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.

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70 responses to “Four Brands Using Instagram Really Well”

  1. S_DuBois says:

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

  2. bradmarley says:

    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.

  3. katskrieger says:

    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 says:

      @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!!

  4. JimConnolly says:

    @jginkc Great post wasn’t it. Jason?

  5. SeanMalarkey says:

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

  6. Nessa Nguyen says:

    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…

  7. LuisD2DPrint says:

    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 says:

      @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!!

  8. misskatiemo says:

    @jasonkonopinski thanks for the mention! 🙂

  9. Lisa Larranaga says:

    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!

  10. alinalara says:

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

  11. AmyVernon says:

    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).

  12. cision says:

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

  13. cision says:

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

  14. eveypistorio says:

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

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  16. rajbgm says:

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

  17. rachaelseda says:

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

  18. EdTech_HigherEd says:

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

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