11 examples, 11 lessons, 11 opportunities to improve your Instagram account!
We’re a few years into the Instagram vs. Snapchat wars, and Instagram is winning.
Want proof? Look at these stats.
- 700 million people use Instagram every single month.
- 400 million use Instagram every single day!
- 200 million Instagrammers use Stories every single day.
From big brands to small brick and mortar shops, businesses everywhere are getting real results with Instagram. In fact, 80 percent of Instagrammers follow at least one business on Instagram.
But Instagram for business ain’t as easy as it used to be.
With so much out there, it can be hard for a business to stand out and get attention.
That’s why we’ve come up with a list of lessons from 11 creative Instagram accounts.
Read on to see what it takes to stand out from the crowd!
11 Lessons You Can Learn From the Most Creative Accounts on Instagram
1.Play Games With Your Followers
Everybody loves a good game! Use Instagram (and people’s more competitive side) to up user engagement and fun.
Instagram users love seeing Canadian photographer Andrew Knapp’s “Find Momo” posts where users play the game of ‘hide and seek’ with his pet Corgy, Momo.
Knapp hides Momo well to make the game challenging and to keep his users engaged.
Go ahead, try to find Momo.
Andrew (and Momo, of course) now have a children’s book called Let’s Find Momo, based completely on his Instagram posts.
The Lesson: Games are not only engaging, they’re an opportunity to develop a brand for yourself like Momo and Andrew did.
Bonus Lesson: It turns out people loves games and cute pups on Instagram! Want to make your dog Instafamous? Click here to learn how!
2.Use Consistency to Develop Your Brand’s Identity
The online print company Desenio prides themselves on printing and framing professional and stylish photographs.
Their Instagram account reflects their brand’s identity with posts that show off their work and style.
Themes can evoke the emotions you’d like associated with your brand. Desenio chose a theme that uses soft colors and tones and minimal decor to evoke a feeling of luxury and style.
The Lesson: Sticking to an Instagram-style or theme will help develop your brand’s identity and personality. Your style should reflect the feeling you want followers to experience when scrolling through your account. Brainstorm 5 emotions that you want you users to feel when they think about your brand and then picture how you can emote those feelings through Instagram.
3. Post User Generated Content for a Creative Boost
The Instagram account Coffee Illustrated consists of one thing: 100% user generated posts of doodles on coffee cups.
The Lesson: People love seeing their own work displayed on Instagram. Ask your followers to submit their own art and give a shout out to your creative compadres.
4. Use Instagram’s ‘Grid’ Layout to Your Advantage
The clean-cut style of Instagrams layout is excellent for creating a unique and elaborate campaign.
Reynold’s Kitchen, in collaboration with the creative agency Havas Worldwide Chicago, created the ‘Endless Table” campaign where they used Instagram’s layout to create just that, an endless table.
The coolest feature about the campaign is that users can click on a photo and see all the ingredients and instructions to make their favorites dishes.
The Lesson: Instagram’s layout has a lot of room for you to show off your brand’s innovative side. Brainstorm ideas of how you can use Instagram’s grid layout for a unique and creative campaign!
5. Use Interactive Contests to Engage Your Audience
This next example combines Instagram’s grid layout, a game, and a contest to create one epic interactive, engaging, and unique campaign.
Heineken created an Instagram account called “Crack The US Open.”
The entire account features one enormous panoramic shot of a crowd watching tennis. Users actually have to turn their phones 90 degrees just to view the entire shot.
Participants of the contest first had to read the clues found in the captions, scan the crowd for the image that the clue is referring to and then hashtag the correct image with the code word. The first 9 people to enter the last code word on the last image, won!
Talk about interactive!
The Lesson: Contests are an effective method for engaging your followers, reaching new audiences, and increasing your brand awareness. Start with a small contest: Ask your followers to post and tag your brand in a picture of themselves using your product/service. The most epic photo wins a giveaway.
6. Don’t Clog Your Instagram Feed by Over-Posting
Artists A$AP Rocky and Robert Gallardo collaborated on an art installation project via A$AP’s Instagram account.
The pictures were beautiful, they utilized consistency, color, and layout, and A$AP Rocky looked great
The Lesson: Don’t overwhelm your followers with content! Posting 1-3 times per day is enough to keep users engaged and increase your follower count.
7. Create Unbranded Hashtags to Engage Your Followers
Unbranded Hashtags are hashtags created by brands without using any words related to their own brand.
The retail company Kit and Ace created the campaign ‘This Time is Precious’ to engage followers and grow their following.
Kit and Ace encouraged their followers to share photos of themselves during the holiday season using the unbranded hashtag #thistimeisprecious.
Instagram influencer Kla_shh values her alone time
Kit and Kat received over 500 posts with the hashtag #thistimeisprecious.
The Lesson: User generated content and unbranded hashtags are a great way to increase your reach and user engagement. Try coming up with your own unbranded hashtag and using it on your next post.
8. Use Instagram as a Recruiting Platform
Marc Jacobs asked users to post photos of themselves with the hashtag #castmemarc so that the brand’s team could scout and hire their next group of models.
The brand received over 100,000 photos with the hashtag #castmemarc, increased their engagement and hired 11 people that did a stellar job modeling for their campaign.
The Lesson: Instagram is a great platform for finding and hiring talent from places you wouldn’t expect. Next time you’re looking for new talent, skip the bulletin board and go right to Instagram!
9. Educate Your Followers Using #TBT
General Electric repurposed the tired hashtag #TBT into an opportunity to educate their followers on the history of their company.
The Lesson: In addition to Instagram being a visual platform, it can be used an opportunity to engage your followers through education. Try posting fun facts, problem-solving questions or even the history of your own brand like General Electric did.
10. Add Quotes To Your Own Photos
Richard Branson – entrepreneur, CEO, influencer, innovator, and inspirational quote maker!
Branson uses his Instagram account to show followers his adventurous, thrill-seeking, and hardworking personality.
Branson takes his own photos and adds his own quotes to inspire others to play as hard as you work.
The Lesson: Quotes make posts more shareable and relatable. Richard Branson post received over 24,000 likes and almost 400 comments. Take your own original photos and add quotes from influencers, famous people, or from your own inspirational mantras.
11. Use Simple Elements to Create Intricate Stories
Brilliant Bicycle uses simple elements such as storytelling, color, and (of course) bicycles to create quality and engaging content.
Can you guess the narrative of this story?
The Lesson: All it takes is a simple idea and a camera to produce quality content on Instagram. Grab a friend, a camera, and create a story using 3 images, 1 prop, and 1 theme.
Instagram’s visual and shareable nature make it perfect for creating, spreading, and developing your brand, increasing engagement and ultimately increasing the overall success of your business!
I encourage you to take these 11 lessons and apply them to your own Instagram account.
Take your time trying out each lesson and see which ones work for you and which ones don’t.
I also encourage you to come up with new and innovative ways to use Instagram to show off your brand’s unique personality.
Which of these techniques are you going to use?