With its 200 million monthly users having uploaded an incredible 20 billion photos since the site’s inception, Instagram has truly grown into a giant of the social media world. It offers users a unique opportunity to bypass language barriers and communicate with others across the globe, and Instagram has now become crucial for brands. We decided to take a look at the Totems list of the most popular brands on Instagram to find out how these companies have cemented their places as the most influential on the platform.
Nike have risen to become the undisputed champions of Instagram, and they’ve done this through a combination of targeted, professional imagery and, more importantly, perfectly executed interactive content. Their PHOTOiD campaign was a magnificent example of this, encouraging users to design their own shoe color scheme in an app, before placing it on top of an Instagram image of their choice, and then sharing it.
Starbucks have got their Insta-marketing down to a tee, and the reason behind their success is their deep understanding of what it takes to create a successful corporate account. Rather than sharing basic images of their products, Starbucks give them a story and background, posting cups in locations and situations that their users will appreciate. They also take this user engagement one step further, using a process called “regramming”, where they repost the best of their followers’ brand-related images.
Second only to Nike in the sports brand rankings, Adidas Originals have a solid Instagram strategy, which involves combining glossy new product ranges with more lifestyle orientated imagery. Using images of athletes, cityscapes and music artists (like ambassador Rita Ora) to communicate their urban vibe, they have perfected one of the most important elements of running a successful brand Instagram account: personality.
In such a competitive high street fashion market, Topshop stand out from their competitors because of two things: understanding their target market, and their effective use of competitions. A relatively small percentage of their uploads are of products as, instead, they feature images of music festivals, fashion events and holidays that will specifically interest their followers. Their competitions are exceptionally well-tailored as well, and they recently offered a fully customizable prom dress as a prize, which gained over 25,000 Likes within an hour of being uploaded.
Gucci (like Adidas Originals, interestingly enough) have scaled the heights Totem’s Instagram rankings by effectively defining and communicating their brand’s personality. Every single image they upload is perfectly on brand and fits the classy approach that Gucci have consciously decided to adopt. Their users aspire to be the models, own the products, visit the locations and live the lifestyle that the account depicts, and Gucci have made the most of this emotional connection.
GoPro’s Instagram account is a joy to behold, and this boils down to their aim, which is simply to upload the most exciting, impressive images and videos that have been taken with their product. It’s an extremely basic premise, but one that they have executed to perfection. From scaling mountains, to swimming with whales and sharks, GoPro succeed in capturing the most thrilling imagery on the entire Instagram platform.
There are many similar brands to the NBA that all use Instagram. However, what differentiates the NBA from any other sports association is their effective use of video. While the NFL and MLB both feature great high-res images, the NBA understands that its users are sports fans and that what they will appreciate most is video-based content. Their videos of the best recent baskets are extremely digestible and demonstrate that brands should certainly consider video when creating an Instagram strategy.
In terms of content, Vans’ strategy is very similar to that of Topshop; they focus far more on capturing the lifestyle of their target market than just simply uploading product pictures. Indeed, their bio lists “Music, art, boards, bikes & stuff”, interestingly leaving out shoes and apparel, their main products. This approach is being adopted more and more by brands nowadays, as they come to realize that Instagram is not an extension of their ecommerce store, but a completely separate channel that allows them to communicate their brand’s personality.
Dior’s Instagram account is, like Gucci’s, based around the aspirations of the user. They have slightly more of a product slant than most of the other top ten brands, focusing on the luxurious nature of their lines. Dior have also adopted an instantly recognizable style, with many of their images being presented in high-contrast monochrome to create an iconic style.
Finally, Prada combine a number of different factors to create a fantastic Instagram account. They blend high-street and high-end fashion posts, featuring images of both their stores and fashion shows. As well as this, they also take advantage of the viral nature and popularity of celebrities, by using images of them wearing Prada to tap into further niches of users. Finally, they break this up with some kookier yet still on-brand artwork to round off one of the most interesting and diverse accounts on the Instagram platform.