Instagram’s popularity has been enough for many brands to jump on the photo-snapping, filter-applying bandwagon. But taking the time to devise a strategy that works for the platform and for your brand is one of the biggest factors in determining your success. Thankfully, there are many brands that have blazed the trails on Instagram, and you can learn from them just by taking a look at their (amazing) Instagram accounts.
Take a look at Nike’s account (Nike is currently the #1 most popular brand on Instagram). The photos they post are outstanding. There’s creative shots of athletes of all types doing their thing the world over. But what pushes Nike over the edge from good to great are the motivating captions they include with each picture.
Takeaway: Make people feel good. Inspire, motivate, encourage, compliment—whatever makes the most sense for your brand.
It’s not just a coffee cup. For Starbucks, it’s a blank canvas, a light saber, and the perfect accessory. Coffee lovers are usually pretty passionate about their drink of choice, and there are plenty of caffeine addicts loyal to the brand. But Starbucks taps into those casual Starbucks customers by approaching that white paper cup with an extra shot of creativity and flair.
Takeaway: Think creatively to find a new way to visually showcase your product or service.
Forever 21 is known for their fun, fabulous and, well, cheap clothes. But that’s always been just perfect for the teen and 20-something set that the retailer targets. Despite the fact that it’s not quite a household name or a luxury brand, Forever 21 still manages to be the 8th most popular brand on Instagram, ranking higher than other teen targeted brands like Abercrombie and fashion powerhouses such as Michael Kors. Their presence reflects the young and fun brand image they’ve cultivated. And since Instagram is the 2nd most popular social network for 12 to 24-year-olds, Forever 21 has definitely found it’s social sweet spot.
Takeaway: Know your audience and the network you’re targeting. Always go where your audience is.
With game attendance averaging 17-19,000 fans for some teams, the NBA definitely has a loyal following. That doesn’t necessarily translate to social media success, though, so the NBA makes it to #4 on the list of most popular brands on Instagram thanks in part to their behind-the-scenes, up-close-and-personal shots that fans love.
Takeaway: Captivate your audience by providing a glimpse into the things they don’t typically get to see.
Touted as “the world’s most versatile camera”, GoPro has been proving it has a right to put that stake in the ground, and their Instagram account is no exception. Photos (all captured from a GoPro, of course) range from an upside-down pilot, a perfect wedding moment, and a beach shot on horseback. While many of GoPro’s photos are of daredevils in action, their sheer awesomeness appeals to the stay-on-the-sidelines types as well. And all of the shots combined certainly prove GoPro’s promise of taking versatility to a whole new level.
Takeaway: Use images to convey your brand promise and demonstrate your product in a way that’s exciting and engaging.
The one thing that all these brands have in common? They’ve mastered the art of the network and use it to appeal directly to their audience. Whether you’re selling a product or service, targeting college-aged kids or retirees, that’s something all brands can do.
Still unsure about how to tell your story on Instagram? We can help you discover or refine your brand story and develop a straightforward and doable plan for your content marketing, blogging and social media efforts. Learn more about our Script Your Story sessions.