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How Companies Use Instagram to Boost Business Online

You’ve heard of Instagram. Maybe you have an account and you share pictures of your dog or your brunch with the perfect filter on a daily basis. But did you know that fortune 500 companies are using it too?

Huge companies like Nike, Starbucks, Foot Locker, Apple, Walt Disney, and Target are all on Instagram. They have hundreds of thousands, even millions, of followers they’re sharing marketing photos with. And it’s working for them.

People are consistently engaging with content on Instagram. A study done by TrackMaven, a competitive analysis firm, aimed to find what drives Instagram, and how big brands are using it. They searched for correlations in effective filters, timing of posts, and other interactions. And what they found was quite interesting.

Timing Counts

The study found that on average, a post to Instagram can be just as effective any day of the week. However, there was a slightly higher frequency in user activities on Mondays during mid-day. Secrets out! We’re all scrolling through Instagram when we have a case of the Mondays.

Thinking about posting a video? The study found that videos get more engagement in the off hours. Why? Videos require audio, and we’re less likely to watch those while we’re perusing Instagram during the workday.


Can we all just agree that the perfect filter really makes and Instagram photo? I think we can. Filters can add flair, contrast, and really set the mood of an image.

However, this study found that most Fortune 500 companies upload unedited photos, #nofilter. But, when a company did use a filter, Mayfair seemed to perform best, Inkwell was a distant second.

It’s our opinion that sticking to a certain filter can give your photos a sense of brand recognition as well.


Hashtags are a very effective marketing tool, and Fortune 500 companies are jumping on the bandwagon. TrackMaven found that there is a “correlation between the number of hashtags used and the effectiveness up to 5 hashtags which has the highest average at 21.21 interactions per 1,000 followers.”

As we’ve discussed before, hashtags are a great way to catalog content and bring someone into a topic or conversation. Simply clicking on a hashtag on Instagram will open a realm of content on which others have used the same tag. On this note, TrackMaven went on to say, “most important, we found a strong correlation between the number of hashtags that brands use on their content and the effectiveness of their content, underscoring that Instagram is a discovery platform. Brands must plan their content to be promoting discovery from previously unengaged users.” In otherwords, #hashtagsgetitdone.

Are you convinced? Instagram looks like it’s here to stay, folks. So if you aren’t using it already, you might want to give it a try. If nothing else, you’ll at least see some pretty amazing dog photos, or someone’s tasty brunch. And most of all, you’ll have fun!