Shalom Life | April 19, 2014

Instagram Hailed 'The Best Platform for Brands'

When it comes to branding, the photo-sharing service beats all the big social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, according to a recent study

By: Graham Sigurdson

Published: December 9th, 2013 in Business » World

According to a new study that reviewed all brands on social media across the four major platforms (Instagram Facebook, Twitter, and Google+), Instagram came out as the clear victor.

“With increases in fan/follower engagement nearly three times that of other networks studied, Instagram is the clear winner for 2013,” SumAll CEO Dan Atkinson said. “If a company has a visual product to sell and it’s currently not on Instagram, that company is missing out on significant brand awareness and revenue.” SumAll is a business analytics tool that tracks over 100,000 business on social networking sites. The company analyzes over 290 billion social media actions a year.

Instagram saw the most significant increase in followers in 2013 said SumAll, which resulted in significant revenue, and an average growth of 7 percent for followers and engagement. In the US, revenue for brands on Instagram raised anywhere from 1.5-5 percent, while businesses in the U.K. reported a consistently steady 3.6.

That might not be good news for Israel's Mobli, who are competing with the photo-sharing service for the market.

SumAll surmised that this could mean social commerce may be a tangible phenomenon. Eric Dahan, the CEO of Instabrand agreed, telling VentureBeat that “Instagram is the best platform for brands. It’s much stronger than Facebook." Instabrand is a social marketing organization that focuses on digital media. Presently, their attention is on Instagram, but will soon extend operations to Vine, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

Instabrand stated that their customers saw Instagram followers grow from zero to 30,000 following campaigns costing between $3,000 and $5,000. In one case, a company received 50,000 unique visitors to its site from Instagram in two months following a $3,000 campaign.

“We average around 2 cents per engagement,” said Dahan. “We can’t measure impressions — Instagram doesn’t allow it — but we can measure engagement. If you have 200,000 followers, we’ll see 3,000 to 15,000 likes for a post, for a 2 percent to 10 percent engagement rate. Sometimes that jumps to 20 percent.”

With a visual medium, visual brands that communicate via an image do best. SumAll stated that fashion retailer “In God We Trust” credits 2.3 percent of heir revenue to Instagram, a number that, while sounding small, is a large sum for social commerce coming from a single mobile social network. SumAll added that bicycle manufacturer Pure Fix Cycles reported a revenue of $100 for every Instagram post is made.

Dahan stressed that the best approach to Instagram is not the obvious one: celebrity endorsement-which, may be a quick-fix strategy to increase brand engagement, but may ultimately backfire.

“We match businesses with users that already like the brand,” he told Venturebeat. “We tend not to like using celebrities — they’re almost corporate now, and people know they’re promoting a product just because they’re getting paid. We like to use grassroots people.”

Indeed, Instagram’s primarily visual nature seems to be it’s greatest strength, with Dahan stressing that “twitter is mainly text-based...great for articles and headlines...but not as good for brands.”

One wonders when companies will start using Snapchat for advertising.

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