The world has gone social, and corporate America has not been far behind. It’s not just businesses either—increasingly, government agencies see social outlets like Twitter and Facebook as great outreach opportunities. As they build audiences, they’re growing the reach of free advertising that has the potential to reach millions with the right message.
Instagram, with its focus on imagery, is a perfect outlet for communities to sell themselves as destinations to millions of potential future residents, businesses, convention buyers, tourists, and visitors. Here are a few states that haven’t just embraced the medium—they’ve mastered it.
Judging by Michigan’s official Instagram account, it might just be the most beautiful state in the Union. The account’s curators have an eye for beautiful imagery, with some of the most extraordinary landscapes you'll find on the Internet. They’re also great at utilizing their reach, asking their followers to tag photos with the hashtag #PureMichigan, and then “regramming” (another name for reposting on Instagram) their followers’ pictures.
2. North Carolina
Any brand that wants to be successful on social media has to sell an image—or, basically, develop a cohesive brand through pictures. North Carolina’s Instagram feed reflects the state perfectly. With an emphasis on the outdoors, it features the huge variety of landscapes—from coastal, to inland prairie, to glorious mountains. There's also the occasional, gratuitously beautiful picture of the Biltmore (which has its own account worth checking out, @biltmoreestate).
Utah’s account is all about the great outdoors. Scroll through their ‘Grams and you’ll find mountains, national park scenes, and all the outdoor activities you could ever ask for. You’ll also see plenty of Salt Lake City, one of Livability’s Top 100 Places to Live in the U.S.
Colorado takes the vista-centric approach that other state Instagram accounts rely on—then add a human factor. In almost every picture you’ll find Coloradans enjoying their state to the fullest, from winter mountain sports to locals living the mountain lifestyle. And if that’s not enough to convince you to follow them, you’ll also find some of the cutest pets around.
The Sunshine State’s beach-quotient doesn’t disappoint. You won’t have to scroll long before finding picturesque beaches and endless sun. But you’ll also find surprisingly rich images of historical locations like St. Augustine and one of its highlights, Castillo de San Marcos—the oldest masonry fort in the United States.
Save & Relax: The 6 Most Affordable Cities in Florida
Maine might not have the most followers, but it treats that faithful bunch to photographic treats highlighting what the wide range of seasons offers the New England state’s residents. In between ocean views and harbor vistas, they sprinkle visions of culinary delight, like their famous lobsters.
You’ll likely visit Massachussetts’ account for the same reason you’d enter its borders: Because you enjoy historic America and a vibrant lifestyle. While you’re there, you’ll find that maybe more than any other state on our list, “Mass” gets one of the most important things on Instagram right: great pictures of food.
This state feed, run by the Virginia Tourism Corporation, is for those who love Virginia, or the outdoors, or anything beautiful. The account is fitting for the state known for its famous loverly motto ("Virginia is For Lovers"), as it sports romantic locales, passion-inspiring views, and pictures of the kind of food that makes your heart race just thinking about.