Ben & Jerry’s Secret to Success on Instagram

If watching the Instagram video for brands made you crave a sweet treat, that’s because @benandjerrys is an expert at bringing its ice cream brand to life on Instagram. Focusing on its key themes of flavors, fun, values and community, Ben & Jerry’s was one of the first brands to join Instagram in February 2011.

“It’s our visual storytelling platform,” explains Ben & Jerry’s digital marketing manager Mike Hayes.

Ben & Jerry’s Vermont heritage is also a key part of their story, but now that the brand has a global presence, they use Instagram to connect with people around the world and to source photos from Instagrammers enjoying their ice cream in far away places.

In fact, at least half the photos that Ben & Jerry’s shares through their account today are from community members, many of whom compose their shots using the framing techniques modeled by the brand. One favorite: a shot of a cone or cup from the POV of the person about to enjoy it, with a fun backdrop that identifies where they are.

As Hayes sees it, “We’re a curator of our brand story now.”

Ben & Jerry’s does all of their account management in-house, from shooting images and videos, to reviewing Instagram photos posted with Ben & Jerry’s related hashtags, to selecting the best of the best to share in their own feed.

Hayes doesn’t point to a complicated formula when asked how the brand has become so successful on Instagram.

"Other marketers ask us what the secret is,” he says. “It’s helped being on the platform from the beginning, but the secret is respecting the community and providing value to them.”