An Overview of Instagram Brand building
There is no doubt that Instagram is currently the most popular form of social media. On Facebook, only 32% of users engage with brands on a regular basis. When it comes to Instagram, on the other hand, 68% of users regularly engage with brands.
That’s more than double the opportunity.
And since it’s so widely used, it gives people the opportunity to have a huge access direct to their market, whether they are an individual or business entity. Social media has worked its way into the professional industry as well, becoming a place where professions such as dentists, doctors, dermatologists, artists and even those in real estate can bridge a gap between themselves and the customer. Since this source is free to use, it’s not hard to see why.
Building a strong brand on Instagram isn’t only important for your business, but it is essential for attracting the right audience, AKA your future customers. It has also been around for long enough now that you could say the market is saturated with those trying to stick their head above the parapet. And since you only have a few seconds to make a great first impression when a new visitor lands on your Instagram profile, it’s important you make it count.
There are many online sources that can help you navigate the Instagram algorithm in order to maximise exposure, and you can also do this yourself. But either way, it’s important to realise this is not a rapid solution. Instagram wants you to use the app, engage with others and be active. Once you gain traction, the synergistic effect of having many followers engage with you can then become self-sufficient and the ball will keep rolling ever more rapidly.
Getting to that stage is the hard part.
Building an Audience
When I first started using Instagram, I had a personal page. I later went on to create a professional page where I could keep my private life separate. Looking back, I would have done things differently. Combining the two accounts maximises exposure and activity rather than spreading yourself across two profiles. Let’s face it, this requires A LOT of time out of our day and it must be consistent in order for it to be effective and keep your engagement high.
As my work life was already fairly busy, I didn’t need to add two accounts to manage. Not only this, but being authentic and personal allows you to resonate more with your followers and helps build a rapport with them before you have even met them. If people know they can communicate directly with you then they are more likely to get in touch, and they will already know what you are like based on your posts and stories. This is all great, and posting regularly will help. But it’s a slow process. Utilising someone else’s exposure to boost your own can be massively beneficial.
I reached out to a few people I knew who had large followings and decided to collaborate with them. Collaborations can be a little bit hit or miss. In the early stages, I was dishing out free treatment to those with massive followings for some exposure. Whilst it did work for giving my account exposure, not many actual treatments came out of it. In the end, you’re left giving out free treatment to free treatment from influencer to influencer all the while building good street credit but not converting into sales. I would have a post or two by some reality show star with over 1 million followers and at the time I thought I was doing the right thing. But then you realise, the majority of those followers are spread across the entire UK and thus many of them won’t ever be in a position to get in touch with you.
It’s all fine and well gaining the notoriety, but a local presence is far more effective and organic, with fewer followers that engage more, depending on the nature of your business.
Turning Your Audience into Conversions
If you do all of this right, the next challenge is how to deal with the messages and enquiries.
For the large part you should handle this yourself as your followers are generally trying to contact you directly. However, if things really take off, you won’t have the time to keep up with this. You can pay managing companies to dish out generic replies, but if you don’t want to do this then all you have to do is make things easy for the follower! The current generation are hard wired for things to be convenient, quick and easy. Adding simple things like a ‘call’ or ‘email’ button or having a landing page that lets them directly connect with your business is imperative. Whether this is to liaise directly with your clinics for bookings (as is in my case) or to a website where they can purchase whatever it is you’re selling. Make things easy!
Don’t be disheartened when things don’t immediately take off. This does require time, planning and most importantly, consistency.
The main thing you need to have is a strong brand identity. If people don’t really know what you do or what your goal is then they tend to lose interest. Make sure you know yourself what your goal is and then make it clear on your page if you wish to make this successful. Building a personal brand on Instagram is no easy task. You need to consistently publish stellar content that can engage your audience and captivate their imagination.
Communicate with your audience regularly to strengthen your relationships with them. Come up with a solid bio and add a link to your website or blog.
Make sure that your profile picture complements what’s stated in the bio.
Lastly, partner with reputable brands to improve your brand even further.