Instagram is arguably the most popular social media app in the world and it deserves this title for many reasons. According to SmartInsights, Instagram has over 800 million monthly active users, while Instagram stories have over 250 million daily active users. The biggest brands are all using Instagram and they are seeing many benefits for their business.
With over 70% of US businesses on Instagram (Sprout Social, 2017), it is hard to stand out in front of your followers. You need to be producing authentic content and you have to be consistent. Engaging with your fan base and being an active member of the community is essential. This can be time consuming, but if you do it right, you will see positive results from Instagram.
Rather than telling you what to do or what not to do, we’ve analyzed some of the best brands on Instagram to share with you some insights on what they are doing well. You can then apply these insights to your business and find positive results yourself!
1. Daniel Wellington (@danielwellington)
With over 4 million followers, Daniel Wellington has mastered the platform and is one of the most engaged with brands on Instagram. A quick glance at Daniel Wellington’s overall feed and you can see why. The content they post is incredible. Rather than showing generic product shots of their watches, Daniel Wellington gives followers a slice-of-life approach by showcasing their products in use.
By creating content around simple lifestyle photos, Daniel Wellington has created a community who go out and create amazing content themselves. In fact, if you look at the photos in Daniel Wellington’s feed – most of the photos are user-generated!
What can we learn from Daniel Wellington? Find a way to incorporate your consumers into your social media content. You might not be selling a product, but reaching out to your consumers and creating content around your followers can make a huge difference.
2. National Geographic (@natgeo)
National Geographic is no stranger to creating incredible content and their Instagram feed is no different. It goes without saying that National Geographic has some of the best images in the world, but what makes @natgeo stand out is the story they tell with every photo posted.
Captions on Instagram are often short and simple, but @natgeo educates followers with every image. They dig deeper and give context to the image in an engaging and attractive way.
What can we learn from National Geographic? You can add more value to your posts. Having quality content on Instagram includes having strong captions that capture the attention of your audience. Give context and provide more than what is expected.
3. Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee)
Gary Vaynerchuk is a name you’re either sick of or you can’t get enough of. Whether you like him or not, Gary has mastered all aspects of social media and Instagram is no different. The biggest thing about Gary Vee is that his content contains no fluff. He is very straight to the point and he is genuinely himself (blunt) on social media. He responds to comments and does a great job creating a connection with his community.
How Gary Vee spreads his value is the true difference maker. Gary uses short form content that is highly shareable. Content that is easy-to-consume and is practical for almost everyone. When you put these two together like Gary does with his short videos and simple graphics, you get more engagement and shares to your content. If you’re looking to implement videos into your Instagram strategy, checkout our post on the best Instagram video format!
What can we learn from Gary Vaynerchuk? Don’t try to be something you’re not and build a strong relationship with your followers. Whether, you have one follower or a million followers – do your best to personally communicate with them. You want to create easy-to-consume content that can be shared in the easiest way possible. Create less friction for your followers and see more engagement.
4. HubSpot (@hubspot)
If you’re looking for another great brand that is distributing short-form content well on Instagram, check out HubSpot. If you don’t have the time to go out and capture photos yourself or to get photos taken from a professional – I encourage you take HubSpot’s approach to Instagram. HubSpot uses sayings and quotes to fuel their feed. They take quotes and put them on stock photos or photos they’ve taken themselves and make it look cool. We actually outline how you can turn your quotes and saying into social media graphics in a previous article!
What can we learn from HubSpot? You can turn word content into great graphics that can be distributed across all of your social media pages. HubSpot typically asks questions in their posts and this will also encourage more engagement. The tools and resources are out there to create amazing content, use them!
5. BarkBox (@barkbox)
When your business is about dog products, it should be pretty easy to gather compelling visual content. For BarkBox, they do a great job on their Instagram feed to bring relatable memes and visuals that incorporate pets. What is impressive with BarkBox is their work with the Instagram Story feature. They are very active and provide you with cute pet images and captions that will make it hard for you to swipe away.
With the emergence of Instagram stories and the continuous updates that Instagram is putting out to improve the stories feature. Your business should be using these stories to engage with your followers. Here is a full blog post that we made for you to get started on Instagram stories!
What can we learn from BarkBox? They are using all of Instagram’s features fully and it’s working. BarkBox doesn’t just do the bare minimum and post cute dog photos. BarkBox utilizes hashtags in their posts, they encourage users to engage with their captions, and they’re even active with Instagram stories. They set themselves up to be an account that people want to follow and followers can trust BarkBox to continuously provide good content.
There is no one thing on Instagram that will lead to more followers or more engagement for your brand. However, doing certain things well and collectively can help make a huge difference. Instagram is fuelled off of engagement now and with the new changes to the Instagram algorithm – you want to be seen and engaged with as soon as you post. The folks at Foundr just wrote a great guide to growing your online business via Instagram, check it out!
Bring more attention to your posts with hashtags, create Instagram stories, and ask users to comment and tag others. All of this goes without saying that your content should be great. Simple and easy-to-consume graphics are a great way to boost engagement and can make your feed look great – so find out what works best for your brand! The more of a community you build with your followers, the more positive results you’ll see.
Know any other brands that are doing a great job on Instagram? We would love to hear your recommendations! Drop a comment below and let us know!