Instagram is a game changer for businesses. It's free, it's visual, and with more than 500 million active users, its potential to reach the right audience is huge. In fact, it recently rolled out new business tools geared toward business owners.

Here are 20 amazing startups that have nailed Instagram. Take note--you can start implementing these strategies today.

1. Inspirato: 25k Followers

Who are they? Inspirato is a private vacation club for those who enjoy a five-star travel experience. They offer access to some of the most sought-after locations and places to stay.

What do they do well? They use a variety of hashtags and geotags that they know will be popular with users. Plus, they write captions that get into the prospect's mind, evoking luxury in a strong and persuasive way.

What can you learn from them? Use geotags for location-based, targeted marketing campaigns to involve the local community. Geotagging is especially perfect for restaurants, hotels, and boutiques.

2. Dirtbag Darling: 27k Followers

Who are they? A blog aimed at inspiring women to seek adventure and pursue their dream of being a modern outdoorswoman.

What do they do well? They use unique hashtags to promote their page and business as well as to get others involved in sharing related outdoor photos.

What can you learn from them? Create and promote your own hashtags to increase your following, encourage participation, and get discovered by more users.



3. Sphero: 33K Followers

Who are they? They design and produce toys and gadgets that combine digital tech with robotic tech.

What do they do well? They advertise the versatility of their products by showing them in various scenarios.

What can you learn from them? Get creative with your photo shoots and show your product in different settings that relate to your target audience and highlight your product in a good light.



4. Havenly: 34.2k Followers

Who are they? An online interior design company aimed at people who are on a budget.

What do they do well? They use the same themes throughout their photos to promote continuity.

What can you learn from them? Stick to a theme when promoting--not only will it build your brand identity, it will also lend your posts a unique style, helping them to stick out more in your prospects' minds.



5. Kurly Klips: 26k Followers


Who are they? Kurly Klips Extensions is a hair care brand that provides 100 percent natural hair extensions for women.

What do they do well? Every month, Kurly Klips features a "Kurly of the Month"--a customer who's rockin' their products. Features like these are a great way to reward customers and soft-sell a product at the same time.

What can you learn from them? Think beyond the usual freebies when it comes to rewarding your customers. Sometimes, featuring them on your social media page can be a bigger bonus! Plus, content like this serves a dual purpose. First, you can engage more customers, and second, it serves as positive and organic feedback for your brand. Try using one of Canva's photo collage templates to feature multiple images or multiple customers.




6. Camp4Collective: 248k Followers

Who are they? A film and commercial startup.

What do they do well? They not only show beautiful settings, they also show what helps create them.

What can you learn from them? Tell the story behind your product or business using behind-the-scenes images to show your business philosophy, focus, or even just to tug at the audience's heartstrings.



7. Four Barrel: 41.6k Followers

Who are they? A San Francisco coffee shop.

What do they do well? They don't just show the final product, they include images of how the coffee is grown and where it comes from.

What can you learn from them? Show the story of your product: how it's made, where your ingredients come from. These speak a lot about your brand philosophy and show how much you care about both your suppliers and your customers.



8. The Melt: 9k Followers

Who are they? They've combined cooking with technology in a completely ecofriendly way.

What do they do well? The Melt uses their business color scheme in all their posts to promote continuity.

What can you learn from them? Find a way to incorporate your brand colors in your posts--this will not only promote continuity but also help you solidify your brand identity.



9. Greenheart Organic: 5.4k Followers

Who are they? A company that produces and sells organic juice.

What do they do well? They make use of the great outdoors to promote their drinks. It ties in well--organic and nature. The shots have a lot of color and contrast to stand out.

What can you learn from them? Use color and contrast to make your product stand out from the page and entice people to actually look instead of just scrolling by.



10. NailSnaps: 10.9k Followers

Who are they? They create custom nail wraps from Instagram photos.

What do they do well? NailSnaps took advantage of user-generated content to create custom nail art.

What can you learn from them? Instagram thrives on user-generated content and your business can too. Take time to learn about what your audience loves. Curate your images (or even your products) according to what they want to see and sell it back to them.



