Are you on Instagram for business? Part of your Instagram strategy is to determine the look and feel of your profile. You want to create a cohesive and consistent visual experience for your community that enhances your brand and what it has to offer. This can be challenging because it requires a keen eye and a little planning ahead on your part, but here are 9 tips to help you create the best possible Instagram feed for your brand.
- Set your Instagram goals: Why are you even on Instagram? Do you want to create a community of engaged followers? Do you want to sell products? Do you want to educate your followers? The reasons you are on Instagram will drive you to create certain aesthetics on your feed.
- Find inspiration from other brands and influencers: There are a number of brands who are killing it on Instagram. If others have found the magic formula, it’s ok to get inspired by them for your own account. If it isn’t brands, make sure you are connecting with and following some of your favourite influencers. Instagram influencers have such strong aesthetics that you can tell who they are immediately.
- Get inspired by your surroundings: You don’t want to be something you’re not. For example, if you don’t have a dedicated office and you choose to work in coffee shops, co-working spaces, and at home, you should create an aesthetic that mirrors that. Look out the window, check out the people around you, and try to convey the general feel of your everyday brand through the photos you post on Instagram. It’s easier to work with what you know.
- Define your look: Set guidelines for yourself related to the filters you use to edit your images, fonts used for overlays, your colour palette (also known as colour story), shooting perspective, etc. Like you put together your brand guidelines in the beginning to create consistency across channels, you create these guidelines (sometimes called presets) to create consistency on your Instagram feed.
- Be flexible: While it’s good to have guidelines to follow, make sure you aren’t being TOO rigid. Remember, there is a beauty to a little spontaneity. Social media is about being social and you need to be driven by feel as much as you are driven by the details.
- Plan ahead: Social media should feel spontaneous, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit down each day to think about what to post. You need to think about the bigger picture and create a content strategy that will drive your activity each day. If you plan at least a week ahead with your posts, you can focus on engaging directly with your followers more organically each day.
- Create a library of images: This is about more than just planning ahead, it’s about working smarter, not harder. You should consider creating a library of images you can choose from. Most people do this to get images to use in marketing materials and on their website. But you have to think beyond those channels and apply the same process to your social media. If you put together a month’s worth of images in one photo shoot, you can easily plan out your colour story by coordinating outfit changes, backgrounds, lighting, etc.
- Use Instagram stories for spontaneous moments: Instagram stories provide a unique opportunity to showcase the day-to-day life of your brand as well as live events and your product/service offerings. Be sure to create highlights of your best Instagram stories to keep that content living on your profile permanently.
- Invest in photography: Consider hiring a professional photographer to help you get the look and feel you want for your Instagram feed. Taking photos for social media might seem easy – your cousin’s son’s friend does it all the time! But when it comes to carefully curating your brand’s social media, you want to take extra care to present a cohesive look that helps to connect people to your brand in a meaningful way.
Creating the perfect Instagram feed for your brand profile can be challenging, but if you approach it in the right way you can have a lot of fun with it.
Candace Huntly is Founding Partner at SongBird Marketing Communications, an award-winning agency working to take organizational and individual brands to the next level. With a passion for all things related to creativity and strategy, she specializes in business intelligence, marketing & branding, content strategy & development, media & influencer relations, and social media. Basically, if you need to put your brand, product, or cause in the public eye, she will find a way to do it, while making the approach unique to you.
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A version of this article was originally posted to the SongBird Marketing Communications blog.