Instagram is one of the most rapidly growing apps out on the market. In fact, just look at some of these recent stats provided by Iconosquare.

70% of users have already looked for a brand on Instagram.

41% of users follow or would follow a brand to benefit from special offers.

61% of users like at least 1 media/day & more than 30% of users like over 10 media a day.

70% of Instagram users have already taken part in a contest or might do so.

It’s safe to say that Instagram is a pretty powerful social network. However, more often than not, many businesses struggle to find success on Instagram. Whether it’s with the type of content to post or how to get more followers, many businesses are baffled by this social platform.

We want to change that.

Discover what top brands like @Intel and @americanexpress are doing differently on Instagram to set themselves apart from the pack and find success.

Make Their Customers the Stars

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Photo Cred @Sephora

Successful brands on Instagram allow their customers to share the spotlight. These businesses know that people don’t want to just be passive viewers, they want to be active viewers. They want to feel as though they have participated in an experience. Successful brands such as Sephora have capitalized on this by re-posting customer photos along with professional photos. By including their customers on their feed, their better able to build their brand awareness and engagement.

Highlight What Goes On Behind the Scenes

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Photo Cred @benandjerrys

Great brands give their fans access to the behind the scenes. You know, all the stuff that they normally don’t get to see. By doing this, these brands are able to develop an intimate connection with their fans, and Ben and Jerry’s are masters at this. Giving fans snapshots of their product’s journey; from production, packaging, to the hands of the customer. Through these genuine captured moments, Ben & Jerry’s are able to share their story.

Capitalize On Unique Hashtags

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Photo Cred @royalcaribbean

Businesses who are successful when it comes to Instagram don’t just any hashtags, they use the right hashtags. Instead of filling their posts with endless cookie cutter hashtags, they narrow their focus on a selected few highly targeted hashtags. However, these businesses also go beyond just using other hashtags, they create their own. Take Royal Caribbean for example who branded the hashtag #royalwow, encouraging users to include it within their own posts.

While each of the businesses referenced are different, they do have one thing in common. They understand the importance of providing value. These businesses are able to develop an interactive community that not only drives brand awareness, but a community that leads to real conversions as well.

By understanding these proven practices, you will be better equipped to build your own budding Instagram account. Start putting your creative insights into action today and see for yourself just how incredible Instagram can be.