30 TOP WAYS TO USE INSTAGRAM TO IMPROVE YOUR ONLINE BRAND
Instagram is one of my top go-to social media platforms right now.
It's the one channel that I definitely don't see going anywhere. In fact, it's only getting bigger and better.
And while it's easy to assume that the platform’s primary focus is for photographers, artists and illustrators, really, it can be utilised by anyone in any industry.
With business analytics, a live story feature, it's own editing features and so much more, Instagram has endless benefits for bloggers, creative entrepreneurs and small business owners.
So to get your creative minds thinking, here are 30 different ways you can use Instagram to improve your blog, business and personal brand.
#1 | YOUR LOGO
Sure you might not think your logo is too important (and if you don’t have one you need one), but this is actually one of the things that encompasses what your whole brand is about. It’s your name, your offering - it tells people what you are.
So why not make a whole post out of it and upload it to Instagram? Share the story behind it, the colours, the fonts, the idea. Take people on a journey. It’ll help them to relate to your brand so much more, which in turn will make them more loyal. You could even show people a special preview if it’s a work in progress! Here’s a great example from Lauren of Elle & Company.
#2 | YOUR NEW WEBSITE DESIGN
Showing off your website is a great way to demonstrate what makes your blog or business unique, make your online presence more interactive and add interest to your brand.
I’m often asked how I put my website together and Squarespace is my go-to. It’s where my website is hosted and the functionality makes it super easy to customise all aspects of your site. And because I’m so proud of it, I’m not afraid to share it on Instagram. Neither should you!
Fran is a blog designer and always promotes any new website themes she creates on Instagram.
#3 | A QUOTE
Everyone loves a good quote, right? I know I do! These can serve as motivators, reminders, part of a theme like #MondayMotivation or you can share one just because you feel like it.
Use your own fonts and colours to create a graphic that directly relates to your brand. I create my on Canva using the “Social Media” image template. Using your own image instead of grabbing one from another account will help to improve your personal brand so much more.
The Rising Tide Society is great for sharing inspirational quotes.
#4 | YOUR NEW BLOG POST
There’s an easy step-by-step formula to follow here:
- Take an image you’re using in the blog post to upload to Instagram
- For the caption, share what they’ll find/learn in the post, or one tip or a reader comment (you get the drift)
- Put the link to your latest post in your bio AND add #linkinprofile or #linkinbio as a hashtag.
The Bloguettes team is great at doing this.
Let's be real... when most of us see the words SEO we run for the hills! 👋🏼🏃🏻♀️ Good news! This week there is no need to break a sweat with all that cardio. We just need you to take some baby steps & set up the program (no sweat required). 💦 Today on the blog we're talking Google Analytics and how to correctly set it up with your blog! 🤓 #bloguettes http://bit.ly/2oYvc3n
#5 | PROMOTE YOUR MAILING LIST
Here’s something to keep in mind when it comes to social media. You might think your Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and blog followers are all related - but that’s not necessarily true. Your Instagram followers might not have visited your blog yet and vice versa. What does that mean? Well, there’s a chance they could be missing out on all the awesome stuff you have to offer.
The main thing you want to do is get people onto your mailing. So in your schedule, the day before your newsletter goes out, you could tell your Instagram community what to expect and remind them to sign up so they don’t miss out.
This is exactly what I did with the brand new issue of the Blogging Breakthrough magazine.
This, friends, is your exclusive look at the new look #BloggingBreakthrough magazine which is hitting inboxes at 2pm tomorrow 🙌 . It's something I've been working hard on for the past couple of months, along with my designer, @bkyrouncefield, who is super super talented and some writers that I can't wait for you to meet. . The Blogging Breakthrough magazine had and always will be about you, about our community. So if you want to get involved, celebrate each other and work towards getting a breakthrough, sign up at the link in my profile or leave your email in the comments. . For now, I'll leave you with a line from my editor's letter: Happiness may sometimes be fleeting, but when you find it, you should tell the world ✨
#6 | BUSINESS CARDS
Why get someone to make you some business cards when you’re not going to show them off?
