How These Powerful Influencers Use Instagram to Connect with their Audiences

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It’s impossible to deny the growing power of Instagram for both individuals and brands: the social media platform has launched careers of influencers, given celebrities a chance to connect with their fans, and lets brands talk directly to audiences. How are the most successful accounts on Instagram using the platform? We spoke with panelists from Advertising Week panel The Instagram Effect | Where Business and Passions Meet before they took the stage to find out why they prefer to ‘gram.

Marne Levine, Chief Operating Officer, Instagram @marnelevine

Marne Levine

Levine has been Instagram’s COO since 2014, helping transition the platform from a popular photo-sharing app to a place where businesses are willing to spend time and money. “Businesses have always had a home on Instagram – 80% of people on our platform choose to follow a business,” says Levine. “My advice is to adopt a mobile mindset. Put simply, ‘Shorter, Faster, Be Yourself.’ We live in an age of visual communications where an image or a short video evokes incredible emotion and you have the ability to test this creative quickly and act fast on what’s successful. At the core of this success is being yourself and staying true to your brand.” Navigating a career path from Washington, D.C. to Silicon Valley has taught Levine a thing or two about staying true to herself–as she told Moira Forbes earlier this year.

Sarah Jessica Parker, businesswoman and actress @sarahjessicaparker

Sarah Jessica Parker

She’s known for and acting career and eponymous womenswear brand, but this summer, Parker made headlines for another reason.Her enthusiastic response to the solar eclipse, shared on her personal Instagram page, delighted the internet. Parker’s use of the platform, clearly, is an impactful way for her to transcend expected content and bring followers into her everyday live. “I have found that [Instagram is] not only the best way of communicating with those I know, but it’s a real opportunity to reach out to those I don’t know, have interesting conversations, exchange ideas, share images, share kindness,” she says. “The beauty of Instagram is that you’re constantly finding things that are moving, funny, inspiring and heartbreaking. But you’re able to have those experiences all day long from every corner of the universe.”

Rebecca Jarvis, Chief Business, Technology & Economics Correspondent at Good Morning America @rebeccajarvis

Rebecca Jarvis