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4 Differences and Similarities Between Brands and the Average Instagram User

Our Q4 2014 Instagram Study focuses on all Instagram activity by the Interbrand 100 between 10/1/2014 and 12/31/2014. The companies included are the best in the world at building and maintaining a brand, which is a prerequisite to a successful social media strategy.

Instagram Network Study
Q4 2014

But, brands aren’t the only ones on Instagram — far from it. HubSpot just released an infographic titled The Science of Instagram, analyzing data from nearly 1.5 million photos and 538,000 users. This study doesn’t limit itself to brands, instead including every type of user in its data set.

This review presents a great opportunity to compare brands and average users by Instagram preferences and habits, which gives all you marketers out there some serious food for thought when it comes to constructing your own killer Instagram content.

Let’s dive in.

What’s The Same 

Let’s start with what brands and the average user have in common.

More Mentions/Tags in a Photo Caption = More Engagement 

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Both our Q4 Instagram study and HubSpot’s findings support the conclusion that the more mentions/tags in a photo caption, the better the engagement, suggesting this is the case for both brands and other users.

No Filter FTW 

Our study found that a minuscule number of brands use filters on their photos, and that there is no correlation between filter usage and engagement.

HubSpot’s infographic displays the same result for the average user:

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What’s Different 

CTA’s with “Like” and “Comment” 

HubSpot found that photos with captions including the word “like” got more likes-per-followers, and photos with captions that included the word “comment” got more comments.

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While conducting analysis for our latest Instagram study, we found no correlation between using the terms “like” or “comment” and engagement for brands on the Interbrand 100.

In fact, these top brands used the word “comment” only seven times over the course of the entire quarter.

One notable exception was luxury jewelry brand Tiffany & Co., which featured three posts mentioning “comment” from 10/1/14-12/31/14.

These all centered around Tiffany & Co.’s #ATiffanyHoliday giveaway campaign, which promised hand-calligraphed postcards to early commenters.

These three posts saw fewer Likes than Tiffany &Co.’s average posts (31,232 vs. 41,001), and fewer comments than Tiffany & Co.’s average posts, too (424 vs. 763).

This could have something to do with the posts promising goodies to the first ten commenters, thus making further commenting seem futile–but it also backs up our study’s finding that brand posts don’t see a correlation between using the terms “like” or “comment” and engagement.

Location Tagging Matters 

Our study shows that brand photos with locations tagged receive 50% more engagement.

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HubSpot’s infographic doesn’t address this feature for average users, but it does include a lot of photographic analysis that’s worth looking at.

Get the Latest Instagram Info

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In this quarterly study, we analyzed over 6,200 posts, 129 million Likes, and 1.4 million comments to identify the tactics that brands are finding success with.

Discover top tactics, such as:

  • Posting Frequency
  • Caption Length
  • Hashtags
  • Location Tags
  • And more!

Download the full study by clicking the link below, and be sure to share your own Instagram success stories in the comments section.

Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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