With the help of its new backing from Facebook, the photo-sharing app Instagram is quickly becoming a marketing tool of choice for businesses, a new study finds.
Research from social media analytics firm Simply Measured revealed that the top brands are reaching more than 100 million consumers via Instagram, a 500 percent increase since being acquired by the social networking giant a year ago.
The study found that Facebook’s impact on the jump cannot be overlooked. In total, more than 2 million likes, comments and shares of Instagram photos have occurred on the popular social network since they bought the photo site.
"A year ago, many people were skeptical about Facebook's acquisition of Instagram and whether it would hinder the network’s growth," said Adam Schoenfeld, CEO of Simply Measured. "However, today it's very clear that the synergies are not only bringing new users on board, but also creating incredible opportunities for brands to connect with consumers."
Overall, 67 of the companies on the Interbrand 100 — which ranks businesses based on financial status, how the brand influences purchasing decisions and how strong the brand is — are now using Instagram. The research shows that 23 percent of active Interbrand 100 companies post more than 50 times a month, up from 20 percent since last quarter. In addition, those brands are seeing more than 5,600 engagements per photo, up 16 percent over the previous three months.
The study found that while more brands are using Pinterest as their visual social networking medium of choice, the reach of those using Instagram is far greater. Specifically, the collective audience of the 76 Interbrand companies on Pinterest was less than 500,000, while Instagram's 67 companies reach more than 7 million followers.
This quarter, Nike joined MTV and Starbucks are the only brands to acquire 1 million Instagram followers.