Instagram Organic Growth Isn’t Slowing

By December 21, 2015Instagram News



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During the last 3 years Instagram has enabled early adopters in the fashion & automotive industry to deliver their brands in a highly engaging visually appealing format to the masses. This is all thanks to unadulterated organic delivery and consumption by over 400 million some users.  As Facebook made changes to it’s feed algorithm limiting organic reach and replacing it with a pay-to-play (Boost) function, many bands have been focusing their attention on Instagram in order to take advantage of the networks early explosive free reign organic delivery to it’s followers.

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These digitally conscious early adopters (98% of major labels of which are now on Instagram) include Michael Kors 6.5 Million (@MichaelKors), Valentino 5.7 Million (@MaisonValentino), Dolce & Gabbana 7.2 Million (@DolceGabbana), Louboutin 6.4 Million (@LouboutinWorld) and Christian Dior 7.8 Million (@Dior).

Taking a deeper look into the numbers I observe the following,


According to L2 Inc., Valentino (above) commanded the highest share of voice among these luxury brands thanks to it’s more than double posting frequency (30 posts per week) than other brands, however it also had the lowest monthly growth of 300k followers and lowest avg. number of likes per post at 35k likes.

Looking at the bigger picture over the course of these brands growth during the last 12-14 months I see Dior, Louboutin and Dolce & Gabbana as current Instagram winners still reaping the benefits of organic feed delivery.  Their continued explosive growth and very healthy engagement per post goes against the data I read here which reports a significant drop in follower growth and engagement amongst its 2500 account sampling.

I don’t observe a discernible drop in these luxury brands avg. number of likes or comments per photo over the course of the last 4-6 months. Yes there has been some ups and downs along the way as Instagram continues to adjust various algorithms, but most of these brands are still on an explosive upward growth trajectory.  I have however noticed a noticeable drop among non-major brand pages like my own network of luxury automobile fan pages or other non-branded luxury pages.  It seems that Instagram is giving a higher discovery page weighting to brands and verified pages recently.

One aspect of data we need to keep in mind when speculating on the given data is the overall size of each niche within Instagram. As Instagram continues to mature, more and more people start to use Instagram, more people create curated content accounts, which means more Instagram accounts users can follow thus clogging up their feed. During the last couple years, early adopters producing quality content had the ability to tap their followers feeds without much competition due to the lower number of fashion accounts users had the option to follow. Every month that passes more and more content curators are creating stunning Instagram accounts meaning more competition for a brands content to stand out and garner a like and comment when they post.

Despite observing some small changes in Instagram’s discovery page (the discovery pop algorithm no longer yields godly increases in followers), avg number per likes on my photos and daily growth on my accounts, I see reassuring data that suggests that Instagram (Facebook) has learnt a potentially valuable lesson after noticing less posting activity from brands that are now migrating to Instagram as their preferred social network of choice.

Lets take a closer look at these top brands experiencing 200%-300% growth rates as of lately

Dior (below) has the most followers at 7.8 Million, posts an avg. of 12 photos per week, sees 60k likes per photo (on avg) and is currently growing at over 600k followers per month.




Dolce & Gabbana (below) has 7.2 Million, post an avg. of 13 photos per week, sees an avg. of 55k likes per photo and is currently growing at over 415k followers per month.



Louboutin (below) has 6.4 Million, posts an avg. of 14 photos per week, see an avg. of 65k likes per photo an and is growing at 330k followers per month.



One of my theories is that Instagram is encouraging and tweaking their discovery pages to allow all these major brands to “fatten” up their following, in order to revoke their organic reach and implement a pay to play “Boost” function. I have a feeling that for now, we are safe and will continue to be able to tap and delivery content to our entire feed organically. However lets not forget that Instagram has it’s eyes on big revenue targets in 2016, and despite milking these major brands for every digital dollar they can, they also give them priority in the world of Instagram.


Nor for fairness, comparison and due diligence lets take a look at one of the other largest niches on Instagram, the Automotive industry, who until this year, was the number largest major industry to tap Instagram. I remember reading a data report (which I am trying to dig up) that reported that the automotive content on Instagram at one point was one of the largest niches during the first couple years of Instagram. It makes sense, just look at how many automotive fan pages and curated pages exist.

Looking at the growth rate of Lamborghini (@Lamborghini 2.1 Million), Bugatti (@Bugatti 1 Million) and Ferrari (@FerrariUSA 430k) and McLaren (@McLarenAuto 483k), we can see that over their lifetime of their growth, the curves are completely clean. My logical explanation is that many people on Instagram both male and female probably have a solid affinity for these brands which also appeals to a wider age demographic than say a particular fashion brand account.


LamborghiniFerrariUSA Bugatti McLaren


Finally let’s take a look at the growth rate of my largest account (@Exotic_Performance 2.3 Million) along with 4 other of my friends accounts (@CarInstagram – 4 Million), (@CarsWithoutLimis – 3.6 Million),(@Motor_Head_ 3.4 – Million), (@CarLifestyle – 3.2 Million),  which are the oldest and largest automotive Instagram accounts for sake of comparing brands to fan pages or curated content accounts like ours. You can see our accounts have all been on just as wild of a ride as these major fashion brands relative the major luxury automotive brands. Instagram’s story continues to evolve and I continue to observe its universe one niche at a time in order to ensure I can stay ahead of even Instagram themselves 😉




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