In the 2015 Digital IQ Index: Beauty U.K., L2 analyzes Instagram posts of Beauty brands in the U.K. over a six-week period, and finds that posting pictures of products is the most fool-proof strategy on the social platform. Of the top 100 posts with the highest user engagement, 78 prominently displayed a product. And just 32 of the worst-performing posts made a product the focal point of the image. An Instagram reel of just products not only increases engagement, it decreases chances of a post flop.

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Of all the tactics used to increase Instagram engagement, nothing works with the certainty of a simple product post. Posting a competition or giveaway could potentially backfire; 18 of the bottom 100 posts on Instagram were a contest, more than the 11 that made it to the top 100. Surprisingly, celebrity posts performed poorly. Eleven percent were in the bottom 100 while just 1% made it to the top tier.

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