The Most Important Brands on Instagram

Copyright The JAG Wire Group

Iconosquare ranks the most important brands on Instagram

Business-to-business (B2B) companies wrestling with where to allocate their marketing dollars and resources in social media have put Instagram – one of the fastest growing major social networks — on the backburner.

They do so at their peril.

Instagram’s value for B2B players is sure to go up now that Instagram has announced the opening of its advertising API platform to developers. We should expect some exciting advertising opportunities in the future that will draw in more companies and inevitably shift the dynamics of this photo-sharing app away from the exclusive purview of the youngest of our population.

At the moment, however, Iconosquare’s ranking of 3,411 brands on Instagram shows us that it’s the Hollywood celebrities and musicians that are racking up the followers. Right after their celebrity fixes, Instagram audiences favor sports, fashion and retail. Further down the list we start to see various business-to-consumer (B2C) brands.

If they want to get a piece of the action B2B companies will have to get creative and find ways to come up with draw-dropping photographs and illustrations that reflect their brands, business propositions and vision. Some are already doing this.

A recent MarketingSherpa post by Paul Cheney, entitled 7 Surprisingly Successful Brands on Instagram, pointed to General Electric, Waste Management Inc., State Farm and Maersk Line as successful outlier brands on Instagram. You wouldn’t think any of these companies could do well on Instagram — but you would be mistaken because they have thousands of followers. Cheney found these rankings on the now defunct TOTEMS list of brands on Instagram. He suggests we study “what they are doing and draw inspiration from the marketers behind these brands.”

The take-away: The right images and strategy can go a long way to building brand awareness on Instagram.

What Are The Top Brands on Instagram?

Iconosquare keeps a running tally on the most important brands and celebrities on Instagram in 30 categories* The following ranking was as of 9/28/15 at 1:45 PM PST.

Celebrities: Hollywood and musician celebrity brands top the list with Taylor Swift at #1 (48.4M followers), Kim Kardashian #2 (47.3M) and Beyonce #3 (46.6M).

Company Brands: The first company brands to show up on the ranking are Nike a brand in both the Fashion and Sport categories at #21 (23.7M), Victoria’s Secret in Fashion #23 (22.6M), Nike Football in Fashion and Sport #46 (10.1M), NBA in Sport and Basketball #48 (9.7M), Forever 21 in Fashion #53 (8.2M) and Adidas Originals in Fashion and Sports #59 (7.5M)

Proving that Instagram audiences favor sports, fashion and retail right after their celebrities, Louis Vuitton in Fashion came in at #68 (6.8M), GoPro in Electronics #76 (6.4M), Zara in Fashion and Retail #79 (6.4M), Dior in Fashion and Luxury at #88 (6.1M), Adidas in Fashion and Sports #97 (5.7M) and Gucci in Fashion and Luxury at #105 (5.5M).

Various auto brands were scattered in with the top few hundred rankings, and further down the list we start to see various media brands. Leading the charts were the hugely popular National Geographic ranking at #11 (32.2M) and fashion publications such as Vogue, Playboy, and GQ much further down the list.

The first news media brand rankings were Time Magazine #373 (1.5M), and CNN #542 (1.0M). Celebrity-focused People Magazine ranks #553 (985.4K), and Refinery 29 #644 (882.2K)

But don’t give up on scienceNasa took 119th place (5.0M), NASA Goddard #504 (1.0M) and International Space Station #604 (872.7K).

And what about our interest in our national governmentPresident Barack Obama came in at #127 (4.6M), First Lady Michelle Obama at #274 (2.3M), and The White House at #474 (1.1M).

The first country (or travel destination) to appear is Australia, ranking #334 (1.8M), and then it would seem that the next hot travel spot is Michigan with its @PureMichigan Instagram account that sports a ranking of #1,184 (253.9K).

The first cultural establishment to make the list is the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in San Francisco #564 (962.2K). This might be because of all those techies taking up residence in the city.

And how did the tech startups rank? Clash of Clans, a combat game ranked #307 (2.0M), Lookbook #557 (967.6K) and Netflix #779 (588.5k), Tumblr #865 (492.3k), then Skype at #1,147 (271.4). Companies like GoPro came in at #76 (6.4M), but were categorized under electronics, along with Samsung Mobile #425 (1.4M).

It’s odd, but I couldn’t see a listing for Apple, just iTunes, which ranked #1,018 (355.5k) in the media category.

Oh, and by the way, “man’s best friend” scored with BarkBox, a company that is an IG power user focused on IG’ers who dote on their dogs, ranking at #574 (949.2K).

Further Reading 

* Airlines, Alcohol, Art, Auto, Beauty, Beverages, Celebrities, Education, Electronics, Entertainment, Fashion, Finance, FMCG, Food, Health, Jewelry & Watches, Luxury, Media, Moto, Non-Profit, Other, Places, Political, Retail, Services. Shoes, Sport, Startups, Tourism and Transportation

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