While taking courses on social media, focused on Instagram, and learning all of the tips and tricks you can from others are certainly valuable, there is truly nothing like following brands and absorbing all you can learn from the best of the best - those brands who truly understand Instagram, have a clearly targeted audience and strategy to engage their following. It’s comparable to ‘learning on the job’ or practical skills training; although you can absorb information from reading great guides, white papers and eBooks, you are more likely to retain and engage with brands that you follow on a daily basis through Instagram.
There are so many brands that we love, and so many who would have been deserving of finding a place in our hearts (and on this list). However, we’ve gone through our absolute favorite brands on Instagram, ones that are a must-follow when it comes to keeping an eye on the professionals, and taking inspiration for your own strategies.
Here are 6 brands we love to follow on Instagram
There should be no surprise that Starbucks is at the top of our list. A coffee house with humble beginnings in Seattle, Washington has expanded to become one of the most valuable fast food brands worldwide. Originating with the intention of creating some of the best drip coffee one can find, the company’s expansion has seen it become a global provider of Pike Place Brew and so much more.
Why We Love Starbucks on Instagram
Starbucks has a clear focus on creating great, engaging visuals through their Instagram account. While most images include product photos, they’re done so in a way that is appealing through an array of color and appeal.
Interestingly enough, about 50% of content on Starbucks’ Instagram is user generated content, that is, content where users have posted and tagged Instagram. Starbucks is certainly taking advantage of this user content, which is a great tip for all Instagram accounts.
Who knew that a black and white cookie could have so much personality on social media?
Oreo sure has a great time with their Instagram feed. Relying on video content to fill their feed, from images of Oreos being dipped into a traditional milk glass.
The brand also taps into timely events, such as sporting events like the FIFA World Cup, Valentine’s Day, Shark Week on the Discovery Channel and more.
Why We Love Oreo on Instagram
We especially admire Oreo’s ability to take advantage of opportunities around the aforementioned timely events, which is something that all brands can use as part of their marketing strategy, particularly on social media. Tapping into timely events is an easy win for brands of all sizes.
3. Whole Foods
Recipes, recipes, recipes! Whole Foods is focused almost entirely on creating easy to replicate recipes for their followers, such as tacos, salads and soups.
Instead of highlighting the ‘brand’ or ‘product’ of whole foods (a brick and mortar grocery store) their Instagram channel has taken the approach of focusing on useful and practical applications of food. This encourages users to come back for more, and to engage with recipes that they love.
Why We Love Whole Foods on Instagram
Whole Foods is clearly focused on engagement through recipe sharing and content generation. The result is a bright, colorful feed with images that attract the most simple of chefs, to restaurant connoisseurs.
4. Apartment Therapy
With over 1.5 million followers on Instagram, Apartment Therapy is the place to be for interior design enthusiasts. Sharing beautiful images that are curated from their followers means that Apartment Therapy has invested only in management of the account, not photo generation and creation.
This is a great way to engage audiences, much like Starbucks. Through the account’s bio, Apartment Therapy encourages followers to share their unique, beautiful photos with the hashtag #apartmenttherapy. Their internal team monitors the hashtag for photos to showcase.
Why We Love Apartment Therapy on Instagram
Apartment Therapy understands their audience, and engages with those who share great content. As such, the company is less reliant on their own image creation, and more reliant on curating photos from others. It’s a great way to be featured on such a public account.
WeWork is a co-working space that offers monthly memberships to freelancers, remote employees and others.
We love how WeWork utilizes the power of Instagram Stories. Through Instagram Stories, the company showcases different spaces around the world, personal stories and bits of advice around WeWork locations.
Why We Love WeWork on Instagram
We love how WeWork uses Instagram Stories, particularly to go behind the scenes and showcase great content that wouldn’t otherwise be featured on their feed. Their feed, on the other hand, is dedicated to impeccable imagery that displays cities around the world where WeWork locations are built.
6. The Keg
The Keg is a North American steakhouse that has generated quite the following for a small chain, though we wanted to include this as an example because of the great way they showcase their food images. In their feed, consistency is key - that is, all images have the same graphic treatments and overlay, making it consistent across desktop, mobile and other scrolling devices.
Why We Love The Keg on Instagram
We’re big fans of consistent imagery, in terms of filters, graphic treatments and more. We are surely impressed by the consistency we see on The Keg’s Instagram feed, especially for a relatively small North American brand.
The best form of flattery is to follow brands you love and learn from them; heck, take some of the ideas above and make it your own! With Instagram users ‘liking’ over 4.2 billion posts per day, the network continues to grow and grow. By following the best of the best on Instagram, you too can develop an engaging, interactive Instagram feed for your brand.