For consumer brands, the most important metric you may not be paying attention to is Instagram Saves.
Introduced on Instagram in December 2016, Saves might not be as high profile as vanity metrics such as Likes or Followers, or even as widely tracked as other authorized data points such as Impressions. However, it speaks more directly to what really matters for consumer brands – purchasing intent. If a product post resonates with someone so much that they want to save and return to that content, that’s a far clearer indicator that a consumer is interested in buying that product.
At a recent Advertising Week panel with ListenFirst, Sophia Lief, the Senior Manager of Global Social Media at Michael Kors, talked about an analysis of their top 10 Instagram posts by Saves between January 1 – September 24, 2019. They found that these posts all fit the same pattern—a clear message showing a single product. By doubling down on that strategy, Michael Kors is able to produce even more Instagram content that connects with their audience.
What else should retail brands know about Instagram Saves? Using exclusive ListenFirst Content Benchmarking data, we pulled together these key findings about Instagram Saves as well as some recommendations on how to best leverage the feature.
1. Video Is Most Likely To Be Saved
Whomever came up with the expression “take a picture, it will last longer” clearly didn’t have an Instagram account. So far this year (January 1 – October 7, 2019), consumer brands’ Instagram videos have been saved 106% more often than their Carousel posts and 179% more often than their Instagram Image posts. If a consumer brand wants to increase the frequency of their posts being saved, sharing more videos will have the most impact.
2. Audiences Are Increasingly Likely To Save Instagram Posts
Consumer brands have also seen significant growth in saves of their Instagram posts over the past 2 years, with 2019 so far outperforming 2017 by 109%. This far outpaces the 29% growth in Instagram Responses (Likes and Comments) on Consumer brands’ posts during the same time period. Considering how the audience’s use of Instagram is evolving, Instagram Saves are only going to increase in importance going forward .
3. The Audience Doesn’t Want To Share Everything They’re Interested In
Instagram posts by Consumer brands are 3.6X more likely to be saved than commented on. Comparing 2019 (through October 7) to 2018, Consumer brands saw a 9% growth in Likes and a -3% decline in Comments, yet saw a 24% increase in Saves on their Instagram posts. Just because a consumer is interested in a retail product doesn’t mean they necessarily want to share that by commenting on the brand’s post. By focusing on an authorized metric like Saves, as opposed to a public metric like Comments, brands can get a more accurate understanding of consumer interest in their social media posts.
4. Instagram Is Becoming A More Sales Friendly Platform
Through the years, Instagram has more directly become a channel for sales. For instance, just looking at Instagram Stories, in 2016 the ability to use clickable links in Stories with accounts of over 10,000 followers was added while in July 2018, Instagram expended Shopping to Instagram Stories, where you can tap on a sticker with a shopping bag icon for more details about that product. With Instagram better positioned to move consumer brand product, and ‘Saves’ a metric that speaks to product interest, it’s only natural that both the audience and marketers are more focused on the feature.
5. Optimizing For Saves Likely Helps With Instagram Algorithm
In 2016, Instagram switched the user’s feed from a reverse-chronological timeline to an algorithm that prioritizes the content that it thinks you’re the most interested in seeing, and while Instagram would never reveal exactly what the secret sauce is to their algorithm; Saves is almost certainly seen as an indication to the algorithm of content you are interested in seeing. By optimizing content to increase saves, consumer brands are not only making sure that individual posts are being revisited more but that all brand posts are more likely to surface in the user’s feed.
In order to get the most out of Instagram and stay ahead of competitors on the platform, marketers have to be willing to reevaluate their strategy around metrics. By putting more focus on Saves, brands can better track and optimize against product interest, leading to increased product awareness and improved sales.
Want more information about how ListenFirst can help identify the right metrics to optimize your Instagram strategy? Request a demo today!