In only a few weeks a new decade is going to begin and with it a new era of marketing, that promises to get even more digital and even more fast-paced. Especially young consumers increasingly demand personal shopping experiences and look for character in brands, rather than simply good products. Hence, social media marketing and User Generated Content are increasingly moving into focus when it comes to a good marketing strategy. Our new infographic summarizes 22 key facts and figures about Instagram you should have in mind for 2020.

On October 6, 2010 Instagram was published to the iOS App store by American developers Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, roughly half a year later the Android version followed. In only the first two months, one million users already signed up on the photo sharing platform. After one year, Instagram counted 10 million members. Today, the member count has reached 1 billion people (as of May 2019), who share an incredible 95 million pictures on an average day. The image with the most likes on Instagram is that of a very special egg. Namely @world_record_egg, uploaded solely for the purpose of collecting more likes than Kylie Jenner, who until then held the record for the picture with the highest like-count at 18 million likes. The World Record Egge currently counts 54 million. This is just one of many examples of how creative ideas can generate reach and buzz on the social media platform.

Is Instagram marketing really worth it?

Social media marketing is becoming increasingly important for brands, as the 22 Instagram facts for 2020 in our infographic neatly sum up. Around 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile every day and just under three quarters of US Teens say that Instagram is the best way for brands to reach them. Ads on the photo sharing platform have the potential to be seen by up to 849.3 million users, including 52.9 million young adults. In general, Instagram has a 18x higher engagement rate for brand accounts than Facebook. Compared to Twitter, rate is even 30x higher.

The most significant and certainly biggest advantage social media has over traditional media is that the platforms always allow two-way communication. Customers can directly react to content shared by brands. Likewise, brands can also respond directly to content shared by individuals in relation to their products. The latter describes User Generated Content - images and videos that have been shared voluntarily and unpaid by customers and reflect their experience with a brand. In recent years, working with User Generated Content for marketing purposes has established itself across many industries.

What are the advantages of using visual User Generated Content for Marketing?

Seven out of ten buyers look to the opinions of other customers when making a purchase. Over 92% trust User Generated Content more than branded content ads when buying products for the first time. Only about 50% indicate to consider advertisements credible at all. Incorporating User Generated Content for marketing purposes, however, counteracts this loss of trust concerning traditional advertising and provides digital Social Proof for new customers. Content that comes directly from customers offers authentic and quite versatile impressions of products and services. This is why the performance of brand accounts that work with User Generated Content, both in the organic feed and in Social Ads, is significantly different from accounts with regular branded content, as the infographic with 22 Instagram facts for 2020 points out. Brand accounts that use User Generated Content in their own organic feed can achieve an up to 6.9x higher engagement rate on Instagram. For Social Ads, integrating UGC on average reduces both cost-per-click and cost-per-acquisition by half. At the same time, Social Ads with UGC result in an average of 300% more engagement and a 4.5x higher conversion rate.

What are long-term results of incorporating User Generated Content?

While on the one hand serving authentic inspiration for new customers, the integration of User Generated Content also conveys great individual appreciation to existing customers on the other. Prominently placing UGC in the brand's own social media feed or even on the brand website and in ads, clearly places the customer community at center. Thereby, User Generated Content significantly contributes to giving brands a personal aspect and thereby establishing a clear brand image, with which new customers can immediately identify themselves with.

Especially with regard to the now globally running test phase for a like-free Instagram, exactly this kind of content, as mentioned in the infographic, becomes more and more important. Over the past few years, likes and follower counts have evolved into a scale for credibility and quality on the social platform. However, both standards have been heavily criticized lately,  with regard to aspects like bots which simulate engagement and the opportunity to buy followers and likes online. User Generated Content however, is characterized by two quite contrary attributes: honesty and traceability.

squarelovin’s UGC tool helps brands collect customer images based on mentions, hashtags or geo-locations, filter them according to individual preferences, legally secure their use and place the content on all relevant marketing channels. For each image and video essential usage rights are requested individually in accordance with data protection law. The effective integration of User Generated Content strengthens customer loyalty and significantly improves the performance of websites and web shops.

To learn more about squarelovin, click here to arrange a demo with one of our experts.