9 Brands Absolutely Crushing it on Instagram

October 22, 2014 Rebecca Graves

457758833Wondering if Instagram is a place your company should have a presence? If you’re not there because think that its only about spectacular imagery then you’re missing a big opportunity to engage your audience. True, it’s about the images but more than that, it’s about connecting on a human level.

Check out the nine companies below that are consistently at the top of the list for brands that are crushing it on Instagram. Maybe they will inspire you as to how you can increase engagement with your own brand.

A few tips first before you jump in:

  • Photos should be relevant to your brand but don’t treat it like an online catalog. Instagram should make your brand more “human”.
  • Remember that the images don’t ALL have to be by your company, encourage your followers to share their photos.
  • Commentary should be engaging; witty, fun, sad, insightful. It doesn’t matter – just make it real.
  • Monitor commentary – this is important – creating an engaging brand means listening to your followers. Give them what they want and they will reward you by sharing your brand on their own social channels.

1) Nike

Nike is consistently at the top of the chart when it comes to highly engaged brands. Their imagery is spectacular and they know exactly what their followers want.


2) Starbucks

We all love our Starbucks, right? Apparently, it’s not just limited to the concoctions that the baristas develop. We love them on Instagram as well. Take a peek at Starbucks, one thing stands out – people.


Engaging their fans with #HowWeMet you’ll find stories and imagery that brings a human face to their brand. There are more photos here that are posted by their followers than by Starbucks.


3) GoPro

If your expectation is that GoPro would have stunning imagery that is beyond your wildest imagining, their Instagram page does not disappoint. Again, utilizing their own imagery along with those of their followers creates a highly engaging experience that you can get lost in for hours.


4) SneakerNews

A highly socialized brand that caters to one community – those interested in sneakers. Beautiful images (yes, of shoes) that are a prime example of giving your followers exactly what they want.


5) Audi

Speaking of creativity… using lyrics from an old Eagles’ song as the caption struck a chord with Audi’s followers. "Standing on the Corner in Winslow Arizona and it's such a fine sight to see.” 


6) Adidas Originals

A prime example of a brand using social media for a socially-responsible purpose: celebrating diversity. The images are a mixture of athletic gear and community-mindedness.


7) Forever 21

The goal for every brand – evangelists that take you with them even when they travel. Forever 21 asks for what they want as well, “wear it, share it”.


8) Van’s

Van’s is a brand that “gets it” across all social media channels and Instagram is no exception. Their rather large group of extreme followers considers Van’s to be a member of their community. (Funny thing about this image is that it also tags another popular brand mentioned above: #GOPRO.)


9) RedBull

Embracing social media in every way, you’ll find very few images that include actual product. Although there are quite a few that have the RedBull logo, they are all consistent with the “energy” of the brand.

When you take a look at these accounts, notice what that they have in common that makes them successful: they are adding the “human element” to their brand.

The important thing to remember is this: Instagram as well as other social channels are not about companies selling their products; they’re about people connecting with other people.   

Lastly, a few words of advice before you check out the Instagram accounts here; grab a cup of coffee first. You’ll most likely be there a while.

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