Corporate Eye

54% of the World’s Top Brands Are on Instagram

More than half of the world’s top brands are now active on Instagram according to a new report from SimplyMeasured. Those brands are active and attracting followers, too. 20% of brands on Instagram have more than 10,000 followers, and 18% have more than 20,000 followers. However, just eight brands on Instagram have more than 100,000 followers. Those eight brands are responsible for 92% of the audience engagement.

Instagram launched as a simple photo-sharing app just two years ago in October 2010. At the beginning of 2012, 15 million people used Instagram. Fast forward nine months and Instagram had grown to 100 million users and shows no signs of slowing down.

Suffice it to say, Instagram is very alluring to brands that want to connect with those 100 million users. It’s not surprising that between August 1, 2012 and November 1, 2012, the Instagram adoption rate among the world’s top brands jumped by 35%. That’s higher than the Pinterest adoption rate during the same time period of 24%, and significantly higher than the 5% increase Google+ experienced.

The eight brands leading the way on Instagram are MTV, Starbucks, Burberry, Nike, Gucci, Tiffany & Co., Audi, and GE. The most active category on Instagram is apparel, and business-to-consumer brands are more active than business-to-business brands overall. You can see some statistics in the image below about these eight brands and their Instagram account details recorded during the 3-month period of August, September, and October 2012.

Click the image to view it at full size.

instagram top brand account details

One of the most interesting things learned from the SimplyMeasured report is how significantly Facebook drives engagement for Instagram photos. Of course, since Facebook purchased Instagram, this is a relationship that will only grow. According to the report, out of 2,533 photos that brands shared on Instagram during the 3-month study period, 60% were shared to Twitter and 93% were shared to Facebook.

Nike stands out as a brand that has had great success with Instagram. A mixture of compelling photos has led to great engagement rates, including:

  • 57.3 tweets per photo
  • 612.3 Facebook likes per photo
  • 1.5 Facebook comments per photo
  • 0.9 Facebook shares per photo

You can read the full Instagram Brand Adoption Study report from SimplyMeasured below, which tracked the performance of the brands on Instagram from Interbrand’s list of the top 100 brands.

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.