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Cover of HubSpot's 2023 Instagram Engagement Report

3 Key Findings: The State of Instagram in 2023

In today’s digital age, social media platforms have become essential tools for communicators looking to engage with their audience and grow their communities.

When it comes to social media, Instagram reigns supreme. With over 1 billion monthly active users and millions of daily interactions, Instagram presents a valuable opportunity for organizations to connect with new customers and build strong relationships.

To help marketers navigate the ever-changing landscape of Instagram, HubSpot and Mention analyzed over 37 million Instagram posts and compiled the key findings into the 2023 Instagram Engagement Report. We found some key findings worth sharing.

Let’s dive into the insights!

1. Posting Times Matter

It’s not surprising that people are more likely to engage on Instagram at night. It seems 8 p.m. is the prime time to post, but anytime from 6 p.m. to midnight seems to do well.

The lowest engagement seems to happen at 8 a.m. While it’s still only a gap of 2.2% compared to 8 p.m., every bit of engagement counts!

As expected, posts shared on the weekend received a slightly higher level of engagement. However, the difference is modest.

Based on this data, there doesn’t seem to be a bad day to post. The best strategy would be to share content daily and carefully observe when your audience is most active online.

2. Content Formats Drive Engagement

Captions and video make a big difference.

The first 125 characters of your caption are crucial. To read anything beyond that, users will need to click “see more.” For reference, that’s less than half a Tweet (or what’s now known as a Post on X.)

To compete, you’ve got two options. Craft an opening so compelling a user can’t help but reveal the rest, or go for a short caption that won’t get cut off at all.

That said, there’s still a place for long-form storytelling. While captions between one and 20 characters did the best, captions over 2,000 characters also performed nearly as well.

Unsurprisingly, video posts got a staggering three times more engagement than single images and significantly more (one-third) engagement than carousels.

3. The Power (or Lack Thereof) of Emojis and Hashtags

Just how useful are emojis?

It’s a coin toss. Posts that used between one and 10 emojis did show a small boost in engagement, but the effect dropped off after 11 or more. 40% of the posts analyzed didn’t use any emojis at all, and the drop in engagement was less than 1%.

As for hashtags, Instagram users use an average of seven. Based on the data, posts that used either four or 11+ hashtags performed the best — and using none doesn’t seem to hurt.

Every audience is different, and ultimately your Instagram strategy will need to be tailored accordingly. But by understanding these patterns we can help make confident, well-informed decisions.

Interested in boosting your social media game? Reach out and let us know!

3 Key Findings: The State of Instagram in 2023 was originally published in DCG Life on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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