There are lots of Instagram profiles. Few stand out.
There are over 1 billion total Instagram accounts, but very few of them manage to capture our imagination while demonstrating the incredible potential of this platform. We’ve decided to start highlighting accounts that stand out in our feeds so we can share insights about what makes them successful. Our Social Spotlights series will give valuable lessons for marketers, entrepreneurs, influencers, and anyone else who wants to optimize their Instagram.
We’re starting with @botanicalsandbillie, which at first glance seems like any other beautiful Instagram account. However, once you start reading @botanicalsandbillie posts, you get sucked into the wonderful world of interior designer Anne Vamours. What makes this delightful account so effective? Let’s take a look.
Featured Profile Overview
Instagram is ultimately about having a great aesthetic while catering to your audience, and @botanicalsandbillie does both. The entire feed comprises pictures of plants, succulents, and the occasional cat, Billie (the namesake of the account). Anne began posting on @botanicalsandbillie about 5 – 7 years ago to document her Sphynx cat’s interaction with her plants. Over time, she attracted a passionate community of followers who love her beautiful photos, confessional captions, and overall authenticity.
Anne now posts 3-5 times per week, always with a single portrait of plants (especially succulents) and a lengthy, personal caption addressed to her highly invested community. Often, the captions include interesting facts about the plants. Every photo connects to Anne’s life as a creator, showcases her home, and communicates her passion for plants as well as her beloved Billie (who passed away recently ?).
Profile Review / Audit
As the saying goes, content is king, and @botanicalsandbillie’s content has a lot of soul. We couldn’t help but notice that Anne shies away from the slick imagery and generic captions that tend to plague Instagram. Instead, she’s willing to share silly, gritty, and emotional moments from her life. This makes her audience feel connected to her.
@botanicalsandbillie’s grid is fantastically cohesive. Despite the variety of plant species captured in her posts, they are consistently photographed in natural light against light-colored backdrops and furniture. Anne has a knack for framing and lighting her photos very well. Even though cats are notoriously difficult to photograph well, the photos of Billie are equally well-staged. All the colors look good together, and the overall grid is visually stunning.
For many people, hashtags are one of the most challenging parts of Instagram. @botanicalsandbillie seems to have it down to a science. She occasionally incorporates highly niche hashtags into her caption, and she consistently uses a hashtag block in the first comment of each post. This block has a nice mix of niche hashtags. We notice that she doesn’t often use high-volume hashtags or vary up her hashtag block, but this approach seems to work for her.
While @botanicalsandbillie’s bio is short and sweet, it could definitely be optimized with a clearer call-to-action and some keywords. She could also include one of her distinctive hashtags in the bio. It’s not clear whether she hopes to capture leads for her interior design business through @botanicalsandbillie. If so, her bio should reflect that.
We love Instagram stories for many reasons, not least of which is that they can build out a profile’s Highlights. @botanicalsandbillie does this very well, with Highlights for Billie, Caladium (which seems to be a favorite of hers), and her “Stray Plants” campaign of rescuing abandoned plants from the street and restoring them to life. These highlights are well done, featuring yet more stunning photos and simple, personable captions.
What We Think Is Working
A lot of Instagram content tends to be very surface-level: shiny stock images, over-filtered photos, and a general attitude of “wanting to look good on the Internet.” By contrast, @botanicalsandbillie has a very personal, transparent, and authentic feel to both its photos and its captions. Even beyond the subjects of its photos, the overall aesthetic is highly natural and organic. It seems effortless, even though Anne clearly takes time and care with her photography and captions.
Instagram is popular among users who want to learn, and @botanicalsandbillie wisely incorporates educational content into its posts. Much of this stems from Anne’s passion for plants, and she has a knack for sharing fascinating facts with an emotional, storytelling approach.
Taken together, these characteristics make @botanicalsandbillie highly appealing to several niche audiences: lovers of succulents, Sphynx cats, and beautiful spaces can all gather in one place. Anne doesn’t draw lines among her different followers. She welcomes everyone into her life and authentically shares her content with them. This leads to high levels of engagement. Anne is good about responding to comments as well.
Why We Like It
We’re all about storytelling, and @botanicalsandbillie excels at great storytelling with both visuals and text. She publishes great stories on her page to draw people in. Thanks to the beautiful, organic nature of the content, she doesn’t need to slap a lot of polls or graphics on her stories. They’re simply snapshots from her life, and her followers love feeling like part of her real story.
Anne also excels at giving stories to her plants. She frequently posts portraits of plants that she received as a gift or rescued from the side of the road. Every caption ties her personal life to a greater community of plant enthusiasts. She invites her followers to participate, asking them to name the species in a photo or share their own plant memories. This approach makes @botanicalsandbillie much more engaging than most of the accounts that share plant photos.
Analytics / Insights
As we mentioned, @botanicalsandbillie’s posts enjoy high engagement, with anywhere from 600 to 1500 likes per post. Most posts have only a dozen or so comments, but they come from highly engaged followers, many of whom address Anne by name. Many of the comments ask questions about plant care or share their own stories. This is a sure sign that these followers feel very invested in and attached to the account.
Indeed, Anne has successfully created a community around @botanicalsandbillie with just over 300 posts. She did so by consistently posting authentic, beautiful content with genuine captions. This makes for a strong personal brand and an Instagram page that people are excited to follow.
However, we can’t help but wonder about the page’s connections to Anne’s business. The bio link leads to a landing page where Anne displays her various enterprises, but the website is extremely bare-bones and lacks an SSL certificate. While we appreciate that she doesn’t want to be sales-y in her approach, she has created a powerful personal brand that could surely drive more leads and passive income — without impairing the authentic, organic page she’s created. She could drive a ton of traffic with her 40K followers but doesn’t do enough to drive that traffic.
We think that if her website were optimized and made secure, she could generate leads for her interior design business. As it stands now, there is no funnel set up to capture people who adore her aesthetic and may wish to hire her. We also see a lot of untapped potential to promote the products that appear in her posts through affiliate marketing. This could be a great source of passive income, especially with so many followers.
To summarize, Anne does a great job of building a connection with her audience. @botanicalsandbillie is truly an extraordinary account that has built a passionate, diverse community through stunning content and a highly genuine, engaging approach. When it comes to imagery, captions, and overall branding, @botanicalsandbillie gets everything right. However, we believe that Anne could optimize her account and leverage her personal brand to build her business. Because she has been so authentic and personable, she has clearly positioned herself as a source of inspiration and education for lovers of both plants and cats around the world. She could easily transform her Instagram from a mood board and visual blog into a full-featured, immersive brand experience for her community.