Customer-obsessed marketing

Instagram Is The King Of Social Engagement

Nate Elliott
April 29, 2014

[2015 UPDATE: Yes, Instagram is still the king of social engagement. But top brands’ Instagram engagement rates fell dramatically in 2015. Read more here.]

Recently, Forrester studied more than 3 million user interactions with more than 2,500 brand posts on seven social networks and confirmed what marketers have long suspected: People don’t engage with branded social content very often.

On six of the seven social networks, the brands we studied achieved an engagement rate of less than 0.1%. For every 1 million Facebook fans those brands had collected, each of their posts received only about 700 likes, comments, and shares. On Twitter, the ratio was about 300 interactions per 1 million followers.

But one social network absolutely blew the others away when it came to delivering engagement: Instagram. Our study found that top brands’ Instagram posts generated a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21%. That means Instagram delivered these brands 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.

Instagram offers brands 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook

What does this higher engagement rate look like in practice? Last month, Red Bull posted a video of a unique snowboarding half-pipe on both Facebook and Instagram. A few days later, we noted that the brand’s 43 million Facebook fans had liked the video just 2,600 times (a 0.006% likes-per-fan rate), while its 1.2 million Instagram followers had liked the video more than 36,000 times (a 3% likes-per-follower rate).

Red Bull's Facebook post           Red Bull's Instagram post

And Instagram doesn’t only work for youth-focused brands like Red Bull; we’ve also seen great engagement for more pedestrian brands like Ford Fiesta and General Electric.

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.

For more detail on why Instagram delivers such strong engagement rates and how you can most effectively use the site, check out our new report, Use Instagram Now.

Related Forrester Content (For clients or purchase)

Use Instagram Now
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