It’s hard to believe that a social network with 200 million active users could be overlooked by marketers. But that seems to be the case with Instagram.
Compelling data released this week by Nate Elliott of Forrester Research shows that brand posts on Instagram receive remarkably higher engagement than posts on Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms.
Studying three million user interactions on 2,500 posts from top brands during the first quarter, Forrester found that Instagram’s per follower engagement rate was 4.21%. None of the rest — Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter or YouTube — did better than 0.1%. Instagram’s results beat Facebook by 58 times and Twitter by 120 times.
So why is Instagram doing so well at brand audience engagement?
Forrester concluded that it’s largely because there’s less marketing competition on the network. Fewer marketers use Instagram — 58% of Forrester sample have an IG presence, compared to 94% on Twitter, and 82% on Facebook — and those that do, post less frequently.
Also Facebook’s News Feed algorithm reduces the number of brand post that reach consumers. And the high volume of tweets on Twitter makes seeing a non-promoted brand post less likely.
Finally, Forrester suggests that Instagram’s younger users — median age 27, compared to Facebook’s 40 — are more inclined to interact with brands on social media.
Red Bull is a prime example of super-charged Instagram engagement; Forrester reports that its IG posts receive 300 times more likes per fan than its Facebook posts. Here’s one telling example. In March Red Bull posted a video (embedded below) on both Facebook and Instagram. A few days later it had 2,600 likes from a base of 43 million Facebook fans and 36,000 likes on Instagram (1.2 million followers).
Forrester also noted that less edgy and youth oriented brands — Ford Fiesta and General Electric, for instance, are also doing well on Instagram.
However, Forrester warns, the high rate of engagement won’t last. As Instagram matures and further develops its nascent advertising options, its users will have more information to sort through and early adopting brands will have to work harder to be noticed.
So no time to waste, Elliott wrote: “If your brand is looking for social engagement — and if you’re not finding it on Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks — you should start using Instagram today.”