Instagram is probably your favorite social media platform—it’s definitely our’s. And as any entrepreneur or media professional knows, studies and surveys are a fantastic way to gauge what is and isn’t working for users. That’s why Socialinsider and scheduling tool Sked Social teamed up to figure out “if the tendency towards using stories has somehow affected the way people are interacting with the regular posts in feed.” More specifically, they wanted to uncover how Instagram engagement has evolved in general since 2019. We think you’ll find their insights helpful for your marketing strategy.
First, let’s review the methodology. 102,700,573 Instagram posts were analyzed and segmented according to five follower count ranges: under 5K, 5K-10K, 10K-50K, 50K-100K, and more than 500K. Engagement was defined as “the sum of likes and comments an account receives.” Impressions referred to the “total number of views a piece of content has had.” (See the entire methodology breakdown here.)
Now, let’s review the biggest takeaways. During the second half of 2020, video content surpassed carousel posts in popularity, a strange spike in the grander scheme of things since carousel posts are traditionally stronger performers. Outside of that, “higher Instagram engagement is mainly brought by carousels, especially for small accounts (under 5K), but when it comes to medium ones, it’s better to choose video.”
Captions are also vital to engagement. Users prefer to interact with carousel posts that have short captions (up to 10 words). However, video posts perform best with captions that are more than 30 words. In general, people are more likely to comment on video that other types of Instagram posts.
Now, if you have a large follower count and are ready to stop sharing basic photo posts, slow down. According to the study:
“When we’re talking about profiles between 50K – 100K, the carousel is the one that’s winning people’s hearts, making them press that save button more often, followed by images this time. Applause, please! Cuz images make quite a comeback if we look at the big profiles. This time big profiles over 100K break the pattern and prioritize images when it comes to content saved, though videos and carousels are not that far, having close positions one to another.”
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