Instagram Brand Data

Instagram Brand Data

This data was originally featured in the June 23, 2021 newsletter found here:

In this week’s Data Diaries, we look at our newly-revised and appended Brands list on Instagram to see how unpaid brand content has performed in terms of engagement, year to date.

Instagram brand performance of unpaid content

We see after a relatively stable springtime, where brand performance remained relatively static (around 0.275% engagement) performance has begun to decline again in May, dipping below 0.25% engagement. Performance was highest in January; peak brand performance averaged 0.371% in the first few days of the new year. Performance slipped the most in June, when it dipped as low as 0.222%. For context, 0.222% is engagement of about 1 in every 450 followers, while 0.371% is engagement of about 1 in every 270 followers. That’s a change of -40%.

One interesting tidbit that is in no way conclusive but merely coincidental for now: brand performance began to decline again right after the iOS 14.5 release on April 26. Since this is all unpaid content, there’s no reason to believe the ad targeting changes impacted unpaid content performance, but it’s possible that the negative press (and in-your-face popup when users launched Instagram, begging people to permit ad tracking) had a minor negative effect.

What’s the key takeaway? Unpaid Instagram performance for brands continues to slip, so if Instagram is key to your marketing strategy, you’ll likely need to add more paid efforts to maintain performance and keep attention on the service.

Methodology: Trust Insights used data Facebook’s Crowdtangle software to extract 1,190,519 Instagram posts from 4,715 brands. Brands were provided by Facebook, then cleaned and augmented by Trust Insights. Brands are defined as corporate Instagram accounts and excludes personal brands. The timeframe of the data is January 1, 2021 – June 20, 2021. The date of study is June 23, 2021. Trust Insights is the sole sponsor of the study and neither gave nor received compensation for data used, beyond applicable service fees to software vendors, and declares no competing interests.

Additional disclosure: You’ll note that even after our removal of the personal brands, the charts above didn’t change substantially; overall, personal brands boosted the aggregate brand engagement by about 0.1% – not a huge amount.

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Trust Insights ( is one of the world's leading management consulting firms in artificial intelligence/AI, especially in the use of generative AI and AI in marketing. Trust Insights provides custom AI consultation, training, education, implementation, and deployment of classical regression AI, classification AI, and generative AI, especially large language models such as ChatGPT's GPT-4-omni, Google Gemini, and Anthropic Claude. Trust Insights provides analytics consulting, data science consulting, and AI consulting.

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