Instagram is a social media platform that uses visual content to tell a story. It’s a great opportunity for brands to show off products, their company philosophy and involvement in community projects.
People are engaging with Instagram posts on levels unparalleled by any other social network. According to Forrester research, Instagram user interactions with brands is 400% higher than on Facebook and Twitter, delivering 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.
*This is backed up by a piece on izideo which also looks at the impact Instagram has had on brand engagement during 2017.
Instagram was first released in 2010, figures show that they now have more than 400 million active users. eMarketer predicts Instagram will generate more than $595 million in mobile ad revenue this year, set to rise to $2.81 billion by 2017.
One reason for Instagram’s popularity is the fact it doesn’t use any filters to show you what they think you would like to see, unlike other platforms like Facebook. Thus, an update from a friend with 50 followers will be displayed the same on a newsfeed as a big brand with millions of followers.
Top brands on Instagram
Below are some examples of brands that have been successful in creating inspiring pages on Instagram. Some companies post their own content; others post images from their audience and contributors. Many brand pages will also include feeds to allow customers to purchase items related to content posted.
Nike is one of the most followed clothes brand pages on Instagram with 42.5m followers. Their feed consists of both still images and animated images/videos. They include celebrity photo shoots and endorsements through to products.
Airbnb displays photos related to travel including beautiful holiday destinations, fascinating properties and fun activities from around the world. They use compelling images that make you want to take a trip. Followers can share they own travel experiences by including the hashtag #airbnb when posting their photos. It is possible to book by clicking on the images from a feed to book a listing. Airbnb currently has 924k followers.
Followers can also post their look using #AsSeenOnMe, which can be viewed on a gallery on the ASOS website where the products featured can be brought.
National Geographic currently boosts 47.7m followers, not surprising when you see the quality of the visual content on their Instagram page. The content comes from a number of their photographers. The history behind each photo is given in the description underneath it, with a link to the contributors Instagram account.
Zara has a number of pages e.g. Zara kids, Zara home but their main page has 10.4m followers. Their Instagram displays their latest fashion lines and points fans to where they can buy them on their website.
It is not only the amount of followers that reflects the popularity of a page on Instagram but also the overall number of posts using the brands hashtag. Zara has come in at number two in an Intelligence report of the most hashtag posts. Zara had 3,547,580 tags, although it doesn’t have one of the largest Instagram communities.
Fed Ex uses photos to illustrate how connected the world is and to tell their story – Fed Ex is everywhere. They display images of their global shipping business in action, from jets to delivery vans. They have 41.6k followers.
Go Pro is a popular page with 8.6m followers and promotes its camera through Instagram by displaying amazing action videos and shots. It includes a photo of the day and promotes photographers like professional surfer Mark Healey.
The GE general electric Instagram profile plays host to 222k followers and posts images of its latest innovation and successful engineering projects.
Mission Bicycle is a custom design bicycle shop in San Francisco, with 44.8k followers. It doesn’t just promote its custom made bikes but also content from bike enthusiasts that portrays passion through pictures.
Starbucks fill their feed with colourful images and clips of their coffee, products and promotions. Customers can purchase products via the images through a link to Starbuck’s Instagram shop at http://like2b.uy/starbucks. Starbucks has 8.4m followers.
Red bull has 4.5m followers on Instagram. Being a lifestyle brand they have very little branding. The reference to the Red bull beverage is almost non-existent; the profile is made up of extreme sports videos and photos from snowboarding to diving and flying.
Flowers for dreams is a flower bouquet in Chicago, their innovate page demonstrates the companies philosophy to helping communities. They donate to a local charity with every bouquet brought. They currently have 22.8k followers.
Among new social media marketing opportunities, Instagram’s impressive growth is turning heads. Many brands are now heavily using the mobile app to boost their visual marketing strategy. On Social Networks in particular, photos drive more engagement than any other kind of post.
On Facebook, photo posts increase the interaction rate by 39% compared to average. If you can spare a few minutes a day or even a week then Instagram needs to be added to the priority list for your social media marketing. Instagram can be especially powerful if you’re in a creative industry. Speak to us to learn more about how to best make the use of your brand across all social media channels.
*Article updated August 2017.