If you are reading this article there is a decent chance you are considering an Instagram (IG) account for your brand, if not already managing one. In 2016, more than half of marketers planned to increase their usage of this platform in the near future (source: statista.com). The fact that Instagram ranks second in the social media top 5 by online shopping order value, ahead of Pinterest (#3) and Facebook (#4) might help understand the rationale. I have definitely seen “more of” by brands in the first half of 2016, and with other platforms leading with younger demographics, we are far from a steady state in digital platform management.
Doing more or reallocating efforts from a platform with shrinking engagement might make sense, but after seeing this I wondered: what does better look like? I have been trying to rank my favourite brand accounts based on my own usage over the last two years and understand why one account deserves the top spot.
My favourite brand of all that I follow is @globemakers and with 95k followers they are hardly a top 10 brand in terms of following. But here is why I think they really stand out from the rest.
They are unique in purpose and content. They have figured out how IG can deepen the connection to the brand for their audience. As such, they rarely repeat content you have seen in another channel and almost always provide a new, complementary perspective to the brand story. As one of the world’s last high quality handmade globe makers Bellerby & Co. @globemakers’ account single purpose is to show you the daily like of a globe maker. You will rarely (if ever) see conventional product shots of the globes on their feed. You get a direct glimpse into their artisans working in the studio or installing a newly finished globe somewhere around the world. They remain consistent with each post.
@globemakers add depth and remain true to the brand values. Statistics tell us that there is no correlation between a post’s length and engagement (defined as “likes”), so many accounts post very little copy and invest little effort in the narrative. @globemakers always adds curious facts about a selected place and this content is only available on their feed. It is likely that if you enjoy “spinning the globe” and landing in a place you have yet to explore, you will likely be a curious person about facts related to faraway places. It also shows you in great detail each artists’ work in the studio, which is at the core of a brand selling a high quality hand crafted good. It gives you a sense of the time and effort that goes behind every piece in a very personal way (which helps justify that hefty price tag).
For this account post frequency follows purpose. Although this account tends to post daily, it is rare to see more than one post per day and you do find days without posts. Because the purpose of the account is to show you something akin to a diary of the artisans in the studio this frequency makes sense. A brand can in theory post more than once a day, but there rarely is a strong enough reason in a well defined narrative to do so. My number one reason for unfollowing a brand on IG today is when posting frequency is not balanced by strong content. Brands that post more than once a day tend to quickly fall in a virtual spam folder. They feel intrusive because they increase my perceived time to reach the photos of real-life connections, friends and family. And that is still my (and most of the 400M users) number one reason to go to IG.
What about you: do you have a favourite Instagram commercial brand account and what have you learned from them? Leave your answers here or send me a message.