instagram1According to the second annual Intelligence Report Social Platforms of L2, a social media shakeout is looming as clear winners and losers begin to emerge. L2’s research reveals furthers that as the cost of social increases and budgets remain constrained, this is unsustainable and brands will be forced to pick their partners.

Many marketers try to be nearly ubiquitous, having a presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and recently Instagram, at once. However, experts warn that companies have to be careful not to be bogged down in too many platforms, because where there are winners, there are also losers. But Instagram in particular has something that many other social networks do not have - avid users – and maintains therefore a robust engagement and steady growth.

“The visual sibling to Facebook enjoys the most engaged users for both engagement rate and absolute interactions. Instagram’s engagement rate is 18 times that of Facebook, and average absolute engagement (3,200+ interactions per post) is twice that of the social behemoth despite being 15% of its size”, states the report.

Fact is that more and more companies are attracted to Instagram - and for good reason. Both in terms of commitment rate, and in terms of the absolute commitment per post, Instagram clearly stays ahead of the big parent company Facebook, as well as competitors such as Twitter (where the number of posts and commitment are in particular bad and out of proportion).

The number of brands that are active on Instagram rose within a year to 18%. Only WeChat could note a stronger growth. Meanwhile, more than 90% of the brands or on Instagram, placing it right after Facebook (100%), Twitter (96%) and YouTube (94%), and ahead of Google+ (79%) and Pinterest (74%), followed by Weibo, Youku and WeChat with values from 60 to 40 percent

On the decline are mainly Vine (minus 17%) Tumblr (minus 7%) and surprisingly Pinterest (minus 5%).

On average, brands are active on 7.5 social networks. Of all the examined nearly 400 brands, Adidas excelled by being present on 13 platforms. Gap, Uniqlo, Asos, Honda and Toyota are active after all on 12 platforms.

Even a number regarding the organic reach on Facebook has been delivered by L2, stating that it has fallen from 16% to a mid-single digit value since April 2012. Therefore, Paid Social Media should come even more to the fore and in fact already does.

L2’s data-driven report offers useful insight into which brands and platforms are effectively navigating the shifting social media terrain and I can only recommend the impressive presentation as it could be useful in achieving higher return on your investment.

By Daniela La Marca