- 04/01/2013

Ecommerce, Social

10 Ways Brands Use Instagram for Business

More than half of the world’s top 100 brands are now on Instagram. As more companies take to the all-picture platform, it’s no wonder we’re also seeing smarter ways of using the site for business purposes.

Read on to learn who the leading brands on Instagram are and what they’re doing right to the benefit of their bottom lines.

What a better use case to start with than Instagram itself? They feature the best images of the week, top images from #hashtags, images that spread the message about charities and current events, and much more.

Shopify shares images that tie their branding into pop culture including cats who like Shopify, their Madmen room, the Shopify logo in Legos, and a comic that let’s you know you’ve arrived at the Shopify mothership. You can learn even more about their online marketing strategy by analyzing their landing pages.

Not only does etsy share photos that appeal to people who make handmade items, they also use the social network to give a peek “behind the seams” at their offices. By encouraging users to answer questions such as, “What was the first craft you ever learned?” and “Define your purpose,” the DIY marketplace engages its loyal “etsians” in a relevant, meaningful manner both on and off Instagram.

PayPal shares a range of different images on their Instagram account: great quotes, products you can sell via PayPal, attention to charities and public service announcements, their credit card swiper, and more.

eBay shares a mixture of items you can find on eBay, images from their office, charity work they are involved in, inspirational images and quotes, plus other random photos.

ConstantContact shares photos that help their audience get inside of their offices and their company culture including random desk shots, thank you’s to their customers, and community service work that they do.

Warby Parker uses Instagram to share interesting locations their team visits throughout San Francisco. They also do a great job at incorporating their eyewear into many of the scenes as well as create custom, branded hashtags to go with their photos.

Facebook shares photos taken by employees around the world. It’s an interesting way to get inside the minds behind the largest social network.

YouTube shares images from their film festivals, major conferences like SXSW, and pictures of people they are interviewing or live streaming.

Tumblr shares photos from inside their headquarters along with images from fashion shows, presentations, and current events.

Top Instagram Tips and Takeaways

  • Secure a branded username such as instagram.com/shopify, instagram.com/etsy, etc. This way people know it’s you on Instagram!
  • Fill out your profile and website link as both will be visible when people view your profile on their mobile app or on the web.
  • Use a branded profile image that people can recognize from your Twitter account, Facebook page, and other social profiles.
  • Grow your Instagram followers by using #hashtags in your posts and by linking to your Instagram profile on your website.
  • Market your upcoming event with Instagram photos and live tweet during the event with lots of #hashtag marked photos.
  • Show your commitment to your community, a favorite charity, the environment, and non-profit organizations.
  • Connect your Instagram data to your free SumAll account to see how your Instagram activity affects traffic, Twitter engagement, sales, and more.

Updated November 17, 2017.