Study Shows that Brands Haven’t Given up on Instagram

By Devon Glenn 

Instagram continues to attract top brands despite user concerns about privacy, according to a study released today by Simply Measured.

Proposed changes to Instagram’s user agreement in December sparked controversy among Instagram users and brands like National Geographic who feared that their photographs would be sold to third parties. The company quickly reverted to its original terms of service in response to the backlash. As of January 2013, the company reports 90 million monthly active users who share 40 million photos per day.

While Instagram has yet to release any advertising solutions for brands, that hasn’t stopped 59 percent of Interbrand 100 companies from using the photo-sharing site to connect with consumers –a nine percent increase in adoption since November 1, according to Simply Measured. Pinterest, by comparison, showed a 10 percent increase in adoption among brands in the same time frame.

Simply Measured also reports:

Brand activity is on the rise. 41 percent of brands now post at least 1 photo per week, up from only 34 percent last quarter.

Engagement is growing. Overall consumer engagement with top brands increased by 35 percent quarter over quarter. The average brand photo received over 4,800 engagements (likes, comments, Tweets, and Facebook shares).

Brand audiences continue to climb.The number of brands with 100,000+ followers increased from 8 to 10, led by MTV, Starbucks and Nike. 26 percent of brands now have over 10,000 followers, up from just 20 percent quarter over quarter.

Facebook plays a critical role. 98 percent of Instagram photos posted by top brands are now shared to Facebook, resulting in 274 engagements per photo, a 30 percent increase quarter over quarter. During the same period engagement with Instagram photos on Twitter has declined 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.”

“On the usage, it really varies depending on a brand’s goals, products, and audience,” said Simply Measured CEO Adam Schoenfeld. “Some brands use Instagram as a secondary outlet for previously created visual marketing and advertising material. Nike is a good example of a brand doing this effectively. On the flipside, MTV has seen some great success using ‘behind-the-scene’ footage of events and productions.”

See more statistics in the slide presentation below.