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Instagram ‘blows other social networks away’ for engagement, delivering 58 times more interactions than Facebook, says Forrester


By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

April 30, 2014 | 2 min read

Instagram is the stand-out social network when it comes to delivering engagement, according to a study from Forrester.

While Facebook and Twitter may dominate in terms of user base, people on the networks are less inclined to like, comment or share posts.

The study was based on three million user interactions with over 2,500 brands. It found that for every one million Facebook fans a brand has, a post pulled in around 700 likes, comments and shares.

This drops considerably for Twitter, with a brand seeing 300 likes, comments and shares for every one million followers.

But on Instagram, content that brand posted delivered 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.

Overall, out of six of the seven social networks tested by Forrester, the brands achieved an engagement rate of less than 0.1 per cent. Instagram posts generated a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21 per cent.

Forrester's principal analyst Nate Elliot offered an example: “Red Bull posted a video of a unique snowboarding half-pipe on both Facebook and Instagram. A few days later, we noted that the brand’s 43 million Facebook fans had liked the video just 2,600 times (a 0.006 per cent likes-per-fan rate), while its 1.2 million Instagram followers had liked the video more than 36,000 times (a three per cent likes-per-follower rate).”

The report suggested that this effect is actually due to less brands on Instagram.

“Fewer marketers use Instagram, and those that do post less frequently. The result? Brands’ Instagram posts don’t have to fight through as much clutter to reach their followers.”

However, Forrester suggested that this might be short lived as the number of users and brands on Instagram grows.

The report suggested that as the network becomes more “cluttered” Instagram will start filtering out brand posts in the name of relevance.

“Marketers must use Instagram now, before it changes the rules -- and they must be ready to move on to another social site when Instagram’s phenomenal engagement rates disappear,” it urged.

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