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Jenn Herman
January 9, 2015

5 Companies Using Instagram Well

businesses on instagram

This is the twelfth and final post in a 12 month series on the use of Instagram for businesses.

With Instagram gaining popularity and influence, more people and businesses are using Instagram. There has never been a better time to use this platform to reach your audience and customers! But, it’s important that you use Instagram effectively and not just randomly. To help you see what works on Instagram, I’ve rounded up 5 companies using Instagram well and will tell you why they’re doing it right.

Intel

Intel (the computer chip company) does Instagram big and gets big results. They get really good engagement and reach audiences beyond their normal reach, while creating brand advocates – for a computer chip company.

They have nearly 30,000 followers on Instagram and have used this community well.

Get down to the nuts and bolts. #maker @microsoftstore #surfacepro #2in1

A post shared by Intel Corporation (@intel) on

Here’s why they succeed on Instagram.

  • They know what their audience likes (technology) and they give it to them. They showcase new products, things they’re working on, and things that are happening in the industry.
  • They ask questions to engage their audience.
  • They include trivia and educational information in some posts.
  • They highlight products that use their chips (products that us end-users buy and use) making their product more relatable.
  • They have a minimal hashtag strategy (with 30,ooo followers, they don’t need a robust strategy) but they use the few well and appropriately to their posts.

PetBox

This company is all about pets and the products that they cater for your pets. They have regularly used Instagram to grow their audience and business and have even said they see their best engagement and results from Instagram – significantly moreso than any other social media site.

Here’s why they succeed on Instagram:

  • They use dogs – lots of dogs – and other animal images. And, yes, pets do really well on Instagram!
  • They keep their content fresh even though the content is relatively redundant.
  • They include personality and humor in their posts.
  • They make really good use of contests to drive traffic and business while growing their audience.
  • They feature their customers and this user generated content regularly.
  • Their post captions are full of easy to understand instructions and calls-to-action that make it easy for their audience to do what they ask.

Nordstrom

The major department store has a large following and makes sure to provide what their audience wants. They have figured out what works and they do it well, keeping their audience happy and engaged.

It's beginning to look a lot like #Christmas…🎄

A post shared by Nordstrom (@nordstrom) on

Here’s why they succeed on Instagram:

  • They actually respond to questions and engage with their audience – this is something too many businesses do not do!
  • They post a variety of content that appeals to their audience.
  • They mix in product based content and more organic images to keep the content fresh and appealing.
  • They incorporate minimal hashtags – enough to convey the message but not too many to clog the caption. Bigger companies can get away with using less hashtags.
  • They keep it trendy and seasonal – which is HUGE for their business and industry.

Mashable

The blogging and news platform that many of us turn to (or end up on) regularly does a really good job of staying active on Instagram and engaging their audience. They also drive traffic back to their site which is a key goal for pretty much every company.

Here’s why they succeed on Instagram.

  • They have a wide variety of content – photos and videos; current events; entertainment and comedic content.
  • They mix in spotlight posts, contests and challenges, and Mashable business info.
  • They direct people back to their website with clear calls-to-action in their posts while giving insight and providing intrigue in the post captions.
  • They do a good job of incorporating relevant hashtags into their posts to increase exposure and engagement.

Todd’s Hardwood Flooring

This is a small company that you’ve probably never heard of but I love how they use Instagram. They don’t have a ton of followers but they use Instagram well and get good engagement (often close to 10% or more) and they post consistently.

Before & after of a staircase. #toddshardwoodflooring #staircase #stain #woodwork #woodfloors #hardwoodflooring

A post shared by Todd's Hardwood Flooring (@toddshardwoodflooring) on

Here’s why they succeed on Instagram:

  • They post regularly and effectively.
  • They share quality photos of actual client projects, showing the work they do. This makes them credible and relatable.
  • They show before and after images to really showcase their work.
  • They show their employees so  you know you’re working with.
  • They take photos that accentuate lines and angles – these types of photos perform really well on Instagram.
  • They use hashtags really well to reach new audiences.

And there you have 5 companies using Instagram well. These are a variety of businesses with different purposes but all using Instagram to grow their audience, business, and revenue. Yes, you can use Instagram successfully too! If you’re struggling with Instagram, I encourage you to look back over the last 11 articles in this series which will help you better understand how to use Instagram for business.

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Profile photo of Jenn Herman
Jenn Herman is a social media strategist and Instagram advocate who writes a blog focused on understanding trends in social media management. She provides tips, resources, and training for small to medium sized businesses that need to structure their social media strategies for success. Her business background includes Administration, Sales, Human Resources, and Marketing. If you would like to learn more about how to use Instagram, you can download "The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Instagram" here.