Unless you’ve been totally off social media (or sleeping under a rock), you’ve probably already heard about Instagram. Most of us use it more frequently than we would like to admit – me included. But are we really using Instagram to its fullest potential?
Whether you are just starting a blog, creating a fashion line or selling your art, Instagram is a great tool to engage people and get them to invest in you. That’s why I came up with these ways to build your brand with Instagram. And trust me, you won’t have to buy Instagram followers to build your brand.
1. Think about the story you want to tell
Instagram is a great way to tap into your creative juices and to share your unique story. You have to think about Instagram as your own little clothing boutique, and you are in charge of collecting the pieces you want to showcase. This may seem like a big job, but by thinking of each picture as part of a bigger collection, you can figure out what story you want to tell in the grand scheme of things!
When you figure out the story you want to tell, you’ll have an easier time picking out photos to actually post on your Instagram that fit your brand. If you are having trouble getting started or finding inspiration, you can check out Pinterest or create a moodboard to start! You just want to be sure you’re consistent and remaining true to your brand when figuring out what type of content you want to showcase on your Instagram.
2. Edit Your Photos
Figuring out the content you want to post and the story you want to tell is only half the battle, you also want to edit your photos in a somewhat uniform and meaningful manner. This could mean using the same color palette when you post quotes or finding certain backgrounds (you can cut out a poster board or choose fabric) to showcase your outfit flatlays.
You also want to be sure that your content is visually appealing to your audience, when you edit your photos you can crop out unnecessary or distracting parts of the picture or use filters. Snapseed and VSCO Cam are two apps that I use to edit my pictures, but you can also use Instagram’s built-in features to get you started.
3. Hashtag, Hashtag, Hashtag
Adding hashtags to your Instagram post is a great way to increase your opportunities for people to discover your page. However, just like you want to curate your photos for your page, you should think about what hashtags you want to use that are relevant to your brand. An easy way to get you started could be hashtagging the type of phone or camera you use to take your photos, such as: #iPhone7.
Moving on to a more fun and creative idea would be to hashtag a specific tagline related to your brand and your Instagram name. Or depending on the day, you can also add trending hashtags to your post this ranges from #TBT (for your Throwback Thursday posts) or #MotivationMonday.
In short, when it comes to hashtags: be consistent with the ones you use, keep them relevant, and don’t overdo it.
4. Tag Your Pictures
Another way to be discovered is by geotagging your pictures. This a great way for people to find your page if they are perusing that location, and to avoid that question, “Where is this?” No worries – we are all guilty of completely missing the geotag and asking anyway.
You can also tag the brands or places when you are featuring your meal or your in-style outfit of the day (hashtag #OOTD). This is a way for users to find you through bigger brands and for other brands to notice you and possibly repost your picture.
5. Keep a Schedule
Now that people have stumbled on your amazing page because of your hashtags or simply because you’re fabulous, it is time to keep their attention. Having a schedule of your posts is a way to stay active without having to rush. When you plan what you want to post for the days ahead, it will make it easier to keep up with content and to engage your users frequently.
6. Stay In Touch With Your Audience
It may seem obvious, but trust me, it can be easy to forget when we are busy choosing our content to interact with other users. The easiest way to create relationships with your followers and other users is by simply responding to their comments on your post or liking their posts, as well.
You should also try to make it so that your captions are also geared to their engagement. For instance, when you post about what you’re doing Saturday night, you can ask what their plans are or to “double tap” if they enjoy the same activity. Instagram is a great big network, and the more of our audience we work towards engaging the more successful our posts will be.
7. Quality Over Quantity
This relates to your brand as a whole. Remember, you shouldn’t have to buy Instagram followers to build a following. Don’t be discouraged by the number of followers you have. The more important thing is that these followers are actually engaging in your photos and pushing you to keep your standards in the quality of your work.
8. Put Yourself Out There
Don’t be afraid to use other social media tools to promote your Instagram. Whether you have a Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook, these are great ways to reach a broader audience that may not have found you on Instagram otherwise. A simple way of doing this is by adding your Instagram link to the bios of your other accounts or even mentioning it on one of your tweets or Facebook posts.
9. Stay True to Yourself
Seems cheesy, right? But trust me when I tell you that being true to yourself is the way to go. Most people can tell when others are not being genuine (yes, even over Instagram), and this can make it difficult to connect to a person’s brand. Staying sincere and true to yourself helps you foster genuine relationships, and it also allows for us to make the most of what you are posting.
Now I am not telling you to be an open book or post your darkest secrets, but by doing what is comfortable and authentic to you, you’ll inspire others to, as well. Remember, Instagram is a way to tell your unique story. Having beautiful photos is wonderful, but when those photos also resonate with your brand and your authentic self, that is truly a work of art.
And those were 9 of the top insights on building your brand through Instagram and engaging your followers! Hope this gave you the encouragement to get started and to keep trucking.