With over 700 million Instagram users, it’s easy to see why car manufacturers value the social platform for marketing and engagement. But which brands are doing best to win followers amongst the memes and celebrities on Instagram? We’ve crunched the numbers and, at the time of publishing, these are the top 21 in ascending order.
21. Honda – @honda – 1.788m
The Instagram account for Honda USA is predominantly corporate, majoring on official press images and marketing videos. Being American-orientated, naturally images abound of US products like the Ridgeline pickup truck, although the new ‘global’ Civic Type R hot hatchback makes regular appearances, too. For comparison, the Honda UK account boasts just 28,000 followers.
20. Nissan – @nissan – 1.8m
Nissan’s global Instagram page focusses on user-created content, encouraging submissions directly to them. It clearly works, with over 1.8m followers wanting to see what’s next. Predictably there is little evidence of more everyday Nissan products like the Pulsar or Qashqai here. It’s all about the GT-R and 370Z – especially if they’re heavily modified, and spitting flames from their exhausts – although retro Datsuns do also get a look in.
19. Pagani – @paganiautomobili – 2.057m
Who could really say no to the idea of an exotic Italian supercar, pictured against a stunning backdrop? As such, Pagani seems a natural fit for a social media channel that centres on the aesthetically pleasing, so its inclusion on this list shouldn’t be a surprise. The latest Huayra Roadster steals a lot of the limelight, but a recent epic Pagani road trip across the United States has provided video snapshots, too. You’ll need to be a real fan of carbon fibre though.
18. Chevrolet – @chevrolet – 2.058m
It might be one of the biggest car brands in the USA, but the bowtie-wearing Chevrolet loses out on Instagram followers to other American companies. It is at least the most-followed of all General Motors manufacturers, beating Cadillac and Buick. However, Chevrolet’s feed is more business, less fun, with slick and polished press office photography the order of the day. Corvettes and Camaros get the most likes, whilst the Spark city car gets a less favourable reception.
17. Dodge – @dodgeofficial – 2.1m
With a current image built almost entirely on muscle cars, you can guarantee a plentiful supply of Chargers, Challengers and Vipers on the official Dodge Instagram feed. Mixing Dodge’s own photography with user-submitted content strikes a balance between being engaging, but also on-message. If you do somehow get bored of seeing Challenger Hellcats doing smokey burnouts, you can count on retro Mopar images to break things up.
16. Tesla – @teslamotors – 2.3m
Despite having made less than 20 posts since the beginning of this year, Tesla still proves to be a popular attraction on Instagram. Perhaps there is only so many times you can post pictures of the Model S and Model X, although the new Model 3 does offer some alternatives. Curiously, the Instagram feed of Tesla CEO Elon Musk also has 2.3m followers at present, but then he does share cool videos of his SpaceX rockets.
15. Ford – @ford – 2.7m
No prizes for predicting that the Mustang makes a significant contribution to the images on the Blue Oval’s feed. From the brand-new 2018 Mustang, all the way back the original first-generation pony car, there is plenty of ‘Stang love here. As an American account, the F-150 pickup truck is prominently on display, but there are also pics of the Focus and Fiesta ST models. Ford’s UK Instagram profile has attracted a more modest 35,200 followers.
14. McLaren Automotive – @mclarenauto – 2.8m
Boasting over a million more followers than that of the McLaren F1 team, this Instagram account perhaps proves that supercars have even more appeal that Fernando Alonso. With more posts since the beginning of this month than Tesla has managed this year, you can be sure of a contribution from McLaren cropping up in your feed most days. The new 720S accounts for many of the latest images, but there are also archive pictures like the P1 featured here.
13. Land Rover – @landrover – 3.0m
Glance quickly at the global Instagram page for Land Rover and you could be mistaken for thinking the company produces nothing but Range Rovers these days. From Evoque, to Velar and Sport, the premium off-roader makes up the bulk of the content, meaning you’ll have to watch carefully to spot a Discovery or Defender making an appearance. Land Rover UK’s own Instagram page has 90,000 followers alone, and packs in the retro archive images to good effect.
12. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars – @rollsroycecars – 3.7m
To get the full effect of the Rolls-Royce Instagram account you need to visit the brand’s full profile page, and take in the nine-image composite picture of the new Phantom. Viewed in your timeline it appears as a collection of random car parts, which isn’t quite the desired effect. The new giant saloon currently takes centre stage, although other older posts focus on the bespoke craftsmanship which goes into the creation of each Rolls-Royce.
