Anatomy of a Top-Performing Instagram Post

Anatomy of a Top-Performing Instagram Post

After many years of posting content on Hootsuite’s Instagram, we’ve been able to identify the common qualities of our top-performing posts. We’ll also give you tips on how to create the best content for your brand. A compelling caption While quality visuals are the heart of Instagram, any post worth its salt will include a well-thought-out caption. Pro tip: Include a call to action in your post that directs people to a link in your bio. Relevant hashtags Hashtags are an essential part of finding and engaging your Instagram community. We not only created a campaign hashtag specifically for our #instalife video, but we also used relevant hashtags like #hootsuitelife, #marketing, #socialmedia, and #announcement to make our content more discoverable by a wider group of people. Using Instagram to announce big news is an effective way to build a community and engage your superfans. Follows recommended specs and dimensions If you’re creating a video or taking a photo for a social campaign, then you should know beforehand that it’s intended for Instagram. Our #instalife post also followed Hootsuite’s list of best practices for Instagram videos: 15-second length <20 words per video frame Square format Optimized for sound-off viewing Pro tip: Create your Instagram content for a mobile-first experience. If you follow these rules and make sure that your post has all five of these essential elements, you’re on your way to creating a top-performing Instagram post.

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Hootsuite's Best Instagram Post
Image via Annie Spratt under CC0

After many years of posting content on Hootsuite’s Instagram, we’ve been able to identify the common qualities of our top-performing posts.

To highlight what these are, we had our social team breakdown one of our most popular videos on Instagram, which earned over 125 comments and 5,700 views.

Exciting news today! You can now schedule to Instagram with Hootsuite in one click. Connect your Business Account and get started, or click the link in our bio for more info ???? #instalife

We’ll walk you through the essential elements that this post—and every Instagram post—should include. We’ll also give you tips on how to create the best content for your brand.

Bonus: Download a free checklist that reveals the exact steps an adventure photographer used to grow from 0 to 110,000 followers on Instagram with no budget and no expensive gear.

5 essential elements of a top-performing Instagram post

1. High-quality visuals

This is Instagram 101—visuals are everything. If you’re not posting high-quality visuals then you don’t have much to offer on this platform and won’t stand out in a sea of other branded content.

Not every brand will have the budget for expensive equipment or a professional photographer or video crew, but even renting a DSLR camera or hiring a freelancer can make a big difference in quality. Our #instalife video was created by experts on our brand and social teams using professional-grade software.

Choosing the right color scheme will vary for each brand. Some studies show that using blue hues over red will get you more likes. But we’ve found that quality, relevance, and consistency make the biggest difference.

We chose a bright, vibrant blue color theme for our #instalife post that would catch people’s attention as they scrolled through their feeds.

Pro tip: Try using VCSO Cam to edit your photos instead of only relying on the standard Instagram filters.

2. A compelling caption

While quality visuals are the heart of Instagram, any post worth its salt will include a well-thought-out caption. Your caption should…

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