How to Beautify Your Brand's Look & Feel on Instagram
I get this question all the time and you really have to have an eye for design. You also need to visualize everything as a whole. There's a method to this branding madness. This doesn't mean you have to be a graphic designer, but you need to know the quirks to making things look good. I mean really, people truly post their good pics on the 'gram and nothing less. Think about it that way, just on a more visual, strategic and themed-way. It's more than just fine tuning your pics to adjust the brightening and clarity. You are painting the picture for your brand. I'll break it down below. Hope you follow through and let me know what you think!
First Things First, Get Your Visual Branding Right
You're brand should have these at least these main elements in order to have an identity. These elements make your brand what are they are, it's what people first see and distinguishes your brand from another. If you don't consider any of these, then take a step back and grab you a graphic designer real quick. If you plan to develop graphics to post on your social media pages, this is a must to consider.
Logo - This is like your "IT" thing. It's the virtual face to your brand. Your logo comes handy because you can use it on custom apparel, accessories, graphics, etc. to your liking.
Primary Colors - Pick three to four colors. If you need help, try Pinteresting some moodboards that may help. I'd suggest picking one bold dark color, followed by light/neutral ones. And again, you don't have to. But you'll see how using the same colors in consistency helps theme your brand colorfully in a not so clutterful way.
Fonts - One of my biggest pet peeves (I design ish so I know), is when people use different fonts for every single graphic they create. To be quite honest, it looks a hot mess and you're fonts are making your brand look whack. Having a consistency of at least two fonts will save you from that nightmare. This is why a lot of big name brands and orgs have branding guidelines. It's such a thing you need to consider. Get hip: all you need is a sans serif font like Times New Roman, Georgia, Cambria, etc. and a serif font like Arial, Helvetica or Century Gothic.
Use those Elements to Make Poppin' Graphics
This is where planning an editorial calendar comes in handy, more on that in this blog post. After developing your brand elements as stated above, you can create graphics to post here and there in between different types of posts. My favorite app is Canva (there's a ton more) but this is the platform where you can develop just about any graphic and with its ease, you can incorporate your branding elements in it. Create graphics like:
Quote of the Day
Blog or Product Series
Fun Facts and Tidbits
Take Quality Photos...Key Word: Quality
Instagram was created so users can share great pictures and tell a story. Pictures, as in pictures they took themselves. Note: I'd recommend you to take your own photos and use other people's photos at your own discretion. It won't hurt, but hey, it's more authentic to post your own photos than using someone else's to convey your brand. In addition, it takes a lot to post a great quality photo (same goes for video clips). Just some things to keep in mind if you want that beautified photo:
Edit your photos to be bright and sharp photos, filter if any
Take advantage of natural light
Mix of close up shots + far shots
Invest in a selfie/soft lights or a tripod
Use white backdrop to snap your products
Post Your Photos and Find a Balance
The secret to showing a compelling, yet sleek look is to not post the same type of content every time and after one another. This is what I mean as it really makes sense for Instagram, lol... Here are some things to consider when beautifying your brand:
Graphics to Photo Ratio - It works for some, but not for all. Stop posting a graphic that you designed all the freaking time, every time. Spread it out a little . Think of a pattern: Post a photo, then a graphic, then a photo then a graphic. Or post photos then a graphic every once in a while. If you post graphics all the time, like seriously, your page is going to look like a billboard of ads. Don't get me started when Instagram users post graphics about their products and have no shame on how their graphics are designed. Stop posting Microsoft Word Art lookin' graphics on your pages, please stooooppp.
The 3-to-1 Ratio - This is so real. Do you see your favorite influencers posting three photos at the same time, surrounding a theme? This is because they got their strategic thinking caps on and got their pattern set up. This is what makes it consistent, if you want to make your 'gram look like this, post in threes.
Personal to Business Ratio - This is more content sentiment than a visual factor, but I thought I'd mention so hey listen up. Some of ya'll may disagree with me here and it's okay, but I think this can go both ways. If you have a separate business social media page and then your personal, then keep them separate, great...cool. But I know many folks that are entrepreneurs and are "branding" themselves, so they are integrating their personal life posts with their brand. Find the balance because you are your brand, so show yourself accordingly and appropriately. Like for real though, this is not the right way to do it:
You're a "fitness trainer and nutritionist" but you always post pictures of you at McDonald's
You're a "philanthropist" or "mentor" but you always post pictures of you at the club
You're a "hairstylist" but you don't even post pics of your clients and then you're page is private
Speaking of Instagrams, I uploaded (above) some of my favorite pages that I love to look at. If you look closely at their pages, you'll see how they incorporated these factors into their visual branding. If you incorporate your branding elements, take quality photos and plan your content accordingly...that may do the trick. Test it out!