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Are big brands showing instagram enough love?



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A study of how major brands in the UK are using the photo-sharing social network.

Are big brands showing instagram enough love?

  1. 1. Are big brands showing Instagram enough love? A study of how major brands in the UK are using the photo-sharing social network. August 2015 #UKInstaSurvey15
  2. 2. #UKInstaSurvey15   Why  should  I  read  this  survey?   Do  you  have  an  interest  in  how  your  organisa1on  tells  the  story  of  its  brand?  This  study  inves1gates  how  major   brands  in  the  UK  are  using  Instagram,  compares  different  sectors,  and  presents  best  prac1ce  examples.             The  approach   We  reviewed  the  35  biggest  adver1sers  in  the  UK  to  understand:  how  they’re  setup  on  Instagram,  the  way  in  which   they  publish  content  and  how  they  interact  with  their  audiences.  We  chose  not  to  assess  the  more  subjec1ve  area   of  ar1s1c  execu1on.     What  we  found   •  A  significant  propor8on  of  brands  have  no  presence  or  publish  content  infrequently.     •  Even  brands  publishing  regularly  oLen  struggle  to  clearly  demonstrate  the  purpose  of  their  account.   •  Brands   o=en   take   an   inside-­‐out   approach,   pos1ng   about   the   things   they’re   doing   rather   than   focusing   on   a   passion  point  of  their  audience.   •  The  FMCG  and  Auto  sectors  performed  best,  while  Finance  brands  were  generally  less  effec1ve.   •  A   number   of   brands   are   demonstra1ng   a   strong   understanding   of   the   plaNorm;   L’Oreal   Paris,   Ford   and   Specsavers  all  performed  strongly.   #Executive summary Page 2 The  hypothesis   Big   brands   aren’t   giving   due   a0en1on   to   their   ac1vity   on   Instagram,   leaving  it  out-­‐of-­‐step  with  their  other  social  network  accounts,  and  out-­‐of-­‐ touch  with  audiences.  
  3. 3. #UKInstaSurvey15   #Contents The  rise  and  rise  of  Instagram      Page  4   The  introduc1on  of  sponsored  posts      Page  5   The  survey  approach        Page  6   What  we  found        Page  7   #UKInstaSurvey15  infographic      Page  8   Full  brand  rankings        Page  9   Instagram  best  prac1ce        Page  11   Conclusions  and  recommenda1ons      Page  14     Appendix             How  the  sectors  compared      Page  18   How  we  can  help        Page  19   Survey  methodology        Page  20   Page 3
  4. 4. #UKInstaSurvey15   #The rise of Instagram Since  launching  in  October  2010  Instagram  has  grown  rapidly,  and  now  boasts  over   14  million  users  in  the  UK  (and  over  300  million  globally)1.     With   its   clean   interface   and   focus   on   photo/video   sharing,   Instagram   has   built   a   dedicated   audience.   It’s   become   a   favourite   of   celebri1es   and   sports-­‐stars,   while   providing   a   forum   for   people   to   build   their   own   “personal   brands”   as   online   influencers.       In  the  last  few  years,  as  Instagram’s  user-­‐base  reached  a  significant  size,  it’s  become   another  social  network  for  brands  to  consider,  deciding  whether  they  should  launch   an  account  and  what  to  use  it  for.         Page 4 Joe  Wicks  authen1cally  integrates  Uncle  Ben’s  products  into  his  energe1c  videos.   A  number  of  brands  have  also  established   commercial   rela1onships   with   “na1ve   Instagrammers”   to   feature   their   products   or   services   -­‐   tapping   into   the   large,   engaged  audiences  these  influencers  have   built  up  (example,  right).   14m   Source:   In  terms  of  business  benefits,  Instagram  themselves  focus  quite  heavily  on  how  it  can  help  to  drive  measures  such  as   brand  recall  and  purchase  intent  (see  example  case  studies  here:  hAp://   1­‐users-­‐uk  
