Based on median increases in subscriber growth, user engagement and sales effectiveness, Instagram has been crowned the best-performing social platform of 2013, according to analytics firm SumAll.
Comparing businesses that operate across Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook, SumAll found that Instagram drove a median 7 per cent increase in both subscriber numbers and engagements per month over the course of the year.
Instagram is successfully driving sales in the UK and US among SumAll's clients too. In the US, Instagram-related sales were up between 1.5 and 3 per cent of revenue, while, in the UK that figure reached 3.6 per cent. Pure Fix Cycles, makers of fixed gear bikes, explained that each Instagram post is worth around $100 towards its revenues.
"With increases in fan and follower engagement nearly three times that of other networks studied, Instagram is the clear winner for 2013," said Dane Atkinson, SumAll CEO. "All four of the networks continue to show their value, with Facebook still established as the overall leader in sales ROI. But according to our results, if a company has a visual product to sell and it's currently not on Instagram, that company is missing out on significant brand awareness and revenue."
While social clearly works, SumAll's analysis also found that large increases in outreach on a single platform tend to diminish the return. "Unfortunately, there isn't an optimal level that works for everyone," the study said. "The best advice is to experiment with different levels of activity and watch the data to see what's working and what is not."
SumAll helps business to bring together and analyse their impact across data platforms like Facebook, Google Analytics, PayPal and Shopify. The company says it already tracks more than $4bn in revenue, 290bn social actions and 190bn site visits for more than 100,000 businesses.