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Videos used in Instagram Stories have been found to have higher engagement rates than photos – which could be why Instagram business pages tend to be transitioning more to video posts, per a study from Quintly. As part of its report, Quintly analyzed more than 5.9 million posts during the Q1-Q2 2019 period, taken from more than 34,100 profiles that ranged in size from 0-1k followers to more than 10 million followers.

Image posts remain the most popular form of post, with more than two-thirds (68%) of posts from these various profiles pages using images. Profiles are almost 4 times as likely to post images than videos (18%) and about 5 times more likely to post images as carousel posts (14%).

That being said, when sorting the results on post type distribution by page size, the analysis found a near-linear correlation between size and likelihood of using videos. Put plainly, the larger the number of followers, the more likely the page will use videos as part of its post mix and the less likely it is to use images (with carousels usage remaining nearly static across all profile sizes).

For example, the smallest profiles (0-1k) used images in 79% of the posts. But that figure dropped to 71% of posts made by profiles with 10-100k followers, 62% of posts from profiles with 1-10 million followers, and 57% of posts from profiles with more than 10 million profiles.

On the other hand, the proportion of video posts was 3 times higher among the largest profiles (30% share) than the smallest profiles (10% share). Of course, this could simply reflect the greater resources that larger profiles have at their disposal to create and distribute branded videos.

Compared to the last analysis which covered Q1-Q3 2018, there does appear to be a shift towards profiles using fewer image posts, while business pages have increased their use of both video and carousel formats across all profile sizes.

Videos Receive the Most Interactions

Quintly also looked at interactions (the sum of likes + comments) and found that of the three post types, video had the highest interaction rates by far, with 24.9% more interactions in total than carousels and a whopping 49% more interactions overall than image posts.

Fewer Characters, More Interactions

It turns out that when it comes to Instagram posts, brevity in text length appears to inspire more interaction. The analysis shows that the highest interactions across profiles with 0-1 million followers were posts with 1-50 characters. For profiles with 1 million or more followers, the highest interactions were for posts with no characters at all.

While less text seems to be ideal for achieving higher interaction, only 7.2% of the more than 5 million profiles analyzed had 50 or fewer characters, with 6.6% having 1-50 characters in the description and 0.6% having no characters at all.

The remainder were fairly evenly distributed between 50-150 characters (26.1% share of posts), 150-300 characters (30.8% share) and 300+ characters (35.8% share).

Try Stepping Up Emoji Use

Recent research from Adobe found that about half (51%) of US adults surveyed said they were more likely to interact with a social media post that included emojis. Quintly’s analysis reveals similar results: posts with 10+ emojis sported the highest average interactions among profiles with 0-1k followers. For those profiles with 10k-100k followers, posts with 4-10 emojis had the highest number of interactions.

When it comes to hashtags, however, less appears to be more. Indeed, for profiles with larger follower counts (1k-10 million+), posts with zero hashtags ended up having the highest number of average interactions.

It should be noted that for profiles with 0-1k followers, the opposite appears to be true. This profile size actually had a higher number of interactions when using 10 or more hashtags.

Finally, it also could be useful to experiment with more weekend posts. Average interactions per post were 27.3% higher for those made on Saturdays and Sundays than they were for those on a weekday.

To read further, results can be found here.

About the Data: Figures are based on an analysis of more than 34,100 Instagram Business profiels and more than 5.9 million posts between January 1 and June 30, 2019.

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