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The Top 25 Brands on Instagram

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The Nitrogram 50, a ranking of the top 50 brands on Instagram, names Nike and Starbucks as the No. 1 and No. 2 most engaging brands on the social network.

Nitrogram is a 9-month-old startup that offers Instagram analytics for businesses. The rankings take into account both a brand's number of followers and the number of mentions of the brand through its hashtag, such as #nike. The second measure carries significant weight. For instance, Adidas, ranked No. 4, has fewer than 750,000 followers but nearly three million posts that include its hashtag.

Nike attained its top ranking by posting high-resolution color photographs of athletes along with inspirational slogans. For example, it posted a close-up of tennis superstar Roger Federer's airborne feet at the Wimbledon tournament this week. The caption: "You don't get here by playing it safe. #Federer."

The ranking includes a few surprises. GoPro, the maker of a well-regarded portable video camera, is not a household name but is listed at No. 11. That's far higher than media titan Disney, which comes in at No. 37.

Below is a list of the top 25 brands with corresponding numbers of Instagram followers:

1. Nike: 1,677,064

2. Starbucks: 1,313,459

3. Forever 21: 1,377,048

4. Adidas: 739,792

5. Victoria's Secret: 2,105,199

6. Topshop: 1,081,389

7. Vans: 474,223

8. Red Bull: 774,398

9. Michael Kors: 908,694

10. Converse: 377,799

11. GoPro: 786,016

12. H&M: 826,082

13. MTV: 1,345,352

14. Burberry: 857,202

15. Audi: 456,979

16. Louis Vuitton: 485,711

17. Hollister: 338,544

18. BMW: 339,942

19. Gucci: 663,979

20. Louboutin: 1,377,534

21. Zara: 329,621

22. Sephora: 488,637

23. Marc Jacobs: 733,539

24. Asos: 802,441

25. Playboy: 522,505

What makes you follow a brand on Instagram? Let us know in the comments below.

Related: Why Video for Instagram Isn't a Vine Killer

Brian Patrick Eha

Written By

Brian Patrick Eha is a freelance journalist and former assistant editor at Entrepreneur.com. He is writing a book about the global phenomenon of Bitcoin for Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Random House. It will be published in 2015.