Instagram’s Eva Chen gives her advice on successfully building a brand on the platform

From letting go of the grid to upping your engagement, here's everything to know...

Instagram is a powerful platform for building a brand, with the app acting as the sole marketing channel for a lot of businesses.

‘Brands have been a key part of the Instagram community since our launch,’ Instagram‘s Director of Fashion Partnerships Eva Chen told Marie Claire‘s Digital Features Editor Jenny Proudfoot at the launch of The Instagram Edit, the platform’s pop-up shop in Selfridges this Christmas.

‘Instagram has always been a place to discover and be inspired by businesses of all sizes’, she continued. ‘Instagram is how they have and how they reach their customers.’

But with 90% of people on the platform following a brand or a business, how can budding entrepreneurs and founders take advantage?

Jenny Proudfoot sat down with Eva Chen to get her three top tips on successfully building a brand on Instagram…

1. ‘Let go of the grid’

‘Stop obsessing over your grid. I think brands often treat the grid as a portfolio or an art experiment. They’ll take an image of a model wearing their jewellery, they’ll spice it up with a collage of 6 tiles and they’ll do one drop of a collage tile every day at the same time. My number one tip is to optimise for your feed, not for the grid. You have to remember, content is disseminated to your followers through your feed so you want to optimise for some scrolling on their feed or for the tapping effect which happens on stories. So spicing something up, adding a lot of white borders and trying to make your Instagram into an editorial that looks like it’s been shot by a fashion photographer – that’s not what Instagram is about.’

2. ‘People want to see behind the scenes’

‘If you’re a young, independent designer – take Olivia Rubin for instance – people want to see you in your own designs and showing a little bit more of the behind the scenes. There’s a young designer here in the UK named Racil and she makes the most amazing suits. I met her two days ago and she was wearing this amazing black and yellow checked three piece suit with super cool trainers and a super cool sweater but she wore the sweater as a scarf and she had one sleeve dangling over her shoulder. I was like “Girl, you need to post this picture of your outfit”. And she was like “Oh I don’t know”. You are your own best representative. Put more of your personality into Instagram and if you are the founder of a brand, show your own personal style. You’re usually the best spokesperson for your own line.’

3. ‘Use every surface of Instagram’

‘I think a lot of people will say “Oh I only use feed” or “I only do stories”. If you only use one surface on Instagram then you’re kind of missing out because it has different audiences. Make sure you are doing all the different surfaces. Also, you have to post more than once a week. Most followers on Instagram open the app dozens of times a day – anywhere from like two dozen times to 50 times a day, you never know. They can also follow hundreds of accounts, so if you’re only posting once a week, you’ll miss out. Just like magazine issues, your Instagram needs consistency. That’s what people want.’

Happy brand building.

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