It’s Not Just About the Photos: Why You Need an Instagram Personality

May 02, 2017

Find your own unique way to shine on Instagram.

If you’re not taking advantage of Instagram, it’s time you tapped in to this world of promotion to step up your brand’s image and social engagement. The photo sharing platform that launched in 2010 and was acquired by Facebook in 2012, has now around 500 M users with 300 M users active on a daily basis. And did you know 48.8% of brands use Instagram with that number expected to reach 70.7% by the end of the year. Sounds like something every brand or retailer should be doing, right? But is it too saturated to invest the time and money? The key is in how creative you want to be. 

Achieving great photography is no longer a large financial investment or means years of training necessarily. Even the pros are using iPhones now. Bon Appetit unveiled their first cover image taken with an iPhone last month! But regardless of the camera or the training, the key to Instagram success lies not just in the images themselves, but also in the personality and the takeaway for the viewer. 

Take for example Jamie Oliver (5.7 million followers!). Peruse his profile, and yes, the images are stunning, but each image has its own message: it’s a recipe, or a look behind the scenes with his team, or a landscape of a foreign country, it’s a 30 second instructional video, a cute picture of a family member, a favorite bottle of wine, and more. One could say Jamie Oliver acts as a curator of food, culture and lifestyle, and you feel more food sophisticated and educated just by scrolling the images. 

Or here’s another example of a great profile inspiring engagement. thefeedfeed (1.2 million followers) is all beautiful photos promoting recipes, but they are crowd-sourced by Instagram cooks. So anyone can hashtag their own recipes/photos with #thefeedfeed for a chance to be featured on their Instagram profile and website. 

And we can all learn something from deliciouslyella (1 million followers) a UK-based twenty-something food entrepreneur, who also claims the mission of “making vegetables cool.” She operates two delis, has a line of snack foods that stores like Starbucks carry, has published three cookbooks and hosts a food pop up in London. You’ll see in her Instagram feed lots of amazing photos of dishes she creates, but also a lovely flower arrangement, her wedding photos, her morning coffee, her dog and a few witty memes. You see…it’s not just about the food! 

While more and more companies are creating social media positions, this type of marketing and outreach in our modern world cannot be ignored. But rather than creating a position at your store, consider also the opportunities in partnering with an Instagram artist/personality. They maintain the creativity and autonomy of their profile with your store participating in affiliate marketing. This is basically the Instagram artist sharing images that are inspired by your product or store.

Another way to go about this is to seek out multiple influencers on Instagram and offer sponsored posts from time to time. 

And consider stand out employees with particularly unique personalities or positions such as your store’s grocerant chef? Or your store’s dietitian? Perhaps you have an amazingly charming and social wine and beer buyer or fishmonger, or a stand out clerk. There are opportunities all around your store and within your staff. And you’d be surprised how motivating a chance to be creative in a social world can be for any type of employee.