  5. 5. #UKInstaSurvey15   #The introduction of sponsored posts Using  paid-­‐adver1sing  on  Facebook  is  now  an  accepted  requirement  if  a  brand  wants  to  reach  an  audience  of  any   significant  scale  (even  its  own  fans).  Instagram,  on  the  other  hand,  very  simply  shows  every  post  a  brand  publishes   to  all  of  its  followers.  However,  things  are  changing…                         However,   amidst   these   developments   our   view   was   that   Instagram   remained   low   on   the   priority   list   for   many   brands.  Plus,  with  poten1ally  less  senior  marketeers  personally  ac1ve  on  Instagram  (compared  with  Facebook  or   Twijer),  the  overall  appe1te  may  be  lower.     With  this  hypothesis  we  reviewed  35  major  brands  to  see  how  much  love  they’re  showing  Instagram.         Page 5 In   2014   Instagram   began   to   test   “sponsored”   (paid   for)   posts   with   a   small   number   of   brands.   Fast-­‐forward   to   August  2015  and  they’ve  now  opened  up  their  API,  which   in  short  means:   •  Brands   can   pay   to   reach   people   who   don’t   already   follow  them.   •  The  volume  of  sponsored  posts  will  increase.   •  Instagram  will  inevitably  introduce  some  form  of  “pay-­‐ to-­‐play”  system  (like  Facebook)  to  cap  how  many  posts   people  see.   Source:   Instagram’s  API  
  6. 6. #UKInstaSurvey15   Social  media  brand-­‐surveys  typically  review  established  social  networks  such  as  Facebook  and  Twijer.  However  we   found  a  lack  of  reports  inves1ga1ng  Instagram.     We  followed  our  standard  survey  approach,  focusing  on  how  brands  actually  use  a  social  network,  rather  than  how   many  followers  they  have  or  the  level  of  audience  engagement.  See  page  20  for  further  details  of  the  methodology.     We  assessed  the  35  biggest  customer  facing  brands  in  the  UK  (by  adver1sing  spend*)  across  three  areas:                 Note   We   chose   not   to   assess   the   photography   or   aestheGc   quality   of   content   being   published,   given   the   level   of   subjecGvity  this  would  include.  However,  it’s  an  important  point  (albeit  obvious)  that  brands  must  use  excellent   photography  on  Instagram  to  stand  out.             #The survey approach 1.  Account  setup   Have  the  basics  been   setup?   2.  Content  approach   Is  there  a  clear  theme   and  regular  publishing   schedule?   3.  Brand  engagement   Does  the  brand  engage   with  their  audience?   Page 6 *See  methodology  for  details.  
  7. 7. #UKInstaSurvey15   #What we found •  Almost  a  third  of  brands  had  no  account  or  hadn’t  published  anything.   In   some   cases   we   had   to   assess   a   brand’s   global   account   as   no   UK-­‐ specific  account  could  be  iden1fied.   •  Most  brands  didn’t  clearly  define  what  their  account  was  for  and  why   someone  should  follow  it.    OLen  there  was  a  broad  range  of  content   published,   delivering   an   inside-­‐out,   brand-­‐view   of   the   world   -­‐   rather   than  tapping  into  a  topic  of  interest  for  the  audience.   Page 7 •  In   general,   brands   published   content   infrequently   and   oLen   failed   to   complete   basic   housekeeping   such   as   having  their  account  verified  by  Instagram.   •  Less  than  half  of  brands  used  hashtags  in  the  “list”  style  that’s  now  standard  behaviour  on  Instagram.     •  Just  a  handful  of  brands  were  engaging  with  their  audience,  either  by  responding  to  comments  or  re-­‐gramming   (i.e.  sharing)  other  people’s  images.     •  L'Oreal  Paris,  Ford  and  Specsavers  took  the  top  three  spaces  in  the  survey,  with  L’Oreal  scoring  an  impressive   100%  against  our  criteria.   •  Comparing  the  different  sectors  we  surveyed,  FMCG  brands  topped  the  list,  while  Finance  filled  boTom  spot.   •  With  half  of  the  brands  scoring  less  than  50%  we  see  considerable  opportunity  for  development.   Rank   Brand   slp  Score   1   L'Oreal  Paris   100%   2   Ford   83%   3   Specsavers   83%   4   Tesco   72%   5   MicrosoL   66%   Top 5 brands in our 2015 Instagram survey  
