What You Can Learn From Big Brands On Instagram

Chad Faith
Chad Faith

Director of Content

What You Can Learn From Big Brands On Instagram

Today, it’s essential to have a strong social media presence. Although Twitter and Facebook are the top social media platforms, snapping photos has become second nature these days and that’s why Instagram is rising in prominence.

What’s more, some of the largest brands in the world use it and have accrued millions of followers. It’s a fact that big brands leverage their existing reputation and stature. While that’s a huge advantage, a lot of work was still done on their end to attract their Instagram following. Let’s take a look at some of the highly successful Instagram accounts, and what you can learn from them.


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@russwest44 takes flight for the EMPHATIC SLAM!

A post shared by • #WholeNewGame • (@nba) on

NBA has more than 15 million followers. Their success in the social media arena stems from their ability to embrace pop culture and create moments that are magical. Remember the saying that pictures are worth a thousand words? Well, videos are worth millions!

You should never be afraid to use video on your profile. Videos are powerful tools, and furthermore, Instagram allows videos up to one minute. You should, however, save videos for moments worth more than a thousand words. Some people don’t have the time or patience to sit and down watch a one-minute video most of the time.

Other than pictures and videos, you should find ways to insert and craft relevant and clever references to the season’s prime pop culture trends. Look at how NBA created a ‘throne’ poster a la Game of Thrones. This ensures your brand can reach new audiences too. Make sure you don’t overdo this and your feed is still populated with original content.


H&M is another heavyweight that has accumulated more than 14 million followers. The brand does two things well, which includes having a signature and consistent look, and their habit of recognizing the people behind their products. When we talk about signature, it refers to keeping your photos visually similar to each other.

It’s just like writing copy; writing captions that are consistent in terms of voice. For H&M, they often compose photos that feature outfits hung up or laid out with a theme of similar and vibrant colors. In the midst of frenzied scrolling through their Instagram feed, H&M followers know they are always looking at something that’s undeniably H&M.

Some brands make the mistake of posting a photo of people using their products, without tagging a single one. Yes, it’s a company’s job to sell the product, and someone is bound to wear the jacket, watch or shoe they are selling. However, you gain many benefits when you make photos feel a lot more personal. So, go ahead and tag these people in your captions or photos. It helps relate customers to your brand. H&M excels in this area too.


It’s not surprising to find out that Nike has more than 49 million followers on their Instagram account. Their success in social media boils down to two beliefs they have; quality is everything and they are more than their product. Quality is a no-brainer. People aren’t likely to click a photo on their Explore feed if it appears as though it was taken by somebody’s potato camera.

Do you think that only big brands like Nike can create quality photographs? Of course not! You can definitely fake it till you make it with a steady hand, a new smartphone and a great location. What’s more, there are applications such as Enlight and VSCO that make photos snapped on a smartphone great to gorgeous. Simply put, this helps your business exude professionalism.

Nike is known as the go-to brand for athletes who are serious about their sport. What’s yours? Every post you create must reinforce the idea that your brand is the go-to brand for your target audience. Once you identify them, make sure you work hard to create and maintain that image.

Need More Instagram Facts & Stats?

To prepare for your Instagram success in the coming 2017, check out this infographic below:

instagram tips for 2017

If you are wondering how to get your social media marketing right while setting up a stellar website for your business, contact the SmartSites Team today!