It turns out a picture is worth a lot actually. According to a recent study conducted by L2 Think Tank in New York, Instagram has become a critical way for brands to engage with consumers. The study found Instagram registers 18 times the consumer engagement than that of Facebook and 48 times that of Twitter. The study titled “Intelligence Report: Social Platforms” credits this newcomer’s quick rise to its visual component. The study notes that other platforms that have a visual component such as Vine, YouTube and Pinterest, have also experienced significant increases and offer opportunities for brands to engage deeply with consumers.
The “Intelligence Report: Social Platforms” study assessed the presence and performance of 247 brands across 15 social platforms. The study found that those social platforms that are based on visual content engaged with consumers more than other social platforms. As author Erin Shea notes in this article for Mobile Marketer, consumers are interacting with brands on Instagram that don’t even have official accounts with the social platform. The author cites the brand Chanel as a prime example. The brand does not have an official Instagram account, but there are more than 2.7 million images that have been branded with the #Chanel hashtag on the social platform.
The study also found that Instagram has more users than Vine, but Vine has a higher interaction rate with posts. YouTube is also seeing an increase in luxury brands that are using the platform to engage with consumers. However, just because some brands have found success with social media platforms that focus on the visual, doesn’t mean that all brands will automatically experience the same result. As Shea notes “…brands should not join new social media if their customers are not there. Marketers need to find where their consumers are and then create a presence there.”
And as the researcher lead for the study, Danielle Bailey notes, social media “…requires a shift in how brands approach and measure their success on these platforms,”…”Rather than direct attribution, social media shines in the secondary effects such as search, customer service, CRM, retargeting, engagement and brand building.”
So just posting that gorgeous photo of your product to one of these social media channels doesn’t guarantee instant engagement with your brand. Marketers still need to research their audience and devise a strategy for sharing and engaging with consumers no matter the social media channel.