Fashion brands have quickly adopted Instagram, leveraging its visual nature to build brand equity. Ninety-eight percent of brands in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Fashion are present on the platform, and activity is frequent. Valentino (@maisonvalentino), Michael Kors (@MichaelKors), Christian Louboutin (@louboutinworld) and Dolce & Gabbana (@dolcegabbana) are a few brands that have built large and engaged community sizes. The fashion migration to Instagram happened as Facebook announced changes to its algorithm – or that it would become a pay to play platform with almost no organic reach. While total interactions on Instagram have been increasing quarter over quarter, the most significant spike in growth (56%) happened in Q1 2015 and coincided with Facebook’s change of reach policy.
Successful brands on Instagram – those that command the highest share of the fashion voice on the platform – often do so organically, and by frequent posting. Take Valentino, for example, which was able to command the highest share of voice among brands in the Index by tripling its post frequency.
But how long will brands be able to reap the benefits of organic posts? Not for long. Already, there has been a slight decline in the rates of follower and engagement growth on the platform. Furthermore, the proliferation of ads and buy buttons are giving the platform a more commercial feel. Brands can use the platform to direct to commerce, or at least take consumers closer to the end of the purchase funnel. Tommy Hilfiger, for example, is one of the brands employing a “Shop Now” and Miu Miu is utilizing sponsored posts to drive users to its site.