Is your association or chamber of commerce active on Instagram? It’s quickly becoming one of the most popular social media sites out there. (According to Omnicore, a digital marketing agency, the site has more than one billion monthly active users!)

Whether you’re currently active on the platform or thinking of joining in the near future, take note: As with all social media sites, there are a few best practices. And thanks to a new report – The Instagram Engagement Report – from HubSpot and Mention, we’re now able to get a better understanding of what works (and what doesn’t) as far as engagement goes. 

I encourage you to take a look at the whole report (there are so many insightful findings in there!), but below are my three biggest takeaways, particularly for associations and chambers of commerce:

Takeaway #1: Video posts receive more than 2x more comments than other types of posts. 

You’ve heard that video is becoming more and more popular, and this stat just goes to prove it. Receiving likes on posts is certainly wonderful (and you definitely want that!), but receiving comments (positive comments) is almost better. 

Why? Well commenting on a post takes a little more time and effort than simply liking it. If someone comments on one of your posts, that means they were REALLY engaged with the content – and that’s what social media is all about! 

Don’t feel like all of your posts have to be in video form, but a mixture of both photos and videos will give you a mixture of reactions (likes and comments). 

Takeaway #2: Using more hashtags actually decreases your average engagement rate. 

Even if you’re not currently on Instagram, if you’re active on Facebook and Twitter, you’re likely familiar with hashtags. Hashtags make your posts more searchable, so many people think the more hashtags, the better. (More engagement, right?)

But according to this new report, it’s actually the opposite. The more hashtags you use, the less engagement you’re likely to see. Why? Well a lot of spammy posts typically have a high number of hashtags, so sometimes when users see that on a post, they immediately write it off. 

What’s the magic number, then? Definitely no more than five! Only add a hashtag if it adds value to your post and to the followers of that hashtag. 

Takeaway #3: It’s far more valuable having a smaller, more engaged community than millions of followers who don’t interact with your content. 

If I could share this takeaway a million times, I would! So many people think the more followers, the better – no matter what. But if those followers have absolutely no interest in the type of content you’re posting, then what’s the point of having them? Again, social media is designed to engage

Spend time trying to build your following, but make sure it’s the right following. 

Feeling inspired to step up your Instagram game? Or if not Instagram, maybe Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn? Allow us to help! Download our free guide below for social media best practices, content ideas, and more!