Fast-Growing Instagram Demonstrates Power of Visual Content to Boost Brand Engagement

Fast-Growing Instagram Demonstrates Power of Visual Content to Boost Brand Engagement

Brands are quickly turning to Instagram to capitalize on its expanding membership and higher rates of user interaction with visual content.

With 200 million users, Instagram is the fastest-growing social media platform and boasts engagement rates that dwarf those of Twitter and Facebook, as detailed in a new infographic from Quicksprout. Overall, engagement on the photo-sharing network is 40 times higher than that of Twitter, and 15 times higher than that of Facebook.

The potential for greater interaction has brands flocking to Instagram—93 percent of prestige brands are among its users. Between 2012 and 2013, the number of brands using the platform grew by 80 percent; in addition, it has seen a 350-percent growth in brand engagement year over year.

Instagram’s high rates of brand interaction buck the social media trend, as confirmed by a recent Forrester study of interactions on seven social networks. “People don’t engage with branded social content very often,” writes Forrester’s Nate Elliott in a blog post. Except, that is, on Instagram. Forrester found that top brands on Instagram generated a 4.21-percent per-follower engagement rate. In other words, brands drew 58 times more engagement per follower on Instagram than on Facebook. Compared to Twitter, brands on Instagram receive 120 times more engagement per follower.

For example, a Red Bull photo of a snowboarding half-pipe earned 2,600 likes on Facebook from the brand’s 43 million fans. On Instagram, the same photo got 36,000 likes from among 1.2 million fans.

Using Instagram to Your Advantage

Visual content makes a powerful impact. Sixty-seven percent of consumers say that image quality matters when they choose a product online, putting it atop product info, description, or ratings and reviews.

On Instagram, not all images are created equal. Quicksprout’s infographic details several factors that boost engagement:

  • Images with faces: 32 percent more comments.
  • Images with real customers using products: 30 percent more likes.
  • Light images: 24 percent more likes for light images than dark images.
  • Photos versus videos: 26 percent more likes for photos than videos.
  • Blue-dominant images: 24 percent more likes than red-dominant images.

Advertisers on Instagram should also analyze the best methods for delivering ads on the platform. Instagram ads tend to be most effective when users are exposed to more than two by a brand on any given day, Skyword previously reported.

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Krystal Overmyer is a socially-savvy writer and editor who is passionate about telling stories. In the past few years, Krystal has written about higher education, the new french bakery in town, online dating, labor market trends and tourism. The subjects may be diverse, but Krystal feels her role as a writer stays the same despite the topic: She tells the story and makes it matter. Her goal is to make the words sing, so that main messages are clear and accessible to readers.

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