Instagram Hearts Visual Content Marketing (7 Charts)

Instagram Research & Actionable Tips

About 60% of the top brands are on Instagram. Is yours?

If not, you should reconsider because Instagram is the current see and be seen social media site that’s giving Pinterest a run for its money. Owned by Facebook, Instagram has 90 million monthly active users, 40 million photos per day, and 8,500 likes per second, according to Simply Measured.

Instagram: Top level view

13% of Internet users take and share pictures with Instagram based on Pew Internet Research.  Like participants on many social media venues, women are more likely than men to use Instagram. Age-wise, 18 to 29 year olds are Instagram’s sweet spot. 

Actionable Marketing Tip: Understand your target audience in terms of  how they use and view photographs. Add this as an element of your marketing persona.

Instagram adoption

Instagram usage continues to increase and is closing the gap with image rich and high growth social media sites Pinterest and Google+. Instagram still lags Facebook and Twitter. (Here’s additional research including Instagram on brands and social media.) A closer look at Simply Measured’s data reveals that the rate of growth for both Pinterest and Instagram is slowing.

As shown by comScore, Instagram is still on an upward trajectory while Pinterest, the hot social media site of 2012, appears to be flattening, although both still hover below Tumblr, the visual blogging site.

Actionable Marketing Tip: Diversify your use of photo-focused social media platforms so that you hedge your bets. Bear in mind that photographs are easy to take and easy to share relative to text content.

Instagram and brands

With three out of every five brands on Instagram, isn’t it time you considered adding this photogenic social media offering to your marketing strategy? Before you protest that it doesn’t apply to your business, understand that B2B and B2C businesses have found homes on this image friendly site. Further, already one tenth of brands using Instagram have over 100,000 followers.

It’s interesting to note that the top 10 brands on Instagram include a media entity (MTV) and a B2B focused business (GE) in addition to B2C offerings focused on fashion and image.

Actionable Marketing Tip: Decide how you’re going to represent your brand in photographs. It can be creative views of your product, your employees or your customers. Determine how your brand relates to popular hashtags and images.  To be competitive, post two photos a week.

Instagram: Social content marketing every marketer needs

Instagram is worth more than a thousand shares based on Simply Measured research. As content marketing fuel, Instagram provides social media gold. Users share almost 60% of their images on Twitter and 100% on Facebook. This translates to twenty-two tweets and 274 Facebook interactions per photo according to Simply Measured.

Brand engagement on Instagram increased by about a third among the top 100 brands in the last quarter according to Simply Measured. The top eight brands on Instagram accounted for 80% of the engagement on the social platform. What’s important for marketers to understand is that the top brands are increasing their engagement by about a fifth, a dramatic amount. In part this is attributable to being early adopters on this platform.

Changes in Twitter’s support caused a significant decrease in engagement on that social network. This underscores the need to promote your social media content across a variety of networks and to have an owned media entity such as a blog and email list.

Actionable Marketing Tip: Use Instagram photographs to entice prospects by showing another view of your product and business  or to get your customers socially involved with content that doesn’t require a lot of creativity or work on the part of the participant.

Instagram’s growth during the past quarter and the level of engagement experienced by the top brands on the platform make it worthy of marketers’ attention. This is particularly critical if your offering is photo-friendly.

Have you used Instagram to build your social presence? If so what has your experience been? If not, what has help you back?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies. You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

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  • Jeanne

    I had not considered using Instagram to promote my blog but you have shown me that it could be a good idea, Thanks