Why is it that nowadays everyone seems to be obsessed with creating their own personal brand?
That’s a bit of a rhetorical question, as I’m sure we all know the answer is social media.
Social media websites– including Instagram– have made the average consumer more brand-aware than ever. Ideological Brand reports that 83% of customers factor in brand values when making a purchase.
How you present your brand online can make or break your business., and that’s where Instagram steps in. The photo-sharing app is the perfect place for you to establish your brand’s image. Instagram, at its core, is all about expressing a visual image.
An image can be both the physical photo or video you’re sharing, and the message or “image” you’re presenting to your audience.
Here’s the catch, Instagram is much more than clicking a little “send” button and watching your image fly out into the world. How you maneuver the app can help build a stronger relationship with your customers.
Here are four do’s and don’ts to help you become an Instagram marketing master!
Do: Know Your Businesses Demographic
This tip may seem obvious on the surface, but a lot goes into knowing your online brand.
Maybe you have a clear idea of the general feel and aesthetic of your companies brand. But– have you done your research into what your demographics are? And what are those demographics looking for? It could be that you’re about the create an online brand that doesn’t resonate with the cliental you’re trying to reach.
If you’re advertising to an older audience, your posts’ font size must be larger than the default font.
Millennials believe that they know when a brand is “phoney” and desire a more genuine online experience.
Generation Z values experience over physical products.
Each demographic has unique online needs. Depending on who you are advertising to, your Instagram’s look and feel will drastically change.
When creating your Instagram brand, it’s essential to understand exactly what your demographic desires in a company. Each generation defines its beliefs and interests differently; your brand should know how its demographic thinks, feels and perceives when using Instagram.
Do your due diligence and figure out exactly what your target demographic is looking for in a company or brand.
Need more help understanding your target demographic? No sweat! Connect to a marketing agency that can help you get into the nitty-gritty of establishing an Instagram brand.
Don’t: Use Too Many Hashtags
Just because you can use up to thirty hashtags on a post doesn’t mean you should.
Instagram is all about the visuals. The reality is that #a #ton #of #hashtags #pushed #together #looks #clunky.
You don’t want to make your posts look unorganized or overcrowded. A crazy amount of hashtags can turn off even the most loyal of customers. Limit yourself to 1-4 hashtags, but the fewer hashtags you use, the better.
That’s not to say that hashtags are bad for business.
A strategically used hashtag can help drive traffic towards your Instagram page. Event hashtags can help customers quickly identify and spread information on any upcoming events you may have.
You can also hop on the bandwagon of any popular hashtags that may be trending. If you see a popular meme that’s trending with a hashtag, you can try to find a way to relate it to your business. Maybe you can make a funny meme of your brand using a trend or trending hashtag.
The key to hashtags isn’t quantity; it’s quality. There is no point in throwing out a ton of useless hashtags into the endless internet void. Use your hashtags with intent!
Do: Build Anticipation Around Your Brand
Instagram is a fantastic platform to get your customers excited about your brand.
If you have a new product launching soon or an event around the corner, you can use Instagram to get your audience informed and excited.
The key to building hype is not to reveal too much information. You want your customer’s interest to be peaked, but blowing a surprise can take the fun out of building anticipation. You can allude to what you might be releasing to capture curiosity.
For example, if you’re selling makeup, you can reveal that you have a new lipstick coming out without showing off the colour. Now your audience is actively waiting for more information.
Another way to create anticipation is to inform your customers that a new product or event is dropping on a specific date. If you can leave your audience in suspense for a short amount of time, it will create a buzz around the undisclosed surprise.
Buzz is great for your business, and curiosity is an excellent method to get your audience to interact with your brand without making it feel unnatural or forced.
Don’t: Neglect Captions
Your caption is arguably just as meaningful as the photo or video posted on your Instagram page.
Most of the tips for making a great caption relate to the very first point made in this article: Know your business’s demographic. Some audiences are looking for you to get right to the point. There’s no need for you to pepper jokes or witty one-liners into your captions. In these situations, all you need to provide in your caption is direct and immediate information.
Other demographics may be looking for a more personable experience. If this sounds like your customer base, feel free to get silly with your audience. Post a few memes and crack jokes in your captions. Some customers want their brands to feel friendly and in tune with their likes and interests.
It is up to your judgement to decide how you want to approach captions. Use every caption as an opportunity to advance the relationship between your business and your customer. What type of relationship you want to have with your audience is entirely up to your branding team.
Do: Use Instagram Stories
Instagram stories are a fantastic way to grab your audience’s attention quickly. Stories were created to be rapidly consumed and used as a tool by brands to remind customers about products or experiences you offer.
On Instagram stories, you can post a simple photo advertising your brand, or you can engage your audience further through stickers or emojis. Instagram has several custom emojis you can use to make your post or video pop out.
Encourage your audience to connect with your brand by including a poll. Polls allow your customers to express their dislikes and likes about your brand constructively and intuitively.
You can also use polls to ask silly or fun questions. If it fits into your brand’s image, let loose! Many different demographics want to feel connected to the brands they support.
It’s time to find your inner creativity!
You can also pay Instagram to promote stories on potential customer’s feeds. Use stories to broaden your audience, and introduce brand new customers to your business. Click here to learn more about how you can create your first Instagram story advertisement!
Don’t: Post About Your Brand Too Often
Nothing screams “I’m an Instagram rookie” like posting too many times in one day.
Why? To put it plainly, it’s a nuisance to your audience. It doesn’t matter if you have created the best, most engaging ad on planet earth; if you post it too many times in a row, your audience will get annoyed.
Imagine your friend telling you a great story. The first time, you loved it! Now picture them telling you the same story five minutes later. And then another five minutes later… Over and over and over again. You’re going to get fed up pretty fast, and the last thing you want from your brand is for it to make people annoyed.
You should constantly be making new posts and eye-popping content. Yes, you read that right. Every post should be different. Upcycling posts is an Instagram death wish. Your audience should be wondering what’s next and excited to see your posts.
A basic rule of thumb to follow is to post 1-3 times a day. Social buddy reports that most major brands post “…On average of 1.5 times per day, so if you aim to follow the same rule, you should do well.”
Do: Try To Create A Similar Look
This ties into the earlier point on creating an aesthetic.
If your Instagram profile has too much going on, it may confuse your audience. Try and define your brand with a distinct look; you shouldn’t mix and match types of posts.
If your business is all about memes and goofy content, try and stick with that. Or, you may want to stick with a clean, more aesthetically pleasing layout. No matter what type of content you chose to post, it should be relatively consistent.
Take a look at these different Instagram feeds for some ideas!
You don’t want your customers to follow you, thinking they are getting a specific type of content and then have you switch it up.
If you want to change your Instagram’s brand or layout, think about letting your audience know with a post explaining why your business is rebranding and what type of content you will now be producing. Implementing this tactic will ensure that none of your followers are left in the dark or confused when your business rebrands.
Don’t: Forget Your Analytics
Instagram analytics is a fantastic tool for brands. Using analytics, you can quickly learn what types of posts are getting the most attention.
To check out your analytics, go to your profile a click on the mini bar graph beside your profile name.
After you’ve entered your analytics, you can garner helpful information on your Instagram page, including:
- Growth Rate
- Average likes per post
- How many times you post a week
- When your customers are most active online
- How to optimize your content
You can easily see why having access to this information is any marketer’s dream. You can also use analytics to see how users scroll past your Instagram stories.
Thanks for reading, and happy branding!