While Facebook may be the most popular social network, marketers using Instagram are getting a bigger return on their investment, new research finds. A study by digital consulting firm L2 Think Tank revealed that although Instagram's community of 150 million monthly active users is a fraction of the size of Facebook's, the interaction rates for posts made by the 249 brands studied were 15 times higher on Instagram than on Facebook.
Specifically, Instagram's brand interaction rate — which is based on the number of likes, comments and shares a post receives — was 1.53 percent, compared with just 0.10 percent for Facebook, 0.09 percent for Google+ and 0.04 percent for Twitter. Overall, 93 percent of the brands studied now have an Instagram account, which represents a 63 percent increase from July 2013. Brands post an average of 5.5 times a week, and 43 percent post more than once a day. In addition, 72 percent of the brands studied post Instagram videos, up from just 26 percent six months ago.
The study revealed that because of the results, more and more brands are incorporating Instagram into their social media strategy. Nearly 90 percent of the businesses surveyed have both an Instagram account and a Facebook account. Considering the overall size of the Instagram community compared with that of other more established social sites like Facebook, which has 1.1 billion users, the move is significant, the study noted. [The Best Social Media Marketing Services Reviews]
Additionally, more than half of the brands studied have inserted Instagram custom tabs, which makes it easier to share photos, into their Facebook page — a feature made possible after Facebook's $1 billion acquisition of Instagram in 2012.
Heavier forms of integration were still relatively rare, but researchers think that Facebook may increase its promotion of Instagram — such as by encouraging users to submit their own sepia-toned photos — if engagement levels remain so positive for businesses.
The study was based on social media data from 249 brands in the beauty, fashion, retail, hotel, and watches and jewelry industries.