INSTAGRAM FOR PERSONAL BRANDING
I understand all those who decide to keep Instagram closed and inaccessible to the general public. For those people, this is a really a private space for friends and family where they can freely share their personal experiences without the world watching their each and single move.
However, Instagram does have the option to make the profile public and even the option to use it for business with an Instagram business profile.
I think it is difficult to run 2 Instagram accounts at the same time, so a separation into a private and business account is probably out of question.
So opening your account to the general public may be the solution for you. You will have to be careful with what you are posting, however, an open Instagram account will generate more followers over time as access is unrestricted.
Furthermore, Instagram is a great tool to give your personal brand a human touch, some depth, and authenticity. It could be the counterpart to your professional LinkedIn profile.
It’s 2018 and Instagram is the best springboard for your personal branding strategy.
The photo-sharing app has grown into a powerful platform used by 500 daily active users. It hasn’t lost it’s very visual nature, but, in time, it added a whole new set of features that make the app a no-brainer for every personal branding project.
Instagram allows you to curate your feed, tell your story, give a sneak peek at your behind the scenes, connect and interact with your audience. The options are endless, but with great potential comes great competition and standing out on Instagram is not easy. It takes effort and knowledge of the platform.
This is why we decided to write this post. We wanted to highlight the things you must take care of and give you best shot at boosting your personal branding through Instagram.
Your Instagram Profile
Let’s start with the basics. You have no chances of succeeding on Instagram is your profile is not set up correctly.
- Use a clean, professional and classy username as your Instagram handle. You are trying to push your personal brand; you need to be as precise as possible. People need to know it’s you and they need to be able to remember your name. Avoid elaborate, abstract names. They don’t look as good, and they don’t feel professional.
- Use a profile pic that shows your face clearly, that’s in-line with your brand, and that looks professional. Online the first impression counts a lot, and this is your time to shine. Ideally, find a professional photographer in your area and get a photoshoot done.
- Use your bio to tell people what you do and why they should follow you. The key here is to strike a perfect balance between having a compact bio and managing to say everything you do.
- Use the link to send people to your site. This is the only place on Instagram where links are allowed. Make good use of it and send people to a relevant page.
Check out our Case Studies for best practices
Your Instagram Content
Once you’ve fine-tuned your profile, you need to start thinking about the content you are going to post. Your feed needs to look professional, in line with what you are trying to say and give value to your audience.
- Take some time understanding what your audience is after. The kind of content you put out needs to resonate with your followers and give them some sort of value back.
- Use the description to tell the story of that pic. Experiment with longer captions. If the audience likes consuming your content, they’ll spend more time on it and come back for more.
- Keep the look of your feed consistent. Stick to your branding guidelines and try to make your feed look homogeneous. Instagram offers a vast selection of filters and editing tools, but if you really want to stand out, you can use third-party apps like VSCO.
Instagram Extra Features
A good Instagram profile isn’t just a great-looking feed. The platform offers much more, and if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you need to use it to its full potential.
- Publish Stories daily. This is one of the most successful features of the app, and it allows you to take quick snaps, short videos or post simple quotes. They will last for 24 hours, and they are the best way to tell your real story and show some behind the scenes action.
- Curate some featured Stories. If you are proud of a batch of Stories and you want to make them available to your followers for more than 24 hours, you can save them as featured collections. They will sit on your profile, just under your bio, and they are just an extra way to hook people in.
- Plan some live sessions for your audience. This is a great way to connect with people and engage on an entirely different level. Your followers will get a notification when your broadcast starts, and they will be able to see you and communicate with you in real time.
Reach out via Instagram
The key to growing your presence on Instagram is getting your content in front of a potential audience that’s not following you, yet. You want to put your story in front of as many eyeballs as possible.
- Use hashtags strategically. Pick some relevant hashtags and add them to your descriptions. Instagram allows 30 hashtags per post, but if you don’t want to be perceived as “too spammy”, settle on 15/20. Choose a mix of competitive and more niche hashtags; this will give you a better shot of gaining traction and exposure.
- Tag relevant pages on your pic. Research other profiles that might be interested in liking or sharing your pic. Piggy-back other profile’s audiences to grow yours.
- Check the featured posts on hashtags relevant to your niche and interact with the featured posts. Like and comment on them to put yourself on the map. Remember, though, if you use this approach, you’ll need to provide real value. Don’t spam Instagram with comments filled with emojis. They won’t count.
- Use the Location tag on your stories. There are chances of your picture getting featured on that location specific-story. This will give you an immense reach boost in that specific location.
Instagram: Personal vs Business Profile
Now you are ready to go. You have grasped the main concepts, created some stunning content and set up an impeccable profile. Your audience is growing, but you feel you could do with more.
You can do this switching your account to be a Business Account. This is a free and reversible transition that gives you a bunch of advantages.
- You will have in-depth analytics that will help you understanding and grow your profile.
- You will be able to run ads on your Instagram page and reach an enormous amount of targeted users.
- You will be able to add some nice call to actions on your profile, for example, you can have a call or shop button.
Instagram is the best personal branding platform out there at the moment. It’s wildly successful, still growing and offers an incredible array of opportunities to tell your story.
The key to succeed on Instagram is being professional and genuine. Tell your story in the clearest way possible. Connect and spread the message using all the tools available, consistently every single day.