Despite Instagram’s Surging Growth, Adoption by Brands Remains Slow

Instagram is now one of the top five social sites on the Internet, but less than 50 percent of brands consider it a primary choice for their marketing efforts. Perhaps it's time for brands to think again.

Instagram experienced surging growth in the fall of last year, landing it among the top five social sites on the internet. Some new research from digital marketing firm Yesmail shows that while Instagram is growing quickly, marketers are not taking advantage of this emerging network.

Yesmail analysed the 2,000 brands using its proprietary tool and discovered that those using Instagram in 2014 saw a 278 percent growth in followers. Still, brands seem reluctant to invest in a presence on Instagram.

Michael Fisher, President of Yes Lifecycle Marketing found the low adoption of Instagram by brands surprising. He said in a statement:

With over 300 million users and 70 million photos and videos shared daily, by not investing in a social strategy that includes Instagram brands are missing a sizeable opportunity to further engage with their customers.

According to the data, Facebook and Twitter have more than 80 percent adoption among brands included in the study; more than 60 percent of the brands included in the study were using YouTube. While some industries seem to be adopting Instagram at relatively high rates, general adoption is much lower and slower than other networks.

For instance, when marketers establish a presence on three social channels, only 12 percent of them include Instagram. If they have four social channels, 37 percent choose Instagram, and if they have five channels, 47 percent choose Instagram. So Instagram is often included as an afterthought by marketing strategy professionals.

Fisher said:

Instagram is a great way for brands to increase consumer engagement. Although no industry has fully embraced Instagram, brands would be smart to create a presence on the platform to ensure competitive advantage and reap the benefits of Instagram’s high follower growth rates.

And Instagram’s engagement rates dwarf Twitter’s engagement. With new marketing tools like carousel ads offering greater flexibility and reach, brands would be foolish to ignore Instagram when allocating their marketing resources.