Do users on social networks actually engage with branded content? That’s what Forrester set out to examine with a new study. They looked at 3 million user interactions and 2,500 brands and found that “…people don’t engage with branded with social very often.”
Drilling down into the numbers, the study found that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all had varying rates of engagement. Surprisingly, Instagram had the highest engagement for any given brand.
For every 1 million Facebook fans, branded content gets only about 700 interactions (likes, comments and shares). For every 1 million Twitter followers, there are 300 interactions. Instagram? Around 40,000 interactions.
The study inferred that Instagram has less “clutter” at this early stage in its lifecycle. In fact, branded content on Instagram is not currently filtered and is shown in a user’s news feed along with the posts of their friends.
This is similar to Twitter which simply displays posts in chronological order but has an algorithm for when it shows advertising. However, if a user is following a brand directly, the brand’s posts will show up as regular posts. Facebook has an algorithm that filters out branded posts in order for people’s news feeds to stay more relevant with posts by friends.
The report guesses that Instagram will eventually gain users and clutter and will “likely begin filtering out brands’ posts in the name of relevance.” This would likely reduce the interactions per follower ratio for the social network and put Instagram marketers in a similar position to their current position with Facebook and Twitter.
(User engagement image via Shutterstock)