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25 Fantastic Examples of Brands Using Instagram From GE to Taco Bell, these 25 brands have Instagram strategies worth replicating.

By Sujan Patel Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

tanuha2001 | Shutterstock

With more than 400 million active monthly users, Instagram has grown into a social network that businesses need to pay attention to. It's more than just a photo-sharing site -- it's a way to engage fans and show off the best side of your business. Just look at this list of 25 companies that have mastered their brand focus on Instagram.

Related: 7 Instagram Accounts That Inspire the Entrepreneurial Journey

1. Lowes

Lowes does a smart job of promoting its products on Instagram: The company connects with users by showing people real-world applications for the products it sells.

2. Starbucks

To promote its brand and connect with customers on Instagram, Starbucks regularly brings in images of followers and makes them part of its brand story. In this way, Starbucks follows the advice of Ann Handley:

"Good content isn't about good storytelling. It's about telling a true story well." -- Ann Handley, MarketingProfs

3. Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry's has some serious personality when it comes to flavors and brand positioning, and the company lets that personality shine in its Instagram posts.

4. Sephora

Sephora is a cosmetics and beauty supply store with locations throughout the country. Its Instagram features a clever use of white space to really emphasize color so the eyes of its followers are drawn to the products.

Related: How to Make Your Instagram Account Impressive

5. Intel

Intel has built essential technology for decades, and its Instagram is peppered with images and videos that show the people behind the scenes of this tech giant giving followers and customers an inside look at the brand.

6. Taco Bell

The fast food chain has no hesitation in using Instagram to promote new products. It mixes color, fun and style to make its posts look more like a magazine shoot than a generic product promotion.

7. American Express

The American Express Instagram is loaded with tourism images featuring its cards being held aloft, a creative way to engage followers by triggering wanderlust.

8. Warby Parker

Warby Parker sells prescription eyewear via the web. Rather than hire models, the company regularly features passionate and loyal employees in its Instagram.

9. Ikea

Ikea is a global store featuring home goods and furniture. It replicates the in-store experience by showing off how followers might use its furnishings in their own homes.

10. Sharpie

Sharpie manufactures markers and writing instruments used around the world. The company's Instagram creatively ties pop culture in with the use of its products to connect to younger generations and new followers.

11. The Honest Company

Honest Company sells safe, eco-friendly baby products. Not only does the company work to educate through its Instagram feed, but it also lets humor shine through, with clever and creative caption memes that parents relate to.

"Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue." – Andrew Davis, author of Brandscaping

12. Mission Bicycle

Mission Bicycle is a custom bicycle shop in sunny San Francisco that regularly features photos that provide a behind-the-scenes look to show the quality and care that goes into the manufacture of its bikes.

13. Sneaker News

Sneaker News shares great pictures of shoes, and it uses a clever Q&A format on posts that beg for engagement; followers can't resist the urge to jump in and comment on the photos.

14. Audi

The car manufacturer's Instagram uses so many pics and videos of people interacting with its cars that followers can practically see themselves driving them.

15. Converse

Converse excels at using Instagram to leverage user-generated content. Its feed is loaded with fans doing things they love in the shoes they love.

16. NFL

There's no shortage of places to follow football for game day highlights and scores. Knowing this, NFL uses its Instagram to convey the human side of the sport by showing more lighthearted moments between the players and fans, improving the connection followers have with their favorite teams.

17. GoPro

GoPro, the manufacturer of cameras built tough for action shots, has always leveraged user-generated content to market its product. GoPro's Instagram features some of the most dramatic shots captured, illustrating the versatility of GoPro's products.

18. Red Bull

The action shots you see on Red Bull's Instagram have little to do with the product, but everything to do with its target audience. Know your audience in order to feed them what they're looking for. Red Bull knows the importance of content marketing.

"Content is fire. Social Media is gasoline." -- Jay Baer, Convince and Convert

19. Topshop

Topshop provides its followers a fashion fix, and on top of generating sales uses the platform as a direct point of engagement. Followers have the opportunity to answer questions and be a part of the forward direction in Topshop's growth.

20. Oreo

The popular cookie brand uses its Instagram to share creative images -- particularly around holidays -- including crafts that fans can make with the product, thus improving social shares and engagement.

21. Pabst Blue Ribbon

PBR is one of America's original beers, and the company aims to provide more value through its Instagram than just product placement. Recipes that incorporate PBR are one popular feature.

22. General Electric

How do you promote a massive brand spread across B2B and B2C? You mix your in products with science, facts, and tidbits that your Instagram followers love to digest and share.

23. Vans

Vans, the shoe company, uses its Instagram to cleverly juxtapose its products with lifestyle placement alongside music, art, and culture, while also pushing user-generated content that does the same.

24. Ocean Spray

Ocean Spray knows how to leverage the rich red colors of its products alongside inside peeks into its manufacturing process. Followers eat it up.

Related: Why Your Business Needs to Be Active on Instagram (Infographic)

25. Maersk Line

Maersk is a shipping container company. The company makes the list because it "gets it." Its goal is use Instagram to get closer to customers and communicate -- not to sell or market. Its goal is about engagement, not pushing.

Follow Entrepreneur on Instagram for inspirational visual stories.

Sujan Patel

Co-Founder of ContentMarketer.io & Narrow.io

In his more than 10 years as a marketer and entrepreneur, Sujan Patel has helped hundreds of companies boost online traffic, sales and strengthen brand reputation online. Sujan is the VP of marketing at When I Work -- an employee scheduling software solution for small businesses.

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