If you are on Instagram for personal use the chances are high that you follow at least one of your favorite and trusted brands, if not many. Did you know that roughly 53% of Instagram users follow their favorite brand on the platform? (Source: Buffer) This not only makes Instagram a target rich environment for advertising, but also for building brand identity.
What is Brand Identity?
A company’s brand identity includes some or all of the following: logo, tagline, typeface, colors, graphic style, and tone of voice. When you think about a brand on social media, their identity is expanded to the types of content they choose to share, and the look and feel of those posts.
Instagram: The Land of Beautiful Imagery
It is no surprise that Instagram is such a popular platform when you consider its main focus: photos. In the feed, the photo is first and foremost, with captions and comments below it. And with the wide variety of filters that were available from its inception, Instagram has always focused on imagery, as well as editing it, altering it, and sharing a result that takes viewer’s breath away.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words. A Hashtag is Worth Millions.
When thinking about your company and brand on Instagram, it’s well worth it to take the time to strategize how you will convey your brand identity in your posts. One way to do this is to establish the hashtags that you will use consistently. Do your research and see which hashtags are currently being used in your industry and make sure to capitalize on those, as that is where the conversation is happening already. In addition, develop a couple unique hashtags for your brand, and, if used effectively, your fans and customers will eventually start using the tags themselves.
For example, Lexus naturally uses #lexus often in their posts. But they have more targeted hashtags like #lookatmylexus (to encourage Lexus owners to post photos of their cars), and #lexusIS and #lexusXCC for specific models. Establish hashtags around certain products, and around certain posts. If you are sharing a photo that shows your product being made behind the scenes and that is something you post about often, you could establish a hashtag that has your company name and ‘build’ with it, or ‘create’. Or it’s always fun to make up a punny hashtag that is a play on your brand name. As long as it’s funny or clever and not negative, it would be great to eventually see your customers using a hashtag like that when talking about your product.
Tone of ‘Voice’
Decide on and establish the voice that your company will use on your channel. Is it educational? Is it playful? Maybe your target audience is younger and you want to use the words they use; even made-up words and abbreviations in some cases. Whatever fits with your brand, stick with it and your channel will sound consistent and will be relevant to your audience.
Pattern Lovers: Rejoice
For die-hard social media marketers, planning the order and placement of Instagram posts so that a pattern emerges when you view the grid of the feed ensures you stand out from the crowd and helps build your brand image. Look at this example by @redhongyi - those are six separate posts, which form the overall image when seen in gridview.
Or this one, made by @cerebralmist, which strategically spaces out quotes between images creating an aesthetically pleasing gridview.
You can even go so far as to assign a color scheme to all of your posts, which could be your brand colors. Or, you can just do it for six or nine posts in a row, or just for a certain type of post so that it’s consistent with particular content. The possibilities are endless, and show your audience that you are creative and fun, all the while maintaining your brand identity.
So as you can see, highlighting your brand identity on Instagram can be accomplished in many different ways. Your company will come across as modern, consistent, creative, and relevant. Have fun!