With more than 400 million active monthly users, Instagram has grown into a social network that businesses need to pay attention to. It’s more than just a photo-sharing site — it’s a way to engage fans and show off the best side of your business. Just look at this list of 25 companies that have mastered their brand focus on Instagram.
Lowes does a smart job of promoting its products on Instagram: The company connects with users by showing people real-world applications for the products it sells.
To promote its brand and connect with customers on Instagram, Starbucks regularly brings in images of followers and makes them part of its brand story. In this way, Starbucks follows the advice of Ann Handley:
3. Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s has some serious personality when it comes to flavors and brand positioning, and the company lets that personality shine in its Instagram posts.
Sephora is a cosmetics and beauty supply store with locations throughout the country. Its Instagram features a clever use of white space to really emphasize color so the eyes of its followers are drawn to the products.
Intel has built essential technology for decades, and its Instagram is peppered with images and videos that show the people behind the scenes of this tech giant giving followers and customers an inside look at the brand.
6. Taco Bell
The fast food chain has no hesitation in using Instagram to promote new products. It mixes color, fun and style to make its posts look more like a magazine shoot than a generic product promotion.
7. American Express
The American Express Instagram is loaded with tourism images featuring its cards being held aloft, a creative way to engage followers by triggering wanderlust.
8. Warby Parker
Warby Parker sells prescription eyewear via the web. Rather than hire models, the company regularly features passionate and loyal employees in its Instagram.
Ikea is a global store featuring home goods and furniture. It replicates the in-store experience by showing off how followers might use its furnishings in their own homes.
Sharpie manufactures markers and writing instruments used around the world. The company’s Instagram creatively ties pop culture in with the use of its products to connect to younger generations and new followers.
11. The Honest Company
Honest Company sells safe, eco-friendly baby products. Not only does the company work to educate through its Instagram feed, but it also lets humor shine through, with clever and creative caption memes that parents relate to.
“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.” – Andrew Davis, author of Brandscaping
12. Mission Bicycle
Mission Bicycle is a custom bicycle shop in sunny San Francisco that regularly features photos that provide a behind-the-scenes look to show the quality and care that goes into the manufacture of its bikes.
13. Sneaker News
Sneaker News shares great pictures of shoes, and it uses a clever Q&A format on posts that beg for engagement; followers can’t resist the urge to jump in and comment on the photos.
The car manufacturer’s Instagram uses so many pics and videos of people interacting with its cars that followers can practically see themselves driving them.
Converse excels at using Instagram to leverage user-generated content. Its feed is loaded with fans doing things they love in the shoes they love.
There’s no shortage of places to follow football for game day highlights and scores. Knowing this, NFL uses its Instagram to convey the human side of the sport by showing more lighthearted moments between the players and fans, improving the connection followers have with their favorite teams.
GoPro, the manufacturer of cameras built tough for action shots, has always leveraged user-generated content to market its product. GoPro’s Instagram features some of the most dramatic shots captured, illustrating the versatility of GoPro’s products.
18. Red Bull
The action shots you see on Red Bull’s Instagram have little to do with the product, but everything to do with its target audience. Know your audience in order to feed them what they’re looking for. Red Bull knows the importance of content marketing.
Topshop provides its followers a fashion fix, and on top of generating sales uses the platform as a direct point of engagement. Followers have the opportunity to answer questions and be a part of the forward direction in Topshop’s growth.
The popular cookie brand uses its Instagram to share creative images — particularly around holidays — including crafts that fans can make with the product, thus improving social shares and engagement.
21. Pabst Blue Ribbon
PBR is one of America’s original beers, and the company aims to provide more value through its Instagram than just product placement. Recipes that incorporate PBR are one popular feature.
22. General Electric
How do you promote a massive brand spread across B2B and B2C? You mix your in products with science, facts, and tidbits that your Instagram followers love to digest and share.
Vans, the shoe company, uses its Instagram to cleverly juxtapose its products with lifestyle placement alongside music, art, and culture, while also pushing user-generated content that does the same.
24. Ocean Spray
Ocean Spray knows how to leverage the rich red colors of its products alongside inside peeks into its manufacturing process. Followers eat it up.
25. Maersk Line
Maersk is a shipping container company. The company makes the list because it “gets it.” Its goal is use Instagram to get closer to customers and communicate — not to sell or market. Its goal is about engagement, not pushing.
This article first appeared in www.entrepreneur.com
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