2021 Social Media Stats: Instagram
This is the fourth annual report on the social media statistics of leading kombucha brands.
At the end of 2018, we published an initial, informal survey of kombucha brands’ presence on social media. At the time, we reviewed the stats for the number of posts and followers, or likes, on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram of a small group of 140 brands.
The 2019 survey selected the top 20 from 1,400 brands listed at the time in the Booch News Worldwide Directory. In 2020, the survey covered over 1,700 brands. In 2021, the number of kombucha brands worldwide has grown to over 2,000.
The most active social media platform, as always, is Instagram.
97% of commercial kombucha brands have a presence on Instagram.
Comparing the 2020 numbers to those from today shows several trends.
This table highlights the percent increase (or decrease) in the number of followers of the 19 brands listed in last year’s report.
Komvida is the clear winner, adding 71,781 followers in 2021. This comes close to the previous record of 74,800 followers that Humm added in 2020. Market leader GTs added roughly the same number of new followers this year as in 2020. Another national brand, Health-Ade, remained static after two years of rapid growth. First Bev acquired the company in August 2021.
The overall growth in Instagram was similar to the previous two years. These top brands added an average of 227 additional followers a week, compared to 280 in 2020 and 200 in 2019. For what it’s worth, all brands in the Worldwide Directory added just under a quarter of a million followers in 2021 for a total of 6,167,190. Some customers might, of course, follow more than one brand. This is a fraction of two billion who use Insta each month.
It’s interesting to see that the three brands that experienced a decrease in the number of followers during 2020 continued to see a decline in 2021. This might be due to proactive pruning of ‘fake followers’ — there are several free tools that give insight into Instagram audience quality. This article recommends steps brands should take to remove suspicious followers.
It’s safe to assume that leading brands employ teams of social media managers to update Instagram. And they’ve been very busy in 2021. This table shows the change in the number of posts of the 19 leaders we’ve tracked since 2019.
Comparing the 2020 and 2021 numbers, it’s apparent the furious pace of posting by leading brands continues. Remedy posts 58 updates A WEEK to Instagram. Brew Dr, Health-Ade, and GTs are not far behind. Take a look at their feeds, and you’ll see these are not just casual shots of a bottle of ‘booch on the beach. They employ art directors, photographers, and writers who keep their tens of thousands of followers informed and entertained.
It’s always fun to see what a team of professional social media marketers can produce. Each brand has a unique approach to marketing on this platform. Take a look at category leader GTs. Are they maybe more focused on education and building customer awareness of the health benefits than, say, Remedy?
Health-Ade was another brand that posted over 2,000 updates in the year. Their posts don’t have the unified color palette of the Remedy posts, portraying a more individual style post-by-post.
The final member of the “2,000+ posts” club is Brew Dr. They shared their own 3×3 matrix of the #TopNine posts from the year. Their ‘type something’ posts prompt comments from their fans.
Instagram for the rest of us
Needless to say, the vast majority of brands don’t have full-time social media managers on their payroll. In fact, 46% of the brands in the Worldwide Directory have not updated their Instagram in over a month. Just brewing, bottling, and selling ‘booch is a full-time job. Updating social media can be an afterthought.
But realize this — major brands invest in posting multiple times a day because they clearly see a return on investment. Absent the budgets that national soda and beer brands spend on television and print advertising, social media is a way to connect directly with consumers.
Brands that operate on slim margins benefit from regular updates. Maybe just not 58 times a week. But weekly updates keep customers engaged. A couple of examples of small operations I’m familiar with include Moss Beach Kombucha, California, which updated their Instagram weekly during 2021, and Laid Bear Kombucha in the UK posted 48 updates with news about their move to a new brewery, rebranding, and more, over the course of the year.
2021 Leader Board
Here are the leading ‘pure-play’ kombucha brands ranked by the number of followers. We’ve left out companies such as Suja Organic, Flax & Kale, and Rude Health, who make many other products in addition to ‘booch that attract Instagram followers. We also omit brewers such as Sierra Nevada, who make hard kombucha but primarily sell beer.
The right column shows the ranking from a year ago. Unfortunately, I deleted the 2020 spreadsheet and don’t know how far down the list the four new arrivals were before they broke into the top 20. The four that fell off are Boochcraft, Kombucha Town, Clearly Kombucha, and Valley Isle Kombucha.
In terms of the number of followers, GTs is the perennial leader, as you’d expect from the brand that created the category. The top four maintained their 2020 rankings.
Over half are located outside the USA. There are three brands from Brazil, two each from Spain and Chile, as well as brands from Australia, Turkey, Colombia, and India.
The Booch News Worldwide Directory lists all brands, with links to their websites and social media sites.
The raw numbers only tell part of the story. There’s a host of sophisticated tools that can measure social media effectiveness and take into account customer engagement by looking into the number of comments, responses to stories, and more.
Overall, there are five brands with 100,000+ followers, 104 brands with 10,000-99,999, and 969 with 1,000-9,999 followers.
We hope this report has given useful insights into what Instagram leaders are doing as we head into 2022.
The next report in this series will look at the statistics for Facebook.
The content of this article is accurate to the best of our knowledge and is presented for general informational purposes only. The opinions are those of the editor. Please send corrections or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments are welcome.