Last week, the blog focused on changing trends in the world of social media. This week shifts the focus away from those trends to present tips geared towards revamping or updating social presence on Instagram and LinkedIn, and effectively translating brand identity to social media.
1. Make sure that the account has been switched to a business account.
a. Why? An Instagram business account has far more capabilities than a personal account. True to its name, this type of account is geared towards helping businesses better understand their market and demographics. As mentioned in the previous post, a business Instagram allows users to view Instagram Insights, post Ads, shop, organize their inbox, and offer easy contact channels on their main profile.
2. Utilize presets and filters that match the brand identity.
a. Above all else, institutions should have a strong understanding of their brand identity and how that translates to identifiable and understandable aesthetics. An aesthetic is traditionally defined as “being concerned with the appreciation of beauty.” Now, the term aesthetic has moved beyond the appreciation of beauty, and into a term that encompasses something’s, in this case a photo or photo-grid’s, overall look, feel, mood, tone, and attributes.
b. These characteristics are determined in part by the content being posted but have more to do with color and light; both are key in creating an emotional reaction and mental connection in a digital audience. All of this is done with the Brand Identity in mind, to prevent the viewer from misunderstanding the brand itself. When a viewer cannot at a glance, tell what type or feel an institution is or has, they are less likely to interact, less likely to follow, and even less likely to engage in a meaningful interaction or business transaction. Here, an established Brand Identity will help the institution focus the content of their posts, e.g. if the brand prizes transactions and professionalism, the color palette may be more subdued and have a more cut and dry feel.
c. To do this, institutions should make use of Presets and Filters, as they are the perfect way to maintain a consistent brand identity at a glance.
d. presets are an easy way to ensure that all posts will have the same look and feel, maintaining consistency with efficiency. Of course, the photo may need additional edits, unique to the content being posted, but the preset ensures consistent edits throughout the social media page; thus, maintaining the aforementioned aesthetic. To put it simply, presets are an easy way to copy and paste edits from one photo to another.
e. This ensures that the look, feel, and mood conveyed through matches and stays coherent and consistent, no matter what the photo looks like originally or the content.
f. A note, content should also be tailored to the brand, but there is more flexibility here.
g. Presets can notably change light and clarity, as well as add special effects. They also include the color and tone shifts often associated with filters. Both can be used together.
h. color filters are a series of color overlays that fall within a predetermined color scheme. They can emphasize different colors within an image, making the image pop, while visually maintaining that consistent brand identity. A part of Lightroom Presets, color filters are a distinction within presets. They are seen as a definitive color overlay, as seen in the photos, compared to the light/dark, saturation, and tonal shifts found in Presets.
i. To do this, it is important to find a color palette that matches the brand identity. [see images from linked source] The colors used in the palette can be based off brand colors, or a set of colors and accents.
1. Institutions can choose to remain monochromatic, shades of the same color.
2. They can also choose Complementary colors, opposites on the color wheel to really make things pop, also following the 60/30/10 rule. 60% of one color, 30% of the opposite, and 10% neutral. For an example, using teal/orange and green/red. However, keep in mind that complementary colors might not always work for the brand and might not translate to the photo well.
3. Another option is Analogous colors, using shades that are touching on the color wheel.
4. Triad, using any shades equidistant from another on the color wheel, using the 60/30/10 rule for the three colors, with additional neutrals.
5. Neutrals + (choosing to use neutrals, but with an accent color to be used sparingly).
3. Post consistently and with a plan
a. Make use of campaign organizers such as HubSpot. They allow institutions to plan their posts in advance, make them, and then schedule them.
b. Make sure the content being posted represents different elements of the brand and is done with purpose. People can tell when businesses are simply posting to post, and they will quickly associate the company with being ingenuine. People want to be able to relate with the people and businesses that they follow on a more personal level. This is where understanding the target market is key. Find and reflect what the target market loves in a way that they can see and easily recognize the unique brand being shared.
