We analyzed every post to Instagram from Tailwind members in the past month and uncovered the five posts with the highest engagement rates. We discussed these five posts with special guest Avery Oden, a Gold Addy Award Winning social media marketer from Staplegun agency, to discover why audiences were so engaged with them and what lessons other Instagram marketers can learn from them.
The big takeaway was that consistently posting to Instagram increases engagement rate overall. But we learned so much more besides…
What we learned
- Consistency is key. Consistently posting the kind of Instagram content that your audience expects from you generally results in higher engagement rates. In fact one of our winners claims to have increased her engagement rate substantially by posting to Instagram 2-3 more times per week whilst remaining consistent.
- But… we should leave room to experiment with new and different types of posts that can deepen our relationship with our customer, like behind the scenes posts. Ideally this should be creative treatments of the subject, for example by showcasing how something was made.
- Hashtags are essential, but you really have to get involved in your niche and test out which hashtags work for you.
- The hashtags with the most posts are not necessarily the best ones as your gram will often get buried quickly in the feed.
- Posting about trending topics (like Chinese mooncakes) and popular culture (like Starwars) can be powerful when paired with the right hashtags.
- Activate a passionate audience (like those passionate about the environment, or those who have a deep love for Toronto) for consistently high engagement. Use the appropriate hashtags (like #ilovetoronto) to further your penetration with that group.
- Watch the video below for all of the takeaways (49m)
What’s Working on Instagram – Ep2 (October 2016)
Posts from September 2016
9-21-2016, @estynhulbert, 462 followers, post engagement score 77
Estyn Hulbert of Estyn Hulbert Jewlery said:
I made a commitment at the beginning of September to start posting 2-3 times a day instead of 4-5 times a week and it seems like the algorithm is favoring people who post frequently because my engagement immediately went up.
I also discovered that using at least one hashtag in the description of the picture, instead of just in a separate comment, got me more engagement and new subscribers. One post ended up in the top 9 results for #pearls for over 36hrs and got over 800 likes. I went from 274 followers to over 500 in less than a week!
9-10-2016, @mykitchenlove, 4,133 followers, post engagement score 79
Samantha Dawn of My Kitchen Love joined us live and said in the comments:
Hashtags are key for gaining followers, features, and engagement.
Regarding the fact that she posted three different photos of this cake she said:
[The] photos were taken at different times. A close up is a great “sneak peak” to keep followers engaged. The second photo [this one] was posted at my best time of 7:30/8pm PST.
9-5-2016, @superadrianme, 9,785 followers, post engagement score 82
We managed to reach Adrian of Super Adrian Me via email and he said:
At the end of the day it is all about experimenting and sharing compelling content. Some work, some don’t work. Also there’s just too many components in the equation. Be it timing of post, genre of post, hashtags used, colours etc. But it is all about testing and learning I guess.
The textured back ground is a cardboard background. Mooncakes are a Chinese culture during Mid Autumn Festival.
9-2-2016, @greenpickers, 607 followers, post engagement score 85
9-5-2016, @davidcrighton_art, 619 followers, post engagement score 116
Pam Johnston, business partners with artist David Crighton, joined us live and confirmed that Honest Eds is a Toronto landmark. She said:
Very sentimental favourite of Toronto-nians and David’s art is well known and loved by everyone. He’s captured the spirit of City and what’s in their hearts!
A big thank you to our highest engagement posters for your work and your insights and to our live audience for the lively discussion.
Unleash the power of Tailwind for Instagram!
David is Tailwind’s Director of Marketing and Growth. He is a former journalist who wrote for The Times and The Financial Times, a marketing agency co-founder, founder of Confluence digital marketing conference, father of two, and early morning writer. He grew up on The Isle of Wight in England and lives in Oklahoma City.