There’s much to be learned from the Instagram feeds of the Fortune 500. TrackMaven took this to task by analyzing a year’s worth of Instagram content from the 50 percent of Fortune 500 brands that use Instagram.
Just 24.6 percent of the top brands were using Instagram in 2013—123 brands in all. So, how is it that Instagram become a priority in the last two years? It became the social network with the highest average engagement levels among both B2B and B2C brands. It even sees almost 20 times more engagement for B2B brands than on LinkedIn, according to TrackMaven.
It’s important to note the majority of this engagement comes from likes alone, with 98.9 percent of interactions with the top brands coming in the form of likes. Comments make up only 1.1 percent of interactions with the Fortune 500 on Instagram.
So, what can you do to ensure your brand gets some of those likes, too? Think about when your followers are most likely to be scrolling through their feeds. Even though we’re all prone to sneak a peek at our phones during work hours, users are likely to be most engaged during their down time.
That’s is why it’s so surprising that 88 percent of the 41,071 posts analyzed by TrackMaven were posted between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. EST, which are more or less East Coast business hours.
Consider this your permission to get ahead of the game. Try posting outside of those peak hours—after all, TrackMaven found posts published by the top brands between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. EST see 6.15 percent to 8.78 percent more engagement than the average Instagram post.
Posts on Sundays also see 1.1 times more engagement than the average post. Yet Fortune 500 brands publish only half as many posts on Sundays compared to Thursdays and Fridays, freeing up users’ feeds for posts from smaller brands like yours.
Adding questions to captions along with hashtags can also be a boon to engagement rates for posts—however, using exclamation points can actually lower engagement by 0.22 percent.
TrackMaven also found there is a disproportionate lack of use of Instagram’s filters by Fortune 500 brands compared to everyday Instagram users. About 89 percent of posts from the top brands don’t use a filter at all, either choosing to pre-design images or not retouch them within the app.
According to TrackMaven, brands aren’t making the most of their most effective filters. For instance, Mayfair is the eighth most popular filter among Fortune 500 brands. However, posts with the Mayfair filter see the most engagement on average compared to Normal or no filter, which ranks 13th in terms of engagement.
While your brand may not be on the Fortune 500 list, there’s something to be said for these trends in Instagram adoption and usage. Authenticity is still in demand on Instagram, and it’s even more important now with the app’s algorithm reorganizing users’ feeds based on what they choose to double-tap. It’s crucial for brands to be just as careful with what they post as their followers are when choosing what they “like.”