Brands Recognize the Powerful Reach and Potential of Instagram

3 minute read
Marisa Peacock avatar

There’s been some talk about how Instagram is the new marketing platform for businesses. Yet, just how viable is it to brands?

Thanks to a study by Simply Measured, we have a better idea about how Instagram and its followers can impact brand marketing.

Interbrands on Instagram

First off, roughly fifty-four percent of companies on the Interbrand 100 (representing the best global brands of 2012) have active profiles on Instagram. Only a quarter ago, forty percent were active. Of course, there are still fewer brands using Instagram than other up-and-coming social media platforms like Pinterest and Google+, but Instagram brand adoption grew at a much faster rate over the past three months.

This is considerable growth when you consider that Instagramlacks much of the bells and whistles that other social media dashboardsprovide. Instagram is mobile only and doesn’t provide any admin-focusedfeatures for brand managers.


Instagram Adoption Growth Outpaces Other Networks

What Do Brands Do on Instagram?

According to the study, thirty-four percent of the Interbrand 100 on Instagram post at least one photo per week. Additionally, brands indicated that their Instagram activity is becoming more strategic as they make it a key part of their social media marketing planning.


Facebook integration drives Instagram engagement

Facebook’s cross-channel integration is also proving helpful for brands (Facebook acquired Instagram in April of 2012). Instagram recently allowed users to automatically add likes on Instagram to their Facebook timeline. More than ninety percent of Instagram photos posted by brands were also posted to Facebook, allowing consumers to engage natively on both Instagram and Facebook. Brands actively cross post to Twitter as well, with sixty percent of brand photos being tweeted.

Learning Opportunities

Make Instagram a Part of Your Marketing Strategy Now

Of course, like any emerging social media platform, there will be skeptics and naysayers. Just as brands were wary of joining Facebook and Twitter, there are brands who will wait to join Instagram. However, the study behooves brands to act now. With adoption on the rise, brands that arrive late to the party risk falling behind.


While only eight companies out of the Interbrand 100 have more than 100,000 followers on Instagram, those brands have seen a meaningful increase in followers quarter over quarter (~48% on average). According to Simply Measured, over the next quarter, we can expect to see leaders cross the one million follower mark.

It's Still About Engagement

Because Instagram is still new, the only real metric for success is followers. Similar to how brands measured their success on Facebook and Twitter before they knew to focus on engagement, quantity surpassed quality. Some brands are sure to fall into the same trap with Instagram. However, savvy brands should learn from their previous social media mistakes and focus on engagement from the start.

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