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How UK retailers and brands are using Instagram

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As Instagram this week reached the total of 700m monthly active users, we take a look at how retailers and brands from IRUK Top500 traders to smaller businesses, are using the site. As to why they might use the image-led social media site, Instagram says that 80% of its users follow a business, and that 75% of Instagrammers say they’ve been inspired to act after seeing an Instagram post: those actions might include visiting a website, searching online to telling a friend. Currently there are 1m active advertisers on Instagram.


@burberry has 9.1 million followers and, says Instagram, as a reputation as one of the platform’s most creative designers. Burberry uses Instagram to share its fashion trends as they change and has used Instagram Live to stream from London Fashion Week. It uses Stories to give its followers behind-the-scenes access to shoots.


@asos, with 5.9m followers, uses Instagram to connect with its customers, encouraging them to use the hashtag #AsSeenOnMe to get featured on their feed. ASOS was also one of the first UK brands to share ads on stories, engaging followers using music and simple sight, sound, and motion.


@IkeaUK has 303,000 followers and uses Instagram to share design and interior inspiration tagged with the #WonderfulEveryday hashtag. Ikea often uses video to show how its products look in different settings.


@baileysofficial, the drinks brand has 30,200 followers and launched Instagram’s first soap opera, an eight-part comedy telling the story of When Coffee Met Baileys, shared via video carousel.

Bellerby and Co.

@Globemakers, with 100,000 followers, is one of only a handful of bespoke globemakers still operating worldwide. The business uses Instagram Stories to share the experience of its warehouse studio, where the team carves, engraves and applies water coloured papers to globes that are still made by hand.

Quill London

@QuillLondon, founded by Lucy Edmonds, has 28,000 followers for an account that celebrates the trend-led and contemporary stationery that Quill London sells.


@floomofficial has 12.5k followers for the Floom online marketplace for independent florists that Lana Elie founded in response to the frustration she felt at the time it took to find high-quality bouquets in her role as a personal assistant at Burberry. Elie tested her business idea on Instagram, sharing a picture of a seasonal flower each day and explaining how it got its name or what it represented in different countries. That drove customers to her website to make business enquiries and, says Elie, Pinterest drives the highest sales conversion out of the different platforms that she uses.

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