5 Tips to Grow Your Brand on Instagram in 2020
Understanding and distinguishing between these three different platforms is paramount for success
Instagram has transformed in 2019. Instagram as a singular entity does not exist. Instagram consists of three very distinct social networks each behaving differently. The three different networks being:
Posts (Original Instagram)
People may follow you for any one of these three platforms. Only the follower count is consolidated but that doesn't mean a follower is interested in all formats.
Using stories only to announce new posts is not the best use of the medium of stories. People want to view Stories for quick information, deeper connection and to learn on the go. Posts are micro-blogs and IGTV is a longer form of entertainment. Everyone who uses Instagram isn't interested in all forms of these contents.
Understanding and distinguishing between these three different platforms is paramount for success.
Only Followers Matter
Focus only on people who follow you! This seemingly obvious advice, is mostly overlooked. Creators wonder what content they should post to gain new followers, and this is nothing short of a sin. Always try to delight and engage your existing followers. Once you do that you are likely to find new people with similar interests to your existing followers. However, if you fail to cater to your existing followers, you may struggle to create a long-lasting growth strategy.
Instagram is all about attention. Want complete attention and mind share of your audience? Here's a trick. Tell a story. Humans are hardwired to be curious for stories ever since a child. Be it videos, books, plays or even the ‘Story’ feature of Instagram, engaged storytelling gets people to remember and care about you and your brand.
You don’t need to be an expert storyteller to begin. Provide context to what you want to post and share the decision-making process of the new posts. Voila! you have a story.
When using the “Story” feature, try to use 4-5 panels to give your message. This is a great exercise to begin storytelling.
Community! Community! Community!
Any industry or niche your brand may be in, there are tens of thousands of creators. The majority of them would be doing it out of passion alone and are not affiliated with any brand or company. Work with them. Spot the good creators, promote them.
To go farther than your competition, you need to build a community. Encourage good creators and help them create better content. This is one of the most efficient ways in the coming decade for you to build a strong online presence.
Brand is what people talk about you when you are not in the room. Community helps you ensure that your message is conveyed consistently and correctly, with or without you.
Experiment with your content and remember that it is okay if some experiments do not work. The biggest set back is not the failed experiment, but not experimenting itself.
Social media content, trends and preferences are constantly changing. Once you inculcate the mindset to generate new ideas and to experiment, you would always remain relevant. The content you produced 6 months ago may not work today, but by trying new things, you would always have something that is going to work.
Everything is Content
Marketers get bogged down with the pressure of creating content, and often hit a block. Just remember that everything you do on a daily basis, your audience too, probably, does the same. Share anything and everything without holding back. This is the only way to consistently create relatable content.
There are two sides to social media, the Creator and the Consumer. The irony is that while consumers are looking for more and more humane and personal content, the brands are getting engaged in the technical jargon of hashtags, reach etc.
To win on Instagram you need to focus on fundamentals and psychology, rather than tricks and tools.
Vinayak Garg is the Founder of LazyGardener, a venture aimed at providing innovative and easy gardening solutions to urban gardeners.
Vinayak was among the 12 fellows chosen under the Gurukul program (2008), run by H.H. Dalai Lama’s foundation. He spent two months in the monastery of H.H. Dalai Lama, and it marked the start of his journey into mindfulness, meditation and exploring spirituality.
Vinayak is a 2014 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in Delhi. ZestMD won the Challenge Cup (Health, India), organized by 1776 (a startup accelerator based in Washington DC, US). Vinayak was awarded the Young Visionary Award 2012 under Indiafrica, an initiative of Govt. of India.