Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Brands on Social Media: Keys to finding “Insta” Success

Social media channels are a great way to stay connected. At the same time, there can be such an over-saturation of content on various platforms that it can be difficult to sort through it all. Even on a site like Twitter, with it’s feed platform, is experiencing some growing pains in figuring out the best way to insert sponsored content.

While it’s true that Instagram has evolved dramatically since being initially released in 2010, at least one main value holds true: strong visual content compels people.

As brands look to grow their Instagram following, a handful seem to be doing it right, according to this recent Contently article. Here are some of the reasons why they’re resonating:


National Geographic has been around for generations in it’s print form. While some longstanding publications have had trouble adapting to a digital and mobile landscape, @NatGeo has kept ahead of the times. They’re able to leverage the top-notch photography they produce and use it well on Instagram without coming off as overly promotional. When you know how to properly use awesome content, you’re in good shape.

Photo @ladzinski / Let’s face it, the desire to explore and see new places is something that burns inside of just about everyone of us. We’re nothing short of blessed to live in a world so big and abundant with beauty. My long time friend @sashadigiulian is a true born adventurer, always looking for that next great experience, new place to discover and how she can interact within it. She’s also one of the top rock climbers in the world, which is pretty handy when you see a climb as stunning and hard as this one seen here in South Africa’s #WatervalBoven. If you’re a fan of adventure then good news, @natgeoadventure just dropped on Instagram and it’s already charging. It’s an ever growing repository of photos and experiences from some of the top adventure photographers and athletes out there, it’s sure to be hot, check it out!

A photo posted by National Geographic (@natgeo) on


Vogue Magazine knows their audience well and they know how to provide content that their audience wants. By using their credibility, access and partnerships with top influencers to deliver info and images that no one else can, they’re able to offer a unique experience. @VogueMagazine is also really good at using Instagram to direct their followers onto their owned platforms, such as their website.


How @beyonce and @officials_c_ arrive at the #MetGala. Photo by @kevintachman. A photo posted by Vogue (@voguemagazine) on


Many followers throughout social media want to feel a connection to the brands they follow. By regramming content from users and giving appropriate credit, @Mashable is really banking on digital word-of-mouth marketing to give them a personal touch. By making their feed more about their followers than about them, they’re able to build community that has an impact on everything they’re doing.



@ESPN has become a surprisingly polarizing force in the sports media landscape during the past decade. Some adore the network while others bemoan their focus on top teams and athletes. On social media however, their accounts have a consistently conversational sports fan feel about them, which is fairly in line with their SportsNation branding. Their Instagram presence is no different, highlighting the lighter side of the games we love.


Consistently Cool

New York Magazine has a sophisticated voice that showcases their influence in one of the world’s biggest hubs. Their Instagram, @NYMag, is promotional, but it is so in a way that compels readers to stick with them. Again, when you mix good content with good promotional hooks, you’re going to have a good combo on hand.

Need help figuring out the digital marketing mix for your brand? Contact us and we’ll get the ball rolling! (We’re admittedly not as good as the Pope at it, but we’re not bad!)

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Read the full article and see different examples on Contently here