For most startups, having a solid Instagram before they head out of the gate is an absolute must. Especially those who work in a consumer good or service, Instagram is how they’re going to reach the majority of their base. And while this sounds like it might be a costly process, with the right steps, you can invest in having a solid Instagram from the jump that also has a long-term ROI you’ll very much be pleased with. Here’s how:
1. Put Real Money Into Branding
One place where startups generally try to skimp out on is with their branding, which is a huge no-no for any company looking to make a name for themselves.
Even if your company is in the b2b space and doesn’t need more than a few customers to be self-sustaining, having proper branding will be what separates you from the competition. Not only does quality branding make your company more attractive, but it also ensures a level of reliability and trust. After all, we tend to gravitate towards those who express the same values as us, which are often displayed through our efforts in branding.
When looking at your brand, the first thing you should consider is what exactly it is your startup does as well as the impact it’s looking to make. If you’re like most new companies, you have some sort of inspirational vision or mission to embark on, often as a means of changing the world. Regardless of how high-minded (or not) your vision might be, the key to a good brand is being able to take this mission and boil it down to a central symbol and ethos.
Once you feel secure in what exactly it is your main mission is, take that down to a level of symbolism. As your brand is going to be everywhere your company will be, your logo needs to encapture a certain sense of energy; for example, a brand like Mercedes showcases luxury in their shining silver, while a brand like John Deere uses the stark, natural colors of green and yellow to evoke the outdoors. Having someone know how to dive into the details like this will not only help you acquire more followers but have a brand that you’ve invested into for the long-haul.
2. Arm Yourself With The Right Tools Beforehand
As a startup, having an arsenal of tools for Instagram to get ahead is an absolute must. From the moment you’re out the gate, you need to be able to scale quickly with your efforts, giving you the chance to start acquiring followers and engaging with your community seamlessly.
Often people try to wing it starting out on Instagram…which while that’s fine for the first couple of weeks, will eventually catch up and come off as guesswork to outsiders. Looking unprofessional on the ‘gram can hurt your brand more than it’ll help, which is why knowing what to use to keep your Instagram content rolling is a must.
With Instagram, one of the first considerations you should make is how you’re going to deliver content; for example, is it going to be mostly photography? Videography? Design? Whatever the case may be, you’ve got to be able to produce consistently.
Furthermore, you need to arm yourself with things like a content calendar, scheduling program, and even an analytics platform, as well as look for places to buy likes on Instagram, which can help your profile look a little more fulfilling than starting from empty. You can even buy Instagram followers for social proof. Ultimately, coming out of the gate prepared to make friends is exactly what Instagram is about, and what your brand should be aiming to take part in too.
3. Become A Social Butterfly
As Instagram is all about being social, it’s exactly the strategy your startup’s brand should embark on ASAP. The name of the game here is all about being as genuine as you can be, giving you the chance to have real conversations with fans, influencers, media heads, and of course, other startups in your space.
The biggest flaw you can have on Instagram is coming off as corny or canned, as often those responses get tossed by the wayside and viewed as dull. Instead, a better strategy is becoming a little bit more social from the perspective of your brand as a person, which can take a little getting used to.
A smart way to think about your brand’s personality is as if it was a living, breathing person. Ask yourself what type of friends that person would have, as well as what it would sound like. What vocab words would they use? How’s the range of their voice between when they need to talk about something light-hearted versus something serious? All of these considerations should be noted as you dive into what to do about being social.
Once you’ve got a good grasp on your brand’s ethos, the other half of it is making the time to be social. This includes regularly going around and commenting on other posts, as well as engaging in as many ways as you can.
The biggest mistake people make on Instagram is not contributing enough to the conversation, hoping that going into the same routine will show them success. Instead, the real successful accounts know how to capitalize off not being afraid of being vulnerable, letting their true colors shine through and through.
4. Keep A Rubric Ready For Responses
Finally, as a lot of Instagram is brand engagement and interactions, part of that will also include a level of customer service. When dealing with the general public, it’s important to remember that part of your job is not only knowing how to communicate whatever your core message is effectively but doing so in a way that isn’t going to lead to either more trouble or further questions.
Remember, people are quick to latch onto trying to make your life difficult in exchange for their 15 minutes of fame on Instagram, which means not only is everyone watching, but making judgments accordingly.
However, by keeping a rough outline of what type of brand responses you should be giving, you’ll have a better grasp on ensuring that you’ll always be representing your brand properly every time.