Tina Ahmed posted on 21 September 2016
Welcome to our monthly Instagram growth and engagement report for August 2016.
This is our look into follower growth and content engagement trends on the platform. We analyse 2,500 Instagram profiles and make it easy for you to understand the trends and see how your own performance compares to the platform standards.
We also include any other interesting news and other information you should know in order to run your Instagram profile(s) more effectively. Let’s take a look at the latest numbers
Follower growth in August was at 0.13%. This is 18.75% lower growth than what we have seen in July and it’s also the lowest profile growth we have seen since we started doing our studies in April 2015. The profile growth saw a dramatic 93.33% decrease since we did our first monthly report.
Engagement rate in August was at 1.1% of the total followers. This is a 22.22% increase compared to July and alongside March 2016 it’s the highest engaging month since November 2015.
90.74% of all posts in August were photos. An average photo post engaged 1.2% of the audience, while a video post engaged 0.7%. You stand to gain a 71.43% engagement boost if you post photos rather than videos.
Profiles posted 2.18 times per day on average, which is a 19.26% decrease compared to July. Could the sudden introduction and the great pickup of Instagram stories have contributed to this decline in regular posting activity? It remains to be seen.
Let’s take a closer look at Instagram stories now.
“Stories” have been updated with a new feature that makes it easier to shoot better video. You can now zoom in and switch between front and rear-facing cameras while recording.
Instagram stories seem to have been accepted very well by the audience. 100 million Instagram users now watch stories daily, a third of the daily active users. The latest feature is the list of the algorithmically selected stories you may want to see in your “Explore” tab.
Instagram’s Director of Product Management said this about stories: “Some seek it out as the primary way they use Instagram…Some people view it as a dessert. We’re really excited to see how quickly they’ve caught on, whether with everyday users or celebrities and brands. It has the early signs of being a product people love.”
Have you started posting Instagram stories? Here’s our complete Instagram stories guide for brands.
One early way that the brands are trying to take advantage of stories is doing Instagram Story account takeovers. The idea is to approach an influencer and get her to post your content or have your brand appear as a part of the story of that day. Your brand basically takes over the story of the influencer for that day. It’s a great way of getting your message in front of many engaged people.
There is some controversy behind influencer advertising as most brands and influencers don’t disclose that the influencer is being paid to post a piece of content. As usual, the proper way of doing influencer advertising is by clearly labeling that the content is part of an ad. On Instagram, this is done by including #ad or #sponsored hashtag. According to the FTC (The Federal Trade Commission), the sponsored hashtag needs to be the first thing you put in the post, and the disclosure needs to be said out loud or displayed on the screen in case of sponsored video posts.
For more details take a look at our guide on influencer marketing and posting branded content in social media.
Instagram business profiles have started rolling out in Europe too during the month of August. Previously they were only available in USA, Australia and New Zealand, but now even European brands can take advantage of the new profile features.
The most prominent feature is the new “Contact” button, and there is also the “Insights” section which provides some basic analytics on your audience and content.
Here’s what Instagram’s head of brand development for the EMEA region had to say: “We want to make Instagram work even better for small businesses, so we listened carefully to their feedback to understand challenges they face, and the tools they need to drive real business results”.
And with Business Tools now available across Europe, it will be even easier for small businesses to get insights, connect with new customers and promote their favourite posts straight from a mobile device.”
Do you want all the basic but also the more advanced Instagram analytics for your profile right now? Take a look at Locowise for a free trial.
iOS users can now pinch to zoom in on videos and photos. This works on all content in the “Explore” section, in the feed and on the user profiles. This is an exciting development and it might soon be time to start posting higher quality photos and videos, and let users hone in on the details.
Instagram is also testing a “save draft” feature which allows you to save posts for future publication. It’s a feature that can certainly help social media managers when creating and getting their content ready to be published according to their content calendars. Other platforms all have advanced publishing options and even allow you to schedule posts to be published at a specific time (and you can use Locowise Publish to post on both Twitter and Facebook), while Instagram is pretty much bare bones in their posting capabilities.
Instagram is also trying to curate all the best videos on the platform that you may like in order to get you to watch more video. New video-only feed called “Events” within the “Explore” section of the app has been launched in the US during the month of August. The channel is coming to the rest of the world soon. The channel is personalised to each user and features the user-generated videos from best music and sporting events happening around you.
As the business profiles are rolling out to more brands so is the ability to moderate the comments and even disable them. It’s a good time to warn brands not to go too far in their moderation. Here’s our advice:
Don’t turn off comments and don’t remove any valid comments. This feature is not about silencing different opinions and removing anyone who talks about real problems your company is facing. It’s more about removing hate speech and spam comments that have nothing to do with your brand or your product. Keep the option open for real people if they do want to share real opinions.
We shared these three tips in an earlier post on how you should handle negative comments in social media:
1. Acknowledge the comment: People expect a quick answer so simply respond and acknowledge receiving the comment.
2. Apologise when an apology is necessary: If someone is genuinely annoyed and upset at the service they have received you need to ensure that you apologize.
3. Deal with the matter offline: Arrange to deal with the matter offline directly with the user in order to sort out everything.
Take a look at our detailed guide on how to deal with negative comments.