Instagram as a boost to your personal brand

Two weeks ago I started a series of four chapters on social networks, and at the moment I have been dealing with the platforms Twitter And Linkedin

And today we continue with Instagram, the network owned by Meta (From 2012). 

In 2010, there was a microblogging social network, of short texts (Twitter), a video network (Youtube), a professional network (Linkedin), and one to hear from friends and family (Facebook). 

You guessed it!! There was no image network.

So today I present you Instagram as a boost to your personal brand.

Here's a one-minute video summary:

If you prefer to listen to it on podcast, here you have it in iVoox, Apple Podcast And Spotify

What is Instagram and what is it for??

As Elena Lavagna, Instagram is a social network and a mobile application at the same time, that allows its users to upload images and videos with multiple photo effects as filters, frameworks, retro colors, Etc., to later share those images on the same platform or on other social networks.

This social network with more than 2.000 millions of active users used to share images and videos, applying filters and thus achieving that a photo taken with the mobile becomes a professional image.

How does Instagram work??

The user takes a photo or records a video from their mobile, applies a filter or photo retouching (light, saturation, Etc) and share it with your community, being able to choose if you do it temporarily or fix it on your wall.

Currently, Instagram offers you several sections that you can squeeze: feed, reels, Videos, guides and labels or mentions.

You also have different formats: image only, Video, reels, stories, carousel...

  • Instagram allows you to take ordinary photos and make them look extraordinary; this can be convincing.
  • People don't want to read long texts, so you are more interested in watching videos and images, and this is the basis of Instagram.
  • It's simple, easy to use and free.
  • Instagram has focused on doing just one thing rather than trying to do too many things.
  • It has a lot of fun features and updating for the daily needs of users.
  • You can make an excellent business profile in it and earn a lot of money being an influencer.

Instagram Story

Created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, was launched on 6 October 2010. Quickly gained popularity, getting to have more than 100 millions of active users in April 2012, when it was acquired by the Facebook group (today known as Meta). 

Kevin Systrom's idea

Instagram started as a part-time project of Kevin Systrom when I was learning to code. And after meeting Mike Krieger, created Instagram.

Kevin Systrom was born on 30 December 1983. His mother worked as a marketing executive and his father was the vice president of the TJX company.. He studied engineering science and management at Stanford University., and did his internship in Odeo (the Twitter company).

After graduation, found a job as a marketing associate product manager at Google. He left his job at 2009 (After 3 Years) and joined a startup called "The Next Stop" as a product manager. This is how he approached social media.

For his part, Mike Krieger was born on 4 March 1986 in Sao Paulo. He studied symbolic systems at Stanford University. (where she met Kevin). 

In college, worked on a photo exchange project for a class. It was an app to treat seasonal affective disorders called “Send me some sunshine”. The idea was for a user to send a sun photo to another user in another part of the world. (with winter weather and fewer daylight hours) to encourage you.

Burbn: The principles

Kevin had no formal training in computer science and coding., but he loved it. So while working on the next project, learned to code in the evenings after work and on weekends, and he got it for himself.

After learning to code, built a prototype in HTML5 called Burbn (the name was inspired by his love of good whiskeys and bourbon). Burbn was an app that allowed users to check-in, post your plans and share photos like on Facebook. It was a check-in mix, games (Foursquare and Mafia Wars!) and share photos in a single app. But it was confusing., so it was unsuccessful.

People only used the app to share their photos. Coffee Photos, of dogs, of the bathroom mirror. Photos of everyday life. This was the moment Krieger came on the scene.. Joined Systrom at Dogpatch Labs on the pier 38 of San Francisco.

They looked at how Burbn users liked to share photos and then studied all the favorite apps in the photo sharing category. So they canceled Burbn and started over.. They spent some time experimenting and searching. There was an Instagram prototype called scotch, but it had no filters and was full of errors.

The start of Instagram

Finally. After months of attempts, was created Instagram and the 6 October 2010. On the first day twenty-five thousand followers were achieved. From there, she was growing up alone.

Instagram hit the nail on the head and reached one million users in three months. And it reached ten million users with organic growth without any advertising.

What was the first photo on Instagram?

The first photo that was uploaded to Instagram was that of the mascot (Kevin Systrom's dog) when I was a puppy.


With the massive growth of users of Instagram, investors were interested. In January, 2011, the company began to meet with stakeholders, and a month after that, Instagram raised around 7 millions of dollars from a variety of investors. After that, the company caught the attention of major social media companies, Twitter and Facebook.

