here are 18 Instagram stats every marketer should know (Part 1):

  • 1. 7 out of 10 Hashtags on Instagram Are Branded
    Can you imagine the state of social media marketing without hashtags? Not only do hashtags help social media users organize and categorize content, but they’re also one of the driving forces behind some of today’s best marketing campaigns.

Hashtags are everywhere, from casual conversations on and offline, to TV commercials and billboards. Hashtags for Instagram aid in content discovery and optimization. As brands increase their dependence on user-generated campaigns, hashtags continue to be important for the acquisition and promotion of Instagram content.

Instagram posts with at least one hashtag have 12.6% more engagement than those without. And although each Instagram post allows up to 30 hashtags, research on the topic suggests that the optimum number of hashtags is 11.

One of the best ways to kick off a UGC campaign on Instagram is with the help of a branded hashtag. A branded hashtag is unique to your business or marketing campaign. It can be as simple as the name of your company, product or a related tagline.

A branded hashtag also doesn’t necessarily have to include your company’s name. Feel free to get creative, as BarkBox did with their #DestroyersClub branded hashtag, driving awareness for their hardy dog toys.


If you decide to make use of branded hashtags, you’re in good company. According to a Simply Measured study, 7 out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded. A tool like Sprout Social can help you to see which branded hashtags receive the most engagement and which ones are used the most with your username.

  • 2. 70.7% of US Businesses Are Using Instagram in 2017
    Perhaps one of the most interesting Instagram statistics has to do with how fast the network is growing. With regards to business growth, the aforementioned Instagram stat is almost double the number of businesses (48.8%) that used Instagram in 2016!

The increase in the number of businesses that use Instagram has a lot to do with the release of Instagram Business profiles in May 2016. Many businesses have jumped at the chance to transition their profile to take advantage of features like:

Prominent contact information
Powerful analytics data
The ability to create Instagram ads
There are currently 8 million Instagram Business profiles, up from 1.6 million in September 2016. Small businesses currently make up the majority of Instagram advertisers and business profiles.

If you’re not well-versed in Instagram’s new Business profiles, these Instagram stats can help bring you up to speed:

  • 3. 80% of Users Follow At Least One Business on Instagram
    An Instagram Business profile allows you to add additional contact information than what would otherwise be possible on a basic Instagram profile. This information includes a business phone number and address. To go from a personal profile to a Business profile, you’ll need to have a Facebook page for your business.

According to Instagram, 80% of users say they follow at least one business on the app, with 60% hearing about a product and service through the platform. As of March 2017, over 120 million Instagram users visited a website, gotten directions, called a business, emailed or direct messaged a business. Each of these activities signifies some level of interest, and in many ways, these Instagram fans can be considered as leads.

To get more tangible, at least 30% of Instagram users have purchased a product they first discovered on Instagram.

Instagram analytics (via Business profiles) can provide you with data about impressions and reach per post, as well as follower demographics, which shows how your posts performed and what your audience is like. If you use Instagram ads, you’ll also have access to data about how your ad performed. These Instagram stats are important to know so that you can create posts that your followers will like and respond to.

Sometimes this data isn’t enough on its own. Some Instagram stats specific to your company can only be found with the help of Sprout Social’s Instagram Analytics Tool.

This graphic provides insight as to how each Analytics tool can inform your Instagram efforts:

  • 4. Instagram Expects to Accrue $4 Billion in Mobile Ad Revenue in 2017
    As of March 2017, since rolling out the Business profile feature, the number of Instagram advertisers now totals 1 million. This number is up from 200,000 recorded in March 2016.

A study by eMarketer in 2015 shares that Instagram mobile ad revenues could reach $2.81 billion in 2017, accounting for 10% of Facebook’s total revenue. The study also predicts that Instagram is projected to have higher net mobile display ad revenue (in the US) than Google or Twitter.

It seems Instagram already surpassed these projections. Instagram is estimated to rake in $4 billion in global advertising revenue by the end of 2017.

  • 5. 25% of Instagram Ads Are Single Videos
    While photos ads are the most common on Instagram, video has gained a lot of traction. In fact, 25% of Instagram ads are single videos.

Video ads can be up to 60 seconds long, but according to data from Wistia, drop off in engagement occurs quickly as length increases. If you can hook the audience within the first 30 seconds, they are likely to stick around and engage. Video ads are most effective at getting higher engagement rates but tend to cost a bit more than photo ads.

If necessary to communicate your message, don’t forget to add captions to videos. According to Digiday, 85% of Facebook video is watched without sound. Though Facebook is a different platform, it’s fair to draw parallels in this case in terms of the nature of video content consumption.

Brands like Lululemon, Ford, MTV and Disney use video ads to achieve various business goals. One week after launching, Lululemon’s videos received two time more engagement than its photos did. Thanks to the information overload on the internet, you’ll want to make sure your Instagram video ads stand out.

  • 6. Instagram Stories Has More Than 250 Million Active Daily Users
    Instagram Stories are like Snapchat Stories, which disappear after 24 hours. There are currently over 250 million active daily users of Instagram Stories, overtaking Snapchat’s active daily users. This represents yet another incredible Instagram stat, as the Instagram Stories feature is only about a year old.


  • 7. Posts With a Location Get 79% More Engagement
    Instagram has continued to expand on its geo-tagging feature for a while now. So it should come as no surprise that posts with location have 79% more engagement than those without.

On a final note, and before giving up, realize that it’s definitely possible to speed up Instagram growth (and engagement) without buying followers or likes.

  • 8. 70% of Instagram Posts Don’t Get Seen
    Among social networks, Instagram boasts the highest engagement rates. However, Instagram also deals with content overload and saturation.

Over 95 million photos are shared on Instagram daily, which means it can be hard for customers and potential customers to find your posts. But due to the new algorithm, 70% of Instagram posts aren’t seen. Instagram’s new algorithm focuses more on past page engagement when choosing what content people will see.

To fix this disheartening Instagram stat, up your Instagram engagement game. Be different than other businesses on Instagram and use Instagram Stories ads or Live videos to tell unique brand experiences. Additionally, tag places in your posts so that people searching those places can discover your content, which leads us to our next Instagram stat.

  • 9. Instagram Audiences Engage More on Weekdays
    The internet is full of studies claiming to know the best posting times for social networks. Often times, the data can be somewhat conflicting. So we decided to roundup all the stats and studies we could find and organize it to get a general consensus on the best times to post on Instagram.

Our data found that Monday through Friday were by far the best days to post to maximize engagement. Here are some of our other findings:

Mondays show the strongest correlation to engagement overall
3 p.m. is the least optimal time to post on any day
The most recommended times to post include 2 a.m., 8.a.m. and 5 p.m.
Taking a guess, the low activity around 3 p.m. might be due to people focusing on last-minute meetings and projects at work before heading out for their commute—which conversely explains why the 5 p.m. time slot is so good for engagement.

  • 10. Instagram Videos Posted at 9 p.m. Get 34% More Engagement
    If you’re publishing a video on Instagram, CoSchedule found that doing so around 9 p.m. garners 34% more interactions. However, posting videos anytime between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. should still result in good engagement on average.

These days and times will likely vary by industry and individual audience and are meant to act as a simple baseline for your own social media activities. For best results, track your Instagram analytics to measure engagement with the different posting days and times. Doing so will show you what works best for your content and audience.

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