Brands that are planning their 2015 marketing budgets should consider how they will allocate resources to producing original photographs or leveraging user-generated content -- or both -- on Instagram.
Instagram, the four-year-old mobile-first photo- and video-sharing platform, just hit a milestone for its community.
Twitter currently has 284 million Monthly Active Users (MAUs) while Instagram reported that it has over 300 million MAUs. Although Instagram’s community is still smaller than its parent company, Facebook, and its video competitor, YouTube, it’s growing the fastest in 2014. Currently, Facebook has 1.35 billion MAUs and YouTube is at 1 billion Monthly Unique Visitors. To put it into perspective, Facebook is ten years old, YouTube is nine years old, and Twitter is eight.
Besides having the highest user growth rate among these three platforms, Instagram also has the most engaged community. According to Forrester, 4.21% of brands’ total followers have engaged with their content in comparison to 0.03% and 0.07% of brands’ total followers on Twitter and Facebook, respectively. This is one of the major reasons why brands are flocking to this network to reach consumers.
These figures will change dramatically in 2015 because Instagram also announced that it will eliminate spambots forever — so to speak, as nothing is really is deleted in the digital world — which will decrease total follower count. They are attempting to cultivate a human and brands-turned-human network.
An average of 70 million photos are uploaded to Instagram every day, and these photos are by and large uploaded with no filter. When looking at the top three most popular brands on SkiftIQ with the most engaged communities — National Geographic Travel, Tourism Australia, and Walt Disney World Resorts — photos and videos are uploaded 90% of the time, and the remaining are Lo-fi, Rise, and Earlybird filtered.
Here’s a quick look at the largest and most active brands and influencers in travel by Instagram metrics and the most popular content from as tracked by SkiftIQ.
Note: SkiftIQ tracks the social media efforts of over 2,700 travel brands.
Top Travel Brands by Instagram Followers:
Fastest Growing Travel Brands on Instagram:
Top Travel Brands by Total Likes on Instagram:
Top travel brands by Total Likes/Total Media on Instagram:
Increasingly, travel photos has become huge on Instagram. Here are the most popular content from the top performing travel brands as of 12/10/14:
Meet the newest #turtle hatchlings on Bare Sand Island in @ausoutbacknt. These two were seen hatching and heading for the sea during a @seadarwin Turtle Tracks Tour this week. An unforgettable experience, these tours depart from Darwin on select dates around the new and full moon from April to October each year.
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Photo credit: Contributing photographer's mundane shot of autumn leaves on a rainy day in New Jersey. John Kernick / Instagram