From Lowe’s to Chanel to Dollar Shave Club, here are nine retail brands we commend for their Instagram feeds.
Instagram is one of the hottest social media platforms around, continuing to see consistent growth, even though you thought everyone was already on it. And if a social network is popular with people, of course it’s going to be popular with brands, too.
And lots of them have really taken well to Instagram, posting often and posting well. Looking at retailers across a wide variety of industries, here are nine we think are doing it really well.
With the exception of National Geographic, Nike is the most followed brand on Instagram with an audience of 41.5 million.
Nike’s posts are generally simple but eye-catching. One example, which had an on-brand caption of “You don’t have to stop to smell the flowers,” shows a woman jogging through a beautiful row of cherry blossom trees you can’t help but stop scrolling for.
Having last posted on March 27, Nike isn’t the most active Instagrammer, at least on its main account. There are far more regular posts on some of its subsidiary profiles, like Nike Women and Nike Basketball. But they’re all consistent, with the same arresting simplicity.
Nike also has the influencer marketing advantage over other brands, working with athletes such as soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 53.7 million followers, narrowly beating Kendall Jenner as the platform’s ninth-most followed person.
Another of Instagram’s most-followed brands is Chanel, which famously amassed 1.8 million followers during its first day on the platform.
Like Nike, Chanel takes a simplistic approach to its posts, putting the product front and center, no matter how beautiful and famous the person wearing it may be.
Chanel is big on behind-the-scenes glimpses of shoots and fashion shows. The brand’s most recent posts promoted a new series in which Gisele Bündchen talks about her makeup secrets; they each generated about 100,000 likes, so people are clearly like that strategy.
File folders and pens aren’t the sexiest or most exciting products. But Staples’ Instagram posts feature such vivid colors – usually exaggerated by a plain white background – that they’ll still stand out in your feed.
Compared with the massive engagements enjoyed by Nike and Chanel, 350 likes or 1,800 video views may not seem like a lot, but they’re fairly impressive numbers given Staples’ significantly smaller audience. This bright, hypnotic video has been viewed by more than 8 percent of the brand’s following.
When it comes to screwing around on the Internet, it seems the only thing people love more than a good meme is a picture of a cute animal. Barkbox’s entire Instagram feed is like a fusion of the two: pictures of puppies, with hilarious captions and hashtags. As soon as you finish reading this post, go search #literallythatsyou, we promise. Barkbox’s Instagram isn’t only funny, but functional. Its bio features a link to a page full of products from previous Instagram posts.
Saks Fifth Avenue
We couldn’t mention Instagram commerce without bringing up Saks Fifth Avenue, one of the first brands to utilize Curalate’s Like2Buy platform that makes Instagram feeds shoppable. But what really makes Saks’ Instagram so strong is the diversity of its photos. In the last week, the department store has posted pictures of store windows, Gucci shoe displays, an elaborate Louis Vuitton bag, a bus shelter ad in Toronto, and a designer who stopped by the store.
Lowe’s is known for killing it on Pinterest, but the home improvement retailer is an equal opportunity social media master. Patio sets in lush backyards and picture perfect bedrooms naturally lend themselves to Instagram. But more than that, the brand carries over its DIY focus, which also lends itself to Instagram thanks to the platform’s popular hyperlapse videos. The projects highlighted also appeal to wide range of consumers. A New Yorker probably wouldn’t be inclined to turn beach balls into outdoor globe lights to illuminate our non-existent yards, but we can always get behind more storage so the window attached to the coffee table is right up our alley.
A video posted by Lowe’s Home Improvement (@loweshomeimprovement) on
Dollar Shave Club
If nothing else, Dollar Shave Club is a diligent Instagrammer. Doesn’t it seem like it’s always got a sponsored post in your feed? (And a sponsored tweet, for that matter.) But Dollar Shave Club is also a strong Instagrammer, creatively circumventing its main obstacle: the fact that razors aren’t great eye candy.
So instead, the brand photographs its boxes in attractive landscapes, such as beaches and deserts.
In addition, Dollar Shave Club posts a lot of non-product content designed to drive you to its website. You can go on BathroomMinutes.com and debate the merits of shaving in the shower vs. the sink, see Spotify playlists and even… learn more about the science behind pubic hair color. Conveniently for the brand, BathroomMinutes.com redirects you to the blog on its main website.
Like Apple or Lululemon, Target is one of those brands whose creative just has a certain look to it, which carries over to Instagram. While Staples’ posts feature bright colors stand out against white backgrounds, Target’s pops of color are emphasized by equally bold backgrounds.
Target posts regularly, but the Minneapolis retailer really comes alive on special occasions: real holidays, pretend holidays like Pi Day, The Oscars.
If something is being celebrated by someone, Target almost certainly has an Instagram post related to it that you can’t take your eyes off, like this Russian nesting doll-style video for Easter.
Marc Jacobs is one of those fashion designers whose clothing brand has become fused with his own personal brand over the years.
He’s known for being a bit eccentric (he has a tattoo of the red M&M and he went as a giant camel toe for Halloween one year) and his products can veer in that direction, as well (he sells shoes that look like mice and dogs).
The clothing brand’s Instagram feed is an extension of that. His posts often feature attractive shots of clothes, shoes and purses. But other times, he posts pictures of himself pushing a wasted-looking Lady Gaga in a shopping cart, wishing the singer a happy birthday. Sure, why not?