Instagram is growing quickly with reports that they have 800 million users active in May 2018, an increase of 100 million over the last month – 500 million of these users are active daily. When Facebook bought Instagram in April 2012 it only had 30 million users – that’s growth of nearly 2,700%!

7 out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded

Every post should have a hashtag – as well as helping Instagram users search for and categorize content, they also drive marketing and account growth. Branded hashtags are essential for user-generated content in campaigns or promotions so it’s no surprise that 70% of Instagram hashtags are branded.

Keep the hashtag simple, catchy, and relevant so that people will be enthusiastic about sharing it. You can encourage your followers to use branded hashtags by tagging their photos for competitions, for your events so that followers can share and track it, and promoting new products or purchases.

Photos of brand products posted by users generate higher conversion rates for purchases than those posted by the brand itself. This rate of increased conversion rises to 9.6% once the user interacts with the post.

80% of users follow a business on Instagram

With an Instagram Business profile, you are able to add things like a phone number, address and links to your profile. Instagram states that 80% of users follow at least one business with 60% of users hearing about a product or service through the app. To add to this, at least 30% of users have purchased a product they first discovered on Instagram.

With growth in the platform and more and more people using the app to find new products, it’s worth experimenting with advertising to see what it can do for your business. The powerful insights tool that comes with a business profile allows you to monitor the effectiveness of your ads and posts.

Instagram Ad revenue is expected to reach nearly $7 billion

With several new features that have been introduced in the last year such as Instagram Stories and Instagram shopping, Instagram is starting to push better and more effective advertising platforms.

Last year, Instagram hit over 1 million monthly active advertisers. Combined with a projected $5 billion jump in ad revenue from 2016 to 2018, now is the time to make the most of the boosted value of advertising on Instagram.

Influencers prefer Instagram for brand collaborations

Influencers are a key tool in marketing your brand. Utilising their vast network of followers to promote your brand is a great way to reach and engage a new following.

Zine found that Instagram is the preferred platform for influencers – 78% of influencers stated Instagram was their preferred way of collaborating with brands. Blogs came in second at 16%. Other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest were way down showing the clear influence of Instagram when it comes to influencers.

Instagram photos engage followers significantly more than videos

Although viewing of videos has increased by 40%, photos still generate more engagement – Instagram photos get 36% more likes than videos. There isn’t definitive research on why this is, but some people suggest they don’t necessarily create a call to action or it’s too easy to scroll past stories.

Regardless of the reasons, photos are going to generate more engagement for your account. Stories and videos still have their place so don’t ignore their potential, just ensure you are utilising the power of your photos.

The majority of the highest performing posts feature products

L2’s Instagram Intelligence Report suggests that 65% of the top performing posts feature products. This outperforms lifestyle content at 43% and posts from influencers at 29%.

Whilst it’s tempting to feature your product in every post, Social Media Today suggests that only 20% of your posts should be content that deals with your brand. These should be informative call-to-action posts that motivate your followers to learn more about your brand and engage with your posts.