Leveraging social media means being where your audience is – and for almost every brand or business in 2022, that means Instagram.
This isn’t a shocking revelation when you consider how photo-obsessed we’ve become in the digital age – with every smartphone sporting increasingly sophisticated cameras to answer busy consumers’ need to capture moments and communicate life happenings succinctly. In March of 2012 it was estimated that 10% of all photos ever taken were taken in the preceding 12 months. Ten years later, it’s dizzying to think how that number has likely changed, but it just further proves our point. Instagram, the not-quite-twelve-year-old, photo-driven social network is a business must.
Here are 51 statistics that explain why.
Your Audience Is Surely There
Even if you’re succeeding on other social platforms, there’s no question you have audience segments worth engaging on Instagram. They may be segments you haven’t discovered yet, but that’s exactly why you need social analytics tools – to ensure your information is backed by data, not assumptions.
Given these Instagram statistics, the odds are in your favor:
- Number of monthly active users: 1 billion+
- Number of daily active users: 500 million+
- Number of daily active Stories: 500 million+
In looking at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, Pew Research Center saw the percentage of Americans using these top social networks had stayed pretty much the same between 2016-2018 – except for Instagram. The 35% of U.S. adults saying they used that platform in 2018 represented an increase of seven percentage points from the 28% using Instagram in 2016.And this social channel continues to see a steady increase of usage over the past few years boasting 5% growth since 2018.
Who Uses Instagram?
Let’s take a quick look at the audiences on Instagram, who they are, and where they’re from.
- Teenagers – 76% use Instagram; that’s slightly s more than Facebook (66%), Snapchat (75%) and Twitter (47%).
- Young adults globally (18- to 24-year-olds) – 31% used Instagram in 2021.
- Across all age groups in the U.S., the percentage of men and women using Instagram is nearly equal.
- In Latin America, Instagram’s user base skews female at 56%.
- More than 80% of Instagram users live outside the U.S. – even so, the U.S. tops the list for users by country users by country at 159+ million, with only India surpassing it at 230+ million users.
- Additionally, Instagram is the fastest-growing social network in India, and has nearly doubled the amount of users since 2019.
- Nearly 13% of Instagram accounts are fake, that’s the equivalent of 270 million fake Instagram accounts. Luckily (if you’re using NetBase Quid), best-in-class social analytics tools recognize and filter out spambots and other irrelevant data.
It’s clear that Instagram’s user base is diverse in every way – offering global brands in particular an amazing platform for consumer connection. But that’s not all.
As the next few statistics show, consumers not only follow brands on Instagram, they look for products there, and follow-through with purchases.
- 11. 72% of users report making purchases based on their Instagram scrolling; This is compared to Snapchat (1%), Twitter (3%), Pinterest (22%) and Facebook (23%).
- “80% of accounts follow a business on Instagram” according to Instagram internal data and 200 million users visit a business profile each day. – this is one of many reasons it’s worth being a business on Instagram.
- Not all visits come from followers; 66% come from users who aren’t following that brand.
- 50% of users utilize Instagram to seek out new brands, products or services.15. s 44% of consumers use Instagram to shop weekly.
- 60% of internet users with an annual income of 100K+ use Instagram – meaning, by and large, they’ve got the money to shop.
Other Instagram User Behaviors
- 60% of users check use the app at least once daily.
- 26.3% of the 5.27 billion active mobile phone users access Instagram.
- Stories have increased the average time spent on Instagram, more than 32 minutes a day for those under age 25, and more than 24 minutes per day for those 25 and older.
- Stories have opened up a better way for brands to connect meaningfully with consumers – 62% of respondents said they became more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in a story.
Content on Instagram
- 95 million photos and videos are uploaded daily on Instagram.
- Instagram can generate over 4x more interactions on Instagram compared to its sister company Facebook.
- As of 2017, time spent watching Instagram videos was up more than 80% year over year, with a 4X increase from the previous year in daily videos produced.
- Video posts have 2x the engagement rate over photos on Instagram.
- Brand Stories have an 86% completion rate, this is up from 85% in 2019.
Hashtags, Emojis, and More
Hashtags, emojis, and other details are crucial parts of the Instagram communication process. Here are some stats illustrating why.
- Posts with hashtags can receive 12% more engagements than a post without hashtags.
- According to Instagram’s Creators account, 3-5 hashtags is the sweet spot for engagements.
- Instagram Creator also suggests that you don’t use generic hashtags but specific ones, perhaps because they really help you find your tribe. This is great to keep in mind when considering branded hashtags.
- 7 out of ten hashtags are branded. That’s a nice number, and you want yours to be among those seen and shared.
Since rolling out a few API changes at the end of 2018, authorized users are limited to 30 unique hashtag per Instagram channel (per authorized user) for any rolling seven-day period. If you’re using those 3-5 hashtags, you won’t be able to switch them up as much as you might like – unless you plan ahead.
Having multiple authorized users solves this problem, if that’s an option. But it’s also a good reason to be sure you understand your audience and which hashtags pop for them on a given topic. Next Generation AI Analytics help you clarify this important data quickly and accurately.
And such best-in-class social listening and sentiment analysis tools help you track other crucial Instagram insights as well. For example, emojis, which increase engagement by 48%. Over eight percent of Instagram posts contain between 4-10 emojis. Can your social analytics tools track these? If not, you may be misunderstanding consumer sentiment.
- Where the emojis of 2019 represented love with the red heart being used 79% more than the next most popular symbol, the smiling face – 2022 looks a little different. 2021 saw the cry- laughing face take number one. In second place was a simple heart. These represent consumer emotions that you need to be aware of, especially if these change. And they are sure to, as consumer emotion is fickle.
