What type of content and categories perform best on Instagram?

Instagram has had a meteoric rise. The giant social media platform currently has over one billion active monthly users ? Even Instagram users have evolved – our humble beginnings of over-saturated, grainy food pictures have paved the way for the carefully curated, painstakingly planned feeds that we see today.

Hundreds of thousands of jobs, too, exist today that didn’t before Instagram – influencers, social media agencies, content creators, etc. Even brands like Daniel Wellington gained most of their popularity primarily from Instagram! Would they have had the same amount of success if this platform didn’t exist? ?

This influx of users has understandably resulted in several different kinds of accounts with even more kinds of posts. But which of these perform the best?

Best industries on Instagram for engagement

Instagram offers a large variety of categories for Business accounts to choose from. A survey studied a number of different business accounts and found out the average engagement rates (ER) for each of their industries ?

Granted, the number of accounts surveyed wasn’t large enough to conclusively say one industry is better than the other, but something that stands out is that personal accounts are consistently on the top. People prefer engaging with real people vs. a brand/business. Businesses have learned from this, and that’s why you can see more and more of them trying to humanize themselves on social media ?

Best content type

Images are quite clearly the most common kind of content uploaded daily on Instagram (72.6% to be precise!), but did you know they actually result in the least interaction? ?

A study conducted on nearly 9 million posts from over 44,400 profiles last year showed that carousels perform better than images, and videos perform significantly better than carousels ?

Best caption length

31.7% of posts had captions with over 300 characters, 30% with captions between 150-300 characters, 29.1% with 50-150 characters, 8.2% with 1-50 characters and 1.1% with no caption at all. Seeing how the most popular category is 300+ characters, you’d think that would be best for engagement right? WRONG ?

The most interactions came from, surprisingly, captions with 1-50 characters! ? Zero characters is quite understandable for those with over 1 million followers since they are primarily composed of celebrities, YouTubers, models, etc. who don’t really need to talk about the picture. I mean, come on, when Zac Efron posts a picture of himself would you rather look at that face (or…) or read the caption? You know you’ll double-tap that ish anyway! ?

But the fact that even those with less than a million followers had the most interactions when their captions were kept really short is quite surprising! This might have something to do with the Instagram model minimalist trend that’s been happening, but that still doesn’t explain it completely. Weren’t CTAs supposed to improve your engagement? I say let the captions be – whoever likes it can read it, whoever doesn’t can skip it! ?‍♂️

Best number of emojis to use

55% of profiles actually don’t use emojis at all! But, as you can observe, emojis positively impact your interactions. They add a nice personal touch, which motivates your followers to engage more ?

Best times to post

Even though more posts are uploaded on weekdays, weekends are the best for engagement. Understandable too, since that’s when people are free usually spending more time on their social media ?

All that being said, each profile is unique and what works for someone else may not work for you ?‍♂️ Keeping track of these results and trends are important so that you can tweak your strategies and test them out, but don’t forget to keep an eye on your performance and determine for yourself what’s best. Honestly, the best way to get more engagement is to just focus on the quality of your content. You can push out the right number of posts, with the right number of emojis and hashtags at the right time of the day, but if the post itself is bad, you won’t get the results you’re looking for. As Bill Gates correctly said, “Content is king” ?

Note from N: Now there are obviously multiple ways you can increase your engagement on Instagram but given above are data that’s hard to find. Click here to read all my Social Media Articles that will definitely help you build your blog, understand why your engagement is probably dropping, or how your feed may look if you’re going through depression.



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Written and Researched by Zeba Bashir

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