Some years ago, I had discussions with a client interested in having an account on Instagram, a popular social media network.
Mind you, the client already has a thriving community on Facebook that was attracting lots of user-generated content. They also exist on X (Twitter) and LinkedIn.
So the question now is: Do they “need” to be on Instagram?
In this post, I’m not going into the benefits of your brand is on Instagram. That’s an article for another day.
Instead, I will consider some reasons your brand does not need Instagram. But these are my suggestions. And you’re free to disagree (please do so in the comment section below).
The nature of my job requires that I have an in-depth knowledge of all the essential social networks out there.
I often experiment with existing and emerging social media platforms to see their potential for my clients.
This research is one reason that led me in the past to explore social networks like MySpace.
But once I’ve finished my research, I shut down these accounts if I don’t see any tangible benefits. Shutting these accounts down is to channel my time and resources elsewhere.
Let’s see some reasons I would suggest that your brand need not be on the Instagram social media network.
Table of Contents
Marketing Tips for Your Brand on Instagram
What is Instagram?
Instagram is a popular free photo-sharing app that lets you connect with brands, celebrities, thought leaders and friends. It is a social media platform that allows users to edit and upload photos and short videos through a mobile app. Users can add a caption to each of their posts and use hashtags.
According to Statista, a forecast from October 2020 estimates that there will be nearly 1.2 billion Instagram users worldwide in 2023.
What Is a Brand on Instagram? How Do You Define a Brand on Instagram?
Instagram defines branded content as “a creator or publisher’s content that features or is influenced by a business partner for an exchange of value (for example, where the business partner has paid the creator or publisher).”
A brand is more than just a logo, profile photo or business name. Your company’s brand is how your audience views you and not the other way around. Only when you can use your social media profiles to establish authentic connections with your target audience can you be considered a brand. Brands are created when an individual or organisation establishes genuine emotional connections with their target audiences.
Successful thought leaders, top influencers, corporate and personal brands on Instagram invest tons of time and energy in developing their brand on Instagram and other social media platforms.
How Do You Make an Instagram Brand? i.e. How to Build a Brand on Instagram?
The Instagram platform can help your business grow a loyal audience that develops and provides you with highly targeted visual marketing opportunities. To build a brand on Instagram, you start researching the niche you want to compete to determine your core brand message for your social media post.
Identifying the essence of your brand’s personality is crucial to building a brand on Instagram and other internet sites. You will find this step easier the more familiar you are with your brand. For internet users or people on Instagram to be drawn into your world, you must first understand who you are and where you came from.
Consider your brand’s personality when determining how it should look on social media accounts or any social media content. Which values do you associate with your brand? What does your brand mean to your customers, employees, and other stakeholders? How would active users on Instagram describe your personality: bold, playful, rugged, or adventurous?
You build your brand on your values. They guide your sense of purpose and direction. They guide your life choices. You can think of your values as the emotional currency of your life. These core principles define your brand. For small businesses, bold claims are unnecessary. Do not use the idealised version of your business as a brand value. Concentrate instead on what you’re great at!
Make a brand mood board and use it to guide your brand building on Instagram. A branding mood board is a collection of visual assets—whether that’s colours, images, text, photos, or any other kind of visual inspiration—that encompasses who you are. Look for pictures and materials that convey brand emotions and communicate brand identity, i.e., bravery, strength, leadership, energy, serenity, playfulness and more. You can go old school and make it a physical mood board, or you can go digital and create a mood board using online tools like Pinterest. Using Pinterest will enable you to scour the internet for inspiring visuals and organise them into boards. With Canva, you can pull your best branding visuals and assemble them into a single, powerful mood board.
How Do You Measure Brand Performance on Instagram?
There are several analytics tools that you can use in measuring any of the following metrics to gauge your performance on Instagram. You will need to use specialist Instagram analytics tools to get data on the following metrics in some instances.
- Follower growth, i.e. the number of followers.
- Quality of followers.
- The number of likes.
- The number of positive comments.
- The number of shout outs and mentions.
- Branded #hashtags.
- The number of reposts.
- Engagement ratios.
- Growth rates.