11. Bentley – @bentleymotors – 4.09m
We’re sure Rolls-Royce won’t be too bitter about losing out to former stablemate, Bentley. With an emphasis placed more on ‘lifestyle’ than products alone, the Bentley Motors feed includes images of fashion and fishing along with the usual pictures of cars. Motorsport does also get an occasional look in at least, with the GT3-spec Continental race cars appearing – especially when they win.
10. Ferrari – @ferrari – 4.1m
Despite #ferrari accounting for over 11 million hashtags on Instagram, the profile for the Italian supercar maker is only able to claim ninth place on our list. Notably, Ferrari only follows one solitary account on Instagram – that of the Scuderia Ferrari F1 team, which attracts 1.4 million followers alone. For those solely interested in road cars, Ferrari posts numerous pictures of the latest machinery from Modena, but mixed with highlights from a back catalogue spanning seven decades.
9. Aston Martin – @astonmartinlagonda – 4.2m
Aston Martin is probably quite satisfied to have the edge over Ferrari in this Instagram battle, with the only official Aston account nudging the Italian brand into tenth place. Although mostly filled with official press photography, the Aston Martin feed does also feature, and encourage, fans and owners to submit their own images. An easy task, given how naturally photogenic the brand’s products are.
8. Bugatti – @bugatti – 4.7m
How can a company that has released just two new cars in two decades, have managed to amass an Instagram following close to 5 million strong? It probably helps that the car duo in question are powered by quad-turbocharged W16 engines, and are capable of more than 240mph. As the newest of the two, the Chiron garners most of the attention on the Bugatti feed, but occasional pictures of the previous Veyron do also make appearances.
7. Jaguar – @jaguar – 5.0m
Jaguar Land Rover can surely congratulate itself on building a strong social media following, adding an additional 5 million Jaguar fans to those following Land Rover. Most of the images come from Jaguar direct, although some are user contributions, covering the full range of products, including the new E-Pace compact SUV. Photo highlights from the Formula E Jaguar Racing team can also be found, serving as a reminder for where the brand is heading.
6. Maserati – @maserati – 5.4m
Surpassing even Ferrari for Instagram fans, Maserati offers up photographs that the company believes capture timeless elegance and sporting prowess. It also means featuring photos of Maserati cars next to polo horses and players, given that the company is the title sponsor for a number of major polo tournaments. It’s clearly a strategy that works, along with pictures of the new GranTurismo, and Maserati-branded merchandise. In case you’re wondering, yes you can buy a Maserati polo shirt…
5. Porsche – @porsche – 8.1m
This may be the Instagram account for Porsche Cars North America, but it has become the top destination for followers of the Stuttgart marque. Encouraging user contributions through the #PorscheMoment tag, there is an international flavour to the feed despite the American origins. Highlights from the forthcoming Silverstone Classic are teased, along with the best bits from the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and the Le Mans 24 hours race. Plus lots of 911s, obviously.
4. Audi – @audi – 8.8m
Another North American profile that acts as an Instagram brand beacon, especially when the Audi Deutschland account attracts just 227,000 followers. Unlike Porsche, Audi North America keeps things firmly on one side of the Atlantic, with photos and videos of Audi models in virtually every state throughout the country. User submissions are also encouraged, and feature alongside professional photography. Despite all this, Audi UK’s own Instagram page boasts a healthy following itself of more than 92,000.
3. Lamborghini – @lamborghini – 8.9m
Claiming top position in the battle of the Italian supercar manufacturers, and sneaking into the top three ahead of the company that controls it, is Lamborghini. The featured photography is as eclectic as you would probably expect from the Sant’Agata brand, mixing modern work in with retro goodness. A recent road trip of six new Huracans along the Romanian Transfăgărășan route helped produce impressive images like that featured here.
2. Mercedes-Benz – @mercedesbenz – 10.3m
With almost 9,000 photos and videos shared, Mercedes-Benz goes big when it comes to Instagram. As a result the Stuttgart brand boasts over 10 million avid followers, and encourages numerous submissions by Mercedes-Benz fans and owners from across the globe. With such an extensive history, the Mercedes account includes a plentiful supply of retro images. The Mercedes-AMG sub-brand has its own Instagram account, attracting 5.6 million followers on its own.
1. BMW – @bmw – 12.9m
This is it, the peak of the Instagram car brands, and by the time you read this BMW will probably have increased its follower count to 13 million. That’s equivalent to the entire population of the Republic of Guinea eagerly awaiting new photos that capture the ideas of ‘sheer driving pleasure’ on Instagram. As impressive as BMW’s Insta achievement might be, it’s still a long way from brands like Nike (73.5m) and National Geographic (80m) who truly dominate the platform. Still, we imagine neither of those feeds will feature a classic 3.0 CSi or cutting-edge i8 anytime soon, so well done, BMW.