300 Million People at Your Fingertips (Instagram for Brands)

At the cost of $1 Billion a couple of years ago, Instagram is still growing and trending around the world. It has become a necessity for brands and users alike on social media even with the limited ad options. The visual focus, simplicity and popularity of the app itself combines to make a powerful platform for brands. It’s all in the way you use it. We’ve put together a few topics that make Instagram what it is and to showcase some of the best ways to leverage the platform as a brand.

via Instagram

A LinkedIn user, Katy Elle Blake, prepared a list of all the Instagram facts you need to know for 2015. While she covered a full array, we pulled together what we thought were the most useful for our audience but we encourage you to read the full report.

  • Instagram currently has 300 million monthly active users.
  • 75 million of those use Instagram every day.
  • 30% of teenagers consider Instagram the most important social network.20% of US adult females use Instagram, compared to 15% of US adult men.
  • 20% of Internet users aged between 16 and 64 have an Instagram account.
  • 41% of Instagram’s audience are aged between 16 and 24 and 35% are from 25-34.
  • This one might shock you - 51% of Instagram’s audience is male. 49% is female.
  • Instagram launched in October 2010. Over 20 billion photographs have been shared on the site since then. 70 million new photos are shared each day.
  • There are around 2.5 billion Instagram likes every day, or 8500 new likes each second. 1000 comments are left each second.
  • 70% of Instagram users log in at least once a day. 35% check Instagram multiple times per day.

In addition to the stats specific to the platform, we found these five stats about user engagement on the app and with brands from Sprout Social incredibly useful.

  • At 4.21%, Brand Engagement Rates Highest on Instagram
  • 50% of Comments Are Posted in the First Six Hours
  • @mentions in Captions Receive 56% More Engagement
  • Adding a Location Results in 79% Higher Engagement
  • Open Backgrounds and Single Dominant Colors Return More Likes
via Sprout Social

Brand Tips:
If you are still figuring out how to use Instagram we love these tips and suggestions from B2C. Here’s the full article but we’ll highlight the items we agree with wholeheartedly. (Note highlighted experts are from the article and the remainder copy are our views).

#1: Build a community around an actionable hashtag:

    You can’t go wrong with hashtags and we strongly encourage you to choose quite a few to begin using actively to ensure you are reaching your target user. However, in addition to those it is important to have a hashtag that is your own but isn’t just a brand name. You want a user to see the hashtag, take an action and associate the action with your hashtag. There are some great examples of brands doing this out there across the board and we think Instagram is the most important platform for this.

#4: PLEASE don’t over post:

    For reach this is IMPORTANT! Although on Twitter you can post day and night, Instagram is a unique platform. For most brands posting a couple times a week is plenty so keep that in mind when planning out your content.

#7: Utilize all the tools Instagram has to offer:

    Just like any other platform, it isn’t a one way street, You never want to push content out and walk away. So just like other platforms, understand the behind the scenes including native Instagram features (filters, special effects, editing, etc), Instagram analytics tools to provide you with insight (Impressions, reach, engagement, etc) and finally Instagram’s Business team and Blog.

#8: Get inspiration from others:

    There are so many great brands out there that it is easy to see how users are responding to their content. Use their best case examples to inspire your own content. In addition see what your fans are doing and jump on board. Anytime something is picking up with a fan, even if you didn’t create it, take advantage of the momentum and loyalty they are creating.

#10: Interact with Others on Instagram to Grow Your Following:

    This one should be a no brainer if you are using any social media platforms, but it must be said. The best way to grow your audience is to be authentic and engaging. Find users who are talking about your or a relevant topic for your business. Get a conversation started, #regram their images, highlight top users, and more to garner engagement and additional reach.


Although Instagram is still pretty closed off, there are a few tools to help in a variety of ways that we have used in the past:

Keyhole.co:This tool is used to see what hashtags are popular and find suggestions for related ones, although its really for twitter, you will find most hashtags are consistently used across both.

Tagboard: This tool lets you see what other Instagram content is being shared using the same hashtag and how often it’s used.

Iconosquare: This tool allows you to collect analytics such as average likes, your best hashtags and follower growth.


So now that you’ve got all that information, what will you do with it? We recommend getting out there and trying it out! Try everything and begin to understand what works best for your brand and resonates the most with your user base. Over time you will continue to grow your audience and be one of the top brands we keep seeing!