How To Build A Brand on Instagram

How companies—and individuals—are cultivating a brand identity on Instagram

Instagram has become so ubiquitous that a spin through your feed could turn up snapshots from your grandma, your neighbor’s dog and every teenager sharing your train car. But why do companies spend so much time (and money) crafting their presence on the visual social media platform? The answer is simple: They’re building a brand and telling a story.

Images are the quickest way to captivate an audience, which makes Instagram a big component in any brand’s marketing strategy. The key word there is strategy: each snapshot you share should have a specific message, a measurable goal and should dovetail perfectly with your overall brand goals. Sticking to a color palette is one way to craft a cohesive image. This doesn’t mean your feed should be monochromatic, but it does allow your followers to identify your content immediately in their feed. Looks aside, your photos and graphics should tell a story, whether it’s about a great project you executed or a peek at your company culture behind the scenes.

Planning ahead is the key to all effective social media strategy, and it’s especially important when building a brand aesthetic. You should plan your posts in advance (we suggest using an editorial calendar to keep things on track) so you can visualize how all your images will look together, and make sure you’re hitting all the right notes with your content.

Our intern was totally new to Instagram, and after seeing his disaster of a feed, we decided to sit down with him to discuss best practices:

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