How to use Instagram to build your business brand
Three ways to start a brand-centric social media strategy
Instagram has quickly become a dominant force on social media and you will be surprised how effective it can be for your business.s.
A brand-centric social media strategy ™ is a great idea before starting any social promotion. Not only will you save time and money down the road when you have followers, but building them will also be a lot easier.
Branding with social media can actually reach a significant audience, but you must give users a sincere reason to follow.
This comes from understanding your current brand equity and properly translating it into an account that your ideal users will seek out and want to follow.
With Instagram you have enormous brand potential. If you haven’t already, you need to properly define your brand. Take a look at our post on how to define your brand if you’re stuck.
Now let’s see what you need to do to properly build your business brand on Instagram:
1. Your profile
Your profile page is where your business branding should start on Instagram.
You can feature your logo or a headshot depending on your company branding. I always recommend wearing your professional head shot if it’s the face of your business and using a logo if you’re a larger company like the Adidas profile shown here.
Then you have 150 characters in the description field to tell people what you do. Use this space to make a clear and compelling statement. If a hashtag defines your business, this is where to include it (or they if there are more than one).
If you ever have a promotion with a relevant hashtag, you can update your profile accordingly.
Then you have 1 chance for a link. If you’re just getting started with Instagram, you probably want to make this your home page. Ideally, have this link click a landing page for your free giveaway so you can use this space for list building as well.
The next time you have a new promotion, you will want to exchange the link and direct users through it.
2. Your publications
Consistency is key and not just in your posting schedule. You need to have a common theme for all your images where that theme gives your followers a window into what you provide.
This is not the platform on which spam ads can be sent. Your followers want to know a commercial brand on Instagram by seeing who is behind the brand, not its ads.
In saying that, you absolutely must show off your products, especially when you have something new to offer. But don’t just run infomercials.
Instagram is a great place to showcase your business community. If you have a birthday party at the office, please post some photos or a short video.
If you have a day when employees bring their dogs to work, let your followers see what’s going on.
When you post all of this, remember who your primary target audience is and who can become a customer. Tailor your posts to that general theme.
When appropriate, you can direct users to a link by posting: “follow the link in our bio for more” using the text section that accompanies each post.
3. Your competition
Your competition is a great way to find new followers who are already interested in what you do. They can also provide great information on which hashtags are effective in your industry.
If you already use Instagram, you will have seen how competitors always look at each other on this platform.
Once you like or follow a particular brand, you will see that in a few minutes your account will be followed by another brand related to the brand you just followed.
There are companies that literally just do this as their full business model.
Caution: Stay away from any company that promises to increase your number of followers. Volume may seem like a good perspective for a business, but these types of services will only devalue your brand and account by gaining irrelevant followers who post spam comments.
Follow your competition yourself and comment on their posts with real insight.
This is a genuine and honest way to not only build your brand and find new people, but also put you in the position where your users will be with your own account.
See which posts your competitors post that perform best in terms of actual likes and comments, and adjust your own strategy to reflect your success.
A great way to start it all is to find out which hashtag really defines your business. Understand that there are communities for individual businesses on Instagram and you’ll want to be a part of the ones that are relevant to your industry.
Getting started can be tricky, but maintaining it can be even more difficult. A dead brand on Instagram sends a bad message to users and with 75% of users checking social media before making a purchase, you are risking a lot by doing this incorrectly or not doing it at all.