When managing a start-up, you can find yourself scattered between a million things. Often, a social media presence can fall down to the bottom of the priority list. Kicking off your social media platforms can be a great tool to clarify your brand and enabling employees, your community, or future potential connections to get a good grasp of who you are and what you do.
Make your brand voice clear
First things first, you need to find the right platforms for your brand. If you’re new to social media take some time to find a username that fits. A username can set the brand tone while also setting you apart from other accounts. It is also important to make sure your audience can easily find and identify your accounts so keep it cohesive by finding a handle that fits all of your social media platforms. Regardless of where your audience is looking for you, they should ideally be able to find you under the same handle.
Another important aspect of your social profile is your bio. Think of your bio as a continuation of your brand tone. Utilize it to show your potential followers what type of content you’ll be sharing. Depending on your organization, craft a bio that makes sense for the industry. For example, a nonprofit can use this space to include their mission statement or a donation link, while a personal brand can use it to add personality.
Embrace visuals tools
In a world of perfectly edited, sharp, and professional photos, it can be daunting if you’re not an expert photographer. Lucky for the regular Instagram user shooting on their phone camera, there are hundreds of resources to increase the quality of your photos.
Know your camera and know your lighting. The use of natural light in a photo can make a world of difference. If you find that your photos are still not “Instagram perfect” have fun practicing different types of shots and layouts. Pull inspiration from your brand theme and use apps such as VSCO, Photoshop, Snapseed and many more to add a filter or flare to your photos. After you’ve found a method of photography that fits your brand, try and maintain consistently.
Create a schedule
A posting schedule is a simple way to stay organized while providing yourself adequate time to be intentional with your posts and remain creative. When creating a social media schedule always remember quality over quantity. While posting regularly is necessary to build your audience and identity, it can become hard to stay organized and the quality of your content can suffer. A schedule may seem strict, but this still leaves room for in-the-moment ideas that you can effectively work into your existing schedule and helps you to analyze your Instagram as a whole.
Timing on posts varies for every account and depends on an individual account’s demographic. An easy and accurate way to access these analytics at the beginning of your social media journey is through a digital platform itself. Facebook and Instagram are two great examples of platforms that have tools tailored to your business account.
Embrace and build a community
Your audience is everything! Tapping into the community around you is crucial and can build momentum. In order to identify who your audience is and how to connect with them, ask yourself a few key questions:
- What demographic are you targeting?
- What are some local things happening around your brand?
- Who can be your brand’s “friends” or partnerships?
- Who are a few influencers within the community?
Although paying attention to influencers is important, it’s equally important to notice those who engage with your brand. When a follower likes or comments on your photos, make it a point to respond. Something as simple as liking a comment is a great way to acknowledge your followers and show them that you value their input. Another method to increase your following is to interact with other brands on the platform… Liking and commenting on their posts is a great way to build these relationships. It can even lead to them interacting more with your content which in turn helps you build your network.
Use Hashtags and Geo-tags
A simple way to interact and engage with an audience is to use a hashtag or add a location. This places your post into a category with similar content that different audiences are engaging with. Hashtags and locations are both parts of a larger conversation where users can easily search through similar content. This can increase your post’s exposure and lead to more interaction from additional users outside of your established followers. This can drive traffic to your business or specific activity that you’re trying to promote.
Copy Is Important
Once you have your photo #Ready, the last creative step is the copy. Everyone loves unique and attention-grabbing captions but many people don’t know how to execute them. Make sure to keep your brand tone and overall theme in mind when creating your captions. If your brand tone is more playful, feel free to add some sense of humor, wit, and maybe even emojis into your caption. Through trial and error, if you find that your audience reacts better to informative material, try adding a link in your bio to supplement your caption. Don’t hesitate to tag other accounts in your captions or photos. This increases your engagement by giving your followers another reason to interact.
Adding a call-to-action on your post can also motivate your audience to engage with your brand. Use positive nouns and adjectives to direct your followers towards your specific call to action, or what you’re trying to drive them to do. An example of a call-to-action is prompting a user to check out the link in your bio or comment on your post. CTAs can later be measured using analytics to provide you with insight into the success of your content.
Check-In With Your Analytics
Once you’re done with the creative process, don’t shy away from checking your analytics. Analytics are a measurement of data or statistics and can show you information about how your audience is interacting with your content. Linking your Instagram account to a business account is one way to get insights directly through Instagram.
Remember to keep an eye out for visuals that are receiving the greatest reach and posts that are receiving the highest number of likes and comments. Don’t become discouraged if your engagement levels aren’t where you want them to be. Focus on the high points and use the lows as an opportunity to learn. From this data, you can identify what you are currently doing and rework your methods to increase your following and make your Instagram the best it can be.
Moving your brand into the digital realm can feel daunting at first but with a good foundation you can set your social media up for success. If you still find yourself stuck on where to begin asking a few clarifying questions :
- Who is your company/brand?
- What is your brand voice?
- Who are your friends, network, and community?
- What do you want to get out of your social media presence?
- What are some realistic goals you can set for yourself?
- What type of content fits your company best?
Social Media can be a fun and manageable tool to grow your brand. Invest time into the beginning stages and continue to grow accordingly. Reach out to our Digital Marketing team if you have any questions about getting started or maintaining your social presence!