Celebrities Are Better Than Brands on Instagram? (1/2)

Celebrities Are Better at Instagram

Let’s be real. A hard truth is that celebrities are better at Instagram than brands because they’re celebrities, not brands. Fame obviously gives celebs an edge over companies on social. But that doesn’t mean marketers can’t learn a thing or two from them.

Celebrities have a stake in social media, especially Instagram, just like brands. Nowadays, pop singers and movie stars are multi-hyphenate business magnates, running wireless networks, cosmetics brands, and eco-friendly water enterprises.

They’re also mega influencers, help to promote everything, from Puma sneakers to Butterball turkeys.

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Puma fam. In my Cali Sport. @pumasportstyle ❤

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

We’ve rounded up some of the best star-powered moves on the platform that brands can add to their Instagram strategies.

1. They get Internet humor

Being funny on the Internet is always easier than it looks. Many brands have found this out the hard way. Take the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which misfired by describing its otter Abby as a thicc girl.

The funniest celebs realize that audience, tone, delivery, and timing matter. Perhaps no one understands this better than Ryan Reynolds, saucy star of Deadpool and owner of Aviation Gin.

Within days of a Peloton exercise bike ad going viral, Reynolds posted a video response ad that put a deadpan spin on the original.

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Exercise bike not included. #AviationGin

A post shared by Ryan Reynolds (@vancityreynolds) on

The quick turnaround earned Reynolds high praise from fellow funny celebs, including Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness who commented, “This is the funniest quickest best thing ever.”

Humor is not only memorable, it’s a bonafide way to elicit genuine LOL, comments or likes. Need further proof? One post on Reynolds’s Instagram feed, which was watched more than 4.3 million times, got 8,932 comments and counting.

2. They get that the caption can make or break a photo

If humor works on Instagram, then a caption is a good place to deliver a punchline. It’s also a great place to add context, hype something, or even insert a prompt.

Take Blake Lively, a.k.a. Serena van der Woodsen in Gossip Girl, and unlikely menswear icon in A Simple Favor. She also happens to be married to Ryan Reynolds. Yes, she picked a good one.

Tom Hanks has mastered the art of the Instagram caption with his dad-joke infused lost-and-found series. In this case, publish these kinds of photo without a caption would look especially odd.

 

Leave it to Reese Witherspoon to deliver some of the strongest caption form on the platform. Her New Year resolutions post checks several items off our Instagram caption checklist, including tasteful hashtag use and a friendly call-to-action.

Some celebrities on Instagram may be better off leaving caption writing to their spawn. For a real ride, scroll through actor Rob Lowe’s feed, and keep your eye out for devastating comments from his sons, like this one or this one or this one.

3. They know how to work video on social

Many celebrities are just as famous behind the camera as they are in front of it. Then they’ve effectively use this talent on Instagram.

Exhibit A: Jennifer Garner. The Alias and 13 Going on 30 actress has turned social video into a fine art. From episodes of her #PretendCookingShow to her everyday antics Garner’s quirky escapades are so captivating that sites such as Buzzfeed break them down still by still.

Unsurprisingly, Will Smith’s video game is as fresh as it is fly and showcases epic range. Topics range from deep reflections to a wild night a Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant.

More than anything, these videos scream personality. Use video to tell a story, introduce your company, and endear customers to your brand.

4. They take you behind the scenes

Everyone wants to peer behind the curtain. Whether it’s the backstage drama behind the gold-tassled drapery of the Academy Awards, or just an unfiltered glimpse into everyday life, celebs can give followers the VIP treatment by taking them behind the scenes.

And, of course, Jonathan Van Ness’s famous coffee dance.

This concept applies for companies, too. Take your followers on an Instagram tour of your factory to tout your eco-friendly practices. Or show them the noteworthy exhibitions and presentations of a conference.

5. They know that it’s all about the face

Instagram is a place where people tend to put their best face forward. We must say that celebrity models do it the best.

Anna Speckhart is a true role model in this sense. Her account jumps from around 50,000 followers to nearly 80K in a short time with her face-forward feed.

However, selfies aren’t only about good looks, which celebrities tend to have in high supply. People connect with faces. A recent study by the Georgia Institute of Technology and Yahoo Labs finds that photos with faces in them are 38% more likely to get likes on Instagram.

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