Before I begin let me just say that I fully believe that there is no one more addicted to Instagram than yours truly. There is nothing like snapping a pic of a perfect moment, tossing the most complimentary filter on it, and sharing it with the world. However, as a marketing professional, I have quickly come to learn that sometimes an incredibly diverse Instagram account only looks sloppy!
The first step in establishing your brand is just that…establishing it! As the internet becomes increasingly more visual social sphere, your online branding should follow suite and what is the most obvious social platform to utilize for this? That’s right, Instagram.
So, I took a look at how I was using my own Instagram account. I was all over the place! It looked like I was using Instagram as a photo album, where I was storing every moment of my life. I was uploading multiple pictures, from the same night, of really the same things. The filters I used were all across the board, it was clear that my filter choice depended strictly on what lighting made me look the most tan.
While all of that is okay in terms of what you do with your personal Instagram, when you are trying to brand yourself, you have GOT to find some sort of consistency in everything.
Here is where you are going wrong:
You are haphazardly uploading photos
I get it. You cannot choose just one photo that you love from last night because your hair looks great in all of them and you can’t stop noticing how skinny you look, haha. Trust me I have been there myself.
Here is my rule: If you must upload two pictures in an hour from the same event find a balance of scenery and people. Your “scenery” photo will showcase where you are and what you are doing, and then you can still share that great pic you snapped of you and your BFF.
You are choosing your filter for you, not the brand
There are so many Instagram filters and it seems that with every update we are just getting more and more to choose from. Again, when building you brand consistency is key! Scroll through the filters and test the waters, find one or two color filters and one B&W that really compliment the look your brand is going for . Stick with those no matter what. For me? My personal favorites are “Moon”, “Gingham”, and “Nashville”.
Lauren Conrad has mastered this! All of her uploads are completely consistent in maintaining her brand identity. Her posts are simple yet have a bold message requiring no long description. What’s even more interesting, is that I have noticed those employed by LCLaurenConrad have also streamlined their Instagram to fit the brand as well (editor for LaurenConrad.com Allison Norton is another brilliant example, her Instagram is adorable).
You are after the followers, not the audience
This is where appropriate hash tagging comes well into play. By using the correct hashtags you are inviting the right audience and follower-base that you want your blog to attract. You are semi indirectly in control of who is viewing your account, if your privacy settings allow it. Let me put it this way, if you are using so many hashtags that you, yourself, are hiding them in your comments, you are not doing something right. Don’t get me wrong, building a following for your brand is very important, but is it worth your time if your following isn’t anyone truly interested in what you have to say?
Another tip: Stay far, far away from anything that even remotely suggests paying for followers. You’ve seen them, “For $0.99 get 500 followers in an hour!”. Okay, fact, 99% of the time you are going to start to get follower requests from accounts whose bio reads “Live Webcam XXX” or something else along those lines. It is all a scam, and you don’t want any part of it, nor do you want your brand associated with it.
So there you have it! Simple, but effective tips for branding yourself appropriately on Instagram!
Stay tuned for more tips on all things social media marketing and strategy!