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How Fortune 500 Brands Are Posting on Instagram

How do Fortune 500 companies share content on Instagram? A new study from TrackMaven broke down the ways that major companies use the social media platform.

A quick look at Instagram reveals plenty of major brands are active on the image and video sharing platform, Target, Starbucks and Footlocker among them.
Half of all Fortune 500 brands, those companies included, have embraced Instagram as a major marketing vehicle, according to a report released this summer from TrackMaven. The study shows the extent that big brands, even B2B brands, are using Instagram to market to consumers, using a variety of strategies for posting videos, checking in with followers and growing engagement with users.
Have a look at Target’s Instagram page, where new back to school products highlight its feed.

Or the lifestyle and coffee brand Starbucks:

Or check out out the footwear images posted by Footlocker:

And as the number of users on Instagram has grown to over 500 million users in 2016 (from 150 million users in 2013), it’s no surprise that both B2B and B2C brands are on their game in the social network.
These companies are turning to Instagram rather than other social media platforms because of higher engagement levels (up to 20% higher in some cases). Instagram users enjoy the platform, and find that big brands aren’t as intrusive as they are on Facebook.
Key findings from the report include:

  • About half of Fortune 500 companies are on Instagram, and use it regularly to grow online brand awareness.
  • Brands that used emojis, question marks and hashtags in posts tended to show higher engagement levels than those brands using exclamation points about their products and services.
  • Users who follow big brands are clicking hearts, rather than leaving comments, on Instagram brand images and videos. This makes the engagement more about the appreciation of the brand, and less about having a ‘conversation’ with the brand.
  • Instagram photo filters go generally unused by major B2B brands. Presumably, this is due to using very high quality images already being created for other branded collateral pieces.
  • The report showed that most Instagram postings from big brands come during normal work hours, as a result of the daily employment of social media managers with responsibilities for the brand’s Instagram feed.

Overall, big consumer brands like Taco Bell, Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, Nike and others scored highest in the TrackMaven study, which looked at a period from May 2015-June 2016. Nike has over 60 million followers, a massive number that gained more followers as a result of the recently completed Olympic games. Its nearest rival in Instagram followers is Starbucks, which follows with nearly 11 million followers.
The study was created with analysis of more than 315 B2B company brands over a year of social media activity.

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