Friday, September 27, 2013

Are you following brands on Instagram?

By: Scott Stein, VP of Client Services, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

If you’re one of the 150 million people on Instagram and you’re at all like me, you enjoy the photos posted by family and friends as well as the various accounts that post photos of cute puppies. Since I consider myself to be an OK amateur photographer, I also follow a lot of other photographers looking for ideas and just enjoying the photos from around the world.

While most of the accounts I follow on Instagram are personal, I do follow a number of brands. And as a PR professional, I found a recent report from CNET to be rather interesting. The report cites new research from the competitive intelligence firm, TrackMaven, which found that nearly 25 percent of Fortune 500 companies are active on Instagram, with 112 of the top companies maintaining active accounts.

A couple of the big guys who jumped on the Instagram bandwagon early, like Nike and Starbucks, which are the two most-followed Fortune 500 brands on Instagram, use it for creative marketing and have prompted others to follow suit.

While nearly a quarter of the Fortune 500 is using Instagram as part of their marketing efforts, the TrackMaven research finds that most of the focus is on photos, with few of them adopting the use of video, which debuted on Instagram just three months ago. 

The CNET / TrackMaven report also found that videos seem to receive fewer interactions than photos and that there’s a strong correlation between using hashtags and getting more likes and comments. (If you’re on Instagram and looking for more likes and comments, the report says five is the optimal number of hashtags to use.)

What do you think of Instagram? Do you follow certain brands on Instagram?

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