Instagram is taking over the social media world. Whether you’re a baby boomer or a millennial, Instagram can be used to develop personal brands and network within your industry. Long gone are the days that LinkedIn was our only go-to place for professional networking
Instagram helps you sell your brand personality through photos and helps you find others in your industry. While LinkedIn allows you to tell your professional story through words, Instagram allows you to tell your professional and personal story in pictures.
Optimizing your profile
Optimizing your profile is the first step to developing your brand. Your profile is the first impression others will have of you, and we all know first impressions stick.
Would you eat in an empty restaurant? Well, your audience doesn’t want to stick around for an empty profile either. Before seeking an audience, you need to get your profile up to snuff. Upload 15 to 20 photos and let users know what they’ll get out of following you.
Hailey Devine’s profile is a great example of optimization. Her profile features a concise bio that quickly explains her page and images that show what her content is about.
Do you know the audience you’re trying to target? You need to do your research. Understanding who your audience is will help you create engaging content for them.
Look up Shake Shack’s Instagram account as an example of a brand that knows its audience. This account targets millennials and does it successfully.
Shake Shack took the traditional burger and made it trendy enough to make millennials want to rush to post pictures from their latest meal. This helps Shake Shack deliver its brand message of classic burgers with a classy touch.
One way to develop a clear message is to create a cohesive look on your profile. Successful accounts stick to similar photos with the same look and feel.
Shake Shack is again successful at accomplishing this. Its profile is full of quality images their customers have taken of their food. One look at this profile and you’ll be hungry.
And now that Instagram has recently allowed users to share photos of any size, you have more options. But remember you don’t have to post a picture just to post a picture.
Delivering a quality message also has everything to do with how you interact with your audience. Networking is about creating relationships. Your audience wants to hear from you, so be sure to answer questions, start conversations and let your audience know you’re there.
Hashtag rules all
One of the hidden secrets of finding your groupies on Instagram is using hashtags. To succeed, do more research.
Once you have created a list of hashtags and key words your audience is following and using, then you’re ready to post content. As you use these key words and hashtags, your audience will begin to find you. Not only that, but you will also be able to search and follow those hashtags to find your audience.
Once you’ve created your list of hashtags to use, begin following them to see who uses them frequently.
Well there you have it. Some hard and fast rules to help you achieve the personal brand you want on Instagram. Now what’s the first thing you’ll change to make your Instagram account shine?
Social Media Manager at Venture Icon Media
Public Relations Student at Brigham Young University
Graduating December 2016
When I’m not geeking out over the reach and engagement of my most recent infographic, you can find me spending time with my family outdoors or trying on every outfit at the mall.