Yvette Pistorio

Four Brands Using Instagram Really Well

By: Yvette Pistorio | October 17, 2012 | 

Today’s guest post is by Yvette Pistorio.

I love Instagram.

I can take the world’s worst picture and boom!

Instagram to the rescue!

It doesn’t have business-specific profiles, built-in visibility, engagement metrics, or paid advertising options (not yet at least), but brands are taking advantage of Instagram and seizing the opportunity to share more personal perspectives with consumers.

And I have to say, not to steal a catch phrase or anything, but I’m loving it!

While many brands are still experimenting with ways to use Instagram, the following four brands are already killing it!

How Do I Look?

Free People

The clothing company, owned by Urban Outfitters, integrates customers’ Instagram photos on their product pages. They attach individualized hashtag information cards to specific jeans, and then encourage customers to take picture of themselves in the product and tag them with #myfpdenim or more specific tags for different jeans. Consumers become models and potential buyers can see how a pair of jeans looks in real life.

Behind The Scenes


Getting ready to launch a product, do a photo shoot, film a commercial, or get made up for a media interview are moments that few people get to experience. Burberry not only shares product shots, they also share interesting content such as a fashion shows. Photographer Mike Kus maintained a real-time photo feed on Burberry’s Instagram account for the duration of the show.

Coffee Culture


The coffee powerhouse shows off its products in interesting ways. Their updates are fun to look at and create an emotional connection with customers by capturing in-store experiences. They don’t focus on their product, rather on what’s happening around it. Fans have the ability to tag their coffee photos using the #starbucks hashtag, then Starbucks shares with fans on Facebook.

A Love Story

Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany asked its audience to share love stories through a series of photos and captions. They asked their followers to post a picture about love, and use the hashtag #truelovepictures. They called the campaign “True Love in Pictures” and aggregated the Instagram photos on WhatMakesLoveTrue.com. The campaign was so successful they launched a follow-up campaign called #TimelessTrueLove.

The Takeaway

  • Get your customers involved and they will do the sharing for you
  • Connect with your customers using content that aligns with your brand
  • Keep the marketing subtle and keep the focus on the experience or emotion your photos project
  • Share photos that capture the spirit of your brand

According to Simply Measured, 40 percent of leading brands are now active on Instagram and more than 25 percent post at least one photo per week. It seems Instagram is going to keep growing, and businesses large and small have a chance to make a name for themselves on the photo-sharing social network.

Are you using Instagram? What creative uses of Instagram have you seen from your favorite brands?



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About Yvette Pistorio

Yvette Pistorio is the shared media manager for Arment Dietrich. She is a lover of pop culture, cupcakes, and HGTV, and enjoys a good laugh. There are a gazillion ways you can find her online.

  • S_DuBois

    Very cool RT @SpinSucks From Spin Sucks: Four Brands Using Instagram Really Well http://t.co/oUOmeNZ1

  • I like what Sharpie and General Electric are doing with Instagram. Both utilize their products really well, in terms of how they tell their story visually.

    • @bradmarley GE is a great example

      • @jasonkonopinski I like how they crowd source some of their images. They utilize their community really well.

        • yvettepistorio

          @bradmarley  @jasonkonopinski I love how Sharpie and GE are using Instagram too. So many good examples, it was tough to get this down to the right word count!!

        • @yvettepistorio  @bradmarley Billboard does some pretty amazing things, too, using their staff of photojournalists. misskatiemo

    • Lisa Larranaga

      @bradmarley Love Sharpie! They do a great job of highlighting their product without directly promoting it through, say, market pictures 🙂

  • As far as photo filters go, I far prefer Hipstamatic. It gives more a a photographer-like experience because you choose the film/filter BEFORE you take the photo. I believe you can link your Hipstamatic with Instagram now. Anyway, if anyone is a photo buff, you may want to check it out. 🙂

    • yvettepistorio

      @katskrieger Nice, I’ll definitely check it out!! I do like that I can choose the filter after I take the picture. So if it’s too dark, I can find a filter that lightens it up a bit. Pretty cool if you can link Hipstamatic to Instagram though!!

  • JimConnolly

    @jginkc Great post wasn’t it. Jason?

    • jginkc

      @jimconnolly Agree. Always enjoy being pointed to good examples for inspiration.

      • JimConnolly

        @jginkc Me too. Just followed you to see what I can learn. See you around, sir!

  • SeanMalarkey

    @ginidietrich Funniest thing about that post is when Tiffany posts anything other than product – engagement is way down! cc: @eveypitorio

    • ginidietrich

      @SeanMalarkey That’s so weird! Goes to show what great products they have

      • SeanMalarkey

        @ginidietrich kind of breaks the norm doesn’t it? side note – been riding ur bike much lately?

        • ginidietrich

          @SeanMalarkey I’m indoors now – the winds here are 35-45 mph daily. I did a 10 mile ride today at a 22% incline. SUPER hard.

        • SeanMalarkey

          @ginidietrich WHOA – like a boss! I just moved to Santa Barbara and the hills have taken some serious getting used to…

        • ginidietrich

          @SeanMalarkey OMG! Rough life! You can ride all year. That’s awesome.

    • eveypistorio

      @SeanMalarkey Really? That’s very interesting…

      • SeanMalarkey

        @eveypistorio weird isnt it – look at their stream

        • eveypistorio

          @SeanMalarkey Hmph…maybe they need to hire Arment Dietrich for their social media marketing huh @ginidietrich ?!?!

