Instagram is a powerful PR tool for brands to develop their audience and voice. A 2014 Forrester study found Instagram is 58 times more engaging than Facebook, and 120 times more engaging than Twitter. When used alongside other PR tactics, Instagram can complement and amplify a brand or company’s core messaging in distinct ways. So what makes a brand’s Instagram content stand out from the others? Here are five examples – from consumer tech and tech startups to art materials and tasty beverages – to help answer that question.
Sonix Cases (@shopsonix): The product is the star. These are not your ordinary phone cases, and Sonix’s Instagram feed shows you why. The cases come in many styles and designs, and the brand’s Instagram photos are creative and colorful. Oftentimes, the patterns on the cases are matched with beautiful scenery or fun props. But the key is that the product is always the star of the photo. Sonix is also reliable with responding to its followers’ questions, which allows the company to show it’s listening and it cares. Hats off to Sonix for finding ways to take a product that’s typically a yawn and turn it into one that is “Instaworthy.”
Veuve Clicquot (@veuveclicquot): A clear call-to-action. This champagne brand knows how to package a well-loved beverage to make it even more exciting, and then convey that to its customers through great photography. Through its social media handles, the company announced that this summer, the Cliqcuot Mail Truck is traveling cross-country to bring champagne to people all around the US. Beautiful “#CliquotMail” photos are taken at each stop and shared on Instagram with backdrops of the various cities. How can you resist? It speaks to champagne lovers and wanderlusters alike, with a call to find the truck while it’s in your city and take a picture of it, too. Bring on the champagne, please!
Misfit Wearables (@misfitwearables): Embrace popular hashtags. Hang on – is this really a tech product? Misfit Wearables’ offerings are so well-designed you’d never know they’re so packed with technology. Pictures on Instagram show you how the wearables can be integrated into your daily life. Whether it’s worn as a fashion statement at your next cocktail party or as a fitness tracker when you play tennis, there’s a way for it to fit your lifestyle. Misfit isn’t shy with using keyword hashtags (e.g., “#activitytracker”) to attract new followers, too – a good tactic to increase awareness of your products as long as you don’t go overboard.
Codecademy (@codecademy): Humanizing the brand. This NYC-based startup that teaches coding for free is not only cool because it’s filling in a gap in STEM training among millennials, but it’s also got an Instagram feed that shows how much fun everyone is having in the process. A timeline of the company’s milestones on the office air duct? How creative. You’ll also find lots of photos of staff and students eating cake, celebrating birthdays and attending workshops. Followers want to see less promotional content and more behind-the-scenes info on social media, so it’s important to feed that through your Instagram visuals. Showing who’s behind the company and what they like to do “humanizes” the brand, which resonates with followers.
Sakura (@sakuraofamerica): The well-played Instagram takeover. This beloved stationary and art supplies manufacturer is from Japan, but they know how to make a splash in the US. By including artists as guest Instagrammers, Sakura shares ways to use their products to create beautiful pieces. These “Instagram takeovers” are highly effective as they lend an authentic voice to the brand’s social media content and allows experts to share their tips (in this case, which types of pens they like). Product mentions strategically include branded hashtags (e.g., “#pigmamicron” for Sakura micron pens) and the posts are highly engaging, as followers ask the guest Instagrammers questions. It’s also a win for the guests themselves, since they’re able to gain visibility by tagging their own Instagram accounts. No doubt, these photos inspire consumers to pick up some supplies to try out themselves!