In case you don't know this about me I am a huge sports fan. Huge. The reason I bring this up is because the word "bandwagon" is often bandied about in the sports world as in "more and more fans are jumping on the bandwagon." This jumping is associated with said team's fortunes rising thus the sudden popularity therein.
Now normally these same fans who were once so eager to grab a seat on the bandwagon, will just as quickly jump ship if and when the given team's fortunes begin to head in the opposite direction. These of course are not true fans for any real fan stays the course and supports their teams through good times and bad.
But I digress.
Somehow however I don't think - well at least they shouldn't anyway - that brands will be jumping off the Instagram bandwagon anytime soon especially when you look at the latest facts and figures.
You'll see why brand managers and brand marketers would be wise to, if they have not already, jump on the Instagram bandwagon that "by its mass appeal or strength readily attracts many followers."
The words in italics are from the definition of the word "bandwagon."
Way Back In August
In August I wrote More Brands Joining Instagram And With Good Reason. The basis of my article was findings of a survey done by Simply Measured, whose survey of Interbrand's top 100 revealed that 40% of the big brands are on Instagram.
Now, the "good reason" part of my title back in August spoke directly to the fact that while not yet possessing the same gaudy numbers as Pinterest when it comes to the number of female users or the amount of trust women place in it, does have a user base that is nearly 70% female according to data from appdata.com.
Add in the fact that women make upwards of 90% of all household purchase decisions and you see why I think it's a good reason.
But That Was Then
In their most recent survey of Interbrand's top 100 brands, Simply Measured found that 54% are now active on Instagram - an increase of 35% in just 3 months. While still lagging behind Pinterest and Google+ in total brand adoption, Instagram is growing at a much faster rate.
A 35% increase in just 3 months. Yeah I would say that the Instagram bandwagon is getting more and more crowded wouldn't you?
Additional findings from the survey:
- Brand adoption is impressive due to limited admin features and mobile-only focus. Unlike other social networks, Instagram is mobile-only and currently offers no admin-focused features for brand managers. Despite this, brand adoption has exceeded 50%.
- Brand activity has also increased. 34% of the Interbrand 100 now post at least 1 photo per week, up from only 26% one quarter ago. Brands are not just creating a presence, but are becoming more active on Instagram and making it a key part of their social media marketing mix.
- Cross-channel activity is powerful. The Instagram-Facebook combination has proved very valuable for brands. Instagram recently allowed users to automatically add likes on Instagram to their Facebook timeline and brands have taken advantage. More than 90% of Instagram photos posted by brands were also posted to Facebook, allowing consumers to engage natively on both Instagram and Facebook. Brand actively cross post to Twitter as well, with 60% of brand photos being tweeted. This cross-channel sharing makes Instagram a powerful content publishing platform as well as a highly engaging social network.
- Laggards beware. It's still early, but the time is now. With adoption on the rise, brands that arrive late to the party risk falling behind. Only 8 companies out of the Interbrand 100 have more than 100,000 followers, however those brands have seen a meaningful increase in followers quarter over quarter (~48% on average). Over the next quarter we expect to see leaders cross the one million follower mark. Laggards beware: by the time you get onboard, the gap between you and industry leaders may be daunting.
Instagram, Twitter & Mobile
Twitter is of course extremely popular and all that good stuff but clearly the folks at Twitter have taken notice of the goings on at Instagram especially when you consider the fact that, according to comScore (as reported to Mashable) "Instagram passed Twitter in daily active users on mobile in August for the first time."
The Mashable article went on to say "comScore's data shows that Instagram's daily active user count has almost increased tenfold in the six-month period starting in March, when it had 886,000 daily active visitors. Twitter's mobile user numbers have increased as well, but at a much slower rate."
And even though mobile marketing is still clearly the elephant in the room for marketers, Twitter is not sitting idly by as more and more consumers and brands jump on the Instagram bandwagon.
As reported in the New York Times "In the coming months, Twitter plans to update its mobile applications to introduce filters for photos that will allow people to share altered images on Twitter and bypass Instagram."
This story is also covered by my Forbes colleague Eric Jackson who writes Why Twitter Is Right To Launch An Instagram Competitor.
Well that is certainly interesting, huh? Pretty obvious Messrs. Dorsey & Costolo are taking Instagram quite seriously and as the writer of the NY Times piece so aptly put it "Although adding photo filters to Twitter may seem like a trivial addition to a social network that processes nearly a billion 140-character missives every two days, it could prove to be an important part of the company's business."
Anytime you start mentioning "company's business" you know that means the bottom line obviously and if we're talking bottom line then it's no wonder the Twitter peeps are taking notice.
Ok brand managers, brand marketers and all the ships at sea, is your brand on Instagram? If not, why not?
Named one of the Top 100 Influencers In Social Media (#41) by Social Technology Review and a Top 50 Social Media Blogger by Kred, Steve Olenski is a senior content strategist at Responsys, a leading global provider of on-demand email and cross-channel marketing solutions.