• Gabrielle Woolley

5 Brands with Cool Instagram Strategies

They’re not like regular brands on Instagram, they’re cool brands.

Social media provides brands with the unique opportunity to be, well, social, with their consumers. The ability to follow a brand on social media adds a unique dimension to the traditional consumer-brand relationship. With social media apps like Instagram, brands can create platforms to not only market their products and services, but also to tell their stories, engage with followers in more personal ways, and build a unique image.

By being creative and unique on social media, businesses can increase their marketability and make their brand more distinct.

However, as social media feeds become more scattered with sponsored posts and suggested ads, brands have to do more to distinguish their presence and keep followers. Check out these six brands that have been killing it with the creativity and innovation on Instagram.

Everlane: Using Q&A to start a conversation

To promote the launch of a new outerwear line, clothing company Everlane made clever use of the Instagram story Q&A feature.

Everlane began with a simple question, “Which city are you in?”, and recommended a piece of outerwear with a level of insulation fit to the local temperature of each follower who answered. Ranging from followers in Anchorage, AK to NYC, Everlane provided personalized answers to followers who engaged with their story.

One of Everlane's Insta Q&A interactions

Through this feature, Everlane successfully promoted the launch of its new collection and allowed the brand to be social with its followers. The personal nature of the question shows the brand’s desire to get to know its followers and where they come from.

Everlane shows how the Q&A feature can be creatively used to start a meaningful conversation, whether it be to quickly address questions about new products or talk about the weather. It's a fun, simple way to build a stronger relationship with their consumers.

Outdoor Voices: Allowing Followers to Shape the Brand via hashtag

Through their hashtag “#doingthings”, activewear brand Outdoor Voices takes advantage of user generated content and gives their followers a role in creating their feed. If customers take a photo of themselves wearing OV products and post the picture with #doingthings, Outdoor Voices can re-post the photo to the brand’s Instagram.

This is a cool marketing strategy because it highlights products being used in real-time scenarios by real people. By putting their customers on their feed, Outdoor Voices makes themselves a more accessible, relatable brand.

Like Outdoor Voices, brands can engage with social media to let their followers help shape the image of the brand. Through well-crafted hashtags, opportunities for photo submissions, or tagged posts, consumers can literally be a part of the brand they decide to follow.

Brooklinen: Interactive campaigns

Luxury bedding company, Brooklinen, frequently launches creative weekly campaigns on Instagram to engage followers and shape their brand image.

During their "One Week to a Fresh Space" challenge, Brooklinen posted daily tips on cleaning organizing.

As a home goods brand, the cleaning and organizational tips are certainly relevant to their product. However, they engaged followers in bettering their homes, which not only helped shape their brand image but also demonstrated their commitment to the freshness of their customers living spaces.

Through fun, interactive campaigns, brands can strengthen their brand image. Like Brooklinen, businesses can use social media to become more personal with their consumers by talking about the lifestyle behind their brand.

Also, it keeps followers interested in following the posts. Campaigns like this will provide more content to keep up to date with and make sure followers are eager to see what comes next.

Billie: Using Instagram posts to create a brand personality

Along with product ads and promotional posts, razor brand Billie spices up their Instagram feed with quirky memes and pop culture content. This strategy helps Billie create a unique aesthetic for the brand.

One of the non-product related posts on Billie's page

By incorporating fun photos of 90s celebrities, frame grabs of popular childhood cartoons, and screenshots of viral tweets, Billie creates a distinct personality for their brand. This strategy makes the brand more dynamic and interesting. Also, it's fun! Billie's consumers can follow to keep up to date with their products and to bring more fun, quirky content to their feed. It's a win-win situation.

While brands might first join Instagram with the intention of using it to market their products, they should also consider how posting non-ad based content could help increase followers and make their brand more unique.

Allbirds: Taking Advantage of the Instagram Highlight

The sustainable shoe company, Allbirds, uses the Instagram Highlight feature to tell followers important important stories about their brand in a quick, comprehensible way.

Allbirds prides itself on its use of sustainable and ethically sourced materials. In one 7 slide Instagram highlight, the brand tells its followers exactly what it does to source the wool that goes into making Allbirds sneakers.

How the Instagram Highlights appear on Allbirds' profile

Instead of relying on a lengthy “About Us” tab on their company website, Allbirds takes advantage of the Instagram Highlight feature to tell followers important aspects of their brand. On Instagram, Highlights are placed right underneath Instagram bios, making them easily accessible to followers.

The highlight story keeps things simple and condensed, allowing followers to get to know the brand better in a quick, comprehensible way.

The nature of Instagram as a tool for marketing is changing at an interesting pace. The new features its added allow for more interesting, dynamic, and fun ways for brands to be social with their followers. However, the increased use of Instagram for business purposes makes it vital that brands be innovative and creative in their social media presence and how they engage with followers. These brands give insight on how to make the best use of new Instagram technology and think creatively on how to make a distinct image for their brand online.

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