  8. 8. #UKInstaSurvey15   ”   #UKInstaSurvey15 infographic - brand performance on Instagram Page 8 have verified accounts 31%   11% 
 re-gram other users Who’s got an active account? 69%   31%   #43% #brands #use #hashtags #in #native #Instagram #style 17%   reply to customers clearly explain what their account does 31%   26% publish content every day post content around just one clear theme 40% post videos “   11%  
  9. 9. #UKInstaSurvey15   #Full brand rankings Page 9 ConGnued…   The  maximum  score  a  brand  could  achieve  in  each  area  is  shown  in  brackets.   *  No  UK  account  iden1fied,  global  account  assessed  instead.   **  No  core-­‐brand  account  iden1fied,  “Sports”  sub-­‐brand  account  assessed  instead.   Rank   Brand   Account  setup  (9)   Content  (14)   Engagement  (6)   TOTAL  (29)   slp  Score   1   L'Oreal  Paris   9   14   6   29   100%   2   Ford   9   12   3   24   83%   3   Specsavers   9   9   6   24   83%   4   Tesco   6   12   3   21   72%   5   MicrosoL*   9   10   0   19   66%   6   Heineken   9   9   0   18   62%   7   Marks  &  Spencer   6   10   3   19   66%   8   Barclays   6   11   0   17   59%   9   McDonald's*   9   8   0   17   59%   10   Boots   9   7   0   16   55%   11   O2   4   8   3   15   52%   12   Kelloggs*   7   8   0   15   52%   13   Peugeot   6   8   0   14   48%   14   Sainsbury's   3   11   0   14   48%   15   Morrisons   6   8   0   14   48%   16   Volkswagen*   4   9   0   13   45%   17   Asda   4   9   0   13   45%   18   Vodafone   4   5   3   12   41%   19   Sky**   4   7   0   11   38%   20   BT**   3   8   0   11   38%  
  10. 10. #UKInstaSurvey15   #Full brand rankings Page 10 Rank   Brand   Account  setup  (9)   Content  (14)   Engagement  (6)   TOTAL  (29)   slp  Score   21   Lidl   4   2   3   9   31%   22   EE   4   4   0   8   28%   23   Virgin  Media   6   2   0   8   28%   24   Barclaycard   4   2   0   6   21%   25   Aldi   4   0   0   4   14%   26   Argos   4   0   0   4   14%   27   Direct  Line   4   0   0   4   14%   28   Santander   4   0   0   4   14%   29   Saga   4   0   0   4   14%   30   Moneysupermarket   4   0   0   4   14%   31   Bri1sh  Gas   No  account  iden1fied.   32   TalkTalk   No  account  iden1fied.   33   DFS   No  account  iden1fied.   34   Halifax   No  account  iden1fied.   35   Lloyds  Bank   No  account  iden1fied.  
  11. 11. #UKInstaSurvey15   #Instagram best practice We  picked  out  some  of  the  best  examples  from  brands  included  in  the  survey,  and  one  that  wasn’t,  to  illustrate   the  three  areas;  account  setup,  content  and  brand  engagement.   Account  setup   Specsavers   clearly   explain   what   their   account  is  for,  what  they’ll  be  pos1ng  and   include  a  clear  link  to  their  website.     @SpecSavers   Page 11 L’Oreal  Paris  balance  the  inclusion  of  their   marke1ng   strap-­‐line   with   a   concise   explana1on  of  what  followers  will  see.     @LOrealParisUK   Source:   Source:  
  12. 12. #UKInstaSurvey15   #Instagram best practice Content   Page 12 Patagonia   focus   on   the   wonder   and   opportunity   of   the   great   outdoors.   Note   the  lack  of  product  placement.     @Patagonia     (not  included  in  the  survey)   Ford   deliver   an   on-­‐going   stream   of   engaging   photos   of   stunning   cars   in   real   situa1ons,   rather   than   the   stylised   imagery   oLen   seen   in   tradi1onal   automo1ve  adver1sing.     @FordUK   Source:   Source:  
  13. 13. #UKInstaSurvey15   #Instagram best practice Brand  engagement   Page 13 O2   regularly   re-­‐gram   other   people’s   photos,   adding   a   clear   acknowledgement   to  the  user  in  the  photo,  as  well  as  in  the   post.     @O2UK   Marks   &   Spencers   respond   to   customer   ques1ons  on  the  plaNorm.     @MarksAndSpencers   Source:   Source:  
