Instagram can seem like a bit of a mystery when you start to use it for your business. From the frustrating algorithm changes to the pressure to be posting daily Stories from behind the scenes (does anyone really want to see me sorting through a pile of train tickets tracking my business expenses?), it can be tempting to just delete that app and focus your efforts elsewhere. However, if your business targets a young audience (14-34 is the age range with the highest presence on the platform), and/or has something visual to share (Beauty products? Check. Food? Check? Fashion? Check. Fitness? Check. You get the picture...) avoiding Instagram is a huge wasted opportunity! From raising brand awareness to generating sales and enquiries, this highly visual social platform could be truly transformational for your business. Here I'm going to list five of my current favourite accounts, and talk you through why I think they are right on the money.
All That Is She - The Rule of Three
This is an account I stumbled across recently and I fell completely in love with. Dominique at All That is She rocketed from 56k followers in December 2016 to half a million just 12 months later - and at a time when Instagram's algorithm was making even the most savvy of Instagrammers struggle to up their following, that is nothing short of miraculous. The secret? Creativity. Dominique is an Instagram Pro - it is her full time job, but she has achieved this by creating a striking, instantly recognisable theme across her posts, using consistent custom filters, unique props and beautiful styling. Here is an example of what good photography can do for your social media! The All That is She theme includes regular imaginatively styled photos of Dominique and her two daughters, and this rule of three creates a playful, eye-catching effect. Everything she does is overflowing with creativity, making hitting that follow button completely irresistible.
Lynsay Loves - The Ray of Sunshine
Okay - full disclosure - I happen to know the lovely lady behind Lynsay Loves in real life, but that is part of the reason why I chose to include her. What Lynsay has is an incredible example of a strong personal brand. So strong, in fact, that if I'm having a bad day and I'm scrolling through Instagram, I often find myself deliberately going on to her feed to see what she has posted, because I know it will undoubtedly cheer me up. A combination of beautiful photos, vibrant colours and a whole lotta personality mean that just from a glance at a post, I can tell that it's Lynsay's, even if she isn't featuring in it herself. What's more, it's a very real representation, not just something constructed for the camera - she is just as colourful, cheery and interesting in person as she is on her feed, and I think that authenticity shines through. A reminder to always be yourself!
Six by Nico - The Art of the Grid
Originally based solely in Glasgow, but now with an Edinburgh restaurant under their belt too, Six by Nico is an exciting concept - in their words, they are "home to a series of carefully curated and constantly evolving concepts every six weeks". The concept itself screams "exclusivity" - we all know that anything limited edition has instantly more appeal than something we can access any time we want. In the case of Six by Nico, their Instagram is a really striking representation of their brand. It's simple - they don't overfill their feed with daily reposts from customers (which, for other restaurants is actually a positive thing!), snaps from behind the scenes or shots of their exterior on a sunny day. They keep it incredibly clean, clear, minimal and on brand. And, as referenced above, they make EXCELLENT use of the grid! When done properly, a grid style layout can work really well, and this is a perfect example. A post for each of the six courses on the menu, topped off with a nicely styled graphic to represent the theme. LOVE. IT.
Contiki - The Travel Bug
My relationship with Contiki began when one of my favourite YouTubers (Alayna Fender) collaborated on a project with them in 2017 - a perfect example of Influencer Marketing done right! While they have the benefit of being in the travel business, an inherently Instagramable industry, Contiki do more than just rely on pretty pictures of exotic locations. Their feed is constantly surprising - while a consistent look works for some brands, the jumping from stunning beaches to wide open roads and historical locations here creates a feeling of excitement around this brand when scrolling through their feed. The possibilities of beautiful places to visit seem endless. More so than that though, much of the content they upload is user-generated, creating a real sense of community on their Instagram. They consistently repost images from people who tag them, which not only creates real engagement between the brand and their customers, but also gives a real sense of who their customer is - they target 18-35yr olds (handy, given that the biggest segment of Instagram's audience is 14-34yr olds), and their account really reflects this.
Lulu Lemon - The Brand
The reality? Every account I've listed in this post is an excellent example of strong branding. The reason I've included Lulu Lemon, however, is because they have cracked the code when it comes to blending selling their products with engaging lifestyle content. At a glance, this page doesn't scream "sell sell sell" - it comes across much more as an aspirational lifestyle page... i.e., the perfect content for Instagram. However, while doing that, they cement their brand in every post. Whether I'm looking at their content across the grid, or any of their individual posts, I instantly understand what this brand is about - fitness, wellness, nature, mindfulness and style. And 2.5million others are receiving that same messaging. Anyone else suddenly feeling the need to sign up to a yoga class (and invest in the appropriate attire)?
Job well done, Lulu Lemon.
That's it for my round up of five Instagram accounts you have to follow! I'd love to know which of the accounts I mentioned is your favourite, and why - leave me a comment below to let me know. I'd also be really interested to hear what some of your favourite Instagram accounts are - I love finding amazing new people and brands to follow!
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