How To Build Your Brand Using Instagram

Is your company on Instagram yet?

If it is, you’re in good company. Seems that over 100 Fortune 500 companies like Nike, Starbucks, Ralph Lauren and more have all jumped on the Instagram bandwagon in order to build their brands.

If not, then you probably should consider adding Instagram to your marketing arsenal.


Brands have been quick to adopt Instagram as their photo service of choice because not only does it have a lot of users (over 100 million active users), it’s also very easy to share images across various social media sites.

It’s a great platform for connecting with your target audience, as well as for reaching new, younger, tech-savvy audiences.

Recently, a competitive analysis firm called TrackMaven did a study on how these successful Fortune 500 companies are using Instagram.

The results of that study?

  • Instagram photo posts are still more effective than video posts – probably because the video service is still rather new, and was just released a few months ago.
  • Best times to post on Instagram: between 3-4pm – Video content specifically performed better during off hours though, from 9pm-8am, probably because users are more likely to engage with videos when not at work. Can’t have the boss hear you watching that viral video when you’re supposed to be working, can you?
  • Best day to post: there isn’t one, but companies tend to post the most on Thursdays.
  • Best filter to use: Mayfair – However, photos that were uploaded untouched seemed to get more attention: #nofilter for the win!


So how can you join other brands on the success-with-Instagram bandwagon? How do you use Instagram like a boss?

1. Use videos

While photos are still more effective than videos, there’s not that much of a difference in effectiveness between the two.

On average, an Instagram video can get up to 24 interactions each in the form of comments and likes.

There are two advantages for using videos on Instagram:

  • They have had a slow adoption rate from other brands that are on Instagram, so you can benefit by providing a different variety of posts – some photos, some videos.
  • Brands can enhance their videos more on Instagram. They’re only 15 seconds long, and now you have the option of uploading videos from the Camera Roll, not just videos taken from within the app. Instagram is a very visual social media platform, so adding video posts can give you an edge.

2. Use more hashtags

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Perhaps the most interesting result that brands should be capitalizing on, is the fact that the number of hashtags does correlate to the success of the content, on Instagram.

Hashtag etiquette on sites like Facebook and Twitter says not to use more than two hashtags per post. But on Instagram? The more the merrier.

The data showed that for bigger brands especially, anything between 4-11 hashtags increased interactions by up to 77%.

But only if they’re integrated naturally into the post, and specific. #don’t #just #add #a #bunch #at #the #end #itsannoying

Just something to note: Instagram search is only for hashtags, so if you’re posting on Instagram but not tagging your content, the chances of someone who isn’t following you being able to find your post is close to zero.

3. Post at the right times.

For Instagram, though, that’s almost 24/7.

Most social media sites have an optimal time for posting, but Instagram users are on at all hours of the day, every day.

They can’t help it. Instagram is easily accessible through their mobile devices. It’s a very mobile platform.

Currently the study showed that Fortune 500 companies that use Instagram are posting the most during business hours. However, since most people are rarely away from their phones, you can post at different times of the day.

You can even plan to post different things at different times in order to reach different audience segments.

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