You may know that we love discussing platforms and strategies that help people build and grow personal brands. We’ve talked about Twitter and LinkedIn already, but today, we want to shift the focus over to Instagram.
Instagram is a channel you may or may not have thought of using to build your personal brand, depending on your niche. Instagram users definitely skew a bit younger than the other channels we’ve talked about, however don’t let that factor make you ignore it completely. Instagram is still a powerful marketing channel, both for established businesses and growing personal brands.
- 1 billion people are actively using Instagram each month
- 68% of Millennials consume Stories on Instagram
- Most users spend about 53 minutes each day on the platform
(Source: Sprout Social)
With that said, Instagram isn’t a marketing channel that personal brands should ignore. Here are our five best tips for leveraging the platform effectively.
Engage with Others
Engagement on Instagram is important, just like it is on most any other social networking site. Commenting, liking, and sharing posts is crucial to growth on the platform, and it can help foster great connections with potential collaborators, clients, or friends. Some of our favorite ways to engage with other users includes:
- Tapping location tags to discover users that have visited your brick and mortar location, or to find users that live in your target area.
- Having a customer service strategy if you’re a business owner or brand — that means responding to every comment and checking inboxes regularly.
- Adding hashtags to every post. Instagram allows you to use up to 40 hashtags in a post, so use them strategically! Active, niche hashtags work best.
Trying out new platform features is a great way to become a friend of the good old Instagram algorithm. Instagram TV, or IGTV for short, is one of the newest features to come to Instagram, and it’s one that can help you take your personal branding message to new heights. This feature allows you to upload longer videos than the standard, and house them within a dedicated tab on your Instagram profile.
Not sure what types of videos to upload? These are some great places to start.
- Answer FAQs about yourself, your business, or your personal branding pillars
- Address pain points that your ideal audience has about your area of expertise
- Get in front of customer objections if you’re selling a product or service
Use Instagram Stories
Instagram Story consumption is growing every day, and it’s becoming one of the most popular ways for people to communicate with their audiences. The great thing about Stories is that they’re very low-fi: you don’t need fancy equipment or long, detailed scripts for this video format. The goal is to share quick content that isn’t overly produced to generate engagement.
Stories are perfect for sharing quick behind the scenes looks into your daily life, from quick tips you use to keep your career running, to more personal glimpses into the things you do for fun. Instagram Stories can also be used as virtual focus groups, thanks to the question, poll, and reaction slider stickers. Generate content ideas and get content ideas using these great Story additions.
Interested in hosting a webinar for your audience but not so into the bulky, expensive software you’ll need to run one? Go live on Instagram instead! Instagram Live video allows you to alert your followers when you’re broadcasting, communicate with them via a chat box, and even present slides or host another guest.
Post Great Photos
Instagram has a ton of fun new features these days, but at the end of the day, you still have to have a stylized, cohesive feed in order to grow a following on the platform. Develop brand pillars that help you determine what types of content to post, and use those content ideas to capture great photos with a cohesive look and feel. Using an editing app will help ensure your photos have a similar look while still maintaining a creative, unique feel.
Here are a few editing apps we love:
And of course, we can’t end this post without talking about the tool that goes perfectly hand in hand with Instagram, or any other personal branding tool that you’re using. Our app is called Marple, and it allows you to track search results for your name, your business name, a phrase, or an email address. We’ll let you know when new search results pop up about that search term through a notification. The great thing is, we don’t just search regular Google search results. We also search for image search results and video search results. Marple is a great way to help you monitor your reputation, and make sure that no one’s stealing your Instagram photos and using them in a deceptive way.