  14. 14. #UKInstaSurvey15   #Conclusions and recommendations We  drew  six  key  conclusions  and  recommenda1ons  for  brands  to  consider:     Page 14 1.  Although   Instagram   is   seen   as   a   “newer”   social   network,   brands   should   by   now   have   a   clear   approach   to   social   media,   with   common   principles  and  processes  to  support  any  plaNorm.         While  Instagram  has  its  own  unique  features,  it’s   ul1mately  just  another  place  to  engage  prospects   or   customers   and   encourage   posi1ve   word-­‐of-­‐ mouth.   2.  The  best  Instagram  accounts  set,  and  s8ck  to,  a   clear  content  theme  which  followers  can  build  an   affinity  towards  (example  right).     By   publishing   inspiring,   entertaining   or   useful   content,   a   brand   can   ideally   get   into   a   space   where   their   audience   is   “looking   out”   for   their   posts.  A  great  place  to  be  in  such  a  “noisy”  online   environment.   Symmetry  Breakfast  delivers  a  consistent   theme  that  inspires  and  entertains.     Source:  
  15. 15. #UKInstaSurvey15   #Conclusions and recommendations 3.  Reviewing  each  brand’s  profile  descrip1on   (example   right)   was   an   interes1ng   exercise  to  see  if  they  could  communicate   the   account’s   purpose   in   a   handful   of   words.   Page 15 Boots  Instagram  profile  descrip1on.   4.  As   discussed   previously,   the   launch   of   adver1sing   on   Instagram   will   inevitably  lead  to  changes  in  how  much  content  a  brand’s  followers  will   see.       Therefore  brands  failing  to  publish  frequently  and  consistently  (without   spamming)   are   missing   the   opportunity   to   reach   their   audience   “organically”  while  they  can…  before  sponsored  posts  really  take  off.   Trying   to   be   everything   to   everyone   is   far   less   appealing   than   being   great  at  one  thing.   An  example  of  a  sponsored   post  by  SkyScanner.   Source:   Source:  
  16. 16. #UKInstaSurvey15   #Conclusions and recommendations Page 16 5.  Every   social   network   has   its   idiosyncrasies,   oLen   established   by   its   users.  Hashtag  lists  for  example  are  very  much  an  “Instagram  thing”  -­‐   see   right.   With   less   than   50%   of   brands   using   this   approach,   it   poten1ally  suggests  underlying  issues:   •  a  lack  in  understanding  of  how  “real  people”  use  the  plaNorm.   •  re-­‐purposing  of  content  created  for  other  social  networks,  without   op1mising  it  for  Instagram.   6.  We  speculate  the  low  level  of  engagement  by  brands  is  due  to:   •  insufficient   8me   allocated   to   community   management   for   Instagram,  versus  other  social  networks.   •  brands   finding   it   challenging   to   manage,   as   most   social   media   management   tools   are   currently   limited   in   how   far   they   can   integrate  Instagram.   This  links  with  conclusion  #1,  in  that  brands  should  know  the  “rules  of  the  game”  for  being  ac1ve  on  social   media.  Launching  a  new  social  network  account  without  clear  objec8ves,  the  right  suppor8ng  capabili8es   and  a  long  term  strategy…  they  should  all  be  behaviours  of  the  past.   What  are  your  experiences  of  using  Instagram?  Let  us  know  using  #UKInstaSurvey15   Use  of  hashtags  in  a  list  by  L’Oreal  Paris  UK   Source:  
  17. 17. Appendix
