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Instagram consumer engagement is 18 times that of Facebook

New research suggests that Instagram is becoming a core platform for brands to engage with consumers

New York based L2 Think Tank recent research, published in “The Intelligence Report: Social Platforms”, suggests that Instagram is becoming a core platform for brands to engage with consumers.

The research found that the inherent visual component associated to Instagram, registered consumer influence positively by 18 times more than that of Facebook, and 48 times that of Twitter.

Chris Caines, Marketing Executive at Pinewood, said “being part of the conversation is a cross-industry lesson learnt in the early adopter days of Facebook and Twitter – that your customers are talking about you, or the brand you represent. Although 70% of well known brands have Instagram accounts, many more traceable conversations are taking place.”

He continued, “Instagram really does thrive on the use of various hashtags for trending, searching and categorisation. Users will express their moods, their location or even finite details such as dominant colours in their image, to make their content relevant to other users.”

Manufacturer representation on Instagram is mixed – some without accounts, others posting and commenting on others on a regular basis as they would with more common platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. Some have only a few 1,000 followers, whilst others have nearly ½ million.

Many consumers will search for images related to a car model, for example, and try to find out more about their desired vehicle. A quick search for #CitroenDS3 brings up a multitude of results, such as the modern driving displays, Liam Doran’s Rallycross Monster, Owners Club, and modifying. In a single glimpse a young buyer can see that the DS3 has the technology, motorsport pedigree, community and tuning ability he or she might be looking for. It supports the marketing efforts put in to influence the decision process.

Dealership representation on Instagram is exceptionally low in the UK (example below from British Columbia, Canada shows a VW Dealership with 6000+ followers), but those who use the platform correctly for their business could be placing themselves as a dominant social engagement brand for this unique audience.

Caines explained “with dealer saturation on Instagram being low, an opportunity certainly exists to align your dealership as being ‘the’ retailer of a specific car brand in your area. Fully grasping the values of your marque you represent is essential, as well as treating it the same as you would with a personal account. Engage. Use what you have learnt on Facebook”.

Suggestions for use could include branded stock images of new cars, or latest additions to your used car stock.

Caines concluded “Try it out for a few months. If it works, you could become the expert dealership representing your manufacturer brand. If your customers are the type who are likely to travel for quality service, then you could well find that Instagram drives showroom footfall, and increases your used stock turnover.”

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