By adaptive - January 28th, 2015

With a growing user base, Instagram has become a major player across the social media space, but how should your corporation take full advantage?

Instagram has been on a continuous upward trajectory since its inception in 2010. The video and photo-sharing app now boasts over 300 million users. “Over the past four years, what began as two friends with a dream has grown into a global community that shares more than 70 million photos and videos each day, said CEO Kevin Systrom. “Instagram is home to creativity in all of its forms, a place where you can find everything from images of the Nile River to the newest look from Herschel Supply or a peek inside the mind of Taylor Swift.”

Brands on Instagram

As a marketing channel, Instagram has become a firm favourite with over 80% of the world’s top brands maintaining an account on the network. Simply Measured have looked closely at how Instragram is being used by these leading brands and concluded in its Q4 2014 study:
  • Active brands (brands who post at least once a quarter) have almost doubled since Q3 2012.
  • 3 out of 4 Interbrand 100 brands post at least one photo or video per week.
  • Over the course of Q4, the number of top brands with 20,000 followers or more grew by 6%, while the number of top brands with 100,000 followers or more grew by 8%.
  • Total brands with more than 100,000 followers have more than tripled since Q3 2012.
  • Between Q3 2013 and Q4 2014, the number of brands who post more than 10 times per month has grown by 17.
  • The number of brands posting 40-50 times per month has gone from an empty category to including four brands in a little over two years.
  • The average engagement per post grew by 83% in Q4 2014 compared to just over one year ago.
  • In Q4 2014, Interbrand 100 posts averaged 20,795 Likes and comments each, an 11% increase from Q3 2014.
  • On average, posts by top brands garner 225 comments, with 50% of comments being posted in the first 10 hours and 69% of comments being posted in the first 48 hours. This reflects an even longer post shelf life than last quarter.
  • Top brand posts have staying power. 10% of comments come after 19 days.
  • High-performing posts (posts with double the average engagement) peak later, taking more than 19 hours to hit 50% of total comments.
  • Posts with half the average engagement get 50% of their comments in less than three hours.
  • Instagram enables visual brand storytelling with a full toolbox for brand experimentation. As the network’s ads and analytics grow more sophisticated, it is also experiencing record engagement and brand adoption. 
  • Marketers want to learn and implement best practices for driving meaningful engagement on Instagram, and converting its 300 million users to followers and customers by increasing activity and refining tactics.
The example set by the world’s leading companies speaks to the importance of an active, well-informed presence. Some of their top tactics include:
1. Publish at least one post per week.
2. Find your ideal posting cadence through experience and testing.
3. Don’t keep your brand off Instagram just because it’s not obviously visual.
4. Pay more attention to caption content than length.
5. Use @mentions as much as possible.
6. Employ hashtags to enhance brand discovery.
7. Test location tagging.
Visual marketing continued to expand its reach last year, as marketers flexed their muscles with video and image-based campaigns. Instagram is becoming a fixture within many corporations’ marketing messages, as they realise visual content is widely shared across the social media landscape.

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