American Marketer


Tips for building a luxury brand on Instagram

August 12, 2015

Gideon Kimbrell is cofounder/CEO of InList Gideon Kimbrell is cofounder/CEO of InList


By Gideon Kimbrell

Instagram is a visual platform, which makes it the perfect pairing for aesthetically appealing luxury brands.

Still, too many high-end brands shy away from Instagram out of fear that they cannot control their image.

But hiding your brand does not give you more control over it.

If you are not building your image on Instagram and leveraging the reach of prominent influencers, your online presence simply cannot take off.

Unlocking value
More than any other platform, users discover the lifestyle they aspire to through Instagram. The New York Times coined it “Instagram envy.”

And because humans are naturally cliquish, receiving a third-party stamp of approval from trusted influencers is a powerful form of word-of-mouth marketing.

It blows my mind that people in our space think that “if you build it, they will come” works on social media.

You will never become successful on Instagram if you merely post your own content unless you are a one-in-a-million profile page so compelling that people are forced to gush over it. But if you’re reading this, chances are that is not the case.

So why should luxury brands care about building Instagram buzz? Is it not just a bunch of high school kids?


Instagram is not a teen fad. In fact, the adult demographic comprises the fastest-growing user base of the platform. And its visual nature is great for flaunting luxury, which the wealthy are not afraid to do.

Influencers also have louder voices on Instagram. Tweets become buried quickly, and Facebook filters posts with increasing thoroughness.

But Instagram posts linger longer on influencers’ profile pages, are not filtered by algorithms, and are picked up better by Google Images.

Visitors can also get a clear visual of your brand faster than on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter, allowing you to leave a more memorable impression.

Instagram is the secret weapon for which luxury brands have been waiting. But to reap these rewards and more, you need to keep a few housekeeping rules in mind.

Making it a snap
Solidifying your presence on Instagram does not have to be a costly or time-consuming endeavor. Follow these seven steps, and you will be awing audiences in no time:

1. Create and post consistent content. Stay loyal to your niche, and your followers will stay loyal to you.

The best profiles post original content and match details such as color patterns, aspect ratios, filters and angles.

2. Use a content calendar. Posting on the fly is fine for live events, but planning lets you be more strategic with your content and themes.

3. Partner with influencers. Reach out to influencers in your industry, and either pay or trade with them for shout-outs. This strategy will create exposure and harness the power of human nature.

However, be wary of the people with big follower numbers and no engagement. They do not move the needle.

4. Go easy on the hashtags. Use three or four max. Any more than that and you look desperate.

5. Be consistent in your brand message and voice. You are a luxury brand, so goofy or cheesy quotes probably do not have a place on your profile.

6. Follow up with people who comment. Classy does not mean you have to be aloof. If someone makes a serious comment on your photo, respond. People love that.

7. Do not steal photos. The legalities are fuzzy, but it is best to ask for permission before you post someone else’s content.

SO THERE YOU GO. Sign up, and start consistently posting vibrant photos that point to your high-end brand and the lifestyle your followers aspire to.

As long as you keep it classy, audiences will continue to crave your content.

Gideon Kimbrell is cofounder/CEO of InList, Miami, FL. Reach him at