Do you know that feeling when you're trying to create a cohesive Instagram presence for your brand and you spend hours stalking cool bloggers and screenshotting their cool pictures to recreate later and then this day comes and you need to post something and you want it to be really great and so everyone will hit that like and head over to your website to throw money at you and you're so overwhelmed and start to feel noxious and finally end up with that crappy-looking quote that doesn't make any sense and you regret it for weeks to come?
Well, I came up with this list of 3 Common Mistakes Your Brand Makes On Instagram, so next time you face the same dilemma, you know how to hit your best-scoring post ever.
1. Not showing off
Remember that moment on your first job interview when they ask "what's your greatest quality?" and you not being able to answer, or saying something cliché like "I'm a workaholic". All they're looking for, in fact, is just how you're different from everyone else and what can you bring to their table. Your customers are no different. They want to know what is so great about you, that makes you irreplaceable.
To give you a few ideas of what you can say about your brand:
- Brand's vision. If you have a strong opinion on how what you're making can make someone's life easier, tell them about it. It doesn't have to be anything dramatic. How about, your shoes make her the coolest girl on the block? Or your independent zine gives her a brief about all the underground art culture?
- Your story. If you have an interesting story of how your brand was created, share it. People always want to hear stories. More stories, did I mention that?
- Think of the process that goes into creating your product or service. From sketches to the music you listen to while working. Anything that might resonate with your customers.
A great example of a brand who's doing it right is sustainable apparel company, Everlane. Every week they do Transparency Tuesday in their Instagram stories where they answer customer questions about how their product is made, when they're releasing new styles, etc.
2. Using inappropriate content
I don't mean nudes, no, that you probably already know. Let me explain what I mean here by inappropriate. It's any content that doesn't match your brand identity and story-line. Examples of what these can be:
- images of alcoholic beverages if you're a health coach
- low-quality reposted one million times memes and quotes
- photos of your kids if you sell sex toys
I'm kidding here, of course, if you ever decide to sell sex toys on Instagram, you'll find someone else as the face of your brand.
Remember, what people see online, that's where they usually get the first impression of your brand. It can definitely turn someone off if you don't take good care about what you put out there. The same way you would feel when you walk into a convenience store and it's dark, dirty, products on the shelves are expired, versus when you walk into an upscale boutique, where everything is curated, taken care of, and on top of that they serve champagne. You decide which one of those you want to be.
Another example of the brand who's doing it right is Die Motte, a jewelry brand from Barcelona. Their Instagram is a pure fine art of social media. Every image is a unique story that creates a sophisticated gallery altogether.
3. Being unclear
This mistake can happen when you're just starting out and unsure of yourself, but don't let this period of time take you over for too long. If you commit to being an entrepreneur and sell your product/service, you have to make that clear for your potential customers.
Nobody's perfect, in fact, I made this mistake a million times until I figured out what I wanted to do with my life. I was trying to sell hand-painted t-shirts, but was too afraid to show them, or mixed them up with my personal stuff. This only created one big confusion. And I still slip into it sometimes, in moments of doubt.
To help you define your brand and find clarity, head over to this post, it outlines the steps you need to take not only to grow your following on Instagram, but all these steps actually make you stop and think of what your goals are that you're trying to achieve.
Being clear doesn't mean doing only one thing. You can be extremely multi-passionate but also make it really easy for your ideal customers to find a way to work with you.
One more example of a brand is actually a person - Amanda Shadforth from Oracle Fox. Amanda is a fashion blogger, stylist and photographer. She also illustrates and creates content for brands and, oh, she's also an art director. However, she manages to keep it all in line with her identity. She knows what she can offer to her clients and makes it really easy to click the "contact" button on her website.
I hope this list will help you to identify your own mistakes or let's call them experience ;) and find your own way to present your brand in the best way possible.
If you know someone who can benefit from reading this article, please share.
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