You don’t always have to be #onbrand. Kevin Hart is a comedian and to most people that’s really all they know about him, but his Instagram isn’t just tons of clips of him doing standup or advertising his next show. Instead, most of them are him standing or flexing or flashing his best Blue Steel (generally while wearing faux-leather).
Make it about the experience. Victoria’s Secret is one of only a couple of brands in the top 25 and a large part of that is because there are a ton of photos of beautiful women, it’s just that simple. BUT general advertising and instagramming are two different things. Victoria’s Secret does a great job of putting their models in situations that don’t make it obvious whether you’re following the brand or the model.
I don’t think Rihanna uses Instagram all that well, it’s way too self-promotional without being personal at all. In fact, I wonder whether she even has her account password or if her team manages it entirely. Don’t do that, you’re not Rihanna.
Strike a balance. Lovato does a great job of balancing really intimate posts of her with her family or pets with pictures that obviously were taken professionally that more succinctly market her profession.
Take a moment to absorb that the least-followed Kardashian still has 33 million followers… One interesting thing Kourtney does on her Instagram is tell stories in groups of three (I admittedly might be overanalyzing here). The K’s like their clothes, Kourtney’s profile is full of episodes where she has a picture of her getting ready, one of her striking a pose and then another one where she’s goofing off.
Another bit of brand wisdom: become a part of something larger than yourself. Nike is a super attractive brand, that’s undeniable but they are able to hint at their brand and connect it with a larger experience better than anyone else, especially on Instagram.
Some of the most-followed people only upload a couple photos a week – Messi rarely does. Instagram is still a great spot for broadcasting highlights which has really helped keep the quality of content high, while allowing people to follow tons of disparate accounts without getting overwhelmed every time they login.
Instagram is occasionally for sellouts. So many of the top followed stars, like Khloe, are using their position to sell their millions of followers artisanal barbecue sauces or dieting shakes that it’s almost an epidemic of #brands.
Nice guys win sometimes. Nobody’s Instagram leaves you with a better impression of the person than The Rock’s. He takes a lot of selfie videos just engaging with his followers and he tends to show off a lot of fan art.
Footballers are huge on Instagram. Athletes utilize Instagram heavily, but no sport is as popular as football (not American football). Lebron James is the 37th most-followed person on Instagram, and the most followed non-football athlete, yet there are still 7 football-related accounts more followed than he is.
Great content isn’t ever going out of style. After all is said and done, Instagram is a photo sharing site. If you take photos with your early 2000s Razr, you’re not going to produce photos that are all that impressive.
If you’re going to sell yourself, don’t sell yourself short. Nicky’s profile definitely shows off a big personality. She also posts a good deal of cheesy inspirational memes which I always think is kind of funny/odd.
Instagram is a tool. Use it. I imagine that Instagram is a somewhat significant part of Kendall Jenner’s life. She’s part of the #millennial wave that is really using the service as a tool to brand themselves as lifestyle icons/brands. Modeling is particularly apt for the platform and she uses it well.
The Kardashians really are insane. They have their own apps, they upload tons of photos every day, they post posts of them posting posts. You can’t just chalk up the fact that they all have some of the most massive followings due to them just being who they are. Instagram was made for the type of culture Kim Kardashian embodies: big visual moments on display.