Fashion brand Marc Jacobs has managed to attract a massive following on Instagram, with 1.15m people in its community compared to 1.3m on Facebook.
Obviously some of its success will be down to its existing presence as an international fashion brand, but that’s not the sole reason for its huge following.
So to find out more, I investigated Marc Jacobs’ Instagram strategy to find out what makes it so popular.
And for more on this topic, read our blog post looking at nine different ways to use Instagram to market your brand.
Great variety of images
While most of Marc Jacob’s images are product-focused the variety and creativity is such that it never gets monotonous.
There is always something different and interesting about the poses, so it’s never just a straightforward product photo.
Some show models wearing Marc Jacob’s clothes, others might include an in-store display and some show the designer himself.
If you scroll through the posts you notice that all the photos are extremely colourful and eye-catching, and they don’t appear to use Instagram’s filters.
Overall the Instagram feed gives a rounded view of the company and its values by portraying a modern, fun fashion brand that retains an air of exclusivity.
Runway shows and launch events are an important marketing tactic for fashion retailers and its common for brands to use social as a promotional tool.
Your average Instagram follower is never going to attend an exclusive fashion show, but social is a way of allowing people to feel part of the action and give a closer look at all the glitz and glamour.
During New York Fashion Week Marc Jacobs used Instagram to tease its various runway shows and promote the fact that they were being livestreamed on MarcJacobs.com.
Additional galleries were posted on Facebook to give a further insight into what went on at the shows.
Inclusion of URLs
Instagram is a bit of a pain for marketers as it’s the one network that doesn’t allow users to hyperlink to another website.
The whole point of Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest is to share content and links, but Instagram has so far remained purely as a closed platform for posting photos.
That hasn’t stopped the team at Marc Jacobs from trying though as posts frequently contain URLs to the company’s ecommerce site, even though users aren’t able to click on them.
It would be interesting to know what impact this has, if any, but it does at least notify followers where these products are available.
Occassional quirky images
To prevent the feed from becoming too overtly salesy Marc Jacobs does mix in the occasional fun image.
Animals are always popular on social and these two pictures of Marc’s dog (which also has its own Instagram account) are among the most ‘liked’ images that the brand has posted.
Use of Instagram video
We’re big fans of Instagram video at Econsultancy, and our own Christopher Ratcliff even does a monthly roundup of the best Instavids that he’s seen.
Marc Jacobs isn’t a prolific user of the format but the videos that it has created are generally interesting and worth watching.
The Instavids are all of high quality and its clear that a lot of work has gone into them.
Among the creative product videos was a funny one that showed a fake public service announcement from the company’s president Robert Duffy.
Contests and promotions
Marc Jacobs has run several competitions and promotions using Instagram, including one that allowed people to pay for items in a pop-up shop using a branded hashtag.
By snapping photos and posting messages with the hashtag #MJDaisyChain, visitors were awarded with Marc Jacobs-branded gifts when exiting the store, which was open in New York for two days in February.
The gifts included perfume and necklaces, with the best Instagram photo of the day winning a handbag.
We’ve previously seen similar ‘tweet shop’ campaigns run before by Kellogg’s so it’s not an entirely original idea, but it fits perfectly with Marc Jacobs’ image and the brand’s existing focus on social marketing.
Another Instagram competition run by Marc Jacobs asked people to submit videos of themselves skateboarding in order to win a specially branded deck.
There are 171 posts that use #skatejacobs, though many of them appears to have added the hashtag at a later date after becoming aware of the competition.