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With 800 million users and rising, the 25 million businesses on Instagram are on the right path. Opportunities for brand engagement are increasing with the recent introduction of Instagram Stories, which is already generating at least one direct message from a consumer for every five organic Instagram Stories. And Instagram has just launched its shopping service in the UK, following its success in the US. In fact, at least 30% of users have purchased a product they first discovered on Instagram. What’s more, an impressive 200 million Instagrammers per day actively visit the profile of a business – that’s three times the population of the UK and six times the population of Canada.
Global brands like Burberry with 10.4 million followers, GoPro with 13.6 million followers and BMW with 15.3 million followers are smashing it on Instagram. However, many of them are still not fully capitalising on it and even the most successful brands could do a lot more on a country level to engage with their audiences.
The other night, for instance, I watched in awe as British climbing champion Leah Crane defied gravity at the launch of BMW’s X2 at a bouldering centre in Bristol. She then posted about it to her 45,500 Instagram followers using the hashtags #betheonewhodares and #BMWX2.
But how come BMW didn’t post anything about the event? Or about the four similar “BMW X Nights” held across the UK? And they didn’t seem to interact with the posts of their celebrities, let alone all the other bouldering enthusiasts posting on Instagram.
In fact, as far as I can tell, the most recent posting from BMW UK’s Instagram page that ISN’T a fabulously sleek photo of a car, is a photo that refers to a sponsored art exhibition back in October 2017. Now, as one of the most popular brands on social media, maybe BMW feels they don’t have to do more to develop brand trust, loyalty and ambassadors. And perhaps they’re right. But for the rest of us, we can learn from these gaps.
At 800 million, Instagram has double the monthly active users of Twitter and more than three times as many users as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. User engagement on Instagram is higher again – 4.21% – compared to Facebook’s 0.07% and Twitter’s 0.03%. So it’s no surprise that the number of brands using Instagram is expected to rise from 49% last year to 71% this year.
How brands are using Instagram*
How people are using Instagram*