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Brands on Instagram increase their followers 166% in a year

Nike Instagram Page

A new study  by SimplyMeasured released this week show some impressive growth numbers for brands on Instagram.

The growth of the top 10 brands on Instagram is nothing short of impressive: Companies like Louis Vuitton have grown 401%  from May 2013 to May 2014, currently reaching more than 1,7 million followers . Nike, who trumps them all with almost $4,5 million followers, has grown 223% with only 89 posts during the same period. That’s a post every 4 days on average, much less than your typically teenage selfie obsessed users.

Top 10 Interbrand Companies on Instagram

In fact, the report continues, top ten brands average 28 posts per month. MTV, for example, exceeds more than 3 posts a day, who is, along with BMW,  the most active of the top 10.

The engagements level follow closely, which average 11 million for the year. MTV received, by far, the most love by number of engagements ( probably fueled by their heavy posting rotation) while BMW received the higher rate with 1850%. Engagements here includes reposting of image to Facebook and Twitter. Car companies, according to SimplyMeasured, seemed to have benefited the most from the photo sharing site with the highest engagements. “BMW has gotten 18.5 engagements for every one of their 1 million fans over the last year. They’re joined by Mercedes Benz ( not a top  10 ), who tallied 57 engagements for every one of their 775,975 fans over the course of the year.” While the study concludes that car companies produce the most engaging content because they have years of building highly effective visuals, it also implies that what drives Instagram users to interact with brands’ photo is the dream aspect of their products.

Engagement by for the 10 top brands

Looking at how well other high luxury brands have performed -Tiffany and Co for example has 1011% engagement rate- one can quickly deduct that a big part of this engagement, probably the “like” and sharing part, is due to the inaccessible aspect of the product. People most certainly share them with a “i want this” comment attached.

The report concludes Nike remains the overall Instagram champ by amount of active followers while remaining the less active.

For brands still unsure of Instagram, and in general of any photo based sharing platform, this report should be a final wake up call. It is obvious that consumers do not mind sharing their social space with brands but are in fact welcoming of their presence within their friends’ feeds. Especially if they know how to communicate visually. Once Instagram decide to convert these engagement into sales – which they might do sooner than later with Pinterest recent entry into the advertising space- it will be interesting to see how those numbers translate. But for now, it’s everybody’s game as long as there is a real strategy to make it grow. It wouldn’t be  surprise to soon  see a brand become highly popular because of their Instagram activity.

More on the study here 

Author: Paul Melcher

Paul Melcher is the founder of Kaptur and Managing Director of Melcher System, a consultancy for visual technology firms. He is an entrepreneur, advisor, and consultant with a rich background in visual tech, content licensing, business strategy, and technology with more than 20 years experience in developing world-renowned photo-based companies with already two successful exits.

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