August 5, 2014

Who Are You? How to Develop a Brand Identity for Instagram

But first… #letmetakeaselfie! Make sure to put a filter on it. Wait, which filter: Amaro or Rise? (Any of this make sense to you?)

Hopefully, by now you’ve heard of a little social network named Instagram. (If you haven’t heard of Instagram, it’s time to hit Google, stat! AND read more here: What Brands Don’t Understand About Instagram ) According to, it’s a fun and quirky way to share your life with your friends through a series of pictures. In addition to being fun and quirky, this network has quickly become one that many people gravitate to. With over 200 million users worldwide (Instagram Blog), there are a lot of people using this platform. Moreover, there are a lot of YOUR consumers using this platform.

Now you’ve decided to take the plunge and put your brand on Instagram. You’re fashionably late (okay, so your “party’s in full swing” late) but that’s okay. You still have the ability and opportunity to make a splash IF you position your brand the “right” way.

What’s the right way, you ask? As you know, “right” is highly subjective. “Right” for you is going to differ from “right” from another brand. One key truth to “right” that’s common among all brands is authenticity. (Social Brand Identity) You have to be authentic to who your brand and develop a brand identity on Instagram that accomplishes the following:

  • Stays true to your overall brand identity
  • Conveys a straightforward persona to your audience
  • Utilizes the tone, feel, and language of the platform

This blog is here to help you develop your brand identity for Instagram. After all, you can’t be successful if you don’t know who you are. The three steps below are the first three you need to take in order to form your identify on Instagram.

  1. Determine who your brand wants to be in the eyes of your consumer. As with any brand identity, you have to decide who your brand is and how you want it to be seen. At the end of the day, you cannot be all things to all people. It is important to accept this so that you can then carve out a niche for the brand.
  2. Identify the visual characteristics and tone that will help convey this your brand identity. Once you know who you want to be, you have to determine how that, visually, can be expressed. Remember, Instagram is a highly visual platform where people tell stories with an image. Your story should be one that focuses on how you brand can add to the lives of your followers. There’s a major difference between being all “look at me, look at me, I’m over here and you MUST like me” and “I’m awesome and I sincerely HOPE you think I’m awesome too”.
  3. Listen to your consumers from your existing social media presence. There can be a major difference between who you THINK your brand is and how it’s perceived by your consumers/fans. As you are determining your brand identity, it’s important to take into account how you are currently viewed to align who you want to be versus who you are to your audience. This will help to ground your view of the brand and to remember a key social media principle – it’s not all about you.

Creating a brand identity for Instagram is important to help guide you activity on the network and to convey a genuine, authentic presence to the audience. These steps are definitely the first steps (but not the last) you should take as you start or enhance your presence on Instagram. Remember, people and brands change over time so you not locked into this identity for the rest of time. Your identify should grow and mature as your audience does so that the genuine, authentic feel remains.

Who are some of your favorite brands on Instagram and what do you think is their brand identify?

Tags: Instagram, Strategy

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