Olapic, our favorite start-up for all things Instagrammed and shoppable, released notable findings on what makes an Instagram image a commercial success. While most retailers approach social media approach with a focus on audience engagement, that’s a separate mission — or should be a separate mission — from selling actual product through the filter (hah) of Instagram.
In conjunction with University of Wisconsin researchers, Olapic found that what makes a photo eye-catching doesn’t seem to overlap much with what drives a sale. Retailers might have to give up their Kelvin and Rise — Instagram’s filters turned out to be a hindrance, not a help, in terms of both engagement and sales, improving neither. (Lo-Fi is an exception; the research team found it was the one filter that did help drive engagement). Hefe and X-Pro II are exceptionally bad for encouraging e-commerce, and overall, unfiltered photos were the most effective in terms of driving sales.
Colors also made an impact, with prevalent greens driving engagement but blues and yellows helping foster purchases. And as far as user sharing, Instagrammers who share a lot of photos drive more engagement (obviously), but it’s sharers who have a lot of followers but don’t share often who provide the best encouragement for actual transactions.