Get those on Instagram right now!
This is exactly what Carole did when she created my business cards.
When @abranchofholly asked me to have a look at her business cards, she didn't really have a logo in place. So I explored various layouts that were consistent with her image on social media and on her blog, and we selected this cool graphic in the end! - #abranchofholly #blogger #creativelifehappylife #makersgonnamake #bosslady #worklife #savvybusinessowner #TNChustler #dothework #beingboss #iambeingboss #creativekinco #logo #brand #illustrator #illustration #design #graphicdesign #drawing #artwork #artshare #artsy #visual #illustratenow #designspiration #dscolor #inspiration #solopreneur #creativeatheart
#7 | A COLLAGE
I don’t know about you, but I love a monthly wrap-up on Instagram. There are some accounts that I want to look back at throughout the month and a monthly collage is the best way to do this.
Get your 9 most popular pictures from the month, pop them in a collage and talk about how the past month has been for you. Simple.
Holly Booth does this every month and it works so well.
April has been a lot of fun; a trip to Cambridge, visiting @formatfestival, catching up with friends I've not seen in ages, starting to crack on with the DIY plans we have for the house, a gorgeous wedding, and eating Mexican food with my fave ladies 💛 just a few of the things I've been up to alongside working on lots of fun shoots in the @hollyboothstudio 📷 May is my birthday month and it's set to be a pretty hectic but exciting few weeks! Bring it on ☺
#8 | A PICTURE OF YOU
Want to know a secret?
Some of my most-liked posts on Instagram are pictures of myself. I know. But it’s true.
Get over how uncomfortable it makes you. Go for it.
Liz always does this so well with her Friday Introductions posts.
Hey friends, that's me, Liz. That sweater was really cute, but itchy, so I returned it after getting my new photos taken. Ha! I'm currently trying to become a plant lady and I wear brown shoes with black pants because I like it. Wine gives me headaches but tequila never lets me down... and if you invite me to grab a margarita with you I will always say yes. When I left my corporate job 3 years ago I was scared to fail. And I did, big time. But it didn't stop me and now I get to hang out on the internet with awesome business owners like you AND team up with you too (I'm basically your design BFF 💁🏼) We're all just trying to figure things out in this crazy world of business ownership. I love that we can do it *better* together, don't you?
#9 | YOUR PRODUCTS IN ACTION
Created something and want to promote it? Sure you do! The best way to do it? Show it in action.
Whether you create greeting cards, recipes, t-shirts or planners, having pictures of your products actually being used is one of the best ways to get more people to buy them.
Annie Dornan Smith always does this so well, but in a really subtle way.
Happy Monday! I'm loading up the To-do list for (hopefully) a week of productivity! Last week it was hard to will myself to do anything and all the tasks I set felt like a major chore but I had a lovely, lazy weekend and now I'm back and ready to get some shit done 💪📝 ___ #liveintentionally #onmydesk #darlingdesks #prettystationery #pursuepretty #studyspo #planneraddict #homeinthestudio #workspace #inspiredwomen #morningslikethese #todolist
#10 | A LOOK AT YOUR PLANNER
How do you keep track of your projects? What does your to-do list look like on a daily basis? Take people inside your productivity process! Especially if you’re got super awesome handwriting like Boho Berry.
A lot of you asked why I got rid of my "one line a day" spread in my #BulletJournal this month... I decided that I wanted to try what I'm calling "blank space journaling". Whatever blank space I have on my page at the end of the day, I'm filling up with a bit of journaling about my day ☺️💕 - #bohoberrytribe #bujo #bujojunkies #leuchtturm1917 #wearebujo
#11 | FLATLAYS
Flatlays are definitely what made Instagram become so popular. Now, everyone strives after creating the perfect one. But they’re so fun to play around with. Jump on the #onmytable bandwagon and get experimenting.
You could do a flatlay of your different products, the tools you use on a daily basis, your favourite items from around your home - anything goes.
Search #flatlay on Instagram and you’ll get some great inspiration.