This allowed Systrom and Krieger to hire more people., but they kept it with few employees.

Ig interests from Twitter

Dorsey knew Systrom from his time as an intern at Odeo, and was very interested in the company. So, in March 2011, offered some 500 million dollars in stocks, it is said. Systrom declined; preferred that Instagram remain an independent company.

In March 2012, Instagram reached the 27 millions of users, and in April it was released for Android phones. Downloaded more than a million times in less than a day. The company received a new round of funding with a valuation of 500 millions of dollars.

Interests by IG from Facebook

In April 2012, Zuckerberg (the founder of Facebook) made an offer to buy Instagram By 1.000 million dollars in cash and stock, on the condition that the company remained independently managed. Shortly the next, Facebook acquired the company for 1.000 million dollars in cash and stock.

Instagram Story Timeline

  • 6 October 2010: Launch of Instagram
  • 12 December 2010: Instagram has 1 million users.
  • 21 March 2011: world's first InstaMeet
  • 3 August 2011: Upload photo number 150 Million.
  • 20 September, 2011: presentation of the version 2.0 with four new filters.
  • 26 September, 2011: 10 million users!
  • 21 November 2011: launch of the weekend hashtag project #VHP
  • 3 April 2012: Instagram is also launched on android.
  • 9 April 2012: Facebook buys Instagram.
  • 28 June, June, 2012: Instagram designs photo pages for the web.
  • 26 July 2012: Instagram has 80 millions of users!.
  • 21 December 2012: the version 3.4.1 Incorporates 25 Languages.
  • 2 May 2013: photos are tagged on Instagram.
  • 20 June, June, 2013: video introduction.
  • 12 December 2013: introduction of Instagram direct.
  • 1 December 2014: Instagram reaches the 300 Million.
  • 22 October 2015 boomerang launch.
  • 2 August 2016 Instagram announces the "stories".
  • 15 December 2016: Instagram reaches the 600 Million
  • 22 February 2017 Instagram launches carousel posts that allow multiple photos or videos in a single post
  • 20 June, June, 2018 Instagram announces that it has 1.000 millions of users
  • 20 June, June, 2018 Instagram launches IGTV and its independent app
  • 19 May 2020 Instagram announces the 'stores'’ in IG
  • 5 August 2020 Launch of Instagram Reels in more than 50 countries around the world
  • 27 July 2021 Instagram Reels can last up to 60"
  • 01 March 2021 Instagram Live launches “Rooms” that allows four people live.
  • 17 June, June, 2021 Instagram launched full-screen ads on Reels.
  • 23 June, June, 2021 The company prioritizes suggested posts over posts from people the user follows in the feed.
  • 27 September, 2021 The development of Instagram Kids is paralyzed, the Instagram product aimed at children.
  • 04 October 2021 Facebook suffered its worst blackout since 2008.
  • 11 March 2021 Russia bans GI due to assumptions “calls for violence against Russian troops”.
  • 17 March 2022 Zuckerberg confirmed his plans to add non-fungible tokens (Nft) to the platform.
  • 2 April 2022 A study confirms that Instagram did not act in the 90% of direct hate messages sent to women.
  • 1 July 2022 algorithm change to approach TikTok, that generates criticism in users.
  • Today: Instagram has over a billion monthly active users, in front of the 800 million September 2017, being one of the most popular social networks in the world.

Before you create an account on Instagram check this

If you want to share photos or videos with a private circle of friends or family, I do not advise you Instagram, but share photos via Whatsapp groups, Telegram, Dropbox...

Instagram is a social network, and how social works from an open profile. From the point of view of personal branding, Instagram allows you to reach where Twitter or Linkedin does not reach: to show the things that really matter to you, your most human side, your hobbies, very close to your values.

More than a network of contacts, is a network where sensitivities are shared, where we have discovered photographers, Singers, Confectioners, Poets, athletes. That is to me the true nature of Instagram, and it's a shame that private profiles are used, making the network more private and less social.

7 reasons why Instagram is a great driver of your personal brand

1 Show your most human and authentic side

Neither Twitter nor LinkedIn have that ability to show that human side of our personal brand.. Instagram, through the feed, but especially through stories (Snapchat invention) and reels (TikTok invention) you get it with ease. A hobby as a sport, or readings, or volunteering, convey valuable information so that others know the most personal part of your personal brand DNA.

