Why You Need an Instagram Persona
When I talk about building an Instagram persona for your business, what I mean is maintaining a consistency in your branding and a “personal touch” to how and what you post. This is essential to your Instagram Marketing efforts. You don’t want to come off as scattered and random, or as a “soulless corporation”.
The purpose of building a positive business persona is to position yourself as a credible and authoritative source that people can trust. That way, when you recommend a product or service, or offer some kind of promotion, your followers will trust the legitimacy and veracity of your recommendation. They know you’re not just another scummy online marketer looking to make a buck.
There are two mistakes that marketers often make that completely undermine the integrity of their brand’s persona. We’ll go over each of these next.
Mistake #1: They Focus on Themselves
The first mistake that many marketers make is that they make it all about themselves. All of their content is based around trying to capture a sale, and not about providing genuine value to their followers.
The best way to avoid this mistake is to be genuine. Most people are really good at spotting “fake” people and will avoid engaging with them. As such, at least one of your primary goals in using Instagram should be to selflessly provide value to your followers whether they ever convert into customers or not.
Mistake #2: They Spam Hashtags
If you use Instagram, you probably follow a few hashtags for topics that interest you. And you can probably spot hashtag spammers a mile away. Their content is almost relevant to the hashtag they’ve decided to include, but not really and as a result it looks out of place.
Many marketers will use the most popular or trendy hashtags on their content regardless of relevancy as a way to get their posts out to a wider audience. While technically they do get their content in front of more eyes, it’s usually not perceived in a positive way. When a brand spams hashtags it makes them look spammy and desperate.
The best way to use hashtags is ensure that they are relevant to your post so that you are adding to the conversation rather than selfishly detracting from it.
The Challenge of Building an Instagram Persona
With a personal Instagram account, your posts are probably pretty focused around a handful of your interests. If you are a marathon runner, you probably have several posts about the joys, struggles, and intrinsic rewards of long distance running. If you play the drums, then you probably have several posts about your drum set, or drummers that you admire, or a brand that you prefer.
As a personal Instagram user, your persona is easy and natural. It’s made up of your various interests and passions that you share with others as an act of genuine self expression, and your followers follow you because some part of that resounds with them.
As a brand, your persona is a little bit more tricky. Your goal is not self expression. Your goals are to provide genuine value and to make sales. So how do you create a brand that is capable of reaching those goals?
How to Build a Solid Brand Persona
- Your persona must be hyper-specific to the niche your business serves
- Your persona must be able to attract and maintain a large following
The first step is fairly straightforward, and your niche should have been identified in your business or marketing plan. The second step is a bit more tricky and I’ll address those in upcoming blog posts.
There are four key steps to building an Instagram following:
- Analyze your competition
- Craft your content strategy
- Work with influencers
To summarize, the strategy is to build a credible, niche-specific persona and create a following for that persona. By doing this you will drive traffic to your site, and increase conversions.