Best UX Practices for Your Brand Account on Instagram
Creating and maintaining a brand on social is one of the best ways to develop a strong relationship with your target audience. Representing your company, ideas, and values on social helps potential customers identify whether or not you’re the company they want to work with, widens your reach, and enables brand discovery.
Your owned social media accounts are the best resources you have for developing your brand. As a direct line to your audience members, your social media accounts give you the opportunity to engage with your target market in ways other channels don’t.
The Ultimate 2017 Instagram eBook
One of the most complicated social media platforms for businesses to grasp is Instagram. Because posts on this network are image-centric, as opposed to links or text, many businesses struggle to find the best way to boost their brand on the Instagram platform.
If you’re looking to boost your brand on Instagram, while also keeping UX practices in mind, here are eight tips you should follow.
1. Your Images Are Your Focal Point
On other social media platforms, you may consider the text the main focus of your post. The goal of a social media post on Twitter or Facebook is likely to push that viewer to your website to read a blog post, view a product, or complete a conversion. Instagram, with its more insular, image-centric ecosystem, works a bit differently. There are only three ways (currently) that users can navigate out of Instagram and onto your site.
- The link in your profile
- Links in Instagram Stories
- Instagram Ad offerings
Instagram is all about an intimate visual connection with your audience. When creating content for Instagram, you need to make the image the focal point. Many followers aren’t going to read a block of text while scrolling through their feed–unless your photo or video draws them in and makes them curious.
A photo posted by Rifle Paper Co. (@riflepaperco) on
Try to say everything you need to say within the images you share.
2. Stay Consistent with Other Channels
When branding your Instagram page, you will want to ensure that it follows the same patterns as your website and other profiles. This means that you will want to use the same avatar image that can be found on Facebook or Twitter, and you will want colors, icons, and logos to be consistent.
2017 Social Media Planning Template and Checklist
Keeping your social media pages under the same flow can help users better identify that the page belongs to you. When you use the same colors, images, and details throughout the many pages and platforms you use online, you’re building better brand recognition for your company.
3. Post Frequently
In order to build your brand, you need to consistently publish new content. If you want to connect with your audience and show them what your brand is all about, you need to create a consistent posting schedule that allows them to get to know you.
At the very minimum, you’ll want to post once a week. Some brands post as frequently as once or twice a day. Develop a schedule that fits your needs and works for your audience. You can discover what is best for your brand by experimenting with cadence and measuring the results over the course of a month to find your sweet spot.
4. Encourage Engagement From Followers
And engage back.
Building the appearance of a strong brand comes from building strong relationships and a visual sense of community. If you’re not able to connect with your audience, your brand won’t be able to take root the way it needs to. To ensure your brand is remembered by your audience, you need to get them engaged in the content you’re sharing. You can do this by asking questions, sharing unforgettable images, and developing a community.
Because it can be more difficult to maintain a conversation on Instagram, companies may forget to respond to comments, questions, or concerns left on their Instagram posts. If you want to see your brand grow, you need to consider the needs of your user. Always be sure you’re engaging back with the individuals who engage with you.
5. Follow a Theme
Having a themed Instagram means you use the same editing and filter settings for the posts you put up. While developing the right theme for your business can take some trial and error, sticking to an editing theme for your posts can help create a cohesive look. If you can connect your brand with a certain style image, it can become one of the identifying factors for your business.
Play with editing tools and apps (VSCO, to name one) to create images you’re proud to show off. Those images will differentiate your brand from others. Test filters and settings on a variety of posts to ensure that you’re selecting a theme that works well with different content and images. You may want to select two or three different style posts to share on Instagram to maintain your theme and keep it interesting for your audience.
6. Use Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags allow you to connect with conversations, groups of individuals, and other audiences. When you include relevant hashtags on your posts, you’re allowing your brand to get discovered by other individuals on Instagram. You may even choose to use a hashtag specific to your brand so your audience can connect.
Many companies believe that the more hashtags they use on their posts, the more likes or engagement they will get. While you may get more likes when you use generically popular hashtags, individuals who discover you from that connection will rarely become customers. Instead, your posts can quickly become spammy or cluttered. To improve the experience of your audience, only use relevant hashtags on your posts.
7. Make It Easy to Visit Your Site
One of the biggest struggles users have with Instagram is with links. Unlike Twitter or Facebook, you can’t include links in each post you upload on Instagram. This means you can’t simply push your audience to your site each time you post something new.
In order to push your audience to your website from Instagram, you will need to include a link in your bio section, start using Instagram Stories, or invest in ads. Many brands choose to make their bio link one that goes directly to their homepage. Other brands make this link their most recent blog post, giveaway/mailing list page, or product/service landing page within a campaign period. Whatever you decide to use, ensure that you’re including a link that makes it easy for your Instagram visitors to also visit your website.
8. Use Instagram’s Most Recent Features
Instagram is always updating its features to make users more satisfied with the platform. In order to keep your fans and followers intrigued by your brand on Instagram, you should take advantage of these new features as frequently as you can.
Currently, those new features include live video and stories. Using these features to provide fans and followers with an inside look at your company can be a great way to boost trust and improve your brand on the platform.
Instagram can be a slick tool for building your brand. You just need to know the appropriate way to use it. When creating an Instagram strategy, always consider what new ways you can share who you are and what you value with your audience.
But as with any other kind of online business or marketing, you need to consider how the user experiences your content and posts. In order to improve your relationship with your audience on Instagram, you need to always keep in mind what you can do or provide to keep that audience happy and satisfied. With these tips, you can create an Instagram strategy that gives you a strong brand and happy users.
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Lexie Lu is a freelance UX designer and blogger. She keeps up with the latest web design trends and always has a cup in close proximity. She writes on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.