Building Your Brand with Instagram
July 6th, 2015 Matt McCue

The possibilities and ways that you can build your brand recognition on Instagram are only limited by your creativity.

Building your brand takes time and dedication in order to grow the relationships that connect your followers to your company. But if done correctly, it will increase your ROI exponentially.


Photo Credit: Brian Boucheron

Brand recognition is about fostering two-way relationships that are built upon a combination of trust and respect. Your followers have to be able to trust and respect your organization as much as you trust and respect them. When that has been established, they’ll be more likely to recommend your products and services to their friends and family.

One of the ways that you can build these relationships is with Instagram, the video- and photo-sharing company that Facebook purchased in April, 2012 for $1Billion. Using Instagram to share videos and photos of your company, you’re able to create an identity of your brand that can resonate with your ideal client.

There are a few ways that you can harness the power of Instagram to promote your brand, share photos that express your mission statement, and find new followers. While this article isn’t a complete guide to using Instagram for your business, it should give you tips and ideas to constructing your own market strategy through Instagram.


Using #Hastags on Instagram


Using hashtags (a word or phrase starting with #) in Instagram (also in Twitter and Facebook) allows your posts to be found by people searching for content. A hashtag aggregates posts with the same keywords or phrases used in the message. Properly using hashtags will increase the exposure of your posts so that more people can find your content when searching within Instagram.

When uploading posts to Instagram, it’s always recommended to use relevant keywords as hashtags in the message. Examples of hashtags to use include:

  • location
  • services or products displayed
  • your company name
  • your supplier’s name (if their products are displayed)
  • an organization that you or your clients belong to

When you correctly use hashtags with your posts, it’s easier for people to find your posts, which should increase the amount of followers for your account.


Getting Your Followers To Post with Your Hashtag


One of the most impactful ways to increase your brand’s recognition and building trust in potential clients is to get your satisfied clients to post photos of them using your products or services, along with a designated hashtag that you or your social media manager chose.

A hashtag should be something that separates you from other companies with similar names, important to do when you consider that Instagram is a global phenomenon that anyone can use.

Depending on your business, you may have to get creative with how you promote the hashtag for the clients to use, but a few examples include:

  • on receipts
  • in thank-you cards
  • on your Facebook page
  • in-store signage (near the register, in change-rooms, in high traffic areas)
  • in email promotions

When your clients post photos of themselves using your products or services, always share the images across your social media network so that others can see that you have a community of satisfied customers. This will act as a third-party referral or review system that can build trust in the people who are following you accounts, but have yet to convert to clients.


Summary

There are lots of other ways that you can use Instagram to build a following and your brand on Instagram, including using it to build microsites for your products, like how IKEA recently did.

You can also use it to introduce team members, show behind the scenes action, or promote new product launches. The possibilities are only limited by your creativity.

Think of other creative ways that you can promote your products and services, and you’ll be sure to build a following of loyal fans that will gladly share your posts with their followers.


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