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Engagement on Instagram
The name of the game on a network with so much potential is to be seen – which means engaging your audiences in ways that matter to them. Here are stats that speak to some generalities in that area:
- The higher education industry is ranked as the top industry, with an engagement rate per post of 3.96%. Sports and nonprofits come in next with a rate of 2.40%. And, of course, influencers are close to the top as well with an average engagement rate per post of 1.97%.
- Photos with faces get 38% more likes than photos without, and are 32% more likely to generate comments. It sounds like a “selfie with your product” contest just waiting to happen!
- There’s no evidence that shorter captions are better than long, so don’t be afraid to use more characters if you need them to get your point across.
- Engagement is 79% higher for posts tagged with a location.
- Instagram blows Twitter and Facebook out of the water engagement-wise, with “2-7% percent of users interacting with each post” compared with 0.1 to less than 2% for those other networks.
- More than 62% of consumers are more likely to interact with brands on Instagram versus other social media sites.
- Because 70% of Instagram feed photos were being missed, the platform changed their algorithm to prioritize photos it thinks consumers are most interested in, versus showing them chronologically. So, if you want to be seen, become an account your audience interacts with.
- Engagement varies with post time: “On average, the best time to post on Instagram is Tuesday between 11am – 2pm CDT. Weekdays between 11am – 2pm CDT is the optimal time frame for increased engagement.” Note that this varies for individual industries.
- Calling out other users on Instagram who are relevant to your audience can result in in higher engagements. In fact, it results in 56% more engagement. Oddly, only 36% of brand posts include @mentions. There’s a huge opportunity here to rise above competitors by mentioning brand partners, consumers, and influencers in your posts.
Again, these are general statistics – you need to use social listening to understand the specific, most passionate wants of your particular audience.
Influencers Rule on Instagram
- Speaking of influencers, nearly 80% of social influencers surveyed worldwide consider Instagram the best channel for collaborating with brands, likewise 79% of brands consider it the best social channel for influencer marketing as well.
- Top 5 most-followed Instagram accounts:
- Instagram’s own account
- Pro soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo
- Kylie Jenner
- Leo Messi
- Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson
- Most followed brand (not counting Instagram): National Geographic, with 209 million followers .
- Celebrity posts receiving the most likes and comments: In 2021 Christiano Ronaldo grabbed the number one spot, while Ariana Grande captured second place with her wedding photos. And in third was Kylie Jenner’s second pregnancy announcement.
- Consumers trust non-celebrity influencers over celebrity endorsements. In fact, in 2021, 91% of engagement on sponsored posts was with content created by micro-influencers. Sponsored content is expected to hit over 4 billion in 2022 – and it’s predicted that partnerships between brands and influencers will be “stronger, more diverse and more purposeful than ever” in 2022. It’s important to get your influencer game sorted. Those aforementioned API changes make everything a little tricky, but hardly impossible.
Once you have the proper authorizations in place for the business channels of owned pages and influencers you’re working with, you can track post text, media, number of likes, number of comments, permalink, bio, number of followers, interests, professions, potential impressions, comment text and comment usernames.
You lose access to comment text and comment usernames – though you keep everything else above – when analyzing competitor pages and influencers you’re not working with. This is a good argument for bringing influencers on board in an official capacity, as there are that many more insights available when you do. Just be sure they have a business profile.
Businesses on Instagram
That brings us to brands and businesses on Instagram – who they are, and how they’re thriving.
To be sure there have been challenges with Instagram’s API updates – like not being able to collect data from personal profiles. However, there are more than enough business profiles to allow for excellent competitive intelligence.
Be sure you’ve got your user authorizations in place because “Instagram limits the number of calls to the new API based to 200 calls per hour per user authorization.” So, the more authorizations you have granted your social listening platform, the more frequently we can request content on your behalf. Fewer than two users will increase data collection latency.
Additionally, though you may track the business channels of competitors and influencers in addition to your own, permissions vary a bit. Check out our handy visuals to understand the distinctions.
Now for some more stats!
- Of the top ten leading brands according to mentions, retail and fashion brands are super popular – representing 7 of the top ten brands mentioned.
- In 2016, videos represented 25% of all ads. And it’s shown that videos get more engagements. Does that mean you should use video in your ads? Maybe… what does your audience want?
- Nearly all Interbrand 100 companies have Instagram accounts, with 80% posting at least once per week.
- There are 200 million business profiles globally using Instagram and matching that number are the 200+ million users visiting at least one these business profiles daily.
- Fashion accounts are responsible for 25% of all brand interactions on Instagram.
- Instagram ad reach rose 21% in 2021, and ad revenue from stories alone is expected to be more than 15 billion in 2022. Sponsored ads generate, on average, 8x higher recall than those on other social networks.
- By 2023, the ad revenue of Instagram is projected to reach 40 billion U.S. dollars.
Ride the Wave and Follow the Changes
If we’ve learned nothing from social media, it’s the importance of striking when the moment presents – because change is inevitable. Right now, Instagram is a channel all brands should be looking at – and that’s expected to be the case for the foreseeable future.
And it’s important for brands to take advantage of all Instagram has to offer right now – because whatever comes next, you’ll need your audience with you.
Use social listening and sentiment analysis to understand everything can about your audience in all the places they live on social – and use those insights to compare to and strengthen Instagram data. Especially where API changes offer challenges.
No social network exists in a vacuum – and neither does any brand. You have to take in the entire picture of your audience, and Instagram certainly is a huge part of that.
Want to learn more about how our social listening tools take you further than others on Instagram? Reach out!