STUDY: How Fortune 500 Companies Use Instagram

By David Cohen 

InstagramLogo2How many of the Fortune 500 companies have accounts on Facebook-owned photo-sharing network Instagram? According to digital intelligence firm TrackMaven, the answer is 123, and of those 123, 112 (or 91 percent) have posted at least once, and 17 percent (85) posted in the 30 days leading up to Sept. 17.

TrackMaven examined the Instagram accounts of the Fortune 500 companies through Sept. 17 and found that the 123 with accounts had uploaded a total of 19,009 pictures and 243 videos.

Other findings in the report by TrackMaven included:

Nike was the Fortune 500 company with the most Instagram followers, by far, at more than 2.3 million as of Sept. 17.

Foot Locker had posted the most photos, 1,018.

Target was the Fortune 500’s biggest Video on Instagram user, with 39 videos uploaded.


Thursday was the most popular day of the week for Instagram posts by Fortune 500 companies, which peaked in the middle of the week and dropped off sharply on weekends.


As far as time of day, the middle of the work day was the most popular, and the hour that saw the most photos posted was 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET.


Hashtags are an effective tool for Fortune 500 companies on Instagram, as TrackMaven wrote:

Looking at the interactions (the sum of likes and comments) per 1,000 followers compared with the number of hashtags used, there is a strong correlation between the number of hashtags used and effectiveness up to five hashtags which had the highest average, at 21.21 interactions per 1,000 followers.

TrackMaven summed up its findings on Fortune 500 companies’ use of Instagram as follows:

With 22.4 percent of the Fortune 500 having active accounts, Instagram is quickly becoming a mainstay of big-brand marketing. These large brands are still focusing on photos, and are slowly beginning to adopt videos.

This report gave us a unique look at a wide set of Instagram data, leading us to a few important conclusions. Instagram is a 24/7 platform,. Whether it’s a weekday or weekend, people are consistently engaging with content. While there is no optimal time to publish picture content, videos get more engagement in the off hours, presumably because people don’t watch videos at work.

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.

Readers: Do you follow any of the Fortune 500 on Instagram?