Instagram engagement outstripping Facebook and Twitter

In-depth Instagram metrics are notoriously hard to come by, something that can make a marketers job that little bit more frustrating when compiling a campaign report. There are ways to measure some basic stats such as likes and comments received, but so far Instagram does not offer data insights anywhere near the level of networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

So we owe thanks to social media analytics company Quintly, who have studied a range of Instagram accounts for the first quarter of 2015, and have made some interesting findings. The study analysed over 5k profiles that ranged in size from fewer than 1k fans, to more than 10m.

Before we dig into the results, let’s remember exactly why Instagram is such an integral part of the social media landscape. It boasts 300m active monthly users, and the average of 70m photos uploaded every day generate 2.5b likes. With a 36 percent increase in its’ user base during 2014, Instagram remains one of the fastest growing networks out there and a hugely relevant tool for brands and marketers.

Right, onto the study. Starting with the activity level on Instagram, an analysis of posts made during January of this year indicate that the average account makes one post per day. However, this significantly increases on pages that have over 100k fans. This may be because once an account has become a ‘success’ there is more incentive to post, and also because brands with large followings are more likely to have thorough Instagram strategies in place.
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As the above table shows, Facebook accounts during the same period were slightly more active, with the same trend of higher activity on accounts with a larger following.

Dipping into the distribution between images and videos, it’s perhaps unsurprising that almost 94 percent of posts in the study were images. The engagement received for images and videos is quite similar, but for now it appears that users and brands are content with posting images. It will be interesting to see how this develops, especially considering the efforts that Facebook and Twitter have been making to encourage video content.

Finally, the engagement comparison between Instagram and Facebook is the really eye-catching takeaway. An engagement score was devised by divided the average number of interactions on a post by the number of followers, and multiplying by 100. For Instagram the interactions are likes and comments, and for Facebook it is likes, comments and shares.

With Facebook scoring a respectable 0.72, Instagram comes in with a much higher 4.8, providing yet another clear indication of Instagram’s importance to a successful marketing strategy.

Of course, there is much more to it than simply posting regular content and reaping the benefits. Successful strategies will be well thought out, have clear goals, and will have to resonate with followers.
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Instagram has been cautious in its’ approach towards advertising as it seeks to test the waters and gather feedback from users. Posts like the one above will begin to appear from a few selected companies, with a ‘sponsored’ label positioned above the post. One thing for sure is that Instagram will be insistent that adverts fit in with the look and feel of their network, so as not to alienate users.

The full study from Quintly can be seen in the SlideShare below.

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