Social media, with its incredible capacity to spread ideas, inspiration and information, has become an integral tool for the success of many brands and businesses. While increasing one’s social media presence is important in building a brand image, it’s just as important to know how to effectively leverage different social media features. In this article, we are highlighting some Instagram-friendly tools that can aid you or your brand/business in gaining traction on the platform.
Planning your Instagram Feed
Apps: Preview or Planoly
To better communicate your brand image or your business ideas, it is helpful to have a consistent Instagram feed-- one that is consistent in terms of the colors and editing style. Apps like Preview and Planoly can help you visually lay out your Instagram feed, ahead of posting on Instagram. With apps such as these, you can see if each new post you add will flow with your feed’s aesthetic. Particularly with Planoly, you can pre-schedule posts to go live on Instagram-- this feature proves especially useful to draft captions ahead of time too!
Apps: Adobe Lightroom and VSCO
Photo-editing is a huge aspect of Instagram culture, adding character to your feed. While there are numerous apps you can use to edit, Adobe Lightroom and VSCO are perfect apps for making basic edits. Both apps have a variety of functions, including color-adjustment, vignette, temperature, exposure, and dehazing functions, which help to enhance your photos. Adobe Lightroom, in particular, is for the more advanced editor-- through this app, you can create your own filters that are personalized and can be customized to fit the aesthetic of your feed for your followers to get a better feel of your brand.
Growing your Instagram Platform
Tools: Hashtags & the Instagram Location Feature
For many, the process of growing an Instagram platform is a lengthy one. However, there are in-built features on Instagram that aid in this process. Using hashtags in the captions of your posts and in your Instagram stories categorizes these posts into specific niches on Instagram. Users who are interested in various niches often follow related hashtags and will therefore have a greater chance of finding your account. Another tool on Instagram is the Location tool. For all posts, you have the option of including the location an image was taken in. Other users searching for images in/around your location will have a better chance of discovering your account.
Tools: Other users in your niche
Another way to grow your brand image and platform is by collaborating with other Instagram users. The first step would be to follow other users in your Instagram niche (for example, if you are an entrepreneur who has just started your Instagram account, find and follow other smaller entrepreneurs in your field of interest (who aren’t direct competitors). You can send a friendly direct message through Instagram, making it even easier to connect with users who share the same interests as you. After connecting with them, you can collaborate on content with them. For example, if you both run a business, you can collaborate on an Instagram campaign that highlights the unique factors of each of your businesses. You could also use the Instagram tag feature in the campaign, giving followers direct access to each of your accounts.
In the end, navigating and understanding the social media field is very individualistic-- much of what you learn about social media is from what you personally observe. Always be looking for accounts and posts that motivate you to follow, share and like to draw inspiration from. Always think about your mission, style and values which will help inspire a consistent Instagram identity, beginning the journey toward your social media goals. As you continue to build your platform on social media, you will gain more clarity on your preferences and how you truly want to portray your brand image and business ideas.