Continuing a trend that began earlier this year, Instagram blows its competition out of the water with the amount of engagement between users and brands.

If engagement is the primary metric for assessing a social media marketing campaign, then brands would do well to think about using Instagram. According to research by SocialBakers, the photo-sharing network gets 50 times the level of engagement as Twitter (3.31 percent per post, vs. 0.07 percent for Twitter).

What is it about Instagram that produces this kind of discrepancy? For the most part, it’s because of it’s many benefits:

 Images: Social posts that include images get more engagement on any network, and Instagram is nothing but pictures.
 Simplicity: The engagement interface for Instagram is simple: Double-tap to like, or click to comment.
 Personality: As Brafton reported, Instagram doesn’t offer an API, so it can’t be managed with secondary software. This leads to a guaranteed human interaction and improves the overall quality of posts.

The most important factor, however, might simply be that Instagram won’t offer huge marketing benefits to every kind of brand. While B2Cs might thrive on the channel, B2B marketers might discover their most sought-after leads aren’t browsing social media on their smartphones during peak business hours.

Getting engagement on the network that’s right for your business

Instagram’s engagement is less an endorsement of the network per se, and more a call for brands to assess their audiences and determine where they’ll get the most engagement, period.

For example, a Brafton client in the information technology industry had a huge library of content, but it didn’t know how to encourage new readers, establish thought leadership and drive qualified leads. We engineered a Twitter campaign to communicate with likely customers who were active on the platform.

After a steady stream of 40-50 weekly Tweets, the results were significant: After a month, we saw 27 percent more Twitter followers, 184 additional social interactions and 226 percent growth in referral traffic. For the client, the content was already there – it just wasn’t front and center for customers to see and engage with. But when brands find their audiences and encourage them to get involved, no matter where they congregate on social media, results follow.

Want to know more about which subjects encourage engagement on different networks? Check out these Brafton resources:
Want social engagement? Here are the topics to post about [research]
Social networks by the numbers: Stats for smarter social media marketing [infographic]
Content for Social: Join the party that’s right for your business [eBook] 

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.