You may have read the recent news that Twitter is shutting down Vine. As The New York Times reported, one theory why is that “Instagram ate it.” The photo sharing site owned by Facebook has 500 million users and is growing exponentially, especially among Millennials.
Twitter launched Vine three years ago and has made rock stars of users who do back flips, balance stacks of things on their heads and amuse tweebs in 6-second videos. Now these stars are migrating to Instagram and other larger platforms where companies like Nike are luring in viewers, as reported in a recent study by UMass-Dartmouth’s Center for Marketing Research.
Entitled Follow the Leader: The Adoption and Use of Instagram by the Inc. 500 and the Fortune 500, this most recent iteration of the Center’s annual benchmarking report shows Instagram to be the fastest growing social media platform with 22% of the Inc. 500 and 30% of the Fortune 500 now active users.
Rank influences the adoption of Instagram. Forty-four percent of the top 200 on the Inc. 500 list and 49% of the top 200 on the Fortune 500 list are active Instagram users.
#Hashtags Drive Traffic
For those posting on Instagram, hashtags are the road map that drives people to your post. According to co-author Nora Ganim Barnes, PhD, Director of the Center, “Millennials are obsessed with Nike and want to engage with the company. Every study finds that Nike owns Millennials across all social media platforms.”
Companies both big and small are using hash tags to reach their followers. Astoundingly, #Nike totals 49,060,041 posts at this date.
Every picture/video posted typically carries a popular hashtag or a relevant one so that those searching the site can find things that interest them, according to the study, and many interact with companies by leaving comments.
How the 500 Use Instagram
The study found that for the Fortune 500 the objective of using Instagram is to disseminate information about their products/product lines, brands, specs, etc. They also use it for product promotion.
For the Inc. companies, there is almost an equal emphasis on product promotion and sharing company happenings/events.
Those in the consumer products and retail/consumer products industries hold the most active Instagram accounts.
Both use Instagram differently than they use other platforms like Facebook which is predominantly used for interaction and engagement.
The majority (77% of Inc. 500 and 75% of Fortune 500) receive 1-30 comments per post. Sixteen percent of the Inc. 500 do not receive any comments. In contrast 25% of the Fortune 500 receives more than 30 comments with 11% actually garnering 91 or more.
“For the Fortune 500, Instagram is a network where they can leverage their power, authority and wealth,” Said Barnes. “The difference in usage surprised me. I didn’t think of Instagram as a platform that had a range of usage. I thought it was a place to put pictures.”
She also noted, “The Inc. 500 don’t have famous brands, so posting office events and sweepstakes enables these companies to engage and get to know people and vice versa.”
Using Instagram for Your Business
Social Media Examiner recently published an article 4 Ways to Use Instagram Stories for Business that could help guide you to more engagement with your customers — and bring in new ones. The four techniques are:
- Deliver special offers
- Show off your creative process
- Share a raw, informal glimpse into your business
- Sign on for a Takeover
So if you’ve been a laggard in using Instagram for simply posting photos of sunsets, babies and your dog, you may want to consider how Instagram can help you to build your business by attracting new customers and interacting with the ones you already have.
How Do You Use Instagram?