Social media marketing counts as one of the most effective forms of marketing today. Instagram is high up on the list of platforms whose entire potential has yet to be realized, even with its 8 million-plus business accounts, a billion monthly active users and a big promising crowd of millennials.
However, its bludgeoning popularity has taught us a lot about what it takes to build a brand and how to make an existing one more recognizable.
For those that want to enjoy the kind of content engagement Instagram brings and the brand awareness it helps generate, it’s worth covering the most meaningful ways of building a brand on Instagram.
Focus on Getting Real Followers
On Instagram, it’s easy to get lost in all the stats – how many followers did your brand get today? How many did it lose? How many likes did the picture you posted get? At the end of the day, none of these numbers mean very much if they do not reflect against the rally of engagement with your brand.
It’s much better to have a follower growth rate of ten per day rather than using bots to grow your numbers. Try to build relationships with your followers by interacting with them. Respond to their questions and post content they submit.
Instagram had a knack for picking up on accounts that have low engagement but tonnes of followers. This likely means they got the followers dishonestly and they usually get punished for it.
A simple way to get people to engage with your posts is to submit high-quality photos and art pieces. That’s what sets Instagram apart from most other social media networks.
Instagram famously has a higher per-follower engagement rate than any other social media site, at 2.3%. That’s 84 times higher than Twitter and even leaving Facebook in the dust by over ten times. This engagement is driven by the fact that the site was designed to post such photos.
Even if you’re not a professional photographer or don’t have access to one, it’s important to know the basics of photography and post-production: lighting, perspective, colors and even basic editing are all important.
Create a style that works for you
In order to set yourself apart from the dozen other brands trying to gain recognition through the same medium, you have to do something differently. Namely, create a style of your own that will let your followers instantly recognize your content.
Take, for example, Brit+Co, a digital company that offers online DIY classes for fun and creative things. Their feed is filled with colorful images that are meant to be artsy and friendly. If you’re having a hard time settling on creating a style that fits, look to competitors in your niche for inspiration.
Experiment with posting frequencies
How often you post to Instagram will have a great impact on how the algorithm treats you, and by extension, how your audience receives you. Some audiences are more receptive to frequent posting than others – some require it, for instance, a photography niche while others are better off being seen only once in a while.
Most brands post an average of 1.5 times a day, according to a report, after analyzing a group of 55 brands on Instagram.
It’s interesting to note that posting less did not affect the engagement on these profiles, but this might be because the brands themselves are already well established. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find out what works best for you.
Use tools that will make your life easier
It’s entirely possible to build a brand using Instagram alone, as long as you follow the right technique. However, just like it’s possible to pluck a nail out of a piece of wood using a fork if you’re determined enough, it’s a lot easier if you just used a hammer.
There are tons of great tools for streamlining your Instagram experience. They do everything from letting you know which posts have the highest engagement rates, tracking how many followers and unfollowers you’ve had in a day as done by apps like Iconosquare while others help you schedule posts, eg. Ink361.
Make a good first impression
The kind of impression s person gets when they first click on your account matters a lot. When they first visit your profile, the first thing they’ll see are your profile picture, recent posts, and bio.
Assuming you’ve got a good idea what kind of style your photos are supposed to have, what’s left is to sort out is the bio and profile picture. These should both reflect who you are and what you do. A logo as the profile picture and a brief explanation of what you do, inclusive of relevant hashtags and a website are in order.
A great example of a brand that nailed it is Onnit – a workout company with a brief bio, link to their website, relevant profile picture and a few relevant hashtags. It grabs the attention right away, and they’re then free to direct it where it’s needed.
Extend your reach through Instagram ads
With Instagram ads, you can increase your reach through the platform by promoting a new or existing post as long as you have a business account. This allows you to specify certain metrics to help boost it to the right target audience to improve engagement and rank better.
Businesses big and small all rely on Instagram ads to reach new audiences. Even established brands like McDonald’s have recorded reports regarding his they were able to achieve the best lift in ad recall ever recorded by Nielsen.
Instagram is the perfect platform for building brands by targeting the 18-29 demographic. The entire process is fairly uncomplicated but will need a lot of commitment. With followers that are actually interested in what you have to post, well-edited photos, a style that fits your brand and the right tools to help extend your reach, the rest should be much easier.