A Look Behind the Screen: Humanizing Your Brand’s Instagram Account

Entrepreneurs, Innovation, Public Relations, Social Media Posted Jul 30, 2015 by Liza Vilnits

Ever since my CHEN colleague Shannon wrote a blog a few weeks back about HR managers using Instagram for recruiting, I’ve been seeing Instagram everywhere. It’s definitely a hot topic—and a place where your business should want to be, as Shannon argues.

Ben&JerrysNot only has Instagram become a corporate recruiting tool, it has also become a vehicle for sales and brand awareness. Most importantly, it provides us with a human connection and a look into the behind-the-scenes work of our favorite companies and brands. For consumers, that’s a must.

Don’t see all the hype? Well, according to eMarketer, in 2014 Instagram’s monthly user base in the US increased almost 60% to 64.2 million people. Twitter’s only grew to 48.4 million, meaning Instagram surpassed Twitter to became the second-largest social network in the US.

To further expand my knowledge of this growing beast, I decided to grab some tips about “Building your Brand with Instagram,” by Instagram expert and Founder of Jenn’s Trends, Jenn Herman. As Jenn put it, Instagram is “not just for the kids.” She claims that 30-64 year-olds are using the photo sharing app just as much as Twitter, and reiterates that because it’s owned by Facebook, we can be assured it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

Jenn gave some great tools and tricks for beginners, focusing on getting your profile set up, how to strategize with hashtag and why it’s important to use videos. For me, what I felt was most insightful was Jenn’s focus on what type of content you should be sharing and how you can use the photo-sharing app to connect with your audience.

Instagram-contest-623x623Here are a few ways Jenn suggests for engaging and even proposing a call-to-action with your photos:

  • Special offers and promotions;
  • Tips or tutorials;
  • Greetings or messages;
  • Contests or give-a-ways; and,
  • Instagram-exclusive contests – Can cross promote on your other social sites, but drive traffic back to the Instagram page.


RedbullAnd some tricks to a successful post:

  • Don’t use photos that look overly staged; find photos that are organic;
  • Use high quality pictures that stand out;
  • Use content that your audience will recognize as yours i.e. fits your style, uses a similar camera angle, etc. and over time, this repetition will brand your content;
  • Humanize your brand by telling the company story, showing growth and taking advantage of #tbt for a look into the past;
  • Post behind-the-scenes photos of employees and what goes on at the office; and,
  • Evoke emotion – this is key! Whether its humor, happiness, courage, playfulness, sympathy, serenity, optimism—if your photo has the power to make somebody feel something, that emotion paired with your brand will stick with them and make your logo forever recognizable.



The best part is, Instagram is fun, inspiring and quick! Take advantage by putting a face and personality behind your brand. We will forever be intrigued by technology, but at the end of the day, we still yearn for a human connection behind the screen.