Companies of all sizes have realized the importance of a social media presence. Instagram is the most popular platform to build and advertise a brand on, as it offers multiple ways to share content: posts, stories, IGTV and reels.
Before we dive deep into what to avoid when launching a brand on Instagram, let's talk about the benefits of a social media presence.
First, it opens a direct line of communication between companies and their customers. Traditionally, surveys were conducted to receive feedback from customers but Instagram allows users to share their opinions directly on the platform via comments, story replies and direct messages, meaning you get feedback much, much faster. Businesses quickly realize what they need to work on, what they're doing great and what users want to see more of.
Second, there are over 1 billion Instagram users and this number is continuing to grow. This is great news for companies trying to increase their brand awareness, because they can attain new followers and customers every single day.
Lastly, Instagram users LOVE to shop. According to Medium, 42% of Instagram users earn over $75K/year. Instagram has integrated tons of shopping tools, and users can now shop directly from posts, stories and reels without leaving the app. This applies to most industries; from retail to food service to wholesalers.
Now that we've established a few benefits of Instagram, it's time to dive deep into starting your brand page on Instagram.
What Companies Should Avoid When Launching A Brand On Instagram
The first thing companies need to avoid when launching a brand on Instagram, is rushing the process.
Take the time to plan out what the feed will look like by creating a mood board. Take fonts, colours, illustrations and photos into consideration. It's best to keep your Instagram brand similar to the company's current brand. Of course, this doesn't mean that the branding will never change, but it definitely helps create consistency across your Instagram page and build your followers' trust.
Not establishing a company tone.
We all speak to our friends differently than we speak to our bosses and colleagues. But on Instagram, users prefer brands to speak casually and not use over-complicated or technical terms. However, this doesn't mean that inappropriate slang is permissible. Keep it professional, but it's okay to joke and make references that your users will understand.
Selling right away
Building a brand on Instagram takes time, so don't jump right into selling. Instead, build a following, create a compelling offer and then tell your followers to make a purchase. It can be very tempting to post a sale right away, but if you don't have followers who trust your brand, they will be very turned off by the pushiness and might unfollow you.
Not building a content calendar
This is the most difficult and time-consuming part of building a brand on Instagram. However, skipping this step will only waste MONTHS of time, and cost A LOT of money.
Building a content calendar helps brands understand what they need to communicate with their followers before they begin selling. Not having a plan will lead to posting content on-the-fly and your users will become skeptical and confused. Posting random content does not establish consistency, trust, communication and desire in your users therefore they will not respond to your offers.
A content calendar does not have to be extremely sophisticated but it does have to be effective. To get started, figure out a monthly goal (ex: 500 followers in 30 days) and then create content that your followers would want to see.
This is definitely a trial and error stage, even for reputable brands. Social media users sometimes respond to content that was made in 20 minutes more than content that took 2 hours to create. Don't overthink the content. Just keep trying new ideas and evaluate the engagement afterwards.
Eman Abdou is a social media marketer and graphic designer. Through the use of video marketing, organic content creation and analytics, Eman helps companies create and grow successful social media brands.