3 Unlikely Brands That Are Killing it on Instagram (And How Yours Can Too)

3 Unlikely Brands That Are Killing it on Instagram (And How Yours Can Too)

Author: Rohan Ayyar / Source: Hootsuite Social Media Management Judging by the more than 500,000 advertisers currently paying to get thei

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3 Unlikely Brands That Are Killing it on Instagram (And How Yours Can Too) | Hootsuite Blog

Judging by the more than 500,000 advertisers currently paying to get their message across to nearly 600 million users on Instagram, the platform is clearly a powerful place to be.

A visually-oriented, mobile-first social network, Instagram is perfectly positioned to capitalize on the rapid growth of mobile. And the platform is finding significant success with the next generation of buyers: 90 percent of users are under 35.

Yet some brands are still struggling to find success on this platform. Some marketers may feel that their products don’t lend themselves easily to visual marketing. Even if you do manage to get around that challenge, brands can find engagement elusive and often struggle to foster thriving Instagram communities.

As you venture out onto Instagram—which you should definitely do if you’re selling to millennials—remember that success on this channel requires thinking beyond snapshots, filters, hashtags, and clever editing. Only on rare occasions can a product speak for itself.
The three winning pillars of Instagram—for every brand, not just the fun ones—are: inspiring content, community cultivation, and images that are all-around awesome.

Need some Instagram inspiration for your brand? Let’s look at three companies that have found the Instagram sweet spot, projecting the right blend of content and community.

3 brands that have Instagram figured out (and what you can learn from them)

1. Les Mills offers motivation and a sense of belonging

New Zealand-based Les Mills, known for its high intensity interval training workout, maintains seven separate Instagram accounts and is crushing it on every single one. With more than 116,000 followers in over 100 countries, what is this fitness brand’s secret to successful Instagram engagement?


First of all, even the name of their Instagram account evokes feelings of community by including the word “tribe.” In an increasingly isolated world, becoming a member of a community is attractive, especially when that group is exclusive, shares a common goal, and maintains its own culture (jargon, hashtags, methodology, definition of success, etc.).

Instead of working out alone, Les Mills Instagram followers have inspiration, motivation, and of course, images of attractive, sweaty people undertaking the same challenging regimen that faces them every morning in the gym. In an instant, they belong.

Les Mills fosters a feeling of inclusiveness, connectivity, and a supportive community.

What you can learn

While you might think you’re attempting to sell a product, what you’re really selling is a feeling. People aspire to feel included, important, empowered, and understood.

Position your product to give them what they’re after. Visuals are great for evoking emotional responses. Use this to your advantage on Instagram.

2. PayPal becomes a lifestyle enabler

Financial services companies probably don’t spring to mind when you think about innovative Instagram ad strategies, yet PayPal stands out as an consistently creative brand on this highly visual platform. They’ve even won awards for it.

Rather than trying…