Pigeons and Planes Gets Instagram Engagement

I’m a big fan of Pigeons & Planes’ Instagram page. With 64,000 followers it gives its fans exactly what they want and that results in consistent engagement.

Based solely around Hip Hop music and culture, Pigeons & Planes’ primary focus is around photos which they use in a variety of ways. Varying from news to promoting music and interviews on their site, they often ask users their opinions which can bring out a ton of comments from the most passionate fans.

Album covers are some of the most visually striking images you’ll find in any music genre, and Pigeons & Planes leverage these to get Instagram users to stop scrolling for a minute and check out the captions. Their captions are what provides context for what we’re seeing and why. Whether it’s the anniversary of a classic album, using the hashtag #TBT (Throwback Thursday), or to promote the release of new music, their posts have relevance, and don’t feel like they’re just posting just to post.

I once volunteered and upon meeting everyone, the director asked an ice breaker question to get everyone to speak and also learn about each other. “What was the first concert you went to?” This got the group talking, agreeing with each other and sharing their experiences. Pigeons & Planes adopted these kinds of questions and often posts screen shots of Twitter posts. Users will sometimes comment 10 times more than their average posts of glamor shots of celebrities.

The most important thing is its voice. Despite being a brand, Pigeons and Planes has a personality. Instead of simply posting four photos of Donald Glover, they ask “which are you tonight?” asking the viewer to look at these photos in a specific way. Pigeons & Planes account asks from the community and in return they answer, as opposed to other similar pages like Complex, which sometimes has 25 times as many likes but only a fraction of the comments.

At the core, aside from being a brand and website, Pigeons & Planes comes across more as a friend with industry access and a dope camera. An Instagram friend whose posts say “check this out!” “Hey, what did you think of this album?” “What’s your favorite remix of all time?” Their approach taps into the core of what makes up a culture. Content and afterthought. A baseball game is only two and a half hours but fans will spend the next 24 hours watching analysis on Sportscenter and debating who the best is with coworkers.

Brands typically aren’t encouraging this kind of engagement, so this Instagram account is different because it doesn’t need to beg for engagement. It doesn’t need to have a “tag your friend to win this give away” caption. It WANTS to hear as much as it wants to speak and users have taken notice.