Vogue’s Instagram account recently hit 25 million followers. Publishers Daily chatted with Sam Sussman, Vogue's visuals manager, social media, and Lucie Zhang, associate director, social media, on how Instagram became one of Vogue’s most powerful platforms to engage its audience.
Vogue’s Instagram account, @voguemagazine, became an area of focus for the brand once the team behind it realized it was “reaching a whole new set of people who don’t even subscribe to the magazine, and was leading them to Vogue.com,” said Sussman, who runs Vogue’s Instagram account.
By comparison, Vogue has 12 million print subscribers.
Instagram was also reaching a much younger audience with Vogue's content. “There’s something on there for everyone,” Sussman said.
@voguemagazine has published over 6,600 posts. Its top post by engagement rate and overall actions is a photo of Meghan Markle on the steps of St. George's Chapel in her wedding dress. The post has 12.3 million monthly impressions, 1.3 million likes and more than 4,700 comments.
Vogue’s top video on Instagram is Rihanna at the 2018 Met Gala, which has 5.5 million views.
Vogue's most-liked cover so far is of Justin and Hailey Bieber, which has over 895,000 likes and 10,000 comments.
Vogue gained about 9 million followers in two years — from 16 million followers at the end of 2017 to 25.4 million today.
Sussman says this is largely due to a shift in focus from publishing archival content from the magazine to covering more topical moments happening around the world, like Pride Month and holidays in other countries.
The team also started publishing more video coverage of awards shows and special events on the Vogue Instagram account, as well as behind-the-scenes coverage of celebrities prepping for these occasions.
Data pointed to Vogue’s access to these moments as “key to keep our followers growing,” Sussman said. “It’s been super successful to give people this insider view that only Vogue has, at a fashion show or an event.”
“We are always trying to differentiate ourselves in an oversaturated feed,” Zhang said.
The growth of followers on Instagram has been “fairly steady,” with “huge bumps” during the Met Gala, she added.
With red-carpet events or royal weddings, it’s important to be “either first, or different from everyone else,” when publishing photos or video on Instagram, Zhang said.
The goal for Vogue’s Instagram account is “just about reach,” Sussman said. The platform serves as a way for audiences to “get their fill of Vogue now, rather than wait once a month” for the magazine to come out.
Vogue also has a number of different Instagram handles for specific feeds, such as @voguerunway (4.9 million followers) and @vogueweddings (291,000 followers).
“We really care about all the content we are creating, so it is great when the magazine can reach 25 million people,” Sussman said.
2020 is going to be a “big year in culture overall,” she added. “Our Instagram will reflect that.”