Driven by Instagram: Top Automotive Accounts and Tags to Follow

As an automotive journalist, Instagram is one of my go-to resources. The platform is one of the largest social networks with over 500 million daily active users – from influencers to fellow journalists, fans, bloggers, and other enthusiasts who began their feeds out of passion. Instagram has made it easy for car enthusiasts to connect with others who share their passion for automotive culture.

Easy as it may be, you might be wondering who you should follow to stay current on trends and news within the make and model most relevant to you. Lets start with some basics.

The basics:

If you are reading this, then you most likely have googled something along the lines of “best car instagram accounts to follow,” and you most likely have noticed many of those outdated lists have the same accounts listed. In my research for this article I hadn’t come across a list of recommendations that included any of the automakers.

Recently, Engagement Labs, a data and analytics firm, released its TotalSocial ranking of the top automotive brands in the United States based on their respective social influence. At the top was Lamborghini, followed by Toyota, BMW, Audi, Subaru, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Jeep, and Tesla.

“The brands with high rankings generally have a story to tell, and without a story, it’s hard for a brand to make its way into consumer conversations, even when you have a ton of customers as the mass-market brands do” said Ed Keller, CEO of Engagement Labs.

I know what you are thinking, why do I care what the top ranked automotive brands are? Approximately 95-percent of the content shared by Mercedes-Benz is user generated.

A post shared by Mercedes-Benz (@mercedesbenz) on

“We offer authentic content that communicates emotionally our core brand values by engaging closely with our followers,” said Natanael Sijanta, Director of Global Marketing Comms at Mercedes-Benz. He added that Instagram is the perfect platform for the brand to reach and engage with a huge number of its fans and prospects.

As a result, you are likely to find car owners and various photographers or niche-specific accounts to follow within the captions and comments of their posts.

For example, Porsche hardly posts about fast cars or specs but they did share the story of how one man had a Porsche 356 for nearly 50 years. We’re keeping our community in the loop and showing that people have the same driving experience on the millionth mile as the first,” said Jazzmynn Finney, New Media and Social Engagement Specialist at Porsche Cars. 

A post shared by Porsche (@porsche) on

It all starts with a hashtag –

Now that you have locked in the automakers that are relevant to you, lets start thinking about hashtags. According to Instagram, the most popular automotive hashtags include:

  • #Carporn
  • #CarsWithoutLimits
  • #Carsofinstagram
  • #Supercars
  • #Instacars
  • #CarLifestyle
  • #Carstagram
  • #Carspotting

Some other generic examples include:

#cars #car #ride #drive #driver #sportscar #vehicle #vehicles #street #road #freeway #highway #sportscars #exotic #exoticcar #exoticcars #speed #tire #tires #spoiler #exhaust #race #racing #wheel #wheels #rim #rims #engine #horsepower

I recommend thinking of hashtags like search terms and get specific with them. Try searching for chassis code hashtags or the engine name, but beware that some car-specific hashtags have become so popular they are now inappropriately used. For example, when you search #Camaro, the first few top posts all show Mustangs. 

But I encourage you to check out the related tags and users Instagram recommends. When I performed my search it suggested tags like #Mustang, #DodgeChallenger, #AmericanMuscle, #Z28, #1LE, #GT350, #ZL1, #Corvette, #CamaroSS, #392 and it recommended users like @scarlett67camaro, @Atlanta_headturners, and @Ericunderwood88.

Other hashtags to consider searching are those associated with automotive lifestyle brands and media such as #Alkuhmee, #CleanCulture, #CamberGang, #StanceNation, #SuperStreet, and #ModifiedSociety. I also recomend tags related to motorsports or activities you enjoy such as #HalfMileRacing, #DragRace, #Drifting, and more.

The Usual Suspects and Other Influencers

After adding some hashtags to follow, you may consider adding more variety to your newsfeed to see some cultural aspects of the hobby. On the aforementioned “best car Instagramers to follow” list, you have most likely noticed they predominately feature the following:

@Petrolicious

A post shared by Petrolicious (@petrolicious) on

@TheSmokingTire

A post shared by Matt Farah (@thesmokingtire) on

@CapturingTheMachine

Started his account in 2011, and all the photos on his Instagram are taken with an iPhone. He says: “Shooting with a phone is an equalizer and I like the challenge of trying to create the coolest possible image with it. I’m really shooting exactly for the medium and how people are going to see it. Cars have always been my passion and I want to capture them in the different environments cars can be found in. I love the sharing and community aspect of Instagram and having a place where people can discover your work.”

@CarLifestyle

A post shared by CarLifestyle (@carlifestyle) on

@AmyShorePhotography

@RodEmory

Porsche aficionado Rod Emory describes his Feed as a “direct connection to clients and [a] way for me to inspire Porsche and car enthusiasts.” 

He says: “So much of the work I do is visual. Now, I can post and go LIVE when I’m pulling … a car I’m going to work on [out] of an old garage and I can take people on the journey with me. I built my first Porsche when I was just 14 years old—it’s my life’s work, these cars. [Now] people all over the world are discovering my work. Instagram gives me the opportunity to share my passion for these cars in real time.”

@AlexPenfold

A post shared by Alex Penfold (@alexpenfold) on

@carinstagram

@TheSpeedHunters

@Black_List

@carswithoutlimits

While pursuing through those, you may have come across other influencers like @seenthroughglass, who describes his IG feed as “mixture of car and automotive lifestyle pictures with a personal touch.”

He says: “I’m trying to take my followers on my adventures with me. I’m incredibly lucky to go to some amazing places and see some incredible things, so being able to share these moments with my followers is awesome. When you finally get the right shot that includes the car, the setting and somehow translates the feeling to followers, it’s awesome.”

Other automotive influencers to consider following:

@RobDahm

A post shared by Rob Dahm (@robdahm) on

@Krispy

A post shared by krispy (@krispy) on

@saabkyle04llc

A post shared by Kyle Lindsey (@saabkyle04llc) on

@Salomondrin

A post shared by salomondrin (@salomondrin) on

@itswhitenoise

@ThatDudeInBlue

@Shmee150

A post shared by Tim – Shmee (@shmee150) on

Who did you follow?

Were you inspired to follow any of the accounts or tags listed here? Drop a comment with your favorite IG accounts and hashtags to follow and use our hashtag #PowerPerformance so we can discover you!

About the author

Nicole Ellan James

As an automotive journalist and avid car enthusiast, Nicole Ellan James has a passion for automotive that is reflected in every aspect of her lifestyle. Follow Nicole on Instagram and Facebook - @nicoleeellan
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