First things first — Instagram is not dead.
The rise of TikTok has prompted questions about what social media platform will be most valuable for brands in 2023, and it has even been suggested that a veteran like Instagram is going out of style. The data, however, proves otherwise.
Over 2 billion people use Instagram at least once a month, and it’s the one app that all your favorite celebrities, brands, and influencers are likely already using. And even the biggest TikTok influencers put their Instagram links in their bios.
That’s because the reach from Instagram accounts is still massive, and the platform is often where we see their content generate the most engagement. In fact, since the beginning of 2023, the top 100 brand posts on Instagram have totalled over 92.8 million engagements alone.
That’s not to say that Instagram hasn’t been evolving to keep up with the times. It’s a creative playground that keeps getting upgraded, and because of this it’s still in the game. So let’s take a look at the content that keeps engagement alive on the platform, specifically from the brands that have found some notable successes so far this year.
Adidas has several accounts across Instagram, but its women-focused one has recently captured attention in a big way. This account is a great example of how Adidas creates carefully curated content for certain audiences, and its recent campaign with actress Jenna Ortega has been most successful at that this year.
If you’re not clued into everything pop culture (that’s ok) you should know that Jenna Ortega is a big deal right now. She’s funny and relatable, and her Netflix series Wednesday propelled her into stardom. Adidas saw her potential, decided to bet on it, and this allowed the brand to have one of the biggest brand posts on Instagram for 2023 so far, earning over 3.9 million engagements.
Diving a little deeper into why this brand partnership turned so many heads, it’s important to understand how much buzz Ortega stirs up on her own. Just in the last month the actress has earned over 850k engagements to articles written about her. This includes her recent appearance hosting Saturday Night Live, and news about her potentially starring in Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice sequel.
Huge public interest in a person can obviously play a major part in driving engagement to a brand’s campaign, but the public seemed genuinely drawn to her involvement, and comments on the post itself were overwhelmingly positive. This is once again a great example of a brand taking note of cultural trends and leveraging the power of the right influencer.
Luxury brands & BTS
Speaking of brands leveraging the power of influencers, the men of BTS seem to be a different breed, and recently a couple of luxury brands have caught on. We’ve highlighted their partnerships before (as a band and as individuals) but they just keep giving the people what they want, so here we are again! And while the group is known for its influence on Twitter, if anything they get even more engagement on Instagram.
This time it’s actually the same band member, Jimin, that’s making a splash on Instagram for Dior and Tiffany & Co. In January, Dior announced that Jimin would be its new global ambassador, and in early March, Tiffany & Co also revealed that Jimin would be its newest house ambassador, and fans on Instagram went wild over the news.
Dior managed to receive the most engagement to its post (2.7M) and was also fourth among the top 10 Instagram posts so far this year. Tiffany & Co wasn’t far behind, with the brand totaling over 1.5 million engagements to its photo post.
Luxury brands partnering with K-pop stars is certainly not limited to members of BTS, but their success over the years (BTS partnered with Louis Vuitton back in 2021) has shown brands the value these stars have. While BTS members still seem to drive the highest engagement, Gucci’s recent partnership with Kai, who’s part of boy group Exo, also earned noteworthy attention on Instagram, with 1.1 million engagements to its post.
Bugatti, Ferrari & BMW show off
Fashion brands may have dominated the top Instagram posts with their partnerships, but auto brands have also remained key players on the app, as engagement to car posts is much higher on the ‘gram than on other platforms such as Facebook.
In 2023 we’ve seen Bugatti, Ferrari, and BMW gain serious attention to their content, from simply posting automotive eye candy to sharing more innovative products like cars and their accessories. This is what Bugatti sparked attention with when it showcased a custom Bugatti Chiron alongside a matching Chiron timepiece.
The brand partnered with watch retailer Jacob & Co to fulfill a customer request that resulted in a watch that perfectly resembles the man’s sports car. The post earned Bugatti over 1 million engagements.
Ferrari and BMW have also had high performing content, with Ferrari sharing Formula 1 driver Carlos Sainz’s new 812 Competizione (806k) and BMW posting an image of the new BMW M4 CSL (727k).
By now we hope it’s clear that engagement on Instagram can be unmatched if content is created with intention. Whether it’s done for a specific audience or with the right influencer, there is opportunity for an especially rewarding outcome.
For more on how to monitor brands on Instagram, check out our blog on Instagram Reels.