Branding & Instagram

If you're like me, Instagram is one of the biggest tools you use in your business to keep in touch with your followers. I use it on a daily basis, and use it as a way to keep my followers updated as to what's going on with the company and what I'm working. I try to be personal, thoughtful and keep up with the things I post, and at the same time, try to have a consistent feed. It's certainly a challenge!

It's only been in the past year that I've really upped my Insta-game and focused on both the content and the look, so when someone asks me how I keep it so consistent or compliments me on my feed, it is a HUGE compliment. It's not always easy. 

This is also one of the biggest questions I get and suggestions I make when someone is working on their branding. Instagram is a HUGE part of branding, and can be a very useful tool if done right. But I find a lot of people only think about it post by post, not the overall big picture. While one post might bring someone to your profile, it's your feed that ultimately captures their attention and is the determination of if they follow you or not.

Today's blog is going to talk about things you can do to make your feed more consistent and branded to your business, but I do want to preface by saying this: it doesn't happen overnight. Seriously- it took me months to get a good flow, and even now I still struggle with it at times, but here is what I try to focus on when choosing photos for my feed and matching my brand.

Background  |  First of all, I try to use a similar background in many photos. I try to do a light grey or white to give my feed a 'lighter' effect. I personally love clean and simple looking things, so these colors work well for me. It also helps when I take my own photos as I have a white foam board that I use as a background. 

Obviously, choose a background that fits YOUR brand, but I would suggest not to make it too busy. Perhaps a marble effect or a lighter color works better for you. Or maybe a wood or texture. 

Colors  |  After trying to maintain a consistent background, I try to include my brand colors in as many photos as possible. My {current} brand is blues and greys, so I try to use a lot of blues and greys. However, my new brand is going to be blacks and white with a pop of blue, so you'll be seeing a switch pretty soon!

Editing & Filters (obviously!)  |  I know this one is kind of obvious, but if you do use filters or edit your photos on your phone, edit them all the same way. When I take my own photos, I edit each one in the exact same order and only allow myself to use the same 2-3 filters, pending which one looks the best and keeps my photos in line with one another. I use both the Afterlight App (Best $1 I've ever spent!) and Instagram's editing tools to edit and filter my photos. It's easy to learn, and once I developed my technique for getting the correct brightness and exposure that I prefer, it takes me two second to edit any photo on my phone.

Every 2-3 Photos  |   Okay, so now you have the three basic rules that I use, here's the last one I use that kind of lightens the mood...We all have those photos that show a product or event or something, and we absolutely LOVE that photo but it doesn't match our feed at all. In fact, it sticks out. Not because it isn't beautiful, but because it just doesn't match. So I use a rule that every 2-3 (or 4 or 5, whatever YOU prefer) I post a photo that doesn't necessarily match my brand or other photos, but because I do it consistently (seriously, keep it consistent) it starts to match. For example you could do: post 1: branded, post 2: branded, post 3: branded, post 4: different, then repeat. This gives the whole feed a nice flow, and keeps things consistent, which then starts to look like you branded it/planned it out. 

Helpful Apps  |  Well, I use the Later App on my computer and my phone to plan my posts and see how they are going to look. And let me tell you: It has made all of the difference! It's not just planning, but also reminds me to post because otherwise, I would forget!

Additional (yet important!) Note: Be Authentic   |  The cool thing is, is as long as your photos generally follow these rules or if each photo follows at least ONE rule, the consistency will start to show itself. By no means should your feed be totally perfect and every photo doesn't need to have the same background and incorporate your brand colors; that's not how business is. Business is messy and real and can sometimes be all over the place. So ultimately, your feed should be authentic and represent YOU. These are just a few tips that I've found to be useful in building my brand via Instagram. 

Instagram Feed