Olivia Parker
Oct 9, 2017

Does this colour make you want to engage?

A new study by L2 and Unmetric looked at how the makeup of an Instagram post can affect engagement levels.

Bright orange generated the highest levels of engagement, according to L2's study
Bright orange generated the highest levels of engagement, according to L2's study

Brighter colours and the presence of text or logos in Instagram posts encourage higher average engagement levels, finds a new study, with orange, bright orange and bright blue the top three performing shades.

In an attempt to improve the efficacy of social media ad spend, research firm L2 partnered with social media analytics firm Unmetric to process over 40,000 Instagram posts from 15 beauty brands that represented a range of price points, products and levels of "digital sophistication". The study took into account times and dates of posts; the presence of a human face, text or logo and different types of imagery and environments as well as a spectrum of 25 colours.

Posts that contained vibrant colours like bright pink, bright red and bright blue were found to drive engagement the most strongly, found the study, while posts featuring dark red, dark orange and dark blue were the lowest engagement drivers.

The study also found that engagement was higher when text or logos were included in an image compared to when they weren't. Surprisingly, however, when a model was pictured in a post engagement tended to be lower than with model-free images. This may be a "category-specific issue", suggests the report: so many beauty posts on Instagram include faces that consumers may simply be experiencing 'model-fatigue'.

Posts that featured residential homes were the best drivers of engagement, according to the analysis. Those relating to 'winter' and 'holidays' also performed well, echoing sales in the beauty sector as a whole at these times of year.

L2 and Unmetric are planning to build on this research and ultimately develop an "optimisation model" applicable to wider brands and categories.  

Campaign Asia

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