Establishing your brand on Instagram has become a must to ensure brand success. Being successful on Instagram means you are a source of inspiration, a thought leader, and have the potential to sway your followers’ and potential consumers’ decisions.
Though most of our favourite brands’ posts on Instagram look “instantaneous”, they’re in fact very well thought out. Fitting in with the general message of their account. That’s why establishing your brand on requires much more than just creating your account and posting a picture every now and then.
We have a few key pointers to consider when trying to establish your brand on Instagram.
Know Your Brand, Niche and Run
Before you start posting random pictures to fill up your gallery, you need to know your brand. So find your niche and run with it.
You’ll only get lost in the noise of 400 million users if you don’t distinguish yourself. Finding your niche, in a sense is your unique selling point. Ask yourself how could you get your message across on the platform in a unique manner, making you different from other similar brands out there?
Your brand may not have a USP per se, in terms of product and services, but the way you portray your brand on IG could make it seem as though you do. But beware, not to confuse people, the moment they feel unsure about who you are, or what you do, you’ve lost them!
Know the platform
As well as knowing your brand and your social media USP, you need to know the platform. Know Instagram’s layout. By now, I doubt there’s anyone who doesn’t know that Instagram displays images on a x3 grid. Think of ways you could use that to your advantage.
You may choose to post one big picture divided into three, or use the grid as a framework for a pattern, sparking curiosity among followers, for the next missing puzzle piece in the pattern. Whatever you decide, consider the overall look of your feed. It’s best to consider your feed as a gallery; look at it, as a whole entity. The followers you already have may look at the individual pictures popping up on their screens, but new followers look at your gallery as a whole.
Being in the know with the latest Instagram changes is a must. It wasn’t that long ago Instagram implemented a new algorithm which, presents users’ feeds in the order which is most suitable for them rather than in chronological order. So as a brand, posting at times when Instagram users are most active wouldn’t be effective. You would need to come up with a strategy making sure you’re on top of your followers’ feed.
Aim to Aspire
The real reason reality TV series have the success they do, is because they sell a lifestyle, viewers either connect with, or aspire to. They’re not directly trying to sell a particular product or brand.
Slowly social media platforms, the ones involving instant life updates have seen a rise in popularity and are substituting reality TV, Instagram, being one of them; incorporating snapshots of the most desired styles of living.
Rather than explicitly promoting your brand, do it implicitly through the portrayal of the aspirational lifestyle. Attainable only with the consumption of the brand’s products.
Your goal should therefore be to create a lifestyle, which best represents your niche, others would want to experience or be a part of. Don’t feel that your product should always be the main focus of your pictures.
Find your influencers
Find someone who has a similar niche and a greater reach than you on Instagram. Someone with whom you share an audience, but who has an already established authority among their followers. By getting them to promote your brand, with an Instagram post, you’re expanding and appealing to their audience.
Start off with influencers who have a smaller following (micro-influencers); between 5k and 25k is reasonable. Smaller influencers will be prepared to offer more for less in return. Such influencers, will come across as more genuine about your product, because they don’t typically do many promotional posts but will also be more engaged with their smaller following. Engagement is the best indication for converting followers from bystanders to consumers; because an influencer is more likely to inspire their audience to consume a product if they have a close relationship.
Post regularly, try to post on a daily basis at similar times of the day. Try to find the right balance so that you don’t get unfollowed. Don’t over-post so much so that you are spamming your followers, and don’t under-post so that your followers forget who you are, or what you do.
Make your brand visible. Comment and like other posts and pages, you think your desired audience will be interacting with and following.
People typically follow brands they like on Instagram to personally connect, and to get a deeper understanding of the brand. Being engaging, interactive and responsive to any comments, questions or mentions will achieve just that.
Establishing your brand means more than just posting a few images. With Instagram you need to make sure you understand your brand, your audience, the platform and your goals.
Ensure that everything fits nicely and looks good. Your pictures reflect your brand and your message fits the medium.