Instagram is a free app (available on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Android) that transforms your pictures using “filters.” You can also tag them with location data if desired. By using hashtags in your captions, you can attract users with similar interests or content.
Launched in October 2010, Instagram has become an extremely popular mobile photo sharing service and social network. There are some pretty impressive stats surrounding Instagram:
- By May 2012, 58 photographs were being uploaded and a new user was being gained each second.
- As of On February 2013, Instagram announced that they had 100 million active users.
But what exactly is it? According to the Instagram’s home page:
“It’s a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your photos with friends and family.
Snap a picture, choose a filter to transform its look and feel, then post to Instagram. Share to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr too – it’s as easy as pie. It’s photo sharing, reinvented.”
Want some tips on how to use Instagram to build your personal brand?
1. Stay consistent.
Because most people access Instagram via a mobile device, it is important to use familiar branding on your Instagram purely based on the fact that your audience is looking at your profile from such a small screen. To do this, we suggest using the same profile photo on your Instagram as you do on your other social media platforms. Because you also have a short, 160-character bio, we suggest at least including your first and last name (or stage name) in your bio so people can easily identify you.
2. Integrate and share with other networks.
Because Instagram is not searchable on Google and only Instagram members can view your photos (even if you make them public), you should expand the reach of your photos by sharing them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more. Instagram not only makes photos look very professional, but also help to share your unique personality and personal brand. Instagram photos can supplement the content you currently have online as long as you are consistent and ensure the photos you post are congruent with your other messaging.
3. Use Hashtags.
Instagram users can use hashtags to group similar photos –a function very similar to Twitter’s hashtag function that allows users to find similar tweets. For example, a popular hashtag on Instagram is #tbt, which stands for Throwback Thursday. This is for older pictures posted on Thursdays, many of which portray awkward childish phases in user’s lives.
By figuring out which hashtags are used in your industry, you can search hashtags to find other likeminded people, but also figure out which ones do the best to promote your brand.
Check out the list of top hashtags on Twitter here.
4. As always, be authentic.
Just with your other social media sites, use discretion but continue to be yourself. Like Pinterest, Instagram can be a way to display your many interests–just make sure your overall branding is consistent with the industry you want to be in. Have fun with Instagram! Instagram can add an intimate visual component to your online presence and show who you really are.
Want to know a little more about Instagram and Personal Branding? Check out this quick video: