We all love to follow our favorite stars for a glimpse into their glamorous lives. Thanks to platforms like Instagram, there are plenty of features that celebrities can use to promote their work, interact with fans, and showcase their personalities.
Some celebrities can make better use of these features than others – and brands can learn a lot from them.
In this roundup, we’ve selected eight celebrities who excel at creating Instagram stories, posting accessible content on social media, and creating a humorous brand voice.
Bonus: Download a free checklist This shows the exact steps a lifestyle photographer took on Instagram to grow from 0 to 600,000 followers, without a budget and without expensive equipment.
8 Celebrities Who Are Great On Instagram (And What Brands Can Learn From Them)
1) The Arkells: Instagram Live & Fan Interaction
When the lockdowns started last year and it looked like every musician was doing Instagram Lives, there was one band that stood out: The Arkells.
Max Kerman (the singer) hosted a one-hour Instagram live show entitled “Flatten The Curve Music Class” for 58 days. Every day, Kerman taught the chords to an Arkells song and invited special guests and fans to sign up using the Instagram “Chat Request” feature. After each livestream, the Arkells uploaded the show as an IGTV video so that past episodes can be viewed again.
The #FTCMusicClass livestream’s success was based on its persistence (the same hour every day), intimacy (a one-to-many format that felt like one-on-one), surprise and delight (unexpected famous guests). and exclusivity factors (a once in a lifetime opportunity for fans to chat with their favorite singer).
What we can learn from them: Don’t just use Instagram Live as another channel to promote your brand’s content, but to teach something of value, give people the opportunity to ask questions about your brand or products, or just surprise a fan and to delight. With the chat request function you can invite planned guests as well as normal fans.
2) Lewis Capaldi & Niall Horan: Instagram Stories & Authenticity
Here’s a step backwards: do you remember a direction? Part of what made them so popular was the level of access and personality they shared with fans through their videos and social media accounts.
Fortunately, the 1D guys apply what they have learned to their solo career. Niall Horan uses Instagram Stories to create AMAs (using the Stories question sticker), Instagram Lives (during which he responds to fans), impromptu performances, chatting right in front of the camera, and highlighting other musicians he hears. That’s how I discovered another great artist on social media: Lewis Capaldi.
Lewis Capaldi is a talented artist himself, but he’s also amazing at making his personality shine on social media. He’s constantly posting stories that feel like they’re talking to his friends. They are casual, imperfect, funny and full of swear words here and there.
When Capaldi uses stories to promote his music, they are written with his self-deprecating humor so that fans are still engaged and receptive to anything he promotes.
I’ve seen a lot of Lewis Capaldi Instagram stories and I’m not mad … check it out ???????? pic.twitter.com/wrS7zxzmN2
– ayup katie???????? (@ihavebreakdowns) June 17, 2020
Both artists use the casual nature of Instagram Stories very well to showcase their personality, which makes them feel more authentic and thus are loved by their followers.
What we can learn from them: Get to know the casualness of Instagram Stories. Humanize your brand and show off your brand’s personality by recording videos with people speaking directly to the camera and using question stickers to conduct AMA sessions.
3) Jennifer Lopez: Accessible Hashtags and Videos
I have to give it to JLo, she does a good job of taking full advantage of all of Instagram’s features including stories, IGTV, roles, and hashtags.
While she does a lot of commercial postings, even the most commercial ones have short and snappy captions, proper sponsor and photographer labeling, and flashy content (easy to do if you look like JLo).
Most impressively, JLo uses the correct camel hull for most of their hashtags. This is important for accessibility as screen readers allow any screen recorder to read each capitalized word in a hashtag as separate words.
Also, JLo is good at posting videos with full subtitles, making them accessible and visible to many users who use social media with the sound turned off.
What we can learn from them: Make your Instagram content accessible to all users by always writing hashtags in camel cases and adding subtitles to all videos.
4) Taylor Swift: AR filter
Taylor Swift is a celebrity all marketers can learn from, from the beginning of replying to fans’ posts on Tumblr to announcing two surprise album drops last year (I wrote a separate article on this strategy on my own).
When it comes to Instagram, one notable thing Swift has done is creating Instagram story filters. Many artists have put a lot of work into creating specific looks for their albums and music videos, and in Swift’s case, fans even recreate the looks themselves. So creating an AR filter makes a lot of sense because (less ambitious) fans have the same opportunity to stylize themselves based on the aesthetics of their favorite artist.
What we can learn from them: Create your own AR filters so users can try out your products virtually. Some ideas: trying on products (beauty brands), applying face paint / jerseys / team paints (sports teams), immersing users in a scene (video games / entertainment brands).
5) Jessica Alba: Content Creation and Cross-Promotion
Not only is Jessica Alba good on Instagram for a Celebrity, but she is also good on Instagram.
She has a super robust feed full of roles, IGTV, stories, and video posts which are original content created by her. Alba’s Instagram is even better set up than most branded accounts. She has a link tree in her bio link, lots of IG highlights and has even made IGTV series.
Although Alba has many different types of content in her feed, she keeps her themes consistent: being a mom, sharing her healthy and sustainable lifestyle, and promoting her business (Honest & Honest Beauty). These topics are reflected in their entire content, regardless of the format.
Another thing that Alba does well is cross-promotion. Although she does a lot of promotional postings for Honest on her account, she makes them relevant and useful to her own followers. For example, when she writes about an Honest product, the caption also has lots of educational tips.
What we can learn from them: When creating content for your brand, make sure it adds value to your followers before thinking about product loyalty. Produce your content the way you would create it for a YouTube channel, not for an advertorial.
6) Arnold Schwarzenegger: content behind the scenes
Sometimes the nice thing about social media is that celebrities can remind us that they’re normal people, too.
Take Arnold Schwarzenegger, for example. What’s more normal than lifting weights in your gym next to your pet donkey?
Ok, maybe the governor is still on a different level than the rest of us, but I admire the behind-the-scenes content he’s finding out about his kids, pets, fathering, Facetime, and hanging out with other celebs.
Schwarzenegger’s Instagram feels a lot less promotional than the accounts of other celebrities, which makes it all the more understandable.
Even if you’re not a Schwarzenegger fan yourself and are working on a film with one of your favorite actors, you can still follow his Instagram behind the scenes thanks to its content. For businesses, this type of content is another way to humanize your brand and offer exclusive content that cannot be accessed anywhere else.
What we can learn from them: Posting content behind the scenes is a great way to reward your followers with exclusive content and give them a reason to follow your social accounts.
7) John Mayer: humor and brand voice
Humor is a difficult thing when used as a strategy. For the brands that got famous for being funny on social media, it works really well. However, for every Wendy there is a local burger chain that has tried repeating the pointed sarcasm and contemporary memes to no avail.
For brands looking to add some humor to their brand voice, the key may be in balance: they don’t post memes 100% of the time and are funny in EVERY single caption, but use them more sparingly to make a bigger impact.
One celebrity who strikes that balance is John Mayer. He still publishes the usual mix of music ads, tour stop confirmations, and magazine shoots, but makes up for it with posts like this:
Mayer’s humor is reflected in casual posts like this one, as well as in his Instagram stories. While he doesn’t use this tone in all of his posts, they are consistent enough to feel like his “brand voice” on social issues.
What we can learn from them: If you want to use humor in your branding voice, don’t overdo it. Weighing humorous posts with toned down posts make them feel funnier and less like a joke.
8) Chrissy Teigen: Commentary game ????
I know Chrissy Teigen is an obvious entry for a list of “the best celebrities on social media” but listen to me: I’m not including her for the usual reason of her funny posts.
No, the takeaway social media marketers are supposed to get from Teigen is their powerful commentary game. Unlike most celebrities, Teigen takes the time to read through comments on her posts and respond to them (often to her celebrity friends, but sometimes to regular fans).
This is an important lesson for brands: all the time you spend writing closed captions, you should spend just as much time replying to comments. Otherwise, you’re just using social media as a one-way promotional channel and fans will learn this quickly and stop getting involved or not following.
What we can learn from them: Create a strategy and process for your brand to respond to comments on your own Instagram posts, as well as when your brand is mentioned in other users’ posts. This is an important part of building your community on Instagram.
There you have it: eight Celebrity Lessons and Ideas to Use in Your Instagram Strategy.
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