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How Instagram users interact and connect with brands

Instagram brings people and brands closer, survey finds.

3 min read

MarketingSocial Media

Instagram survey results


Instagram has been in the headlines recently as some users, including celebrities, reacted angrily to its move toward prioritizing TikTok-like short-form video. But, a survey by Passport-Photo.Online reveals just how valuable the platform is for marketers, especially in helping users make connections with brands.

How Americans interact with brands on Instagram

Some 92% of American Instagram users follow a business, with most following between 6 and 10. The survey found 71% feel a greater connection with the brands they follow. 

Instagram popular use times
Image credit: Passport-Photo.Online

“Having connected customers is critical, as they tend to make more frequent purchases and become loyal customers further down the road, which ultimately translates into business growth,” writes Max Woolf for Passport-Photo.Online.

And that is certainly what the survey reveals as connection inspires 92% of users to purchase from brands. 

One quarter of users interact with the brands they follow several times a week but 40% interact with them at least once per day. 


What content do Instagram users prefer?

Content that’s creative is most enjoyed by users, followed by content that’s informative, fun and personally relevant.

Some 58% of users favor Instagram Stories, the most preferred content type, followed by 51% who want text posts and 47% who like in-feed videos. 

When it comes to written content, 89% of users prefer brand posts that are 1,000 words or less. In addition, 48% like brand posts that include polls or quizzes.


Instagram is a favorite for shopping

Nearly 8 in 10 users are inspired to shop from brands by Instagram even when they weren’t intending to make a purchase and 71% choose to shop via Instagram in preference to other social platforms, rising to 82% for Generation Z. 

Product discovery is also an important part of the Instagram experience for 85% of users. Some 74% of users have bought a product or service on Instagram and 67% have persuaded family members or friends to buy something they saw on the platform. 


The takeaway for marketers

Instagram clearly offers benefits to marketers looking to connect with consumers, particularly younger ones as 64% of the platform’s more than 2 billion active users are under the age of 34, per SocialPilot

Passport-Photo.Online’s findings chime with a recent Emplifi and Harris Interactive report, which found Instagram, along with TikTok, is a favorite among Gen Z and that social media is a major purchase driver. 

Perhaps the backlash to Instagram’s proposed changes can be attributed to the platform’s ability to create a powerful sense of connection between users and the 71% who feel connected to brands they follow. Instagram has since paused the roll-out of the algorithm-powered content from people and brands not followed by users, The New York Times reported

Marketers seeking to make those powerful connections with Instagram’s users can use this research to create content that prioritizes creativity, is aimed at their followers and doesn’t interrupt the user experience. 

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