Specifically, 2.5 million brand posts were published on Facebook during the second quarter of 2014, which is a 22% increase over the second quarter of 2013. On Instagram, 493,000 brand posts were published during the second quarter of 2014, which is a 49% increase over the same period in 2013.
Of those Facebook posts, 6 billion actions occurred (e.g., shares, likes, comments, etc.), which equates to 2,396 actions per post. Of those Instagram posts, 3.4 billion actions occurred (e.g., likes and comments), which equates to 6,932 actions per post.
Those stats translate to 56% more actions by Instagram users on brand posts than Facebook users. While it’s expected that Instagram posts would increase more quickly than Facebook (Instagram is only four years old while Facebook is mature), the number of actions per brand posts happening on Instagram versus Facebook is less expected but not a complete surprise. In November 2013, research by Unruly Media discovered that one out of two of the most shared videos on Instagram were published by brands.
It’s important to note that while Instagram is outpacing Facebook in terms of brand post growth and actions per brand post, the platform still has a lot of room for additional growth. The State of Social Media 2014 report from Social Bakers that was released in April of this year found that 81.2% of the more than 500 marketers from 82 countries and 20 industries surveyed reported that Facebook is a high priority. In fact, Facebook ranks as the top social media priority overall among brand marketers surveyed in the Social Bakers study. Instagram ranked fourth with 19.1% of marketers stating it is a high priority for them. Again, Instagram has huge growth potential for brand marketers.
Clearly, brand marketers are investing time and money into creating content for Instagram that consumers will like and share, and all of that content is leading to customer actions. Whether those actions are converting into sales wasn’t determined as part of this study, but there is certainly a place for branded content on Instagram. If you’re not already using it as part of your social media and content marketing plans, you should.
Image: Jason Howie