        • ginidietrich

          @eveypistorio Whatever you say! @SeanMalarkey

  • Nessa Nguyen

    It’s funny to see that Tiffany isn’t active on Pinterest, despite the fact that their pics on Instagram are commercial photos and not candids. They have over 1000 followers even without pinning anything. What a waste…

  • Thanks for sharing. My personal favorite brand that uses Instagram is Nintendo. It’s not just product images but images of fans, gamers interacting with Nintendo products as well as goofy and amusing photos. It definitely carries the fun factor associated with Nintendo.

    • yvettepistorio

      @LuisD2DPrint I’ll have to check it out. I didn’t even think to look for them! And thank you, now I have the Nintendo song in my head!! Lol!!

  • misskatiemo

    @jasonkonopinski thanks for the mention! 🙂

    • jasonkonopinski

      @misskatiemo But of course! 🙂

  • Lisa Larranaga

    Great compilation, Yvette! I love that Instagram gives brands the opportunity to showcase some personality & interact directly with their fans. Audi is another brand doing a good job. They have something like 40K+ engagements per every 10K fans they have (source: social fresh).
    Instagram doesn’t give brands a lot of ways to fail, which is refreshing. And you can tell by this comment stream since there are so many suggestions for good brand instagram accounts in addition to the great ones you shared above!
    Thanks, Yvette!

  • alinalara

    @AmyVernon @ginidietrich They’re all CP any b2b?

    • AmyVernon

      @alinalara Yes! @generalelectric has a very cool @Instagram and it’s all on the b2b side. cc @ginidietrich http://t.co/grXLxLi6

      • alinalara

        @AmyVernon @generalelectric @instagram @ginidietrich Awesome Thx. PS will follow u tonight(social2b) as I can’t attend Glimpse.

        • AmyVernon

          @alinalara aww. Sorry I won’t get to see you. But thanks for saying hi the other day! Would love to sit down over coffee sometime soon.

        • alinalara

          @AmyVernon Would love that! May have some time next week if I don’t go to SF for @TheCMOclub. I’ll ping you on Mon.:)

      • generalelectric

        @AmyVernon We’re glad you like it, Amy! How long has social media been an interest of yours?

        • AmyVernon

          @generalelectric a few years.

        • generalelectric

          @AmyVernon Excellent. Which platform is your favorite?

      • ginidietrich

        @AmyVernon @alinalara I LOVE the GE Instagram!

  • These are great ones – Burberry’s been a favorite of mine for a while. When I tweeted this out, one person asked about B2B examples, and I’d point to General Electric for that (no affiliation, just a fan of how they use social).

  • cision

    @KurtKBQ Thank you for sharing our Instagram tweet, Kurt! Hope you’re having a good day 🙂

    • KurtKBQ

      @cision No problem! Great stuff!

      • cision

        @KurtKBQ Thank you!

  • cision

    Thank you for the RT of our Instagram tweet, @kbslice & @CSweithelm. Hope you have a good day!

  • eveypistorio

    @cision Yay!!! Miss you!! After work drinks next Wednesday or Thursday? I’m trying to get @hksully out too 🙂

    • cision

      @eveypistorio Um, yes! How about Friday? I’ll be at the IMS in Boston until then! cc: @hksully

      • eveypistorio

        @cision @hksully I can’t on Friday 🙁 I have a Halloween party and Saturday a dinner for a friend’s birthday. Lucky you in Boston!!

        • cision

          @eveypistorio Bummer. Let’s make it happen soon! cc: @hksully

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  • rajbgm

    @ShellyKramer @ginidietrich For information on #socialmedia #designing and #webProgramming #concepts Visit http://t.co/0pfqJEYb #retweet

    • ShellyKramer

      Seriously @rajbgm – Does it not occur to u that a tweet like that is nothing less than spammy + guaranteed 2b ineffective. cc @ginidietrich

      • LarryEngel

        @shellykramer @ginidietrich <<< Not sure what this guy (@rajbgm) could even offer you 2 social media mavens…

        • ShellyKramer

          @larryengel He’s a charmer. That’s for sure, Larry! Happy Friday to you!

      • ginidietrich

        @ShellyKramer Ha! You rock!

        • kmueller62

          @ginidietrich @ShellyKramer #visit #me #for #hashtag #tips #and #fun #stuff

        • ShellyKramer

          @kmueller62 @ginidietrich #okay #willdo #willyoualso #tryandsellme #crapidont want #orneed #please

        • ShellyKramer

          @ginidietrich People can be such asshats. <sigh> Happy Friday, Gin!

        • kmueller62

          @shellykramer @ginidietrich #BUY #5000 #Followers #for #just #$200!!!

        • kmueller62

          @shellykramer @ginidietrich holy crap that last tweet was a mistake. serious spam retaliation.

        • ErinMFeldman

          @kmueller62 That’s what you get for playing the hashtag game. #payback @ShellyKramer @ginidietrich

        • ginidietrich

          @kmueller62 You’re a loon!

        • ginidietrich

          @ShellyKramer Happy Friday to you!

        • kmueller62

          @ginidietrich is that a good thing?

        • ginidietrich

          @kmueller62 In your case it is

        • kmueller62

          @ginidietrich uh…i’m not sure how to interpret that…

  • Haha Instagram to the rescue! You’re too funny!

  • EdTech_HigherEd

    @sidneyeve @GlenGilmore Here are 4 colleges doing the same: http://t.co/vndga5zK

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