Report: Why More Brands Are Choosing Instagram Over Facebook

By Kimberlee Morrison

According to visual marketing platform Olapic, Instagram is going to become the most powerful social media network of 2015. While there is data to suggest that brand adoption is not keeping pace with Instagram growth, a recent report from Olapic and market research firm L2 indicates that more brands are choosing Instagram over Facebook.

The Instagram Intelligence report evaluated how 250 brand strategy performance in nine categories. According to the report, the frequency of brand posts on Instagram has increased 23 percent over the last five quarters with the average frequency of nine posts per week during Q4 2014.

During the same time period, brand posts on Facebook have decreased, from an average of 11 posts per week in Q4 2013 to eight posts per week in Q4 2014.

The report points to the decline of organic reach on Facebook as the biggest reason for this shifting focus. While attracting bigger audiences used to be a positive result for marketers, recent changes to the News Feed algorithm have restricted organic reach on Facebook, and according to Olapic, is especially punishing for brands with more than 500k followers:

Traditional “win” metrics on Facebook backfired, spurring brands to build enormous communities that later diminished platform ROI.

By contrast, there is no negative relationship between follower count and engagement on Instagram. As a result, marketers are turning to Instagram for organic reach, according to the report. Likewise, marketers learned their lesson and are focusing on content quality rather than followers.

While videos generate more comments on Instagram, photos and stills generate 36 percent more likes. In fact, according to the report, video engagement trailed that of images during all four 2014 quarters.

Not only do images generate more engagement but 65 of the best performing posts on Instagram displayed a product prominently. Still the report warns against using “e-commerce workarounds” like Like2Buy, in their effort to facilitate conversion.

The report offered several takeaways including using this time to explore and learn what works, while keeping the future in mind. Brands should expect that organic reach will be supplanted by pay-to-pay (see: Facebook) on Instagram, and ensure the assets and skills being erected will stand when muscle (money) replaces sweat.

Download the full report to see key findings on the state of play, equating audience size with engagement, measuring success and more.