Is Instagram the answer to your brand’s social engagement issues?

May 25th, 2017

How’s your branded Facebook page faring? Garnering new likes? Seeing record levels of engagement?

While some brands are maximising the potential of the platform, for others it appears to be a constant struggle to show any real ROI. Although advertising does help grow brand pages, and there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that it nudges Facebook to help the page organically too, it can’t do much to increase levels of user engagement. If readers don’t want to click and share no amount of cash will make them do it.

Which is why a growing number of brands appear to be attracted to the potential of Instagram (incidentally, lest we have forgotten owned by Facebook).

A number of reports have emerged recently which show that the image and video sharing platform is surging ahead of Facebook in terms of user engagement.

Recent analysis conducted by Socialbakers, for example, showed that brands are seeing nearly four times as much user engagement on Instagram than they do on Facebook. Celebrities also fare much better too. The lead Instagram has over Facebook in engagement is even more impressive given that it has just 700 million monthly users, while Facebook has 1.94 billion.

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So, is now the time to start taking content and ad spend away from Facebook and moving it to Instagram? Well much depends on the type of brand you’re managing.

Here are a few questions to consider if you are considering shifting budget and content resources from Facebook to Instagram.

1. What demographic are you trying to reach?

Instagram has a younger audience than Facebook, so it’s not surprising that youth focused brands like Ben & Jerry’s and TopShop perform well. The platform is only effective for a certain number of brands, and its leading brands seem to attain consistently high levels of engagement. Instagram has become central to social strategies of fashion, food and sports companies. If you are not aiming for a younger audience it is not a place to invest in.

2. What type of engagement are you seeking?

There could be a very obvious reason why some brands achieve such high engagement rates on Instagram and that’s because its interactive features are so simple. For example, the Socialbakers report suggested that the’ double tap to like a photo or video’ may be a contributing factor to Instagram’s impressive engagement rates for some brands.

If you are seeking deeper levels of engagement you are more likely to attract these on Facebook as it is clearly wordier with people writing longer posts and comments that run beyond a sentence. It may be one of the reasons why media brands (to say nothing of less visual brands) seem to thrive on Facebook but find Instagram a trickier proposition.

3. Can you harness the power of celebrity?

With its young visually focused audience Instagram is the perfect home for celebrities. If you are keen on engaging with a younger demographic it also makes sense to work with celebrities on the platform. There are countless examples now of brands who have used celebrities to promote their product campaigns which have Instagram at their heart. However, the figures required to buy an endorsement post from a top level star are huge.

highest paid celebrity instagram beyonce queen bey

4. Are you missing out on the numbers?

For most brands, it isn’t an either/or in choosing Facebook or Instagram. There is however a decision to made around levels of energy, time and resources devoted to each platform. One question that any brand majoring on Instagram needs to mull over is ‘are they just better not using Facebook anyway?’ Ultimately Facebook’s reach is significantly larger than Instagram, and can brands afford to not prioritise an audience that is large over a platform that is powerful, but more niche?

As Jan Rezab, chairman and founder of Socialbakers told AdWeek “I definitely would not advise moving spend away from Facebook—it has too much scale and reach.” “

“Brands should start putting more emphasis on Instagram. Look at it less as just a photos platform and more of a conversion platform play.”

Commissioned by The CMA

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