Most commonly heard in relation to Instagram, social media presence has ultimately become all about your “aesthetic”.
Instagram is a successful platform and brands that can create and maintain an aesthetic on the platform can increase their overall exposure and convert impressions to sales. Piecing together a style guide, building a social media plan, and staying organized will allow you to join in the success.
Understand your Brand Visually
Colors, shapes, textures, typeface are all taken into consideration when first creating your style. After learning more about your target market and honing in on your brand message, you can start to mix and match colors and moods that best suit your goals. Understanding your brand in visual terms through a style guide Some questions to ask yourself before getting started on your guide are:
What is my brand message?
Who are my followers?
What colors represent our brand? Are we fun and playful or professional and sophisticated?
Here is a helpful guide to describe colors and their meanings.
Extra tip: think about moods and tones. Do you have the flexibility to work with bolder colors or would a neutral color palette attract your clients?
1. Create a Uniform Editing Process
Once you feel confident in your color palette and truly understand your brand’s visual message it is time to choose a filter. When editing your images, you want to stay consistent and use the same (or similar) filters and hues. Creating a consistent editing routine is quick and efficient and will help you solidify an aesthetic for your theme.
Using apps like Vsco are great tools because they offer a variety of free and paid filters and once you choose and adjust it to your liking, you can copy and paste the exact edits to every image you upload into the app.
2. Organize Your Content
Staying consistent in your colors and mood is a great start because now you’ve not only cleared the air for yourself but you will be able to share your message to current and future followers easily. Now, it is time to determine the type of content you are going to post. Will you solely post product pictures, or do you plan on sprinkling in quotes to break up the grid? When you organize ahead of time, you are able to see your theme build and you become in control of the message you are sending in that day, week, month, or year. Pantone (@pantone) creates grids of approximately 3-9 images that focus on a series of similar swatches. Organizing by color creates a seamless transition between their multitude of swatches.
Apps that I recommend in terms of planning are, Later, UNUM and Mosaico. Each offer unique features but in the end aid you in designing your theme and aesthetic before your followers get a chance to see it live.
Following these three simple steps will kickstart your Instagram presence and increase your exposure. Your aesthetic becomes your identity and what your clients and followers will remember when mindlessly scrolling. Take the time to create your style and understand how you want to represent yourself visually. A strong Instagram aesthetic that will morph into your long-term identity.