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Instagram and Top Brands: Engagement Up as Audiences Grow

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Among the Interbrand Top 100 brands, nearly 6 in 10 (59%) now use Instagram, up 9% from the 54% that did so in November 2012, according to a new report by Simply Measured.

Among major social networking sites, only Pinterest is growing faster: The proportion of Interbrand companies using Pinterest reached 69% as of February 2013, up 10% from 63% three months earlier. 

That increase in Instagram adoption comes despite many changes on the social network over the last three months, including controversial privacy updates, Web profiles, and Web feeds, as well as dropping support for Twitter cards, Simply Measured points out.

Below, additional findings from a report by Simply Measured, which measures social media adoption among the Interbrand Top 100


Brand activity on Instagram is up, too. Among the Top 100 brands, 41% now post at least one photo per week, up from the 34% that did so three months earlier.

Engagement Increasing as Instagram Audiences Grow

Among the Interbrand 100, audience sizes continue to climb:

  • The number of brands with 100,000+ followers on Instagram increased from 8 to 10, led by MTV, Starbucks, and Nike. Other brands such as Volkswagen and Gap are on track to pass that milestone in the coming months. 
  • 26% of Interbrand 100 brands now have 10,000+ followers, up from 20% in the previous quarter. 

Moreover, among the Top 100 brands, consumer engagement increased 35% on average quarter over quarter, as the proportion of brands driving engagement increased:

  • The top 8 brands now account for 80% of total engagement on Instagram; three months earlier, the top 8 accounted for 92% of total engagement. 
  • The top 10 brands, ranked by followers, grew engagement levels 19% on average over the quarter, fueled by increases in follower counts.
  • Gucci and Tiffany & Co. have roughly doubled their engagement levels, after growing audiences 65% and 75%, respectively.

Interactions Beyond Instagram

Brands’ photos generated more than 4,800 engagements interactions (e.g., likes, comments, Tweets, and Facebook shares) during the three-month study period:

  • Facebook played a critical role: 98% of Instagram photos posted by top brands were shared via Facebook, resulting in 274 engagements per photo, a 30% increase quarter over quarter.
  • Engagement with Instagram photos on Twitter fell 17% over the same period, as Instagram dropped Twitter cards integration.

Overall use of filters by brands is on the decline, but Lo-Fi remains the most trusted filter, while Hudson boasts the most engagement, Simply Measured found.

About the data: Findings are based on the Instagram activity of the Interbrand Top 100 brands from Nov. 1, 2012 to Jan. 31, 2013.


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Lenna Garibian is a MarketingProfs research writer and a marketing consultant in the tech industry, where she develops engaging content that builds thought leadership and revenue opportunities for clients. She's held marketing and research positions at eRPortal Software, GAP Inc., Stanford University, and the IMF. Reach Lenna via Twitter @LennaAnahid and LinkedIn.

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