Reading through the HubSpot Instagram Report turned up some useful tips for reaching ambitious goals for the platform. 

Instagram is still the best social media site for building a community around your brand. And since Hubspot knows marketing, we’re all ears (or eyes). 

Our number one aim here is to provide all the best takeaways for real estate agents on Instagram. 

Hubspot Instagram Report: Top Takeaways

From the most prevalent follower counts to the most popular niches and categories, the Hubspot Instagram Report covers all the changes they’ve seen with account sizes and engagement. 

Chris Smith, author of The Conversion Code, broke down some of his biggest takeaways on a Twitter thread, which we’ll include here. 

First, let’s start with some of the general statistics: 

  • Instagram accounts are growing – the largest percentage of Instagram accounts (45.7%) have 1K to 10K followers, while; 34.7% (down from 52%) have between 100 and 1K followers.
  • Trending news is one of the top two most popular categories (along with travel)
  • This year, 80% of Instagram accounts had fewer than 10K followers—down 10% from 2021. 

Most followers per account: Home & Auto

On average, the Home & Auto category gets the most engagement, which presents an obvious opportunity for real estate agents.

If we calculate by median, geography is the most-followed category on the platform. And after Instagram, @natgeo is the brand with the biggest global following. 

Use this to your advantage if you’re selling homes in scenic areas or popular destinations for travel or relocation

Most popular categories: Trending news and travel

Besides travel, a growing number of Instagram followers use the platform to learn about current events—great news for agents who prioritize educating themselves and sharing industry news with the people they serve. 

Even if news isn’t your main thing, making it part of your content strategy could definitely boost your following and engagement—as long as you do it right. 

To that end, Hubspot’s Instagram Report offered the following tips: 

  • Fact-check all your news content to verify its accuracy. Rushing to post or repost clickbaity news content just because it’s on-brand can backfire in a hurry if it has no basis in reality. 
  • When possible, direct your followers to a longer reputable news piece to back up your story. 
  • Make your news content pleasing to the eye with graphics or carousels. Use your brand colors, and don’t forget to include your logo or business name. 

Most Engaging Content Formats

It’s no surprise short-form video takes the lead; Instagram has seen the growing success of TikTok and is showing a clear preference for original, short-form video content. 

Per Hubspot’s report, video brings in an average 24.25 comments and 1097.9 likes per post.  

Carousel comes in just behind short-form video. Swiping through a carousel is more actively engaging than passively watching a video or scrolling through images. Plus, this medium offers tidbits of content with each slide.

Carousels get 23.2 comments and 933.7 likes per post on average—making them a very close second to video. If we calculate by median instead, though, carousel posts actually get a median of 70 comments compared to 45 for video. 

Chris Smith referenced this in one of his tweets: 

The Hubspot Instagram Report goes into more detail on pages 26 through 28. 


Chris Smith’s tweet offers the following tip on captions from Hubspot’s report: “The two sweet spots are 1-20 characters and 2k+. Be brief or go deep.”

The Hubspot report goes into more detail on pages 30 to 31 and 33 to 34. Here’s what else stood out for us: 

  • Captions give you a huge boost in engagement – always include them!
  • Use captions that feel authentic to you; Instagrammers come to the platform for stories and connections. Keep your captions true to your voice. 
  • In North America, people tend to prefer shorter captions (1 to 20 characters). 
  • A long caption is better than none at all. (This adds to your SEO and can even be turned into a blog to extend post life).
  • Lead with the most important and most compelling information.
  • Always add value: give your followers a reason to keep coming back.
  • Always include a call to action (CTA)


The second tweet in Chris Smith’s Twitter thread highlighted the following tips from Hubspot’s report: 

  • “Including at least 1 emoji will get you higher engagement,” and 
  • “11+ emojis can have a significant, negative impact while including 6-10 doesn’t help.” 


Again, we’ll start off with two points from the Chris Smith tweets: 

  • “ The more hashtags the better. Using as many as possible doesn’t harm performance.” and
  • “The most engaging hashtags were highly niche.”

Hubspot covered these in pages 35 to 41. Here’s what else stood out for us: 

  • With super-general hashtags like #love and #photography, your content is more likely to get lost among the millions of posts using them. 
  • Keep hashtags relevant to your niche and audience. Don’t just throw them in because they’re trending. 
  • The most active hashtags are community hashtags – like specific geographic locations, popular TV shows, and Indian and Korean celebrities. 
  • Instagram is a popular platform for promoting small businesses using hashtags like #ShopLocal, #ShopSmall, and #SmallBusiness. 
  • The most engaging hashtags in North America are related to basketball, nature, and home decor. 

With the higher cost of housing, you could attract more engagement with posts that help your clients save some money furnishing and decorating their new homes. 

Instagram’s top hashtag tips are worth including here: 

  • Use variety choose (relevant) hashtags from all five top categories to appeal to the varied interests of your audience 
  • Get some #inspo see what tags the top posts are using and pick those that would work best for your content. 
  • Stay in the middle when it comes to hashtag use on the platform, go for the middle ground: between 10K and 200K posts. 

Influencer marketing

High follower numbers don’t necessarily mean high engagement. 

Micro-influencers (with 10K to 50K followers) and even nano-influencers (under 10K) often get better engagement from their smaller but dedicated following because they prioritize authenticity and building stronger connections. This is one of the reasons why the Massive Agent started over with his account. 

That may not be as big a deal on TikTok, but on Instagram, it’s huge. 

Anyone can pay to get more followers on their account. But one study found that the fewer followers an influencer has, the higher their engagement—and not just because some of those mega-sized accounts are artificially inflated. 

Instagram Hacks

Staying on top of all the Instagram algorithm changes is a job unto itself. So, it pays to keep tabs on hard-working users who do that bit for you. 

The Broke Agent has a new ebook, 2022 Instagram Hacks to demystify the latest changes and help you grow your following and engagement. 

Click here to check it out and download your free copy.