Marketing analytics service SumAll has released a year-end report that characterizes Instagram as the most effective social network for companies looking for subscriber growth, engagement and a sales boost. Though Instagram recently opened up for advertising, SumAll’s figures relate to unpaid and organic Instagram traffic.

According to data from SumAll’s clients for the first 11 months, US businesses that used Instagram saw revenue increases between 1.5 to 3.5 percent, while UK companies experienced an estimated 3.6 jump in revenue due to Instagram activity.

SumAll said it only counted clients with data for the four main social media services: Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

“All four of the networks continue to show their value, with Facebook still established as the overall leader in sales ROI,” SumAll CEO Dane Atkinson said in a statement. But according to our results, if a company has a visual product to sell and it’s currently not on Instagram, that company is missing out on significant brand awareness and revenue.”

sumall instagram 520x1142 The best social media service for businesses? Instagram, according to SumAll year end report

For instance, bicycle maker Pure Fix Cycles estimates that each Instagram post brings in about $100 in additional revenue.

Still, that’s not a reason to post indiscriminately. SumAll also noted that businesses experienced diminishing returns on platforms that they targeted for heavy outreach. Atkinson instead suggested a “modest, broad-based approach to social media.”

When we asked how SumAll is able to correlate Instagram activity with business gains, CEO Dane Atkinson provided the following explanation:

We look at business that have both revenue, traffic data and social data linked to our service. For these customers we can see the impact that social content has on creating traffic and from there creating sales. This is across billions of events and billions in sales over years in data. The results per business do vary widely and we are only noting trends in aggregate.

These kinds of studies are hard to take at full face value without seeing more of the data, but, considering that Instagram’s business model only just got off the ground, the firm should at least be heartened by SumAll’s findings. Teens may be leaving Instagram for Snapchat, but at least companies have a reason to stick around.

Photo credit: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images