Kylie Jenner, Grumpy Cat, and selfies wouldn’t be what they are today without Instagram. But the photo-sharing site is more than just lipsticks, animals and filters.

Since it was launched eight years ago, Instagram has gone from strength to strength. The unstoppable force of the social media platform means it is not only a valuable tool for brands, but it has also become a powerhouse itself.


According to NetBase’s Global Love List 2018, Instagram is now the most loved global brand, beating YouTube and its parent company Facebook to take the top spot.

As Social Media Week discusses, the top 25 positions were dominated by social media brands and digital companies, with Amazon, Google, Apple, Disney, Snapchat, Spotify, and Netflix finishing the top 10.

To get a sense of admiration for brands, NetBase identified when the word love, or a list of synonyms ranging from adore to luv to world class, was used as an insight for the brand. This resulted in 361 million posts of earned mentions in English language posts in 200 countries.

But Instagram isn’t just using its power to build itself up. Like any good friend, the social site is also helping other brands to raise their profile.

Spreading the #love

While Google leapt up 24 places since the previous ranking, the biggest climb went to Nikon, who rose an impressive 46 spots to rank in 16th place. And what is the secret behind Nikon’s success? Instagram.

According to NetBase’s report, Insta is vital for brands who want to build a social media following that generates brand love.

As a camera company, Nikon is built for Instagram. While it might not be surprising that the photo-friendly platform leads the way when it comes to the brand’s mentions, Instagram accounts for nearly 85% of its total conversation volume. That’s a lot of brand discussion happening on one social media platform. In comparison, Tumblr represents 6.1%. Meanwhile, YouTube and Facebook account for 1% and 0.1%, respectively.

The beauty of Instagram for brands is that it enables them to post content beyond their products. With Nikon, they use their profile to share the lifestyle and culture of their users, enabling them to dip into the realms of food, travel, and fashion. This also means they can vary their content from user content to their own, including how-to videos and monthly challenges. Instagram has also provided them with the platform to create their influencer base. These Nikon Ambassadors boost the brand’s reach by sharing their own stories in an authentic way.

It is this organic content that makes Instagram such a powerful tool. While Facebook may be changing its algorithm to reduce a brand’s reach on the site, brand engagement on Insta is one of the highest of all the social media platforms. Instagram isn’t so much about advertising, it is about creating a brand image that users want to engage with. It gives brands a chance to show their personality and for users to share how those products and services fit in and enhance their lives.

And, with 80% of Instagram’s one billion monthly users following a business on Instagram, there’s no reason why your company shouldn’t be getting on the Insta hype. Building up a social media following for your brand requires more than simply creating an account. From social media management to influencer marketing, M2 can help your brand feel the love online. Get in touch to find out more.

Photo by Sandrachile. on Unsplash

Ben Hollom

September 4, 2018