1. TIMELESS AND AGELESS: @lego
Here’s why @lego has 4.3 million followers on Instagram — everything is awesome. From the use of their famous tagline to the, well, awesome Lego-related posts, followers, young and young-at-heart alike can’t help but “heart” it. The fact is, Lego, just like the Simpsons, has managed to make itself a part of every significant pop culture moment, creating sets inspired by everything from Cherry Blossom season in Japan, to Stranger Things, to American muscle cars. Recently, they posted a photo of a limited-edition Zebra Batman that nobody thought they needed, but the post got 64,532 likes. Covetable items make for compelling content.
2. NICHE HIT: @manrepeller
Created by pioneer fashion blogger Leandra Medine-Cohen, ManRepeller, once a blog name, is now a full-fledged fashion label carrying products that are perfectly on-brand with the ManRepeller aesthetic. It took years before the brand finally decided they wanted to sell things — all those years prior were devoted to serving interesting content to a very specific audience: kooky, fashion-forward, and adorably weird. ManRepeller is proof that building a loyal following is key to everything. As its founder famously said, “Don’t try to be something for everyone, just be everything to someone.”
3. BEAUTY WITH SUBSTANCE: @glossier
Don’t let the very pink Instagram grid fool you — Glossier means business. Created by Emily Weiss, founder of popular beauty blog Into the Gloss, Glossier’s Instagram sells not just Glossier products (which it does amazingly), but also ideas. Big ones. Women empowerment. Equal pay. Self-care. Equality and inclusivity. The list goes on. Usually, going political can be hit-or-miss, but Glossier’s images are so pretty, how could anyone not “like”?
4. FOOD AND GRAPHICS: @bao_london
Bao London is an Asian fusion restaurant located all over the city. Its Instagram page, @bao_london, may only have 103k followers, but it serves all of these 103k people well with fun pixel art that feels like a throwback to the old Gameboy days. The food photos look scrumptious, but what really gets you to hit follow are the minimalist photographs and nostalgic graphics.
5. DIGITAL HOLIDAY: @apartmenttherapy
Everyone wants a lovely home — and those who can’t necessarily have their dream home, wants to spend all day looking at photos of some. This is why Pinterest has survived all these years. People like aspirational imagery. Apartment Therapy serves this, as well as useful tips and information. Looking at their posts is almost tantamount to self-care. The blog has been around for ages, and their killing the IG game, too.
6. ACCIDENTAL INFLUENCER: @johnmayer
John Mayer is not the most liked musician, but no one can deny, not even his haters, that he is a heck of a talented guitarist. Just when he was about to fade into oblivion or retire to Doucheland, he posted his skincare routine on Instagram and it was hilarious. Beauty blogs picked it up as news. Beauty brands like Chanel sent him products to try and post on his page. Pretty soon, he was back in the public’s good graces, and continues to post music and non-music-related content.
7. CROWD-SOURCER: @welovecoco
The best testament to a brand’s following is an entire verified Instagram account devoted to curating user-generated content. @welovecoco is the Instagram account of the Chanel Beauty community in the United States. It regularly posts sumptuous beauty content for its 170k followers, featuring Chanel beauty products in almost every scenario imaginable. It’s a beauty junkie’s dream and the beauty brand’s ingenious method of self-promotion.