I’m gonna help you get your visual content nailed by identifying some common sins you might be committing across your small business’s social media pages and show you how to get ‘on brand’ with a stunning Insta feed that’ll make your friends jealous.
I want you to think about how you go about curating the content for your small business’s social media.
Do you find you don’t have enough time and it either gets neglected or is rushed?
…or are you trying to post regular, good content but finding that you’re just not attaining those ‘gram goals?
I’m going to help you with instructions on how to get the best visual content for your small business, keep it simple, and (most importantly) keep it on brand.
What does ‘on brand’ even mean?
Have you ever come across one of those Instagram users with a feed that makes you go UNGHHHH.
Of course you have. We all have. Those feeds are the pinnacle of Instagram. A smörgåsbord of high-quality photos with great lighting and composition which follow a similar colour scheme and style of image.
If nothing’s coming to mind, let me remind you of a few creative and cool South West ladies who are nailing their feed…
They’re all lovely and super aesthetically-pleasing. But why are they so lovely?
Having consistent branding across your social media platforms is an excellent way to communicate your brand identity. The power of the internet means we can broadcast select aspects of our selves or brands to millions of others, creating an online persona. Spending a little time working on your brand’s online identity will help you appear more aesthetically-conscious, professional, diligent and organised to your pool of potential clients.
Awesome social media users are just like those friends who turn up early for every coffee hang-out in a fully matching outfit, with awesome accessories and hair, and remembered their loyalty card AND reusable cup. How do they do it? I’m not sure, but it sure is impressive.
Now, would you believe me if I told you that you could also achieve such a good lookin’ feed?
It might even turn out easier and faster than neglecting your Insta and the feelings of guilt and disappointment at your feed when you haven’t posted in a few weeks.
The first step is identifying the common mistakes (or mis-pics) you’re posting on your small business’s social media accounts.
Given that stunning social media feeds are all about consistency, run-of-the-mill feeds appear a little lacklustre and inconsistent in comparison to the gorge ones.
I want you to open up your desired social media platform, from Instagram to Facebook to Etsy, on your phone and take a minute to review your visual content.
- Uniformity: When you look at the page as a whole (or pages across different platforms), does it appear uniform? Do you think a client could identify your brand on Facebook (without seeing your brand name) from visual content if they also followed you on Instagram?
- Quality control: Are you posting a mishmash of high-quality, pro photographer images and low-res, blurry phone snaps?
- Colour Palette: Do you images all follow a similar colour palette? If you’re using a filter, please, please, please make sure you’re using the same one across the majority of visual content you post.
- Content: (Etsy) Are your products clear from the images you have selected?
- Free Range: (Facebook and Instagram) Are you branching out to feature a range of basic and styled product pics? (even client pics and the occasional graphic are great in moderation)
- Don’t Text and ‘Gram: Are you overlaying text or *gasp* borders on your images ‽ I definitely don’t encourage this, but I’ll turn a blind eye ONLY in the case that you’re being super consistent. None of that top left-alignment, bottom centre-alignment alternating funny business. Use the same font across your posts and keep it minimal.
Hopefully you will have identified a few issues which are the source of your higgledy-piggledy feed, and now we can crack on with simplifying the process and avoiding these mistakes.
So… how can I be more ‘on brand’?
Get boarding ✏️
My number one tip would be to make sure you make a brand board you can work from. If you’ve been keeping up with our super-duper September business tips then you might already have your own gorge board printed and framed above your workstation.
If not, that’s fine. I’m only a little disappointed, but I’ll throw you a bone and let you read our awesome blog post (including a free, downloadable template – WHAAAAAT???) after reading this.
Making a brand board establishes your brand identity and means it’s super simple to refer back to your colours, fonts and photography style when you’re checking to see if what you’re psoting is ‘on brand’.
Schedule your content 📅
As well as completing a brand board you can refer to when photographing, editing or posting your images, scheduling in advance can be really helpful. Posting in a hurry often leads to random and low-quality images with hardly-thought-out hashtags wriggling their way onto your social media page and plaguing your feed.
Using an application to schedule your content can ease your stress by allowing you to consistently upload good quality, thoughtful posts at the same time every day without having to be paranoid about missing the deadline or rushing to complete it.
Here at Studio Cotton, we swear by Later. It’s FREE. It allows you to upload a crocheted-elephant size of content and arrange when it will be posted throughout the month.
Control your posting 🙋
Keepin’ it personal can be an excellent way to achieve consistency. The likelihood is that, as a small business owner and thus jacqueline-of-all-trades, you’re the one wearing the marketing hat. Often when two people are running a brand’s business account, unless communication and brand identity is already set, the feed can look quite messy, with content being posted at all hours and of different quality.
Ensuring only one person runs the account is a great way to streamline the process and keep your social media ‘on brand’.
Create and store lots of content 📷
My pro tip for you to level up to MAXIMUM EFFICIENCY would be to take an afternoon or day where you have good lighting, or book out a small studio, to take a whole gallery of images you can use throughout the rest of the month or year. Taking a burst of images in one go will mean your lighting, colour scheme, image quality and composition are pretty consistent
If you end up with a tonne of content, why not upload it to Unsplash to get some exposure for your imagery and help out others who don’t have the time or resources to take such lovely images to illustrate their blog posts.
So, before you post…
In an ideal world, you’d prepare your products and organise a day photo shoot in a local studio. Shoot a variety of content with backgrounds and in a style which matches your brand board’s representation of your brand identity *. Think through your hashtags and ensure your image description has useful and relevant content that conveys a useful brand message to your followers. Use some tech that schedules your posts so you don’t have to worry about it later. Post high-quality content of consistent style and colour regularly, and your feed is going to be looking epic in no time at all.
If you do find yourself guilty of a feed-faux-pas then there’s no shame in going through your images and mass-deleting anything mildly ugly. (We do it all the time to ensure our Instagram feed looks super gorgeous and uniform.)
*Make sure you don’t go to bed before completing your own small business’s brand board.
Keep strutin’ your stuff and nailin’ your small business branding. Follow us to keep up to date with new quick tasks released every day (well…almost – we’re busy ladies) this month.