If you love spontaneous style and on-the-go images, then Instagram is the place for you. Home of the “selfie“, its range of filters and editing tools gives Instagram its characteristic feel. It has been embraced by the young, the style-conscious, and by brands wanting to tap into this market. But it isn’t a place to simply re-post your glossy marketing shots: save those for Facebook. Instead, the brands that have really got to grips with Instagram are the ones who understand that it’s OK to be different. Let’s taken a look at 10 of the most exciting brands who are rocking Instagram today.
1) MAC Cosmetics MAC Cosmetics has succeeded in tapping into Instagram’s on-trend audience by featuring guest posters such as Lorde and Kelly Osbourne to boost its brand’s credibility among users. MAC is a great fit for Instagram with its quirky image and cutting-edge style: the brand posts its best behind-the-scenes fashion photos alongside brand videos. 2) Tourism Australia The Australia Tourist Board might not have the brand awareness of fashion and retails giants, but their Instagram page is right up there with some of the more predictable brand names. With a large following and an engaged audience, Tourism Australia has built its online reputation by posting stunning images and encouraging interaction and reposting by asking followers to tag their photos to be used on their page. This has led to some wonderful user-generated content and a real visual experience. 3) Topshop Topshop is one of the fastest-growing names in high-street fashion, with an edgy, street-wise attitude and social media style to match. Instagram’s distinctive filters suit its look perfectly and the brand has chosen to showcase lifestyle shots and style inspiration over straight shots of its catalog, which is just what Instagram loves. 4) MTV MTV knows just what its fans want: band photos, video promos for new shows, behind the scenes images and a regular dose of MTV News. The mix of videos and images works really well and interactive posts encourage followers to join in, use hashtags and tag their friends. 5) Monster Energy The energy drink brand has captured its zest for life through shots of extreme sports and the sportspeople involved in Monster’s promoted events. But Monster Energy makes sure its social media is working every bit as hard as its stunt bikers, with links back to features on its website and to its other social media platforms. This ensures Monster has a joined-up approach that carries its message across all its channels. 6) Asos Online fashion outlet Asos has always been hot on social media, and the marketers there have done a great job embracing the fun and laid-back philosophy of Instagram. As an online business, Asos has had to work harder to raise awareness of its brand, but with nearly 2 million followers on Instagram, it is clearly succeeding. Asos marketers mix up their posts with fashion, lifestyle, food and fun to give an overall sense of a brand who like to enjoy themselves. They want their followers to have a great time too. 7) GoPro You might not have heard of the GoPro camera, but the brand is a star of Instagram. This is thanks to its go-everywhere attitude that fits perfectly with the snapshot style of the network. This mounted camera is loved by adrenaline junkies and extreme sports enthusiasts. The company encourages follower interaction and regularly shares amazing shots by its fans. 8) Zara Zara’s youthful and relaxed style is popular around the world—and what better place to share new lines and looks than Instagram, which has a younger demographic than many of the other social media platforms. The fashion company uses plenty of hashtags to stimulate discussion, and has a worldwide following with each new post getting plenty of likes and comments. 9) Dior Branding each image (#DiorLive, #ITDior) works well here and helps promote brand awareness and interaction. The luxury feel of the brand translates well to Instagram’s format and Dior does a good job of stimulating traffic between its social media channels by sharing links to more exclusive material on platforms such as Facebook. 10) WWE The wrestling entertainment brand might not be one you’d expect to see rocking Instagram, but it is doing a great job posting photos of its Superstars and Divas, showing fans what goes on behind the scenes and sharing its best moments on video. The page captures the fun and excitement of WWE in a range of media, and encourages interaction and shares from followers. Don’t Be Scared Don’t be scared of informality. Even some of the most luxury brands have ditched their magazine-cover style for Instagram’s more spontaneous style. Behind-the-scenes shots show a more relaxed, human side to your brand, and photos taken on the move add a layer of reality and transparency to your content. Even if you’ve put a lot of thought into your Instagram feed, it has to feel effortless and spontaneous. Don’t forget to use hashtags to encourage interaction or provide your user tag if you want followers to send you their own images. User-generated content is a great way of ensuring exciting and consistent streams of new material. Cover photo courtesy of OlegDoroshin / Shutterstock.com.
Originally published Nov 18, 2014, updated Aug 12, 2020