Report: Brand Activity, Engagement Growing on Instagram

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Advertising on Instagram has become an effective and profitable strategy. Social media users are heavily engaged with brands, and brands are learning that Instagram is no longer an option, but a necessity.

A report from Simply Measured examines how brands are adopting Instagram, and shows just how much engagement they’ve achieved.

Simply Measured analyzed more than 2,500 posts and 80 million likes and comments from more than 138 followers of 90 brands in the Interbrand 100 during November of this year.

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Across all metrics, participation and engagement is up. They found that 90 percent of the included brands now have accounts on the site, compared to nearly 50 percent in 2012. Approximately 80 percent of accounts are active on a weekly basis, and have more than 10,000 followers. A third of companies even post 10-20 times a month, and the number of brands posting more than 50 times a month have doubled over the last three years.

This increased activity has been answered with an increase in engagement. Likes and comments have increased 53 percent year-over-year, with the average brand among the Interbrand 100 receiving more than 30,000 interactions per post. Posts with hashtags and locations tags, and posts with multiple hashtags perform better compared to posts with none, or too many.

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Brands across multiple verticals seem to be able to hold massive attention on Instagram, often despite a shortage of posts. During the survey period Nike had no recorded posts, yet the brand maintains 29.8 million followers — the highest number of any brand on the list. Several luxury brands also held spots in the top 10 for followers and the top 10 for engagement, which is a longstanding trend of strong brand performance on Instagram.

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Readers: Have you noticed an increase in engagement on Instagram?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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What’s Working on Instagram Nowadays? A New Thing Called “Follower Circles”

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Reddit isn’t just a massive, global community of people wasting spending time browsing the Internet. Sure, that happens quite a bit, but it’s also a reliable and hyper-niche feeding ground for news, information, entertainment, and interesting people across the world. In r/marketing, Redditor KLNMSoftly asked the question below.

What’s working on Instagram now? I’ve seen on Reddit and other forums how some people are growing accounts to 100k+ and I’m wondering how they do it! The ‘standard’ advice is always engage (like/comment), post regularly and use hashtags. That can’t be all it is. I’ve experimented with auto-likes and comment bots a year ago, but I’ve heard too many horror stories to risk doing it now. So does anyone have any insight into how people are growing these accounts now? I’ve noticed that a lot of them are luxury/women, so is it just the niche?”

Thanks to some marketing-minded Redditors in the r/marketing community, there were some insightful responses that are worth looking into if you or your business is looking to grow an Instagram following, or just engage with more users around your product, service, or industry.

One of the responses mentioned “Follower Circles” on Instagram. Essentially, it’s a “share for share” agreement that Instagrammers coordinate, similar to YouTube creators starring in each others’ videos, or syndication partnerships with editorial content.

There’s a new thing called “Follower Circles”

“My wife is a fashion blogger and apparently they do this ‘follower circle’ thing,” responded Redditor ImaGampo. “Basically, each of them takes turns linking to another blogger who links to another who links to another… and on and on. I’m really not sure how it works, but I know it’s a highly coordinated effort that’s all timed out. And apparently it works.”

And yes, apparently it does work. It’s part of the equation to how one Instagrammer gained 39,000 followers with $ 0 marketing budget, and if you’re not forming strategic partnerships with other Instagram users, accounts, and influencers, you’re most likely making one (or several) of the 8 Mistakes We Make On Instagram.

Instagram is a unique social network for businesses and brands

It’s highly visual, mobile first, used by people of all ages, and when compared to Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn, it’s straightforward from a “growing your following” perspective. Instagram can just about be boiled down into two aspects: 1) a raw feed of photos and videos from the accounts you follow (mixed with the occasional advertisement), and 2) discoverability through hashtags, locations, and the “Search” tab.

Whether you join “Follower Circles” mentioned above, use relevant hashtags in the comments of your posts, or post special offers and giveaways, the simplicity of Instagram allows users to grow their community in rather straightforward ways. It’s not like Facebook where always-changing algorithms, boosting posts, and ad re-targeting are only tiny ingredients of the overall recipe.

One of the reasons that Instagram is loved by so many people is because it’s clean, simple, and users know that every post will appear in their timeline at one point or another. Keep this in mind when creating Instagram content, and explore how “Follower Circles” may be the right fit for your brand.

Click here for the original, full Reddit thread.

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