5 brands that have used Instagram well


@nike is the most popular brand on Instagram with 3,452,109 followers and a staggering 22,274,489 posts using the hashtag #nike. A key to Nike’s success on Instagram is to understand the psychology of Instagram. You’ll only see photos that feel right on Instagram: beautifully shot landscapes, people using the product in context — the kind of real-life-and-in-the-moment feeling that Instagram is all about.

Nike arguably ran the most successful campaign based on Instagram to date with Nike PHOTOiD, its customizable shoes.

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They introduced a new way to customize your NIKEiD experience using your Instagram photos. Through the Nike PHOTOiD experience, you can now choose your favorite Instagram photo, and PHOTOiD will customize the Nike Air Max model (the Air Max 1, Air Max 90, and the Air Max 95) of your choice based on the colors in the photo. From there, you can immediately purchase or share the photo of your custom-designed shoe.

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It gave fans the opportunity to get creative by designing their own Nike shoe online and selecting one of their Instagram photos to go along with it. The result was a shareable photo that looked good, and a shoe which was colored to fit the background image.

2. Starbucks

Starbucks has 2,063,755 Instagram followers and 9,320,026 #starbucks posts.
Starbucks’ Instagram page captures aspects of their brand’s ethos through some beautiful images, showing a creative, whimsical side to the brand. But what really sets it apart is the call to action at the top of their page: “Tag your coffee photos with #Starbucks!” Their customers are encouraged to take pictures showing how Starbucks fits into their daily lives, generating a vast photo record of fans’ interaction with the brand.

Starbucks knows the kind of content that clicks with Instagram users. The below picture for example, is very similar to what Instagrammers like to share themselves and see on the platform.

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Another very good example of Starbucks ‘getting’ Instagram is its close attention to its fans’ own favorites. This photo was originally shared by a New Zealand teenager known as @colour_me_creative. She has over 900,000 followers on Instagram who love seeing her drawings. So when she shared this Starbucks cup she’d drawn on, her followers bugged Starbucks to re-share it. Which Starbucks did. This got a lot of attention from younger fans, and showed the brand’s goodwill to everyone including those who didn’t know @colour_me_creative in the first place.

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3. Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein launched its latest line of men’s drawers with a new #mycalvins campaign, encouraging bloggers, models, musicians and even run-of-the-mill fashionistas to post their skivvy selfies. They took their marketing to social media by sending their famous underwear to a number of big-name celebs so they could pose in the undies for a sexy selfie and hashtag the snapshot #MyCalvins. And in a social media twist, the brand is trusting its fans to create those images.

Rather than initiating the effort itself, it sent samples of its new underwear to an elite group of influencers, asking them to post any kind of portrait they like of the famous waist-banded knickers.

The digital “show yours. #mycalvins” effort kicked off with supermodel Miranda Kerr and R&B artist Trey Songz, who each posted shots of themselves in the dainties, which immediately began triggering hundreds of thousands of “likes.”

The second wave of Instagram selfies has already come from such bloggers as Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad and Leandra Medine of the Man Repeller. And Calvin Klein will also use the hashtag on other social media platforms.

In less than 24 hours, the first of the three influencer photos had more than 1 million total fan interactions among an audience of over 50 million. Songz, who has a combined following of over 26 million fans on his official Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts, posted two photos that have generated some 830,000 interactions.

It has tapped 100 influencers from 15 countries to don their drawers, with a combined reach of more than 250 million fans on social media.

Kerr gives a casual sneak peek of her underwear as she lies down in a tied up T-shirt, flaunting her midriff, with unbuttoned jean. Instead of asking the audience to follow the brand, they’re allowing the fans to create the #mycalvins movement, therefore making it feel more organic and less promotional. Anyone with a smartphone and a pair of Calvins can strike a pose, which drives purchase intent for new customers and incentivizes loyal customers to check out the latest style.

4. U Haul

U-Haul is encouraging the public to send photos of their moving adventures to be featured in collages on the sides of U-Haul In-Town moving vans.

Consumers can upload their moving photos to Instagram and use the hashtag #MyUhaul to share your U-Haul Journey.

Customers’ photos will be featured on the side of 5,000 moving vans traveling across North America. Once the photos are selected, consumers will be able to go online to find out which truck their photo appears on and where it currently is in the country.

5. Honda

Honda, with their Civic #lovetoday campaign got many American lovebirds chirping over the V weekend.

The Instagram Direct program was launched on Valentine’s Day, with users posting photos and videos using the Instagram tag #lovetoday and mentioning something they love about Valentine’s Day. The posts will then be integrated into the lyrics of the song from Honda Civic “Today is Pretty Great” campaign, and pressed on a limited-edition heart-shaped LP.

The campaign features music from American blues rock band Vintage Trouble, with the first 500 users to upload to Instagram receiving the heart-shaped LP.

These five companies are all using Instagram in different ways; in campaigns, as part of their website, to generate conversations, or to show a different side to their brand. The high level of customer interaction shows how popular using images can be with your fans. It also demonstrates that simple calls to action, such as asking fans to tag photos and upload their own images, can inspire people to come along on your brand’s visual journey.


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