Instagram has become the go-to social media platform for the fashion and retail industry — with companies like Michael Kors, Burberry, Topshop, Nike, Forever 21 and more amassing over a million followers. These followers are also highly engaged, according to Sara Wilson, Facebook strategic partnerships, lifestyle, and she credits this to several factors: being authentic and showcasing your point of view.

She explained that brands need to create a consistent look and feel — and come up with a few themes to focus on that make sense for them. For example, Burberry’s Instagram posts place a lot of emphasis on London weather and the trenchcoat, the brand’s iconic piece.

“The best blogs and brands are real in a way that is funny; there is a sense of humor, a realness. It definitely comes out in different ways, whether showcasing personalities behind your brand or weighing in on news and events,” Wilson said. “It’s a give and take, and bringing other people into the fold and mentioning them.”

She also referenced hashtag programs such as #Voguestagram, where a slew of Instagram users, including celebrities and influencers from Reese Witherspoon to Oscar de la Renta to Bryanboy’s Bryan Grey Yambao, took pictures of them with the September issue of Vogue with the dedicated hashtag #Voguestagram.

Throwback Thursday, or #TBT, is another popular hashtag program where users post “throwback” photos.
Running account “takeovers” — Hanneli Mustaparta has “taken over” Calvin Klein’s account more than once — is another way to get traction, as is pulling content from Instagram onto your site to drive conversion, like Lululemon or Heidi Klum for NB (New Balance) has done.

She did admit that search and discovery on the platform is not the best it can be. Currently, it’s difficult to search for accounts unless a user knows the exact name, but it’s something Instagram is working on.

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