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Instagram Is Brands' Best Bet for Consumer Engagement

But not for long. According to new research from Forrester, the platform's popularity will wane as more brands jump on the bandwagon.

Given the steady stream of Instagram posts generated by the fashion set, which reaches a fever pitch during Fashion Week and Coachella, it's fairly safe to say that the platform is the industry's photo sharing app of choice. For individuals, the app can be a great tool for building or expanding their brand: Take models like Karlie Kloss and Kate Upton or editors like Eva Chen, for instance. 

But it turns out that fashion brands in particular have a lot to gain by upping their Insta-game. According to new Forrester research, the platform shows the highest rate of consumer engagement with brands across all social media networks, including Facebook and Twitter. Instagram currently boasts nearly 60 times the engagement of Facebook, to be specific. 

That's true of companies across all industries and extends from consumer-facing companies to business-to-business services, too. Red Bull may generate 300 times more likes per follower on Instagram than it does on Facebook, but the decidedly less cool General Electric is also seeing elevated engagement on its photos. 

Why? It's partly because fewer marketers are currently using Instagram, meaning there is less branded clutter on a consumer's feed. The platform's core demographic consists of a younger generation that is more apt to engage on social media than an older group might be. And then there's the fact that Instagram, unlike its parent company Facebook, has yet to begin filtering out users' posts; if you follow Proenza Schouler, you're going to see every single thing it puts up.

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Brands had better get on Instagram fast, though. As that first reason for its success — no clutter — might suggest, Instagram engagement will likely show an inverse relationship to the number of brands on the platform. With more brands using Instagram as a marketing tool might also come algorithmic filtering, which helps push "relevant" content to the top. 

If fashion is all about riding trends before they become deeply uncool, brands should consider this the next big wave to catch.