How Fortune 500 Companies Use Instagram

It’s no secret that people love interactive, visual content. Fortune 500 companies are well aware of this and are taking advantage of it through their use of Instagram. A study by TrackMaven showed that 22.4 percent of all Fortune 500 companies have an Instagram account, with the biggest boasting follower numbers in the millions.

According to the study, popular names like Nike, Foot Locker and Starbucks post the most photos to Instagram on Thursdays, the hour of 3pm to 4pm being a popular time to upload. However, customer interactions differ from day to day. Many access Instagram during the workday and are more active on weekends than during the week.

Despite the ability to upload and share videos as a form of customer engagement, big companies aren’t using this aspect of Instagram as much. The TrackMaven study showed Target as having the most video activity with 39 uploads — but that’s compared to the hundreds or even thousands of photos shared by other companies. This is likely due in part to the fact that, although people love browsing pictures at work, few are able to get away with watching videos on company time. Big brands get big by sticking with what works, and it looks like video hasn’t quite caught on as an Instagram favorite.

Brands that use hashtags to make their posts more visible generate more interactions than those that don’t. However, the number of hashtags used seems to be important. More than five can saturate a post with labels and decrease the quality of the content. A good balance of hashtags helps people find brands while too many appears to be a turnoff.

The bottom line is that when it comes to Instagram, there’s never an “off” time. People are always engaging with media no matter where they are, especially with the growing popularity of mobile devices. The photo a company posts at 3:42pm on Thursday might become the next big thing later that night or even that weekend. Companies that leverage the power of constant connectivity gain more followers and get better exposure for their already popular brands.

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