The Brand Champions of Instagram and How They’re Doing It

Not every business understands the concept of social media. It’s true. Many businesses see that facet of the web as yet another positive SEO signal.

Whilst it is beneficial to have social media profiles for your SEO, it is more so to be active and engaging with the social community for your brand’s benefit.

Think of it like this, step away from your business’s point of view for a minute and think about how you use social media from a personal perspective. You don’t go on social media to be bombarded with irrelevant posts about yet another new product, or offer that’s happening every weekend, do you?

The whole purpose of social media is to be social. Not sales. Creating conversation with your consumers is the way forward, build relationships with them and get them involved with the brand.

Some people find that Instagram is the hardest platform to succeed in doing this because you have to have an image and long descriptions aren’t approved in the food-loving instaverse, you don’t really have a lot of scope to engage with your potential customers.

Now I could give you a load of pointers and tips and tell you how to do that. But I think we learn better and have more to take away if we see examples of those brands in action.

So here it is, the brands of Instagram, totally rocking their way to social fame.





We’ve all done it, purchased our favourite Caramel Frappucino and just to forever immortalise it on our Instagram profile. Well, Starbucks noticed our tendency to photograph those paper white cups and they utilised it in the form of a contest where people had to decorate those little cups with any design they could imagine and submit it.


Starbucks cup contest winner


Starting from 2015, in select stores across the US and Canada, Starbucks customers could purchase a reusable plastic version of the iconic green logo’d cup. But that’s not all: the cup featured the winning design of last year’s White Cup Contest. What’s more, despite the competition being closed, it hasn’t stopped people creating beautiful, delicate pieces of work throughout this year and sharing them, using the hashtag #cupart


Customers photo of their cup art





With a massive following of two million people, Disneyland has reached the pinnacle of Instagram fame. And, as a gigantic worldwide brand, they could have an entire team of experts creating content to post out to the Instagram world. But, instead, they choose to showcase only their customers’ photos, letting them do the talking.


customer photo of the disney castle and the iconic minnie headband


Full of images of the Disney castle, little girls with their princess idol and various images of all over the resort, Disneyland don’t have to do any promotion – we all know that customers value the opinions and reviews of previous customers more than they do the business’s sales approach.

By using their customer’s photos they’re giving potential customers a glimpse of the fairytale resort from not the workers or social manager’s eyes, but the customers.

They’re invited to share in the magic and get a look at what actually goes on and see the resort from not a photoshopped, shiny brochure image that took three days and the perfect weather to capture, but what it’s actually like to be there and witness the wonder.


Disneyland firework display


There’s also a cute photo or two thrown into the mix, or what you could call ironic… (101 Dalmatians goes Minnie Mouse)


dalmation wearing a minnie mouse headband





Every day GoPro selects a striking and intriguing photo to share with their 6.4 million followers, showing off the quality of their equipment and encouraging others to get their hiking boots and kayaks out and go exploring, or relaxing…


GoPro customer photo


And you’ve got to hand it to them – they showcase their seemingly boring and technical product off in the most amazing ways.

Many businesses struggle to make their product or photo ‘Instagram-worthy’. I mean, how many times can you take a photo of essentially what is a video camera and still make it look cool? Not many.

That’s why GoPro focuses on what you can do with their product and showcases its technological advances with the perfectly crisp photos and of course, photo’s whilst in motion.


GoPro in action



Broccoli Revolution


This is a little-known vegetarian cafe, complete with a 100% vegan bakery, in Bangkok. Their brightly coloured photos not only give you a glance at what’s on the menu (looks delicious if I do say so myself) but also an insight into behind the scenes of the cafe and a look at the customers.


Broccoli Revolution workers


They have a range of photo’s for you to browse through (or stalk…) from photos of their team or meticulously arranged dishes who vibrant colours boast of a company that knows it’s food and how to take a good photo.


gorgeously arranged food


With Broccoli Revolution, their trick is to not keep to one type of photo, they don’t just keep to curated photos, or food photos, or their team. There’s a range to satisfy everyone’s taste, though I’m not sure if my tastes would agree with their green juice…



The Level Collective


The Level Collective are UK-based, describing themselves as an ethical adventure apparel company, whose merchandise is hand-screen printed in Sheffield.

Most companies take to Instagram to show off their products, but The Level Collective do the opposite. They flood the newsfeed’s of their followers with images, not of their apparel but the outside world where their consumers are spending their free time and exploring.


adventurous explorer


Their breathtaking photos are nothing short of awe-inspiring and a breath of fresh air from the usual self-promotion of businesses.


customer view



Overall the one takeaway that any business can learn from these campaigns is that social media isn’t just an output source for their content. By engaging and communicating with your consumers you can form an online friendship and continuous conversation with them, and there are many ways to accomplish this.

Now it’s back to you. You can continue to post out content that receives very little engagement, or you can reach out and strike up a conversation with your consumers. Whether it be a competition around your favourite product, or through the use of your customer’s photos of your location/product, there are many methods you can use.



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