Magazine article CRM Magazine

Firms Should Embrace Instagram: The Image-And Video-Sharing Site Now Surpasses Twitter in Users

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Firms Should Embrace Instagram: The Image-And Video-Sharing Site Now Surpasses Twitter in Users

Article excerpt

Photo-and video-sharing Web site Instagram in early December surpassed 300 million registered users, placing it ahead of Twitter's 284 million users. Instagram, which officially launched in October 2010, is four years younger than Twitter.

Now Instagram is closing in on parent company Facebook, which bought the site in April 2012 for $1 billion. According to research from Shareablee, a social media analytics firm, there were 2.5 billion brand posts to Facebook in the second quarter of 2014, with year-over-year growth of 22 percent. During the same period, Instagram's brand posts numbered 493,000, representing a 49 percent year-over-year jump.

For brands looking to market themselves, Instagram presents "an enormous consumer audience" that not only looks at photos and videos, but also takes and shares photos of their experiences with brands and their products, says Apu Gupta, CEO and cofounder of Curalate, a visual marketing platform provider for various social media sites, including Instagram.

But size isn't all that Instagram has going for it. Not only does Instagram have immense scale, it also generates a lot of audience engagement.

In that regard, Twitter and Facebook just can't compete. Forrester Research in April 2014 found that Instagram delivered 58 times more engagement to brands per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.

Shareablee's data shows that Facebook brand posts generated 6 billion actions, such as likes, comments, or shares, while Instagram's posts received 3.4 billion actions. On average, Facebook had 2,396 actions per post, while each Instagram post yielded an average of 6,932 actions.

"Audience engagement on Instagram grew by 131 percent in 2014, which is the highest growth rate of any social platform last year," says Tania Yuki, CEO and founder of Shareablee. "Across the board, brands increased their posting on the platform by 40 percent last year compared to 2013, and these posts drove more than 15 billion interactions in 2014."

And Yuki expects those numbers to grow as more firms embrace Instagram as a marketing platform. "Only 30 percent of all socially active brands have an Instagram profile, revealing a huge opportunity for brands to reach and activate their audiences through this platform," she says. …

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