Instagram is quickly becoming a favorite new marketing tool for businesses looking expand their social media reach, according to new research.
A study by social media consulting firm Simply Measured found that 40 percent of the top 100 companies as ranked by Interbrand are using Instagram, the photo-sharing social media platform, to effectively engage and grow their audiences. The research revealed that a majority of brands are using Instagram independently, rather than simply using it as an app to cross-post photos to Facebook and Twitter.
"As a mobile-only, photo-sharing-only platform, the fact that Instagram has seen such strong adoption from both consumers and brands is remarkable," said Adam Schoenfeld, CEO of Simply Measured. "Brands are clearly recognizing that Instagram is a viable network for marketing, and are now looking for ways to better understand the data behind the platform."
Luxury brands dominate the list of early adopters, the research shows, with Audi, Tiffany & Co., Hermès, Gucci, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Armani all utilizing the visual site to draw consumers' attention to their products. Specifically, MTV and Starbucks boast more than 750,000 followers, while 15 additional brands have developed audiences in excess of 10,000.
One of the key features of Instagram, the ability to put a filter on a photo, doesn't have a great impact on engagement. Overall, the study found that neither the use of filters nor the actual filter chosen has a significant impact on engagement.
The study estimates use of Instagram by businesses, which currently has 80 million users, will only increase as new administrative features become available that enable brands to control their accounts and drive deeper engagement and business value.
The Simply Measured Instagram study evaluated brands and verticals included in the Interbrand 100, identifying key trends and strategies companies use to engage with consumers through social media.