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54 percent of the world’s biggest 100 brands are now connecting with fans and customers on Instagram, and brand adoption on Instagram is growing faster than Google+ and Pinterest.

Top global brands such as Nike, Gucci, Starbucks, and Audi have gained over a million new followers in just the last three months. That means, according to a new study by business data analytics company Simply Measured, Instagram is fast becoming the “best of the rest.”

While Facebook and Twitter are the social marketing leaders with near full adoption — both are at 98 percent participation from the 100 leading global brands — Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram are back in a pack of three. But while Google+’s 67 percent participation and Pinterest’s 63 percent still outweigh Instagram’s 54 percent, Instagram is growing at a much faster pace.

In just the last quarter, Instagram has jumped 35 percent, while Google+ has only grown a miserly 5 percent. Pinterest is in the middle of the pack, at a trailing-but-still-healthy 24 percent.

That adoption and growth is surprising, given Instagram’s complete lack of focus on brand or corporate support: no admin pages, no brand profiles, no verified accounts. And, of course, it is the only major social network — over 100M users — that is mobile-only.

One major benefit, however, is Instagram’s close integration with Facebook, which allows users’ Instagram likes to be cross-posted on Facebook. And, given Instagram’s simple sharing features, brand owners often post directly to Facebook and Twitter from Instagram. 60 percent of Instagram photos, Simply Measured says, are shared to Twitter automatically, and 90 percent are published to Facebook.

One warning to brands still wondering about Instagram: eight brands control 92 percent of the consumer engagement on the mobile social network. Waiting any longer will only tend to prolong that circumstance.

Top brands on Instagram:

Above: MTV, Starbucks, Burberry, Nike, Gucci, Tiffany, Audi, and GE are the top brands on Instagram

Image Credit: Simply Measured

photo credit: Dirk Dallas via photopin cc

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