👀Brandwatch: Nike’s secret to success on Instagram

⏳ 5 minute read.

Nike is one of the largest brands on Instagram with a loyal army of 121 million global fans. This brand stands out because it knows how to evoke an emotion from the consumer through its eye-catching stream of emotive lifestyle photos. I delved into Nike’s Instagram stream to see exactly how Nike captured and maintained its army of fans.

Where are all the trainers?

The first thing I noticed was that there are hardly any photos of its trainers. This is part of Nike’s strategy – it knows that its customers are already bombarded with sales pitches and products across social media platforms so, the last thing it wants to do is fall into an annoying stream of ‘buy me’ posts.

Nike uses Instagram to sell a lifestyle.

Instead of showcasing its products with product codes and tags, Nike sells a lifestyle that its consumers will be able to relate to. Through consistent, visually pleasing and ‘real ‘life’ scenarios, Nike uses emotional triggers (see example posts below) to spark feelings that ultimately influence decision making.

Nike’s stream is full of fitness lifestyle shots and photos that tell a story of an actual person, an actual moment and an actual end-goal. The captions are often motivational quotes that don’t feel cliche in the slightest.

What makes this brand unique is that it steers clear of showing off a finished glossy product of someone reaching their goal weight, winning a marathon or scoring that winning goal – they emphasise on the journey instead. You might see the odd photo of a pair of Nike trainers but even those photos tell a story. Below are just a few examples of Instagram posts that stood out to me and further reiterate Nike’s social media strategy.

View this post on Instagram

Kick your feet up. Stay awhile. #betterforit

A post shared by Nike (@nike) on

Let’s go back to Nike’s staple product – trainers. Nike won’t simply display a running shoe propped up on a platform in an Instagram post. Instead, they’ll share a photo to their millions of followers that embraces the running lifestyle by showing how important it is to just get started running rather than the glory of winning a marathon.

The stream creates an emotional connection in the user that evokes feelings of the pain, determination, motivation and struggle that are involved with becoming a dedicated runner. It all feels very REAL.

This emotional connection bonds people with the brand, encourages them to engage with Nike and creates trust which ultimately leads to sales.

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