i. Captions should remain consistent with the Brand Identity as well. They are most effective when short. As anything beyond the first two lines will be hidden. According to this Hootsuite article, suggested character limits are as follows:
1. Organic posts: 138-150 characters
2. Instagram Ads: 125 characters
ii. It is also key to understand the way people view those caption. The human mind tends to scan text in an “F” shape, scanning less information as the eye continues down the text. If a person cannot glean the main points of the text from that tiny glimpse, they are less likely to engage and will scroll past, having never received the post’s intended message.
iii. Additionally, avoid the past trend of “hashtag stuffing” since it can come across as a bit tacky
4. Stories, Stories, Stories
a. Utilize the Stories feature to craft a purposeful reflection on each post. People are more likely to flick through Stories, as posted content can often get lost in the feed. Posting a corresponding story gives followers direct access to the post, allowing them to click to find out more, and increases exposure. Instagram also has a lot of fun features like moving gifs, nicknamed “Giphy,” stickers, which could be image based, or feature time, location, temperature. These can be pinned to appear at a certain point throughout featured videos, as well as be resized, moved and layered. Instagram also has a swipe up call to action, and a generated captions feature.
b. Stories can also be saved as highlights. This can point viewers towards specific or notable content.
c. Other tools such as IGTV and Reels allow for customized video content of varying links. Reels are currently very popular with the younger demographic, due to the rise of TikTok.
4. Interact with, and in turn encourage interactions.
i. Followers are less likely to turn into customers if there is no communication involved. Stay up to date on interactions on PM, Posts, Stories and make sure followers always know that they can reach out.
ii. This includes leveraging the community, which encourages followers to engage with the brand. Whether they repost, use custom hashtags, use the shop feature, interact with ads, or participate in giveaways, their engagement is helping the brand reach a wider audience.
Much of the same strategy can be applied to LinkedIn posting. However, where Instagram is more business to customer, LinkedIn is more business to business. Thus, a more professional and concise approach is needed for posting. The trick is maintaining the brand identity and relatability, while translating the content to something more suited to the platform.
1. Open an ad Campaign Manager account.
a. Ads are an easy way to get the Brand Identity out there. As such, these ads feature photos which can be crafted under presets or filters in the same way as Instagram photos and ads. This is a super easy way to ensure that whoever sees the ad can easily associate it with the company advertising.
b. As LinkedIn’s advertising platform, the Campaign Manager allows business to run ad campaigns and set up a budget system.
c. Unlike Instagram, LinkedIn has extreme targeting capabilities which can focus on certain job titles, positions, roles, and industries. This approach allows for easy connection and access to the views of a target market.
i. Sponsored Content
ii. Sponsored Messaging
iii. Conversation Ads
iv. Message Ads
v. Video Ads
vi. Text Ads
vii. Dynamic Ads
viii. Carousel Ads
2. Optimize LinkedIn to Brand
a. Design should be professional and easily demonstrate what the institution is about. Information should be pertinent and organized, easy to navigate and access. There should also be a call-to-action button featured, so fellow industry professionals can get in touch.
b. The background photo should be professional and demonstrate the brand at a glance. It should not be cluttered, it should be high quality, and it should fall around 1584 x 396 pixels and be in JPG/PNG/GIF format.
c. Customizing the URL is another tool that business can use to generate traffic and utilize brand phrases, key words, and key terms that would also be used to boost the page’s SEO.
i. LinkedIn is a great place to use Infographic style photos. They should be clean and uncluttered. Here the use of collages and text, as well as gifs, are highly valuable and pop out at those scrolling through the feed. [info graphic example]
ii. Additionally, posting videos and blogs that can help set up the company as an industry expert, and are an easy way to share the brand identity.
iii. Once again, keep the aesthetic professional, but consistent. While there are no big spread opportunities like on Instagram, LinkedIn does have a recent posts and interactions section.
3. Same as Instagram, post consistently and with purpose.
4. Establish Community.
a. Once again always responding, sending out personalized messages to leads, joining LinkedIn groups, and leveraging the @ mentions by tagging employees or companies to boost views and encourage sharing.
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Written by Bryn Baldasaro for The Element Group. Researched and Sourced by Bryn Baldasaro and Alex Kalpakgian. Featured Image from @jackharding on Instagram.