Making your Pictures Professional: Using Instagram to Brand

Most of us know or use Instagram to post our personal pictures, but how do we still act like ourselves, while promoting our business or branding. Even companies have had been challenged to use their Instagram for their benefits. According to a business insider article titled These 20 Brands Have Mastered the Use of Instagram they describe the struggle of companies matching viewers wants to their photos. They describe that “When it comes to Instagram, followers want to see behind-the-scenes images from their favorite companies that they wouldn’t normally be able to through traditional media.”

But some companies have really created their brand through their photos on Instagram. One person who I think did this especially effectively is Kiel James Patrick. He, and his now fiancé Sarah, created their brand only using social media. They are a New England brand of accessories including bracelets, belts, apparel, and other accessories. Kiel James Patrick, also called KJP, started designing clothing back in high school and eventually his passion became his business.

Today he has 240 thousand Instagram followers. KJP posts everyday on Instagram, many days more than one time. He uses these personal posts to create a brand for his business. His posts are extremely engaging because they are not outwardly trying to sell their products, but instead creating their brand.

KJP posts “New- England Style” photos that create the preppy and upper class brand, which correlates with his company. For example KJP posts Instagram photos like this,

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 9.16.29 PM

This is not trying to sell their product, but rather create this preppy brand, which attracts and interests their target clients. He will commonly post photos similar to this of his clothing or his closet at home, which would attract their clients. This, on top of creating their brand, also gives you peeks into the wardrobe of Kiel, giving you a “backstage connection” to him. Likewise he posts photos related to his life and his fiancé. These pictures, like the one below, are attractive for the clientele, and also give insight to his life. As a “celebrity” image, people enjoy a sneak peek into their lives.

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 9.17.54 PM

What you can`t see is this photo has over 14 thousand likes, for a simple shirt with a note. This gives viewers an inside look into their lives, something that all really connects with them. At other times, Kiel clearly makes posts that’s are in order to sell his products. The post below is an example of this. He will post himself and his employees wearing their products in day-to-day life. Sometimes it is clear that they are showing their own products, but other times it is not as clear. When it is not as clear, it makes the viewer think they are passionate about their own products, causing the consumer to feel more likely to feel attached to the product. Kiel creates a image of himself that make people attach themselves to him, ultimately attaching themselves to the brand. The first photo below is a clear photo showing the product, the second is a less obvious image. Most photos on the site are les obvious .

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 6.16.52 PMScreen Shot 2015-02-26 at 6.02.54 PM

KJP also uses intricate videos to capture their viewers. I recommend checking out their Instagram for more examples.

For other references, a Business Insider article titled “These 20 Brands Have Mastered The Use Of Instagram” have given you a few of the best companies Instagrams for view.

  1. Intel
  2. Virgin America
  3. Bonobos
  4. Taco Bell
  5. American Express
  6. Vevo
  7. Warby Parker
  8. Macys
  9. Brooklyn Nets
  10. Sharpie
  11. Target Style
  12. L.A. Clippers
  13. General Electric
  14. NFL
  15. Playboy
  16. Adidas
  17. Free People
  18. Red Bull
  19. Burberry
  20. Starbucks

Another article from wish pond talks about different ways that a company can engage with its customers. These 10 tips give you both effective and unique ways companies can use their Instagrams to successfully use their accounts.

The ten steps are:

  1. Show Your Products
  2. Show the process of how your product is made.
  3. Go Behind the Scenes.
  4. Show What Your Products Can Do
  5. Make your followers feel special
  6. Show Your Office
  7. Take Us With You
  8. Introduce Your Employees
  9. Share Celebrity Sightings
  10. Share the Cuteness

As time has gone on, Facebook and Twitter have become obvious platforms for businesses. It is no longer enough for companies to be only on Twitter and Facebook, but if used properly Instagram can become a large help to companies from small companies to food chains. I think as time goes on the use of Instagram will become increasingly important and relevant for businesses.


2 thoughts on “Making your Pictures Professional: Using Instagram to Brand

  1. Hi,

    Your blog brought up some really great ideas. I always knew Instagram was a great way to market goods that are visual such as clothing and jewelry, but after reading this, I am convinced Instagram is helpful to all types of companies. I especially liked the idea of behind the scene photos. This never occurred to me, but I believe that people would be interested in the making or a product. Seeing the work that is behind a product can be very engaging.


  2. I curious if the ability to brand within social media is only applicable to Instagram. For something like Twitter, I think it would be to build a brand without the visual representation that Instagram offers. Twitter is more for expressing thoughts, news, and opinions which is more a public display of yourself more than crafting a brand. Because when I think of branding I think of the user two separate personas, the personal and the professional. So Instagram provides these opportunities to visual design a persona that connects to a professional world, where I think Twitter unless used for some sort of news purpose, can only remain in the personal, or else it comes off as shameless self-promotion.


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