What does your car have in common with some of the most desirable dream machines in the world? Chances are it’s probably on Instagram. The app has become one of the most popular social media outlets in the world, and unsurprisingly, it’s also become a haven for gearheads. From automakers to dealerships, speed shops, professional drivers, shade tree mechanics, and everyone in between, a lifetime’s worth of automotive goodness gets posted every day. But out of all those photos, did you ever stop to wonder which automaker is the king of Instagram?
If you have, you’re not alone. Pouring over data from 2011 to 2015, the Auto Insurance Center has crunched the numbers and come up with a surprising list of the most popular automakers on Instagram. Using geotagged posts from the United States that had an automaker identified by a hashtag, they were not only able to find the most popular Instagrammed cars in the America, they were able to break it down by state too. Comparing these numbers with sales, they were even able to determine how many posts were made versus the number of cars sold in the U.S.
So just remember, next time you tag an Instagram post, you’re doing your duty to show your brand allegiance. Here are the 5 most popular automakers according to Instagram.
Given the nature of the study, you might be surprised to see Nissan cracking the top five. But when you consider that the GT-R is one of the most popular supercars of the past decade, that the 370Z and Juke RS Nismo are some of the most fun to drive cars in their class, and new-timer classics like the 240SX and 300ZX are some of the most sought after cars from the ’90s, and it begins to make a lot more sense. With 346,399 tags, by the time two new ones go up, Nissan has sold another car.
The Porsche brand straddles that line between dream machine and almost-attainable sports car better than any other automaker. As a result, it’s incredibly popular on Instagram. With 357,915 tagged posts, the brand gets props in 14.2 photos for every car it sells.
It was almost a forgone conclusion that Ferrari would crack the top three, but it is surprising that it’s taking the bronze instead of the gold. Proving that Ferraris attract attention wherever they go, its 367,967 tagged Instagram posts meant that there were a whopping 360.2 Prancing Horse posts for every single car the Italian automaker sold in the U.S. According to Instagram, it was the most popular automaker in four states.
On top of having a record sales year in 2015, Jeep is also the second-most popular brand on Instagram. While it may be surprising to see the brand beat out exotics, it makes sense when you realize just how devoted Jeep fans are to their rugged off-roaders. The marque was top dog in 19 states, including Utah, home of the annual Jeep Easter Safari. In all, there were 415,177 posts with Jeep tagged in it, good for 1.1 sales per Instagram post.
Expecting something more exotic for the top spot? Well, in 21 states, BMWs get the most love more than any other brand on Instagram, with over 710,000 specific posts between 2011 and 2015. That’s 4.2 posts for every BMW sold in 2015.
Follow Derek on Twitter @CS_DerekS