  18. 18. #UKInstaSurvey15   #How the sectors compared The  FMCG  and  Auto  brands  we  surveyed  generally  performed  best,  filling  the  top  two  sector  spots.  This  was   helped  by  all  brands  having  an  ac1ve  account  and  the  strong  performances  of  L’Oreal  Paris  and  Ford.     Retail  brands  were  spread  out  across  the  survey,  but  notably  filled  3rd,  4th,7th  and  10th  places.     Conversely   the   Finance   sector   filled   four   of   the   boTom   ten   posi8ons,   with   two   of   the   six   finance   brands     having  no  iden1fiable  presence  on  Instagram.                         Note   It’s   important   to   caveat   that   the   sample   size   in   some   cases   was   relaGvely   small;   for   example   only   three   automoGve  brands  were  in  the  list.        Sector performance, ranked by average total score   Page 18 Rank   Brand   Account  setup  (9)   Content  (14)   Engagement  (6)   TOTAL  (29)   1   FMCG   8.3   10.3   0.0   18.6   2   Auto   6.3   9.7   1.0   17.0   3   Retail   5.0   6.2   1.4   12.6   4   Service  &  Entertainment   6.4   5.4   0.0   11.8   5   Telco  &  U1lity   2.5   4.2   1.0   7.7   6   Finance   3.1   1.9   0.0   5.0  
  19. 19. #UKInstaSurvey15   #How we can help With  slp  consul8ng’s  experience  in  strategic  social  media  consul1ng  and  The  Vision  Network’s  exper1se  in   crea1ng  content,  we’re  well  placed  to  help  organisa1ons:   ü  develop  or  review  their  approach  to  Instagram.   ü  integrate  social  media  more  broadly  into  their  business.   ü  scope  and  create  visual  content  for  Instagram  (or  any  digital  plaNorm).     If  you  would  like  more  informa8on  about  this  survey,  or  are  interested  in  talking  to  us,  please  get  in  touch:   E:          M:  07970  890468          W:   slp  consul8ng  was  founded  by  Simon  Preece  to  help  businesses   navigate  the  risks  and  opportuni1es  that  social  media  presents.       We  use  our  experience  to  help  organisa1ons  integrate  social   media  into  their  wider  business  strategy  by:     •  Reviewing  their  current  social  media  ac1vity.   •  Recommending  pragma1c,  independent  ac1vity-­‐plans  and   strategic  considera1ons.   •  Training  social  media  managers,  wider  teams  and  senior   stakeholders.   Page 19 The  Vision  Network  is  a  content  company.  We  communicate  for   our  clients  with  pictures,  films  and  wri1ng,  through  web,   mobile,  print,  TV  and  of  course,  the  spoken  word.       We  start  from  the  beginning,  working  directly  with  media   owners,  agencies  and  brand-­‐guardians  to  clarify  strategy,  reply   to  client  briefs,  create  pitch  ideas  and  deliver  content  and   adver1sing  collateral  to  engage  and  inform.       Put  simply:  ideas.delivered  
  20. 20. #UKInstaSurvey15   #Survey methodology Scoring  criteria   We  selected  ten  criteria  across  three  areas  of  research,  and  added  a  weigh1ng  to  each.  So  for  example,  having  a   verified  Instagram  profile  scored  three  points,  whilst  five  points  were  awarded  for  brands  with  a  very  clear  content   objec1ve.  The  criteria  used  were:                 Brand  selec8on   We  picked  35  of  the  biggest  businesses  ac1ve  in  the  UK  (by  adver1sing  spend  last  year),  with  the  addi1onal  criteria   that   they   must   be   “customer   facing”.   For   that   reason   the   likes   of   Unilever   are   not   included.   Our   research   was   grouped  into  six  sector  areas;  telco  +  u1li1es,  FMCG,  finance,  service  &  entertainment,  automo1ve  and  retail.     Timing   The  survey  was  conducted  in  mid-­‐July  2015  and  reviewed  each  brand’s  most  recent  30  posts  (or  3  weeks  worth  of   content).     Account  selec8on     In   each   case   the   brand’s   UK-­‐specific   account   was   assessed,   where   possible.   Where   these   weren’t   iden1fiable   a   global  account  was  reviewed  instead.   Page 20 Setup   Content   Engagement    Is  the  account  verified?    Does  the  account  post  frequently  and  consistently?    Are  regrams  used?    Is  it  clear  what  the  account  is  for?    Is  there  a  clear,  consistent  content  theme?    Does  the  brand  reply  to  users?    Is  there  a  link  to  the  brand's  website?    Are  product  images  published  without  context?              Is  video  used?            Are  hashtags  lists  used?