networks, of which 70,000 were Instragram posts:
- 26,000 emojis were counted in the Instagram posts studied
- About 10,000 Instagram posts contained at least 1 emoji.
Results: Close to 15% of Instagram posts have at least 1 emoji.
On Instagram, you often find certain types of emojis that are used specifically on the network: hand signs or the camera play a part. The emoji used most often in Instagram posts is the heart.
How much engagement is generated?
Last year, Forrester analyzed 2,500 social network posts and recorded a 4% rate of engagement on Instagram.
Posts comprising between 20 and 49 characters generate slightly more engagement on Instagram, according to SocialBakers.
What tools are used?
We are asking you the questions: Do you manage a brand presence on Instagram? Do you choose to send the photos you take directly from the mobile application or do you prefer other publishing solutions? If yes, which ones?
How do you publish?
- Via third party web tools (Latergram...)
- Via third party mobile publication tools (Repost...)
- Via Instagram, by taking photos directly with the camera on your mobile phone, and by possibly adding filters
- Via Instagram, by uploading an image that you have created elsewhere