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7 Small Business Owners Who Became Instagram Famous

Emily Kate Pope

Emily Pope is a writer and editor at Fundera. She specializes in all things small business marketing and financing.

In the landscape of modern marketing, social media isn’t really optional anymore. Even small businesses and startups need to put serious focus on how to best connect with their audience and spread brand awareness through these digital channels.

Instagram is one of the most popular social platforms available, and its influence and impact continue to grow rapidly. Research consistently shows that in a world of information overload, consumers easily become distracted. But visual communications are far more likely to catch their eye—posts that are visual in nature spawn 650% more engagement than text-only posts!

Wondering how you can make the most of visual social marketing opportunities to grow your business? Take some hints from these seven small businesses below that used Instagram to exponentially grow their brand’s reach and impact.

1. NailSnaps (11.8k followers)

Founded in 2014 by marketing and media industry vets Angel Anderson and Sarah Heering, this custom nail art company harnesses the power of digital media in more ways than one.

In addition to having a stellar Instagram account that features crisp, vivid imagery of their products, they source their designs from the user community and let customers create custom nail wraps using their own photos! It’s the ultimate in user-generated content and proves there is real power in giving people what they want.

2. 33 Acres Brewing (32.6k followers)

Craft beer is having a huge moment right now. Forming a clear brand identity is key to standing out from the crowd, and that’s exactly what Vancouver, Canada’s 33 Acres Brewing has done with their social media presence on Instagram.

Embracing a clean, minimalist approach, their visual marketing is not only arresting, but it also aligns perfectly with their brand’s focus on natural elements and simple, quality products.

3. Greats (110k followers)

The idea of sneakers as a status symbol is nothing new—but a company circumventing the usual third-party distribution channel is.

Greats was founded in 2012 with the goal of putting sharp, handmade Italian leather sneakers into the hands of consumers at a competitive cost. Their Instagram feed oozes Brooklyn cool with a deft balance between dynamic product imagery and snapshots of city life. It has earned them major accolades from both business and fashion publications alike.

4. Rock My Wedding (149k followers)

Wedding planning is a massive industry, and being on the startup end of it is daunting. But Charlotte O’Shea saw a need for unique and achievable wedding day inspiration for British brides, so she ran with it.

Rock My Wedding is now a major resource for UK brides and is in the process of expanding internationally. Their Instagram presence is playful and engaging, providing inspiration for a wide range of brides from bohemian to beach and beyond, drawing sponsors and partners from all corners of the industry and providing their followers with valuable, aesthetically impactful content.

5. Tentsile (181k followers)

Conscious consumerism is on the rise in today’s marketplace. Customers want to know their purchasing choices are supporting ethical companies, while still providing them with value. Tentsile has perfectly married those concepts in their unique treehouse-style tents.

Their Instagram feed is full of shots of their product in a variety of stunning nature scenes, creating an electric atmosphere of adventure. They also heavily promote their conservation efforts, promising that three trees are planted for each tent sold, thereby providing customers with feel-good currency on top of the satisfaction of owning a quality product.

6. Letterfolk (202k followers)

While it might seem like your Instagram account can only flourish if it exudes a highly polished air of perfection, there is power in being charming and simple.

Husband and wife team Johnny and Joanna are the creative minds behind Letterfolk, a small company that sells handcrafted letter boards. The basic felt boards have a vintage, DIY feel, and their Instagram feed reflects this by showcasing the myriad ways they can be used, whether it’s to hang your favorite quote on your bedroom wall or to commemorate your child’s first day of fifth grade.  

7. Biltwell Inc. (296k followers)

For quite some time in the world of custom motorcycles, the strongest currency was flash. Snazzy paint jobs and LED lighting were all the rage. Biltwell Inc. was founded with the goal of squashing that. They focus on creating quality motorcycle parts and accessories that prioritize function over form and aim to make the lifestyle accessibly affordable for anyone who wants to ride.

Their Instagram feed is a no-frills love letter to the open road, featuring both male and female bikers, weekend warriors, and professional racers. Their company manifesto and ethos permeate each image.

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When approaching your social media marketing, remember that your strength lies not in your size, but in your message. As you can see, each of these brands have capitalized on stunning images that showcase both their products and professional vibe. A well-curated Instagram feed can serve to not only catch the eyes of potential new customers, but also reinforce your brand’s unique identity and establish a space in which viewers truly want to be a part of the world you’ve created.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Emily Kate Pope

Emily Pope is a writer and editor at Fundera. She specializes in all things small business marketing and financing.

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