The Instagram data on why fashion & beauty publishers are growing fast

July 17, 2017

Written by NewsWhip

Instagram’s popularity only seems to be going up, and as it does, the fashion and beauty verticals are perfectly poised to reach grow out a niche, fanatical audience on the platform. 

The inspirational, visual-first nature of Instagram makes beauty and fashion a perfect fit for the platform. Fashionistas and beauty junkies can binge on style ideas, the latest looks from celebrities, and be the first to see new products from cult-favorite brands.

This in mind, we decided to use our data to analyze:

  • The top liked & commented Instagram fashion & beauty publishers
  • How engagements have changed for these publishers from 2016
  • The top posts of Instagram fashion & beauty publishers

According to Digiday, engagement and interactions for fashion and beauty brands are higher on Instagram compared to any other platform. For many at these publications and brands, Instagram is the focus.
As an example, we looked at the engagements around fashion week hashtags in NewsWhip Analytics.

We last looked at fashion week in September, where we saw that outfit inspiration and celebrities drove the most likes and comments. If we look at the entirety of 2016, we can see how the fashion weeks created spikes of engagement on Instagram, reaching over 6 million engagements in February and September.

So who is ruling the runway on the Instagram? In our latest report, we take a look at the top publishers, brands, and non-celebrity influencers.

We used NewsWhip Analytics to take a birds-eye view at January through May 2017. Here’s a look at the publishers and media brands seeing the most likes and comments in 2017 so far. For your own analysis into any vertical or topic on Instagram, you can check out NewsWhip Analytics.

Looking at total likes and comments, we can see a few interesting trends just from these top publishers. Niche, sneaker-focused Instagram handles are doing well, with Sneaker News, Nice Kicks, and Sole Collector all in the top ten. These publishers also created the most content in five months we analyzed, between 950 and 1,200 each.

Magazine brands seem to have adapted well to Instagram too, using their impressive access to fashion events and celebrities to appeal to followers. Vogue, Teen Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, Cosmopolitan, and Elle (ranked 11th) all seem to have cracked the Instagram formula.

Two other digital natives feature in the top ten — High Snobiety, and Song of Style, which started out as a fashion-focused blog.

If we compare 2016 to 2017, we can see that almost all of these publishers have seen continued growth on their Instagram accounts. Vogue in particular has seen a 62.6 percent increase in engagements. Teen Vogue is growing even faster, with a 93.1 percent increase in engagements.

Out of the ten publishers we analyzed, only Cosmopolitan has seen a dip in engagements between 2016 and 2017.

What about the content itself? The top 63 Instagram posts of these publishers came from Vogue (with two of those from Teen Vogue). That in mind, we looked in NewsWhip Analytics at the top post from each of the top ten publishers instead.

The first notable trends is that these are all image posts, not videos or carousels. In our recent analysis, we saw that photos tend to drive significantly more likes per post, though videos can drive more comments.
Three of the top liked and commented posts have to do with Former U.S. President Obama leaving office, which speaks to a trend that we’ve noted before. Fashion and social issues, even political ones, often overlap.

Along with Obama, celebrities are a good bet for driving engagements. Fashion fans want to see what celebrities are wearing, especially to exclusive events like the Oscars or Pippa Middleton’s wedding.

The fashion itself also drives engagements. For passionate fans, seeing new product releases or having the chance to win something from a favorite brand, can get followers liking and commenting.

Vogue’s top Instagram video again shows how the publisher is using its access to celebrities and events like the Met Gala to show followers an inside peek into exclusive fashion moments.

Another successful component here is that each of these publishers in the top ten has an established brand tone that reaches followers in a way they care about. As we heard recently from MTV News’ Renan Borelli, “Tone is super important for us; [the audience] can smell inauthenticity.”

To explore more about the top publishers, along with brands, and influencers, check out the full report. The report dives into the highest average likes and comments per post, which accounts are creating the most engaging video vs. photo content, and what the top trends are for fashion and beauty Instagram handles.

Read the Fashion and Beauty on Instagram Report


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