Earlier this year the world was introduced to a small stuffed llama with a charming smile who had one mission—to provide its followers with a reprieve from the day-to-day stresses of the world. Over the past few months I’ve watch the Llama with No Drama Instagram his way through Central Park, Palm Beach, Miami, Los Angeles, Columbia and more. Always with a smile and always with a beautiful backdrop.
Created by Eylul Savas, who in a May 2016 interview with Mashable said she “wanted to start something with the purpose of putting smiles on people’s faces”, the Llama with No Drama Instagram account has over 17k followers (as of this posting); followers that were all attained with just 172 posts over 20 weeks. And many of the Llama with No Drama’s recent posts earn more than 2000 likes a piece, as well as numerous comments and replies.
Okay, so your brand doesn’t have the cute, cuddly face that Llama with No Drama has. But that doesn’t mean your brand needs to run their Instagram account any differently.
What’s this llama doing so right?
1. It Has a Genuine Tone and Mission.
If the name wasn’t enough to convince you that the Llama with No Drama was on a positive mission, the bio says it all: “One happy llama against the world’s drama. For a daily dose of smiles.” The mission is simple and direct. This, paired with a tone that can only be described as content and friendly, helps audiences connect to this llama. And while it may sound strange that people are connecting to a stuffed llama, it’s not that dissimilar from how consumers connect to the brands they are most loyal to.
2. It Sticks to that Tone and Mission in Every Post.
Most of the Internet is snarky, making it an easy place for people and brands to be cynical and snide. Llama with No Drama will have none of that; every post remains true to their overall mission. We feel like we know this llama and again, it creates a very specific connection. You’ll want your brand to have a similar connection—making it feel like your audience isn’t following an intangible brand, but something more like a person they’ve known for years.
3. It Follows the Golden Rule of Quality over Quantity.
Sometimes Llama with No Drama will post a few images a day. Other times, it’s a few images a week. Sometimes they take a week off. While you always want to be as consistent as possible with your brand’s Instagram posting schedule, take a note from this llama and always choose quality over quantity. Make sure your posts are interesting, eye-catching, and most of all, follow your purpose, tone and mission.
4. It Has its Own Hashtag.
Brands really underestimate the value of a good hashtag. And Llama with No Drama has a great (if obvious) one—#LlamawithNoDrama. It’s a no frills, easy to remember hashtag that allows others to be part of the Llama with No Drama movement. A brand-specific hashtag can create that same sense of community amongst your followers, and sometimes lead to some really great user-generated content that you can re-gram.
5. The Imagery is Beautiful and Interesting.
The Llama with No Drama doesn’t necessarily have access to any more places than you or I would. And while some posts are taken in more exotic locales such as Istanbul, many are taken at common tourist attractions such as the beach, or Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. But even the most ordinary places look unique and interesting, creating an “I want to be there too” vibe. Make your Instagram a place where audience members want to be.
6. It Isn’t Afraid to be Topical.
Llama with No Drama isn’t afraid to participate in things like #TBT (Throw Back Thursday) or Red Nose Day. Or to recognize tragic events like the recent attacks in Orlando or Istanbul. And due to the genuine nature of the tone and mission, these types of mentions don’t feel forced or obligatory. Brands in particular need to be careful about when and where they tap into major holidays, events, or tragedies. If it feels like you’re posting just to post, don’t do it. If you’re posting because the tone and mission of your brand as a whole matches a certain cause or event, then it’s more likely to feel genuine.
Today’s consumers want brands that they can connect with. They want brands that help them portray who they are and how they live their life. Much like Llama with No Drama, your Instagram account can give people something refreshing and interesting to look at, while also creating a lasting connection, no matter if you’re a major purse designer, a clothing store, or a B2B company. Just think like the Llama and see the impact it has on your engagement.