11. Dolphin: 23.3k Followers

Who are they? A company that created a product to allow you to interact with your browser using gestures and your voice.

What do they do well? They're big on interacting with their users via Instagram. Their posts feature their employees and workplace, showing that they like to interact in real life too.

What can you learn from them? Find ways for you and your staff to interact with your customers. This is another way to show prospects that you're more than just a business and that there are people behind the name. Plus, it's a great way to promote your customer service.



12. Republic of Tea: 10.5k Followers

Who are they? The leading purveyor of premium teas.

What do they do well? They promote interaction with their Instagram followers by asking questions directly in their photos.

What can you learn from them? Take advantage of Instagram's comment section and get people involved by asking questions. Incite reactions to build rapport and visibility.



13. One: 60.3k Followers

Who are they? One is an international advocacy and campaigning organization, taking action against extreme poverty.

What do they do well? They show volunteers, events, and products to advertise their cause and the progress they've made.

What can you learn from them? One way to create a sense of involvement is to give regular and constant updates showing your brand's growth and direction through images.



14. RingCentral: 644 Followers

Who are they? A company that created a cloud-based global communication system called RingCentral.

What do they do well? They always post images of their employees. And their employees are always happy and laughing. This shows the people behind the business, and if they're happy to work there wouldn't you be happy to purchase from them?


What can you learn from them? Show the faces behind the brand. This will help to establish personal connections with your target audience, thus making them more interested in buying from you and recommending you to their friends and family. You'll boost your overall visibility in the world.

15. Food Stories: 841k Followers

Who are they? A pair of food stylists who promote recipes and tips and tricks about food.

What do they do well? They have taken the majority of their photos from a bird's-eye view. This has established a unique look for them.

What can you learn from them? Try out different angles when you take photos. Mix it up. You don't have to just take a blog standard photo. Try zooming in or taking the photo from a different spot entirely.



16. WeWork: 65.3k Followers

Who are they? A collaborative office work space.

What do they do well? They use images that have be very well edited to sell their brand.

What can you learn from them? Instagram is a visual platform, so take advantage of this by posting closeups of your products or shots from various angles of your business location to attract clients as well as showcase your products or service.



17. ModCloth: 495k Follower

Who are they? A retailer that sells clothes and accessories aimed at Millennial women.

What do they do well? They use photos that show their clothing in the best light on models that look stunning in every shot.

What can you learn from them? Take eye-catching, high-quality pictures that show your products off. There are various Instagram filters and effects you can use to make the images you post as appealing to your prospects as possible.



18. GoPago: 235 Followers

Who are they? They've created a cloud-based mobile payment platform that allows you to pay for things in advance. Things like goods and restaurants.

What do they do well? They fill up your feed with shots of food that make the dishes look enticing.

What can you learn from them? Show your prospects that you use your product too. That will boost the integrity of your company. People will actually believe your product is worth it if those at your company who sell it use it themselves.



19. Frooti: 11.3k Followers

Who are they? A company based in India that created an Indian mango drink.

What do they do well? They use whimsical images to promote Frooti. These images advertise the company as fun and cute, appealing to a lot of Instagram users. They also use the same color scheme with each photo.

What can you learn from them? Use the same color scheme throughout your photos. This will build your brand identity and make people recognize it easily, enticing them to buy your product or even recommend it to their friends and family.



20. Coastermatic: 1.4k Followers

Who are they? An entirely out-of-the-box company that takes photos that you, the buyer, have taken and makes them into unique stone coasters.

What do they do well? They create hype for new products or designs by posting countdown images for their next collection.

What can you learn from them? Keep your customers engaged as well as updated of any new product or service by creating a sense of anticipation. Use countdowns to drum up excitement for launches.



Get Inspired!

There you have it. Twenty different startups that have managed to kill it just by using some really great marketing strategies for Instagram.

By engaging the online community, you can boost the visibility of your business and extend the reach you have. This in turn will generate traffic, which in turn will generate sales. And sales mean you can expand and make your business bigger and bigger.

Published on: Oct 4, 2016
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