Instagram may seem useless for social media marketing professionals, but the fast-growing network is unlikely to slow down soon.

Some social media networks help brands drive referral traffic back to their websites for lead generation purposes, and some platforms allow companies to showcase their corporate culture effectively. While each avenue has its own benefits, the latter channels present unique and unexplored challenges for both B2B and B2C social media marketing professionals. As Brafton reported, Instagram has earned the public’s attention, and recently released analytics tools to help companies understand how they can use the service for branding.

Instagram StatsIn a step to bring the American people into the world of Instagram, the Facebook-owned, picture-sharing company released monthly active user data for the first time – the figures speak for themselves.

According to Instagram’s press page, 90 million people access the application on a monthly basis, increasing 10 percent between December 2012 and January 2013, when the company nearly altered its terms of service and rattled the tech world. Funny how people threatened to leave, while an even greater number of users flocked to the network. More, Instagrammers leave around 1,000 comments each second, publish 40 million photos daily and commit between 8,500 and 10,000 Likes per second.

With such an active user base, businesses must find ways to use Instagram to strengthen their online branding, even if they just take pictures of their staff members, products, meetings or corporate events. The potential for success outweighs the risk of overlooking the network for much longer.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.