Forrester analyst claims Instagram is “the king of social engagement”

A post from Forrester Research analyst Nate Elliott has revealed that Instagram is by far the most engaging network for social content.

The conclusion has been drawn after a research study of over three million user interactions with 2500 brand posts on the main social networks.

Elliott found that for one particular Red Bull post, Instagram results – 36,000 likes from 1.2m followers at a 3% likes per follower ratio – smashed Facebook – 2,600 likes from 43m followers at a 0.006% likes per follower ratio.

On average, Instagram came up with 4.21% of user interactions with brands’ posts, compared to a miserly 0.07% for Facebook and 0.03% for Twitter. Breaking that down into more comprehensible numbers, every one million brands collected on Facebook would equate to about 700 likes, with every one million followers on Twitter resulting in about 300 interactions.

“If your brand is looking for social engagement – and if you’re not finding it on Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks – you should start using Instagram today,” Elliott wrote. This is especially remarkable, given Instagram is owned by Facebook.

Even though these numbers are startling, those who have followed this story will know that Elliott has been waging a one-man campaign against Facebook’s organic engagement levels for brands.

It all started back in October when Elliott wrote an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg claiming Facebook was “failing marketers” after publishing survey results which claimed companies were least satisfied with Facebook as a marketing channel.

Facebook hit back at the time claiming “the reality is that Facebook advertising works”, however Elliott updated in March proclaiming that the social network was “still failing marketers” and had “abandoned social marketing”.

It’s hard, therefore, to see this as anything other than a slight at Facebook. But there are those who disagree; Jan Rezab, CEO of social analytics tool provider Socialbakers, wrote on his personal blog that there was a “witch hunt” against the social network, adding that if companies targeted their advertising properly, they would be fine.

Regardless, the popularity of Instagram as a branded channel continues undimmed. Back in November analysis from Simply Measured revealed how the picture-sharing site was now rivalling Google+ and Pinterest in brand adoption – and it seems that Instagram is now top of the class if brands want to get ahead.

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