- Clicks on URL.
- Reach, i.e. how many people are seeing your content.
- Referral traffic, i.e. impact on your website traffic.
- Instagram Stories metrics.
- Direct messages
If Instagram is essential to your marketing strategy, then you need to measure your performance using Instagram analytics tools like:
- Instagram Insights
- Sprout Social
- Creator Studio
- Hootsuite Analytics
- Quintly, etc
It’s not just about posting content all willy nilly. Your team can create the content in-house, or you can appeal to your followers to post their content (i.e. user-generated content) and tag you.
How Do You Create a Branded Post on Instagram?
Have you noticed posts on Instagram by some business profiles that say “Paid Partnership with.”? These posts are branded content.
If a company partner with an influencer and pays that influencer a set fee to post a specific number of Instagram posts in exchange for money, they are “Branded partners”. The influencer would post the content on Instagram, listing the company as the partner via Branded Content.
Instagram policies “Require creators and publishers to tag business partners in their branded content posts when there’s an exchange of value between a creator or publisher and a business partner.” This is meant to provide transparency when influencers and creators post content they’ve been compensated for.
Branded content isn’t the same as an ad and doesn’t indicate that any payment has been made to Instagram to promote that post.
Once you’ve tagged a branded content partner, you’ll no longer have the option to automatically post your Instagram post to Facebook or other sites.
If you’ve been tagged as an Instagram Branded Content partner, you’ll receive a notification on Instagram. If you’ve been tagged as the branded partner in a post on Instagram, you need to use Facebook Brand Collabs Manager to view any post insights.
- What’s your goal for Instagram?
- Do you want to get additional followers on another social network?
- Are you looking to drive traffic to your website or blog?
- Are you looking to create an awareness of your brand on social media?
- What type of content will you publish on Instagram?
- Will you be cross-promoting content from your other social networks?
- Do you have the time and resources to create new and unprecedented content on Instagram?
- Are you going to rely on user-generated content from your target audience?
- Will you curate other people’s content?
- How will you measure your performance on Instagram?
- What will be your KPI (Key Performance Indicators)?
- Do you have the time and resources to invest in starting and growing a new online community?
- Will you use features like Instagram Stories, Instagram Questions and so on?
- Do you have a branded hashtag that you will use to promote your visual content on the platform?
- Do your followers know the hashtag they will use when creating user-generated content for your brand?
Would you please spend some time pondering these questions? If you can develop clear-cut goals for your corporate presence on Instagram and what social media strategy you will employ, then that’s a good start. If not, then maybe your brand is not meant for Instagram.
Fashion, food, entertainment, and media. These industries always have something new to discuss.
They are never at a loss as having content to post to their Instagram account. That’s why brands in the above industries use the various features on the platform like Instagram Story to promote their products.
Like Facebook and other comparable social networks, Instagram has its uniqueness. Instagram users seek new content from the brands and any hashtag they follow.
If your brand or products do not relate to any of the above industries, you probably will not do well on Instagram social media network. You may need to look for another platform for your social media marketing.
But suppose you still insist on using this social media channel. In that case, you need to exercise caution or at least have an excellent strategy before you jump on the Instagram bandwagon to promote your products.
Social media marketing is not a game. And the way you present your brand on social media sites can have far-reaching consequences for organisations.
As an organisation, you’re responsible for the social media presence of your staff, management and different stakeholders within and outside the organisation.
If yours is a personal brand and you want to use Instagram to attract active users and create awareness, no problem.
But if yours is a corporate/business brand, you need to exercise additional caution when using it for your social media marketing.
Instagram is an excellent social media network for most businesses to find active users and potential customers. You need to be creative when creating content for this platform as part of your social media marketing efforts.
Schedule a meeting to explore growing your business online using Instagram or other social media platforms.
- 4 Ways Instagram Could Leave You Needing a Lawyer
- How to Leverage Instagram Questions for Brand Marketing
- 5 Tips on How to Target Genuine Followers on Social Media
- Should You Post the Same Content to All Social Networks?
- The Role of Social Media in Decision Making
- How to Avoid Being Scammed by So-called Social Media Influencers
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