12 | INVITATIONS
Do you have an exciting event coming up for your blog or business? Have you created an invitation for it? Why not share it on Instagram?
You can make it look oh so pretty with your brand fonts and colours, and who knows - you might even get more people interested in the event!
#13 | YOUR WORKSPACE
We’re all interested in where other bloggers and business owners make the magic happen. So take a snap of it.
Get a wide shot of the whole thing, a close up of the things you love about your workspace or even better - one of you in action!
I think it’s safe to say we’re all envious of Kate’s workspace, right? 😉
#14 | YOUR FAVOURITE THING TO DRINK
Think of how many conversations take place over a cup of tea or coffee - it’s the same for the online world. Tell people about your favourite drink, how it gets you through the day and what it means to you.
My friend Peta shared a smoothie the other morning that looks delicious!
🌱This green smoothie is my new favourite thing, even though the colour would have you think otherwise, it actually doesn't taste like the garden! 🍏🍋It's sweet and yummy and a great way to get extra greens, vitamins and all the good stuff into the body. I've popped the recipe and a video on the blog - link in bio 😘
#15 | YOUR MORNING ROUTINE
How do you start your day? What do you do before you head to your job or start working on your business? Do you meditate? Journal? Exercise? Lie in and cuddle your kitty? Take your dog for a walk? Tell us.
#16 | WHAT YOU’RE LOVING RIGHT NOW
Reading a book that’s really inspiring you? Watching a kick-ass TV show? Got a song you just can’t get enough of? I bet you can say yes to each of these things. Share them with us! Netflix and chill all the way ✌
Kayla is always great at sharing what she’s inspired by.
Raise your hand if you've ever felt too young or too novice to start on one of your business projects. 🙋 Unfortunately it's something that holds a lot of us back but we see time and time again that you CAN be successful at any age and in any stage of life doing what you truly enjoy. This new book from @jared.kleinert is the perfect reminder that you can make an impact today with where you are and what already have, backed by 75 real stories of entrepreneurs from ALL industries who have done just that. One of my favorite reads of 2017 so far! 😍 Pick it up today by clicking the link in my bio! 🎉 #3billionunder30
#17 | WHAT MOTIVATES YOU
What keeps you going? What gets you out of bed in a morning? What are you counting down towards? What do you use as your daily reminder? Share it with us.
#18 | YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO WORK
Got somewhere where you love working apart from your desk? Let us know! Whether it’s your local coffee shop or the park, take us behind-the-scenes where you create.
Hannah Gale always works at coffee shops and does a great job at taking her audience behind-the-scenes on a super relatable level.
Because if you're not rearranging your local coffee shop for the sake of a photo are you even really a blogger? This morning my body tried to fail me with some v. crippling womb pains but I was like LOL not today hun this girl's taking some pain killers. Now up and at 'em with coffee, avocado toast and a nail appointment booked in to spur me on, but the age old question - WHAT COLOUR DO I GO FOR?
#19 | TALK ABOUT A LESSON YOU LEARNT
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and share your failures. Tell people about your mistakes, the things that didn’t work and what you learnt from them. By sharing your flaws, you’ll make people feel more connected towards you and your brand.
#20 | A TOOL YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT
What’s the one thing you use every single day to keep your blog or business running? What helps you be productive and get the job done? Let us know.
#21 | SHARE WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO
Something you’ve got to remember when it comes to Instagram and any social media platform is that your followers are all joining you at different parts of your journey. Your job is to keep reminding them why you’re doing what you do. Why did you start your blog or business? What keeps you going?
#22 | UTILISE YOUR BRAND COLOURS
If your Instagram theme matches your brand colours, well, you’re winning already. Anytime you spy something that’s in one of your brand colours, get a shot of it. A notebook, a pencil, a mouse mat, a vase, a building - it’s a super easy way to add content to your Instagram and grow your personal brand.
Kory does this SUPER well.
