Digital Identity: Building an Instagram Brand

Creating an Instagram Brand can be a great way to grow your brand’s visibility and reach out to a new audience. Taking the time to use this social media tool can give your brand a boost and give your followers a new way to think about your brand.

Building an Instagram Brand for Your Business

Getting started building your Instagram Brand doesn’t have to be complicated. First, you should create an Instagram Brand account.

Set Up an Instagram Account for Your Brand

Creating an Instagram account for your brand is a fairly straightforward process. In four steps you’ll be well on your way to building your Instagram Brand.

1. Download the Instagram App

You can do this from the App Store if you’re using iOS, from the Windows Phone Store if you have a Windows device, or from the Google Play Store if you’re on an Android.

2. Tap Sign Up

Once you press this button, you’ll be prompted to enter your email address. Once it’s been entered tap Next or Log in with Facebook.

3. Create a Business Account

Once you’re in the app, find your settings and scroll down to Switch to Business Account.

4. Add Brand Information

When you’ve created your business account, you can add your brand’s valuable information like your phone number, address, and business hours.

This isn’t the end of your Instagram brand set up. In fact, this is only the beginning.  There are several little tips and tweaks you should check out before calling your Instagram brand profile complete.

Your Instagram Brand Username and Bio

If you want to be discovered and recognized, your username on Instagram needs to match the username you’ve used on your other branded social media profiles.

You’re going to be very limited on what information will appear on your public profile, so use the space you have carefully. Be sure to add your website URL and a short bio before moving on to posting.

You should use your bio to tell people what your brand is about and what people can expect to see on your Instagram profile. This is also a great place to add any of your branded hashtags that you want your followers to use.

Add a Profile Photo

Building an Instagram Brand for Your Business

When selecting your profile photo, you should consider using your company’s logo fill that void. Your logo is how people quickly recognize you and is a great way to tie your social media accounts together. You made the logo for a reason, now use it!

Your profile picture will be cropped into a circle when it’s put on the app, so you’ll need to make sure you choose an image that will look good when cut down into that shape.

Be a Follower

To make your Instagram Brand noticed, you’ll need to find a bunch of users to follow. When looking for people to support, you should look for influencers that match your industry, your customers, and other people who might be relevant to your brand.

Make sure that you know exactly who you’re trying to target because Instagram demographics can vary widely. Search out the industry hashtags you want to use, and make your Instagram Brand known by commenting on photos and following people who participate in relevant hashtag discussions.

Promote Your Instagram Brand

If you want your current customers to know about your Instagram Brand, all you have to do is add your Instagram handle to your web properties and other social media profiles. Doing this will give you cross-promotion.

You can also send out a few messages to your existing followers on these networks to ask them to follow you on Instagram.

Set Goals for Your Instagram Brand

Success is created by setting goals and following through with them. Your Instagram efforts should similarly be driven by strategic goals. Ask yourself what your brand is hoping to gain by using Instagram then set goals that will tie back to your brand’s goals.

Your goals could be to:

  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Increase product sales
  • Attract top talent
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Identify and establish relationships with influencers
  • Increase customer satisfaction

Whatever your Instagram Brand is trying to achieve, your goals will need to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

Create a Content Strategy

A casual individual using Instagram can find success by sporadically scrolling through Instagram, randomly liking photos, and posting their dog’s portrait for the fourth time in a week. However, this won’t give you the results you’re looking for for your Instagram Brand.

Finding Instagram Brand success will require that you create a deliberate marketing plan specific to Instagram. This will be necessary if you want to build an active community and see real results for your brand.

There are four key things your strategy should include.

1. When to Post and How Often

Your Instagram Brand will need a regular posting schedule to stay relevant, but be careful not to bombard your followers with too many posts. To figure out what will work best for your brand you’ll need to test posting at different intervals and times and then check out the results. When you find what works for you, then you can create a shared content calendar to keep track of what you want to post and when it will go out.

SEE ALSO: How Often to Post on Social Media

2. Content Themes

Different content themes can keep things interesting for your followers and help you to achieve different goals. For example, if you were looking to increase awareness and attract new followers, you might include contests, stories, and examples of your brand life as part of your central content themes.

3. Specify Your Style

Building an Instagram Brand for Your Business

How do you want to be seen by your followers? Will it be okay to use emojis in your captions? Do you have specific grammar guidelines for your brand? What kind of hashtags will you use? What types of photos do you post? Creating a particular style and a corresponding style guideline will cover all the ways your brand is distinct and consistent.

4. Guidelines for Engagement

Your engagement guidelines should include how your brand will interact with other accounts on Instagram. This means how you will like and comment on other people’s photos and how you will handle the incoming comments on your account.

Your engagement is not a place where you can cut corners. Don’t try to automate your engagement; it won’t work.

Building Your Instagram Brand

Because Instagram is all about the visuals, you’ll need to aim to create a cohesive and recognizable brand identity. There are a few fundamental ways to do that.

Have Visual Consistency

60% of the top brands on Instagram use the same filter for every post. Using the same filters over and over will establish a style that will be recognizable to your followers.

Building an Instagram Brand for Your Business

With one of your goals being to get Instagram users to stop scrolling when they see your image and then to engage with it by liking or commenting, the more instantly recognizable your photos are, the better off you’ll be.

Using mobile photo editing apps like Enhance or VSCOcam can give you additional filters and editing options to help you find your style. If you choose this option, remember that photos that have been edited or filtered somewhere else can still be imported into Instagram.

Focus on Your Subject Matter

Your Instagram Brand will have to decide what posts to focus on. Sometimes this is obvious. A restaurant will post pictures of its food; a clothing line will show off their clothes. However, your brand might not have such a distinct target which can feel confusing.

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to be a lifestyle brand to post lifestyle content. Your Instagram feed may differ from the other content you post on social media. On Instagram, you can post pictures and videos of your staff members, your pets, or your offices. It depends on what you want and the look you’re going for.

Create a Branded Hashtag

Building an Instagram Brand for Your Business

This is one of the non-visual elements that you can include in your Instagram Brand. Adding a branded hashtag doesn’t necessarily mean using your company name as your hashtag. Creating a branded hashtag is about creating a hashtag that will embody your brand and encourage your followers to share photos that fit the same image. Find the niche in your brand and use it to inspire your branded hashtag.

Remember Your Audience

Mimicking the strategy of other brands is not a way to guarantee your success on Instagram. What works for other brands won’t necessarily work for you, especially if the other brands are not related to yours.

Focus on your audience and make sure that you are catering to their interests and expectations. Take what’s working for your business on other social media accounts, look at what other content your audience shares on Instagram, and find the middle ground to use on your Instagram Brand account.

Final Thoughts

Your Instagram Brand is another extension of your brand and should be treated as such. Leaving it as an afterthought is an excellent way for it to work against your brand instead of for it.  Take the time to research what you want to accomplish and how you want to achieve it, and your brand will see positive growth. Instagram is a great tool for building your brand when used correctly.

What brands do you like to follow on Instagram?

Written by
Juntae DeLane

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