May 15, 2018

The Basics of Instagram Marketing

This year, Instagram is approaching 1 billion active monthly users. With a reach like that, it's no wonder that companies are flocking to Instagram for organic marketing at a relatively low, and extremely customizable cost investment.

Tips for Personal Branding with Social Media

But I'm not here to talk about why your business should make an Instagram page yesterday, or how you can use Instagram to promote your business. I, who joined Instagram a solid two or three years after its inception (and who still hasn't joined Snapchat/plans to miss that over-filtered boat entirely), am here to fill you in on the basics of how to get Instagram working for your personal branding goals.


Leveraging Instagram to Leverage Yourself


For starters, why should you be on Instagram? After all, we're all too attached to our phones these days and why download one more app to sap your energy and will to live phone battery? 

Social Media Marketing Basics

Simple. Unless you're an heiress or a monk, you rely on your reputation in some way or another to fund your existence. In today's world, a lot of that reputation is not only discovered, but also generated and maintained, online.

Are you a performance artist of some sort? Generating a social media following can help you attract the attention of venues, casting directors, etc. to book you for your work.

Are you an artist? Social media can help get your art in front of potential buyers.

Are you a talking head? Social media can help you establish yourself as an expert in your field?

Are you a recent graduate? Social media can help you begin to develop a portfolio and a network of contacts.

It goes on and on!

Best of all, unlike traditional newspaper, radio, or television advertising, using Instagram for personal branding can be anywhere from low cost to free and it's advertisement that audiences intentionally seek out, raising the odds of engagement. 

The takeaway? Get on Instagram!

Instagram Basics


This post could be a novel if I were to go into everything you ought to know for an excellent, well-rounded Instagram strategy. In fact, such books exist - as do paid services for social media consultants who will help you out with all of that. Instead of writing a novel or quoting you a fee for developing your Instagram presence, I'm just going to give you the quick and dirty basics.

1. Pick a theme.


Don't be scattered. You know who has a short attention span? All of us. Especially when we're scrolling through our feeds and hoping that the E train stops taking f*?!$@! forever to arrive. Be focused and make it easy for us, your potential followers, to decide if we're interested in following you or not.

Inbound Marketing Tips

If you're a personal trainer trying to build a client base, your feed probably shouldn't be full of photos of your cat and/or baby, no matter how cute they are. Unless that baby is on your hip and you're showing off your impressive post-partum abs, or if you're deadlifting your very fat cat. 
If you're a food blogger promoting your blog through your Instagram page, we probably don't need a string of snarky political memes or random #OOTD posts, even if your outfit is totally ~~on fleek~~. 

Know what you're about. Make sure your audience knows it, too. 


2. Be consistent.


If you post five times in one day and then don't post again for seven months, guess how much of a loyal following you're going to have? Find a posting schedule you can more or less stick to or, at the very least, make sure you post often enough for your followers to remember that you exist. Once a week or so should be the bare minimum.


3. Engage, engage, engage.


Unless you're Queen Bey, you're going to need to interact with your followers if you want to keep them loyal and interested. Especially for new Instagrammers who don't have an established following or general celebrity to lean on, the key is to create and/or join a community. Most people aren't going to fan girl over a random new microblogger, so don't talk at people, have a conversation. 

Become interesting to others by showing interest in others.

Social Media Marketing Rules of Engagement

Want likes? Like their posts, too. Want comments? Comment on their posts, too.

So there you have it - the basics! Dress them up, dress them down, add detail, do research - it still boils down to these simple. basic guidelines. Happy branding!


What are your top Instagram tips?


Do you have an Instagram posting schedule?

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