Tips on how to define your brand on Instagram

Instagram is my favorite platform because of the prominence of visuals. Visuals are what drive people to click, engage, and possibly share. Even if your starting from 0, or taking over an account, make sure you're making the best impression for your brand.

So, how do you get started building your brand on Instagram?

Do your research

When you have no followers, it can be hard to start gaining traction on any platform. However, there is still a lot you can do to set yourself up for success.

Identify your target audience

Know who you are trying to reach. Is is moms? Is it teachers? Is it people in California? Have an idea who your ideal audience is and what they look like.

Ask

  • Who is most likely to buy my product?
  • Who is most likely to use my product?
  • Who do I want to attract?
  • What is my audience interested in?

These questions will help define your target in your mind so you can create more precise captions for your audience.

Know what you are selling or promoting

This requires knowing your brand and why people purchase. Are they buying because of the value or because of the image? Ask customers or look through whatever data you have collected to answer:

Ask

  • Why do people purchase my product?
  • What can I do to make my offering more valuable?
  • What can I offer that would make people want to engage with me?

Learn the platform and develop your content

Each social media platform is different because of who uses it and what types of content do well. Instagram is an extremely visual platform, so products that aren't image heavy or image friendly may not need to use this platform.

The majority of Instagram is women, ages 18-29. To learn more about the platform's demographics, see this report from Sprout Social.

Content

Understand what types of things you need to promote: new products, your brand, what's going on internally, etc. Then decide what types of posts you are going to showcase.

Ask

  • What do I need to promote?
  • How can I showcase my product so that it attracts my ideal audience?
  • What message do I want my audience to take away from following me?

Imagery

Check out accounts that are doing well in your category and see what their feed looks like. The feed is the page where it's just their photos. Be strategic with the order of their photos and the color schemes so each photo looks like it belongs.

Here's a snapshot of theworkinggirl's home page to get an idea of how to order your posts:

 
 
Your goal: People recognize your accountโ€™s post when it shows in their feed. Your photos should contain such a consistent look that you can identify whoโ€™s posting without checking the account.

Figure out

  • What types of images best show your brand
  • What filter you want to use (and stick with it)
  • What types of images your audience responds to - This may change over time, but keep track of what types of posts your audience responds to (through amount of engagement)

Caption

Develop your brand's voice through your captions by deciding how you are trying to relate to your audience.

Ask

  • Is your brand happy? helpful? insightful?
  • Are your heavy promoting or drawing people in another way?
  • How will you keep your audience reading on?

Every brand is a little different. If you need some inspiration, check out social media influencers and how they approach captioning.

Hashtags

Hashtags are how people find your brand. Choose ones that are relevant to individual photos and to the overall message or feel you are trying to bring your audience. They can be clever, fun, and pertinent to when you are posting (like #motivationmonday).

Choose hashtags

  • Looking at similar accounts
  • Choosing ones with the highest number of posts (you can see the number next to the hashtag when you search in on the Instagram app)
  • Download an app to save your hashtags in one place - Create an easy go-to area so you don't need to find your hashtags every time you post

Refine your content

Look at your business statistics to see what is doing well and pivot your strategy from there. Are posts of your product getting the most engagement? Try more of those in your content calendar. Closeups instead of far away shots doing well? Look into placing more in your feed. If you're unsure of what's doing well, play around with when you post since certain days and times will perform better for your account.

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Wish you felt more comfortable with Instagram? Wish your presence was more consistent, cohesive, and effective?
Check out my Instagram branding package to up your #InstaGame!