Instagram can be confusing at best and downright insane at worse. However, when done right, you can absolutely build brand authority on Instagram.
Like any marketing platform, you want to identify its purpose first.
The struggle of entrepreneurs with the platform stems from the continuous comparison of their metrics to the metrics of others.
Instagram is a marketing tool that will help you reach your goal.
This means that the success of your profile is going to be defined by your specific goal and not that of the industry or whatever influencer your follow.
When you release assumptions and outside expectations, you’ll be able to focus on the activities that will catapult your own business growth.
You’ll be able to leverage Instagram in a way that works for your specific business.
But, like any other platform your need to be intentional and methodical with your implementation.
These 5 tips to build brand authority on Instagram will help you in your journey of introducing Instagram as a marketing tactic in your personal branding strategy.
1. Share Expert & Thought-Provoking Content
The key to building authority on Instagram as an expert-based entrepreneur is to share your knowledge.
This is what people will hire you for and Instagram is a great platform to showcase your knowledge on an array of subjects related to your brand.
Think of it as a way for people to get a sneak-peek in your work and process.
Another way to drive engagement is by sharing thought-provoking/controversial content. The idea is not to be controversial for the sake of being controversial but to share your honest opinion on a subject and owning your truth.
This type of content always works great on my profile and I always make it a point to share at least one thought-provoking content once a week (also, I’m very opinionated).
Your ideal client, who do share the same value as you, will resonate with your message, engage with it, and feel more connected to your content and brand.
As of 2020, Instagram algorithms favor saves and shares over likes and even comments. Expert-type content that offers value to your ideal client—like short tips, resource list, etc.—will often prompt people to save it for later.
Graphics, like quotes, are also highly sharable (and savable). Most of my opinion-based posts are paired with a quote graphic as this combination of visual and copy promotes more engagement.
A few examples of expert content:
A few examples of thought-provoking content:
2. Ask for Engagement
We have to guide our audience to take action. Don’t expect readers to know what they should do. Their brain has 3 seconds to register and process, so often the most engagement you’ll get is a quick like.
Encourage people to comment by asking them a question in your caption. Ask them to save your post for later if you know it’s information they’d need in the future.
Ask them to tag a friend, send it to a friend, or create visuals that can be shared on stories.
While images with people in it, specifically you, are great for post engagement (likes and comment), content with graphics that are more informational based is better for sharing.
For example, someone wouldn’t easily share a picture of my face in their story, but when you have a quote graphic or infographic-type posts, it feels more acceptable to share it in stories.
An example of engagement prompts:
An example of shareable content:
3. Build Community
I’ve been on Instagram for about a year right now and while I’m far from being Insta-famous, I’ve been able to foster good relationships online with people from around the globe.
We follow each other, engage with each other posts, and send each other voice/video messages. I’ve been able to form a community on Instagram by being invested in my “Insta-friends” lives and they’ve got invested in my life.
To get that connection you have to be able to show up authentically. Be open, honest, and vulnerable. The only way to build true friendships online is if you cultivate those connections the same way you would offline.
Actually no! You have to invest even more online to get the same emotional connection you would get when you see someone face to face.
While you can’t always see facial expressions online, you can show your love through support and respect.
4. Be Visible & Consistent
When you’re building a friendship in real life, you will constantly plan lunch dates and Friday dinners. You make sure to always be there for that person.
Somehow when it comes to online connections, we expect relationships to built after one comment.
You need to continuously and consistently show up for your audience. Show that you care and that you’ll always support them.
No relationship will flourish overnight and, especially, trust can’t be created after one interaction.
When you’re able to build trust, you’re able to build brand authority on Instagram.
5. Measure One or Two Metrics
What function will Instagram have for your business?
Nops, the purpose of Instagram is not always sales.
In my case, the purpose of Instagram is to foster relationships and build community.
Instagram has been a great source of referral for me as people who follow me often refer to someone they know that may need my services.
The expert content I create to build brand authority on Instagram is so that my network learns about what I do and how I offer value. I can create a metric according to this purpose—in this case, it’s shares and saves.
When you know the purpose of your Instagram, you can choose one or a maximum of two metrics to follow. It’s easier to analyze and interpret one or two metrics instead of five or six metrics.
You’ll be more focused and there’s less room to compare your content with that of others.