Lessons from thousands of this month’s best Instagram posts

Viralspace AI
3 min readMay 18, 2020

If you follow Viralspace, you know that we have a free marketing trends dashboard that tracks high-performing creative trends across Instagram and Facebook Ads with AI.

This week, we’re taking a deeper look at the best posts in May 2020 so far, analyzed across over 150 brands. All posts are analyzed by relative likes, or performance of a post compared to the brand’s average over the past 30 days.

Trend #1: Lighthearted Shelter-at-Home Moments

“When the Zoom Background is realistic af.” “Me on my 5th neighborhood walk of the day.” Brands like Bonobos and Ritual have been seeing strong performance from messaging that addresses the crisis in a lighthearted way. It’s a way of saying “we’re all in this together” without coming off like this:

Companies have recognized that certain tones can come off as inauthentic. But any brand can spread positivity and address the new reality that we’re all dealing with. “Zoom” is also one of the top performing keywords this month.

Trend #2: Summer

It’s no shocker that, with June around the corner, “summer” is one of the top performing keywords this month. Imagery related to summer products, such as dresses, skirts, and shorts are also outperforming.

Function of Beauty combines Trend #1 and Trend #2 with their caption: “If we post summer colors it’ll come faster, right?”

Shelter-in-place may have been extended to protect our safety, but people are still responding well to imagery with happy summer tones and energy.

Trend #3: New Product Releases

Although not all brands can release products right now, social media statistics say that it’s still a good time as ever to launch. Keywords like “launching” are performing well, and Nars had a particularly successful launch of their makeup palette.

Trend #4: Covid-Related Posts

This is different from Trend #1. Covid-related posts, as defined on our dashboard, include works like “coronavirus” “healthcare” and “social distancing” (see the full list on our website).

As shown in the graph above, Covid posts are still performing well, although certainly down by relative likes since their peak in early April. Frequency of these posts remains strong, too, with over 132/2124 posts being considered “Covid-Related” as of May 14.

How can you do this in the right way? Take notes from companies like Doordash, who combines humor with thanking their own front-line workers. In the food industry, the words “support” and “help” continue to perform well, too.

Want to learn more?

At Viralspace, we maintain a dashboard of the top creative trends (keywords, objects, ad formats, and more) across Facebook Ads and Instagram. We update our data everyday and write reports like this one, too. Take a look here.

We use AI to help marketers make data-driven decisions about their ad creative. If you’re looking to learn more about our core business, reach out to hello@viralspace.ai



Viralspace AI

We help marketers make data-driven decisions with AI. Deep insights and prediction to boost engagement and ROI. http://viralspace.ai hello@viralspace.ai