The most popular accounts on Instagram are ones that show exotic destinations, amazing body transformations, scrumptious food, and, of course, celebrity accounts. Which, if your business doesn’t fall into one of those categories, may make it seem like you have no place on Instagram.
Let me prove to you that isn’t true.
Though it may be a fact that your product or service has zilch to do with beautiful beaches or kick-ass workouts, that doesn’t mean you can’t use Instagram to attract an audience and potential customers. We’ll take a look at five accounts that have hefty followings — but they’re accounts for businesses you’d never think would be able to use a photo-heavy platform like Instagram.
The one thing these accounts all have in common is storytelling. They have thousands of followers and post likes because people enjoy the stories these accounts are telling.
1. General Electric:
Let’s start with this world-famous company that manufactures products and provides services all around the globe. There are no puppy or kitten pics in their IG feed. So how did they grow (and keep) a 400k+ following? GE is making itself relevant on this highly visual platform by providing top-notch photos and videos that make otherwise uninteresting machinery look cool. (Unless you’re into this stuff anyway — in that case, you already knew it was cool!) Their feed reminds us that we can all relate to and appreciate the beauty of the their high-tech (and very large!) machinery.
Story: This field of engineering and invention is accessible to those outside the field and can be a thing of beauty.
2. Con Edison:
Con Edison Energy, the wholesale energy services company, boasts 4k followers. Their feed includes pictures of real human beings who either work for the company or purchase their service and the lives they lead. They provide education (“Gas Safety” story highlights), other ways to connect with their company (“Podcasts” highlights), and their commitment to helping others (“Puerto Rico” and “#PRIDE” highlights).
Story: They’re humanizing their business; most of the pictures in their feed and stories feature people, whether they work for the company or purchase their service.
3. MTA New York City Transit:
With 20.9k followers, the Metropolitan Transit Authority of New York City is doing something right on Instagram. Their feed features pictures of people riding the various modes of transportation the MTA offers, including buses and subways, as well as the folks who make them run (relatively) smoothly. New Yorkers are proud of their city, and the MTA capitalizes on that by posting pictures of the various boroughs it transports people to and from. Note: Their account’s use of hashtags is sparse; my hunch is their posts would perform better with local NYC hashtags!
Story: They are part of the heart of New York City, and they are proud to be part of what makes the city run efficiently.
4. Exxon Mobil:
Like GE, Exxon Mobil uses gorgeous photos to attract their 37k+ followers. A quick peek through their magazine shows a healthy balance of pictures of people, technology, and nature. Their captions are brief, save for their “Meet so-and-so” posts which include pictures of people who work for Exxon. This is another account that is humanizing their company. Like the MTA’s account, hashtags are barely present, but the diversity and quality of their photos makes for a lovely magazine.
Story: This company appreciates the beauty of nature and the people who make the technology the company is developing.
Um, how many followers? 205k for this website whose service is to tell you what certain words mean. If this company can rock Instagram, yes my friend—you can too. What are they doing that works? With highlights like “Black Music“, “Star Wars”, and “Game of Thrones”, this account knows how to tap into what’s popular. Their feed has been carefully planned with every other post providing a “word of the day” in a branded design. They pepper their feed with humor, such as “Chai means tea. You can stop ordering chai tea now.” (I, personally, love that one.) For vocab-nerds, this account is a gem; for the rest of the population, it’s still super entertaining.
Story: Words, their meanings, and learning can be fun.
I hope a few of these accounts inspire you to get creative with your Instagram feed and stories. Feel free to drop your IG link below to share how you’re using some of the tactics from these five examples. If you want to share any other accounts you think are just as unique, share them below as well!