Designers, be honest: do you have a streamlined process for working with clients or are you sort of making it up as you go with each new project you book? I'm confident no matter where you land, even if it's somewhere in between, we've all been there. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Having an organized process is about more than just being able to say you have a process, though. It's about feeling confident about what to do every step of the way after someone inquires about working with you, having your clients see you as a professional and take you more seriously from day one, and saving time with that pesky admin work so you can get back to design. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So, starting March 20th, I'm going to help you start creating a streamlined process for working with clients so you can stop stressing out every time you get an inquiry! If you want to learn more and sign up, head on over to the link temporarily in my profile!
#23 | FEATURE SOMEONE ELSE
You could do this in a number of ways. The most recent example I can think of is when Zoe shouted out her diehard gal pals on Instagram - the people that are there everyday saying “you got this.”
It could be someone you admire, a friend, a mentor, your mum - whoever is making a difference in your life, feature them.
Behind every successful woman there are 4 gal pals cheering "YOU CAN DO IT BABE" every step of the way 👯👯💕 ----- Who are YOUR 4 die-hard gals who are there for support when you most need it? ----- Mine are: 💕 @abranchofholly 💕 @spreadthesparkle 💕 @sparkedpassion 💕 @withlipstickandlove ----- 📷 from #HauteChocolate stock photo library. Link in bio 👉 @zoelinda_
#24 | SHARE A TIP
Keep it simple, keep it to one thing, keep it related to what your blog or business is all about.
The Coded Creative team does this every week with their #TuesdayTip.
Last week on the blog, @HeyKristaRae shared why you should launch your blog, and we wanted to share more for today's #CodedCreativeTip! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ We absolutely recommend to start getting your audience excited about your launch at least a few weeks in advance. When we launched Coded Creative, we had already started building our audience on social media AND our email list because we'd been building excitement for the launch day starting a month early. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ Want to read more about why you should launch your blog? Head on over to the link in our profile to check out the post!
#25 | TALK ABOUT YOUR GOALS
Another regular content feature for Instagram is sharing your new goals at the start of every month. Instead of writing a blog post about it, share it on Instagram instead!
#26 | ASK A QUESTION
I definitely didn’t think this when I first started using this platform but now I do - Instagram is one of the best places to generate engagement. So get your community involved. Ask them a question. It could be anything. Chocolate chip or vanilla? Tulips or roses?
Whatever you do, be sure to ask a question at the end of each caption. Here’s a fab, simple example from Jess Creatives.
#27 | SHARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS
Got big plans for your blog or business? Got a plan of action for how to grow your personal brand? Share it with us!
Social media is a great way to generate curiosity about what you have coming up. Reward your audience by giving them a sneak preview.
#28 | INTRODUCE PEOPLE TO YOUR FAMILY OR FRIENDS...
Some people have a privacy line and choose not to share their family on Instagram which is totally fine. But some days, they just deserve a shout out. Plus content like this helps your followers see more of the real you.
The biggest amount of love goes to this one on #InternationalWomensDay. My mamma, who always said "you can", who made me believe in myself when I doubted everything, who made me strong even when I thought there was no way out. This is the person that supports me in every single thing I do. It's because of women like this, the women that believe in you, that we have become so much bolder, braver and independent. She's taught me everything, and as we both move into a huge new chapter together with new homes and weddings, it's been emotional, but so exciting. And at the end of it all, we'll both know that we're there for one another. I'm so thankful for her and the other women in my life, whether we're related, I know you as a friend or I know you from online. You all mean something to me. So spread the love for your women today and tag them in the comments! 💚
#29 | ...AND YOUR PET
Because your Instagram feed isn’t complete without a furry friend!
#30 | HOW YOU GOT TO WHERE YOU ARE
I saved the best till last. People love to go on a journey. They want to know where you started out from and how you got to where you are now. Your experiences, your lessons, your path.
Not only does it make people realise you have skills and expertise, it also helps them build trust and loyalty in your brand.
So, you've got the ideas. Now it's time to put them into action and make them work for you.
A large Instagram community doesn't appear overnight. It's about putting the effort into three areas in particular: your content, your captions and your engagement.
You can do it - I believe in you!
What do you love sharing on Instagram? Which is your favourite idea from this list?