Four Brands Using Instagram Really Well

Gini Dietrich Chief Executive Officer, Arment Dietrich, Inc.

Posted on October 18th 2012

Four Brands Using Instagram Really Well

Today’s guest post is by Yvette Pistorio.

I love Instagram.

I can take the world’s worst picture and boom!

Instagram to the rescue!

It doesn’t have business-specific profiles, built-in visibility, engagement metrics, or paid advertising options (not yet at least), but brands are taking advantage of Instagram and seizing the opportunity to share more personal perspectives with consumers.

And I have to say, not to steal a catch phrase or anything, but I’m loving it!

While many brands are still experimenting with ways to use Instagram, the following four brands are already killing it!

How Do I Look?

Free People

The clothing company, owned by Urban Outfitters, integrates customers’ Instagram photos on their product pages. They attach individualized hashtag information cards to specific jeans, and then encourage customers to take picture of themselves in the product and tag them with #myfpdenim or more specific tags for different jeans. Consumers become models and potential buyers can see how a pair of jeans looks in real life.

Behind The Scenes


Getting ready to launch a product, do a photo shoot, film a commercial, or get made up for a media interview are moments that few people get to experience. Burberry not only shares product shots, they also share interesting content such as a fashion shows. Photographer Mike Kus maintained a real-time photo feed on Burberry’s Instagram account for the duration of the show.

Coffee Culture


The coffee powerhouse shows off its products in interesting ways. Their updates are fun to look at and create an emotional connection with customers by capturing in-store experiences. They don’t focus on their product, rather on what’s happening around it. Fans have the ability to tag their coffee photos using the #starbucks hashtag, then Starbucks shares with fans on Facebook.

A Love Story

Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany asked its audience to share love stories through a series of photos and captions. They asked their followers to post a picture about love, and use the hashtag #truelovepictures. They called the campaign “True Love in Pictures” and aggregated the Instagram photos on The campaign was so successful they launched a follow-up campaign called #TimelessTrueLove.

The Takeaway

  • Get your customers involved and they will do the sharing for you
  • Connect with your customers using content that aligns with your brand
  • Keep the marketing subtle and keep the focus on the experience or emotion your photos project
  • Share photos that capture the spirit of your brand

According to Simply Measured, 40 percent of leading brands are now active on Instagram and more than 25 percent post at least one photo per week. It seems Instagram is going to keep growing, and businesses large and small have a chance to make a name for themselves on the photo-sharing social network.

Are you using Instagram? What creative uses of Instagram have you seen from your favorite brands?



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Gini Dietrich

Chief Executive Officer, Arment Dietrich, Inc.

Gini Dietrich is the founder and chief executive officer of Arment Dietrich, Inc., a firm that uses non-traditional marketing in a digital world. The author of Spin Sucks, the 2010 Readers Choice Blog of the Year, a Top 42 Content Marketing Blog from Junta42, a top 10 social media blog from Social Media Examiner, and an AdAge Power 150 blog, Gini has delivered numerous keynotes, panel discussions, coaching sessions, and workshops across North America on the subject of using online technology in communication, marketing, sales, and HR. One of the top rated communication professionals on the social networks, Gini was recently named the number one PR person, according to Klout and TechCrunch, on the channels, and number one on Twitter, according to TweetLevel. She also can be found writing at Crain's Chicago Business, AllBusiness, and Franchise Times.
See Full Profile >


Sammy Mac
Posted on October 19th 2012 at 1:38PM

I am interested in starting an Instagram account for the college I work for but need to be able to show user metrics and ROI for the time used. Are there any analytics available or any you would suggest? Also, is there a recommended way to go about Instagraming if your company doesnt provide you with a phone to Instagram from?

Posted on October 19th 2012 at 3:47PM

Sammy, I can answer your first question and suggest that you'd use the Instagram analytics platform I'm working for:

Nitrogram gives all the metrics you'll need to measure ROI and engagement of the actions you take on Instagram for the College you work at. Actually, we've got quite a few American colleges that signed up already!

Posted on October 21st 2012 at 12:01AM

And I'll answer your second question. Most organizations, even if they no longer provide phones for their employees, will give you a stipend for your own phone in order to use these tools. I'd ask your employer for options.

Posted on March 30th 2013 at 2:07PM

When Instagram changed its Ts&Cs last December, I thought it was going away, but I'm happy to see it survived. The funny thing about it is the fact that consumers hashtag their photos with different brands and allow those brands to freely use the pictures without compensation. But if Instagram were to profit from this "transaction" everyone was in uproar. If someone were to sell my picture and use it in a Starbucks campaign or commercial, I would just be ecstatic to have my face out there and could tell my friends, "hey look at me!". Apparently those days are over and a company like Instagram can't profit if the individuals using it don't see the payday either...

Gigital Marketing
Posted on August 2nd 2013 at 7:10PM

Great article about a great marketing tool. I think it's been proven now time and time again that visuals in marketing are crucial and that this tool is one which needs to be included in any business serious about marketing arsenol.


Posted on November 21st 2013 at 2:25PM

Great article! its a glance of right choice in right time! am i wrong?

Kaile DeLoney
Posted on March 4th 2014 at 5:25PM

Great article, I am currently in a social media marketing class at the University of Georgia and it's amazing to see the difference in impact companies can have on consumers when they are active on their social media platforms. But that's the thing, some brands out there on social platforms but they do not understand how to engage the users correctly. Lately I have been seeing many small clothing stores post instagrams with "repost to get a free give-away" all over my Instagram from my fellow friends. Definitely a way to get your brand awareness, I just wonder when that type of advertising will start to annoy other instagram users who hate seeing the free give away posts. 

Thanks for the post!

Kaile DeLoney 

Posted on March 12th 2014 at 7:26AM

Thanks Gini Dietrich for great share! I hope to see more informative article like this from you!