Instagram Beats Facebook and Twitter for Brand Engagement…And Other Hot Topics

Over the last few years, small businesses have heard that Instagram is a valuable social network to be on.

For a lot of businesses, being able to create awesome-looking photos is enough.

But this week, a new report provides one of the most compelling reasons yet — showing that brands on Instagram are seeing more engagements from followers than on any other social channel.

Read more about this top story, and get caught up on all the stories you might have missed, in this week’s marketing news roundup.

1. Instagram is now the top performing network for brand engagement

According to a new report from research firm Forrester, Instagram is the top performing network for brand engagement.

The report, which looked at more than 3 million user interactions across seven social networks, found that brands on Instagram are seeing a 4.21 percent engagement rate per post.

Compared to other networks, Instagram has 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking to expand your social media strategy, Instagram could be a great place to start. Instagram has one of the most active social communities, and offers a number of easy-to-use features for showcasing your brand and reaching new audiences.

Instagram is a powerful content creation tool, as well.

Photos generate high engagement rates across all of the top social networks. Instagram makes it easy to create beautiful-looking photos that your audience will want to engage with on social.

New to Instagram? Here are some of our top resources for getting started:

2. Vulnerability in Internet Explorer could put your computer at risk

Microsoft has confirmed the existence of vulnerability in Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 that could allow an attacker “to take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.”

The bug has been identified as a ‘zero-day’ threat, which means that the first attacks took place before Microsoft was aware of it. To be compromised, a user need only visit a web page that has been configured to take advantage of this exploit.  Because many websites display web banners produced by third parties, it’s possible to be exposed to this vulnerability even on reputable commercial websites.

Bottom Line: At this time the Department of Homeland Security is recommending that users stop using Internet Explorer until Microsoft issues a patch. Please consider heeding this advice for both your business and personal computers.

Note: Microsoft will not be issuing a patch for Windows XP users. Learn more from Microsoft.

3. Foursquare introduces Swarm; splits app into two

Foursquare has announced a new app called Swarm, which they believe will provide users with an improved experience for connecting and keeping up with friends.

Essentially, Swarm will split Foursquare into two mobile apps. Swarm will be focused on check-ins and connecting with friends, while the Foursquare app will increase its focus on local search and discovery.

Here’s how Foursquare explains the new user experience:

Our company has always been about helping you keep up and meet up with their friends, and discover great places. Our two new, unbundled apps are designed to do that for everyone. Swarm is for people who want the fastest and easiest way to connect with their friends. Foursquare is for explorers who want to know about the best spots, and to share what they’ve found with others.

Bottom Line: Foursquare has undergone a significant shift over the last few years to become much more of a local discovery tool. And while Swarm is certainly good news for Foursquare users looking for a better way to connect with friends, the continued focus on local search for its main app is the best news of all for small businesses.

If you own a small business, this is an important reminder to make sure the information that’s listed about your business on Foursquare and other listing platforms is up-to-date.

If you have a brick and mortar location — like a retail store, restaurant, or office — you can claim your location, and manage your information more effectively.

4. Facebook drives 24 percent of mobile referrals

According to a new study from Quantcast, Facebook drives more traffic on mobile to other sites, than any other social network.

Looking at referral traffic to 250 top news and entertainment websites, the study found that Facebook accounted for 24 percent of visits, compared to seven percent from Twitter, and two percent from Pinterest.

Bottom Line: With more than 1 billion active mobile users, it’s no surprise that Facebook is continuing to take up a larger share of mobile referrals.

When sharing a link on Facebook, or on any other social network it’s important that the content you’re linking to works on mobile. This could include a link to your website, blog, or to your latest email campaign.

By providing a positive mobile experience, you’ll have more people reading your content, and more opportunities to keep fans engaged.

Want more social media advice?

This month we are hosting an advanced social media webinar, From Just Using Social Media to Getting Real Results.

This special event will be hosted by our award-winning social media team. It will give you the chance to learn first-hand from a team that has built active audiences and engaged them across all of the top social networks. The presenters for the webinar, Kristen Curtiss, Social Media Marketing Specialist, and Azure Collier, Social Media Education Developer, will offer step-by-step training of the top five social networks — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

The webinar is May 22, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Reserve your spot today.

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