Ah, Instagram. Why do we love you so much? Each of the Top 25 Brands on Instagram could probably give us 25 reasons why they love it, which may have a lot to do with those dollars signs. Instagram has reached a whopping 130 million users and had 16 billion photo uploads in the last 6 months. Its editing ability alone gives this platform a decided edge when used in a promotional campaign. Of course, the high growth of this unique social media platform is continuing and seems to be gaining momentum. The public doesn’t seem to be losing interest, and with Facebook backing it, Instagram will be here for a long time.
Are Ads in Instagram’s Future?
Probably at some point, but make no mistake, Instagram is a branding platform. Several brands are heavily invested, and it is paying off for businesses of all sizes. On the other hand, some companies appear to be challenged by Instagram. They treat it like an online catalogue showing their products, even though Instagram doesn’t allow customers to click on images to be taken to a product page.
An online catalogue was NOT what Kevin Systrom had in mind when he created Instragram. Systrom wanted to create a way to enhance photos, even very large ones, and share them on the internet. This free photo-sharing application is made for smart phones, although you can also access Instagram on your computer.
For Photolovers & Sharers
Instagram was originally made for all of us who love to take photos with our phones, then instantly upload them to social media where people can comment on them. The $1 billion price-tag might have seemed a little pricey 16 months ago, but with its 130 million user base, it seems to be gaining upward mobility right along with Facebook’s 845 million users. Instagram has an unequaled (at this time), ability to reach audiences at a personal, emotional level. It is more like a TV advertisement, though not as long. You have 15 seconds of sharable photo and video time on Instagram. It’s comfortable. We can all stand 15 seconds.
Instagram has broad appeal for businesses. The set up on Instagram gives a way for the business to invite you to enjoy them rather than assaulting your senses. Many sites are humorous, sad, enlightening, fun, fresh, but above all – they are personal. Businesses cannot afford to let this social media pass them by.
To understand what these businesses are doing right on Instagram, and how they are accomplishing it, you have to get on the Instagram app and look for yourself. For instance, “The Onion” is obviously having loads of fun adding their captions to an otherwise common photo. Their spots reflect their unique satirical take on different subjects.
Additionally, “Starbucks” photos are so beautiful, you can look at them all day and it seems like you are tasting those photos! MTV updates on whomever they will be featuring. “Action Shots,” keeps everything light hearted. “ CNN iReport,” features its own photos plus they use crowd sourced photos through hashtags. “CNN iReport,” filters through and selects the best photos to feature. Even the “Playboy” Instagram account is pretty tame and tasteful, using photos of models and the events they are holding.
Peter Bregmany, “18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, And Get The Right Things Done,” (Hatchettet Book Group; 2012), says, “People often eat poorly at a buffet because what they want to eat in the moment is different than what they wished they’d have eaten at the end of the day.” Believe me, Instagram is the buffet and the Instagram users will be eating and eating and eating. As businesses, we need to serve up our dishes on this social media. We can’t afford not to.
Here are your top 25 Brands on Instagram and what some of them are doing to attract such a strong following. These stats were sources from Nitrogram50, which is the go-to website to track the brand stats on Instagram. Also available on this site are the industry hashtag, like #Starbucks, so you can quickly navigate Instagram. These stats are kept current.
#25. Louboutin. This brand has shoes, shoes, shoes! Louboutin does a great job with their images. This Instagram has lots of fun color and intriguing staging ideas.
#24. Sephora. At first Sephora’s presence on Instagram seemed to be a little cold. It is like the marketing department was told, “Sell this product!” Now, they have relaxed into a nice rounded mix of ideas that still sell, but now it feels like they are trying to incorporate a personal touch. We needed that personal touch.
#23. Sneaker News. If you need a pair of sneakers and you really don’t know what kind you want, Sneaker News has great pics of shoes for just about every style. The followers love to engage with this company! The Instagram blogger asks a question, and it’s like the fans are voting on the shoe. And guess what? They are.
#22. Burberry. This profile is easy to navigate. Although they use Instagram more as an online catalogue, there is no frustration. We can click on the pic and the item comes up along with comments. This profile has fantastic photos with comments that just beg you to follow…and you want to.