Even though Instagram has been around for only two years, the site continues to explode in popularity, attracting nearly 100 million users
It was only a matter of time before the world’s biggest brands started getting in on the action. In fact, here are 33 brands that are using the visual media effectively by producing great content and engaging with their followers.
[RELATED: A complete guide for brands on Instagram]
Red Bull is always ahead of the pack when it comes to social media, and its use of Instagram is no exception. More of a lifestyle brand than an energy drink, Red Bull posts striking, fun and action packed images to connect with its fans.
With a mixture of iconic and modern shots of cars, Audi’s sleek photos bring across the idea that the automobile brand is one of luxury and style.
Like Red Bull, Starbucks is on the ball when it comes to new media trends. Showing off its products in interesting and vibrant surroundings means every update is always fun to look at. And following the #starbucks hashtag on Instagram will show you an array of user-generated content.
As well as featuring its own range, ASOS also uses a lot of user-generated content to help show off its wares.
One of the first news organizations to join Instagram, NPR shows how suited the medium is to news reporting by posting iconic images from around the world. It doesn’t update that often but when it does, it’s usually worth the wait.
With regular images of celebrities, MTV appeals to its target audience by throwing in updates about whomever it is featuring on the network to keep things fresh.
Clothing brands are another business that’s finding a new home on Instagram and Forever201′s trendy and stylish fashion makes its inclusion an obvious one.
Unlike the other clothing brands, Topshop focuses more on action shots and keeping things light-hearted. The result is a fun, personable brand account.
CNN’s account tends to feature both its own and crowdsourced photos. Through the hashtag #cnnireport, CNN filters through and selects the best ones to feature.
Giving followers a glimpse into its research and technology, GE’s images are always interesting to explore.
The Boston Celtics
As well as creating a strong brand presence, the Boston Celtic’s Instagram account is all about the fans and shows that it’s more than just a basketball team.
Not just content with showing off its fashion, Burberry also uses its account to present real-time events such as fashion events.
Although it can’t publish its usual images, Playboy’s Instagram account is very tasteful, featuring shots of its models and any events it’s holding.
As a parody news account, The Onion
has a lot of fun adding captions to otherwise normal images, reflecting its satirical and humorous look at things.
Showing off its footwear at any available opportunity, Puma makes sure its imagery is vibrant, intriguing, and always colorful, showing that this is a brand that has a distinct personality.
Considering this is a brand that makes permanent markers, Sharpie’s account is one of the most imaginative, showing off its product by drawing cool and vibrant pictures that will put a smile on your face.
Since this is a credit card brand, American Express show off the many things you can do with your card and therefore has a lot of freedom in what it posts on its account. Everything from food to sports features here and all of them tie into an overall theme.
Despite its relatively small amount of followers, W Hotels uses the medium in interesting ways. Along with posting some striking imagery, it showcases regular campaigns that ask followers to share their own design images, encouraging participation with the brand.
What could be more iconic than sporting events? And with the number of events it covers, you can always count on ESPN to have action shots of the latest in sports.
Always fun and never too serious, Innocent Smoothies focuses on posting lifestyle imagery instead of featuring its own product.
The Boston Bruins
Another team from Boston, this time its hockey club. Instead of showing the team in action or promotions, the account reveals what happens away from the ice, resulting in some fun (and sometimes strange) images.
Billboard is embracing new media and expanding its content, going beyond its magazine roots. The account normally builds up anticipation for its latest issue by featuring music artists posing, in action or just relaxing.
A fan of collages, Air Asia regularly posts brand updates alongside images from around the world.
One of the most popular blogs in the world gives you behind the scenes access to its spaces and staff.
One of the biggest sports brands in the world has numerous accounts on the platform, but this is probably the best one.
To see eight more brands that are using Instagram, visit the blog Simply Zesty, where a version of this story first appeared.
Niall Harbison is the co-founder of Simply Zesty.