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5 Tips for Instagram Success from Brands That Are Rocking It

May 20, 2015

With over 70 million photos uploaded every day to Instagram, how do you keep your brand’s posts from getting lost in the volume? Whether you’re just getting started or looking to step up your brand’s game, check out some of our favorite tips, picked from the feeds of the 20 most popular brands on Instagram.

photo 1 nike

1. Share inspiration

Instagram’s visuals help your fans connect with your brand’s lifestyle and bring your products’ benefits to life. Take a lesson from Nike. With action shots of athletes, both famous and everyday, and captions that urge fans to #justdoit when it comes to making each performance better than the last, the brand’s content encourages fans to aim high, makes their goals feel attainable and motivates them to share photos of their own feats with the tagline/hashtag.

photo 2 gopro

2. Regram your fans’ content

The best messaging comes from happy customers. Show them you appreciate their engagement by liking, commenting on and regramming their posts. And be sure to thank them for sharing! Or do it like GoPro and encourage submissions with a link in your profile. Their photos and videos of the day highlight their customers’ active lifestyles, with images of skydiving, surfing, motocrossing and all the other activities your average camera isn’t up for.

photo 3 zara

3. Engage influencers

In addition to posts featuring the latest styles, global fast fashion retailer Zara peppers its Instagram feed with images of bloggers, creatives and models sporting their favorite pieces and sharing a bit about themselves with the hashtag #zarapictures. Make a list of bloggers and social media personalities who would be interested in testing or modeling your product and start connecting.

photo 4 bmw

4. Take fans behind closed doors

Behind-the-scenes photos give your fans an intimate look into your company’s culture and mission. Whether it’s sharing milestones in the brand’s history, early concepts of a newly launched product or a sneak peek of what’s coming soon, your fans will love feeling like insiders. BMW does this with frequent posts on the evolution of their cars over decades, connecting today’s drivers to the brand’s legacy of luxury.

photo 5 nba

5. Mix it up

Keep your fans’ attention by keeping your posts fresh. To avoid repeats or forgetting to post regularly, manage Instagram as part of your overall content strategy and calendar. Plan ahead for holiday-themed posts, new product launches and other important dates, while interspersing branded posts with images from fans. And experiment with both photo and video posts to see which get the most comments and likes. For inspiration, look at how the NBA’s posts give each team its moment in the spotlight with photos and videos of game highlights.

Of course, some tactics work well for some brands, but not others. The great thing about social media is the opportunity it presents to find out what resonates with your fans, so don’t be afraid to try out new ideas until you find what works best for achieving your goals.