Correction: An earlier version of this article identified Jan Rezab as the CEO and co-founder of Applovin. He holds those titles at Socialbakers. 

Last week Instagram announced that it had reached 300 million active users, moving it past Twitter's 284 million and signaling a shift in the social media hierarchy.

These numbers alone aren't entirely meaningful for brands' marketing strategies, however so social marketing analysis company Socialbakers decided to look deeper into the numbers.  It found that that Instagram not only has more users than Twitter, but also tends to provide more engagement for brands.

Socialbakers looked at the top 25 most engaging brands on Twitter and the top 25 most engaging brands on Instagram between September 9 and December 9. It determined the list--which included Victoria's Secret, Starbucks, GoPro, Forever21, and AERO--by analyzing the number of likes, comments, favorites, retweets, and other interactions that took place when companies posted content.

The results were clear: Socialbakers discovered that the top 25 brands on Instagram received on average of 19,355,774 total interactions on the content they posted, while the top 25 brands on Twitter received an average of 502,102. The research also showed that the average post engagement rate of the brands on Instagram was 3.31 percent, compared with 0.07 percent on Twitter.

Inc. spoke with Socialbakers CEO and co-founder Jan Rezab for advice on how these numbers should guide your social media marketing efforts. Instagram, he says, is great for brand awareness and reach. The visual aspect makes it great for brands in industries like fashion and beauty, but really any brand can benefit from its simplicity. Rezab also says that double-tapping a picture on Instagram to like it is less of a commitment than favoriting a tweet, which can lead to more engagement. 

But one of the benefits of Twitter is that it can drive visits to your website since, unlike Instagram, it allows for linking. "I think it's about having a specific focus on what that platform can create and bring you," Rezab says. "There are things that Twitter can bring you and things that Instagram can bring you. Build content for the format it's for. Many take content from TV or regular channels and put it in social channels, and I think you need tailored content specifically for Instagram. Same thing goes for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube--all channels."

Published on: Dec 19, 2014