Five weeks ago we published an article about the soar in Instagram use. The image blogging/social networking platform saw a huge rise in visitor numbers. You'll find the original article here.
Now, it would appear that more and more brands are taking to Instagram by the day.
A report by Simply Measured, a US based analytics company, suggests that over 50% of the top 100 major brands have opened up an Instagram account. Amongst them are MTV, Nike, Burberry, Audi and Gucci.
The influx of new accounts is backed up by the fact Instagram has grown more, in user terms, than any other major social media platform - even ousting Pinterest. Whilst the latter grew by 24%, Instagram has well and truly beaten it, with 35% growth reported.
Whilst not all of the new brands to Instagram were actively posting, the number of active accounts from the big names was still very high at 91%. The other brands have almost certainly registered their presence for brand protection reasons, perhaps whilst planning their Instagram strategy and how it fits within their overall social media campaign.
There should be no surprise in the interest shown by major brands as they all seek to obtain as much visibility as possible. By joining Instagram they've added yet another channel for brand awareness.
Details on the brands activity showed that almost 1 in 5 of them had managed to attract more than 20,000 followers.
By far the most successful in terms of "Likes" was MTV, registering over 2.3 million from just under 550 images posted. A quick calculation on those figures reveal that the music channel has managed to achieve an avergae of 4,000+ Likes per picture.
MTV have just under a million followers on Instagram. So, they're engaging 0.5% of their total audience every time they post an image and that's a figure that any brand would love to be able to claim.
The MTV figures shouldn't surprise anyone. The demographic of Instagram users is well known and the fact that almost 30% of all online adults aged between 18-29 use Instagram mean it is an essential platform for those targeting a younger audience.
However, small and medium sized business in the UK are still overlooking Instagram when compared to their activity on Twitter and Facebook. Our own research suggests that most still don't see the potential of what is perceived as little more than a photo-taking application; and an alarming number were completely unaware of what Instagram was.
Instagram offers small and medium sized businesses one immediate benefit - visibility, in the very same way it does to major brands. The amount of visibility you receive will be linked to your activity, of course, but it's still another channel on which to establish your brand.
By doing so you're offering yet another method of connection to your audience. Many presume this to be "too much". However, the more methods you give your target consumers of interacting with you, the more chance you have of them doing so.
Those in the retail sector that want to bring younger generations to their brand should be devoting time and attention to Instagram and product imagery in the same way they should for Pinterest. Both represent outstanding opportunities for immediate and high-impact presentation of products.
So, if you're a brand, large or small, retail or engineering (and everything inbetween), you should be factoring Instagram into your plans for the social media marketing. Assess the platform. Look at what it can bring your organisation - you might be surprised at what you'll see others using it for.
If nothing else you should certainly be ensuring your brand/company name is secured as soon as possible. This platform isn't going to shrink - it is a key component of Facebook and their plans for future development and the sooner you become aware of it's potential, the better for your business.