2 Enhance your personal story and your values

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I agree. It is very difficult to communicate our values and our story in words, but a visual network like Instagram makes it easier for us to transmit complex information through images and videos.

3 It makes it easy for you to create a community around your personal specialty

The joint use of images, Hashtags, Videos, live broadcasts, accelerates the process of expert positioning around your specialty. That makes it easier to create a community of people interested in your content., that well managed can be part of your future customers.

4 Visualize the value of what you do / Sell

If you sell luxury shoes, you can show them. I know it seems like a no-brainer, but neither Twitter nor LinkedIn are designed for that. The same happens if you work in real estate, or any project that offers tangible goods (Cars, foods, Furniture, Travel, Fashion, Perfumes, Jewelry, Books, music...).

5 Drive traffic to your website or your project

For a few months, Instagram allows all users to include links in Stories and Reels. I think it's a matter of time before they include it in the overall feed as well.. That allows users to be taken to a website where they can get more information., contract services or buy goods.

6 Reach new audiences

That always depends on the algorithms of the moment.. At the time of writing these lines (August 2022), reels are Zuckeberg's "pretty girl", that allow you to reach audiences beyond your followers. You can also achieve this with an accurate hashtag strategy (something quite difficult) in the rest of the publications.

7 High engagement with content (visual) of value

I would say that the engagement of Instagram it is unbeatable in terms of image. LinkedIn is with insights and TikTok with videos. The key here, is that the greater the strength of the image, greater is the interaction that is generated. Good photographs, and carouseles (image sequences).

Some ideas to have a good profile on Instagram

  • Easy identification. Try to make your real name look like your @nombreInstagram. That makes searching easier for your followers.
  • Create an inspiring bio, with a value proposition or a personal phrase, tries to run away from phrases of others, leave your own mark.
  • Add line breaks in your bio, helps make it look more organized.
  • In the feed, publishes at most once a day. If your engagement is low, try to reduce your posts.
  • Search that the image or video you share adds value, either by image impact or by the power of the message.
  • Avoid doing what everyone else does, create your own code.
  • Reply to comments, even if you don't like them, if you are a troll, block and report.
  • Comment on content you like, Surprised. Likes have little value.
  • Don't focus solely on your professional area. That's what you have LinkedIn for.. Many want to see your most personal side.
  • The abusive capitalization or special characters tired. Book it for special occasions.
  • Combines properly posts in the feed (serious content) with stories (your day to day, more staff) and reels. And if you dare, do some live from time to time.
  • Receive notifications for when certain accounts post. Go to your account profile. Click the bell icon in the upper-right corner.
  • Control and limit the time you spend on Instagram. Tap the three-line icon on your profile. Select “Your activity”. Touches “Time of use”. Select “Set daily time limit” and choose between 15 minutes and 2 Hours.
  • Create collections and bookmark your favorite posts. Find the bookmark icon at the bottom right of a post. Tap it to automatically save the post to your general collection.
  • Hide or approve tagged photos. Navigate to the person's icon in a box on your profile to see the photos you're tagged in. Select the photo you want to delete. Tap the three dots icon and choose “Publishing Options”. Choose “Hide from my profile” to continue tagging but remove it from your feed, Or “Remove me from publication” to remove the tag.
  • Turn off your activity status. Default, Instagram shows your activity status, I mean, active does 2 Hours. If you want to keep it private, go to your profile and tap the three-line menu, click on “Configuration”. Press “Privacy”. Select “Activity status”. Deactivates “Show activity status”. 
  • Delete a specific photo on a carousel.  Tap on the three dots. Swipe to the photo or photos you want to delete. A trash can icon will appear in the upper left corner allowing you to delete the selected photo.
  • Restrict comments to your followers. Tap the three lines. Go to “Privacy” and tap “Guest reviews”. Choose “Allow comments from” and select the group you prefer…
  • Create saved responses. Go to “Configuration” and tap “Companies”.  Choose “Saved replies”. Write your answer, As “Hello! Please, send us your full name, contact number and address so that we can resolve your questions”.
  • Find the most relevant hashtags. Tap the magnifying glass icon in the control panel. Go to the column “Hashtags” and type your keyword into the search bar. A list of the most relevant words will appear, along with its volume of use.
  • Use the Collab function. Create a post or reel. Enter your caption and select “Tag people”. Select “Invite a collaborator”. Find the user's name and select their profile. Share the post
  • Stories. Access more colors. Open your stories and tap the pencil. Touch and hold one of the color options and wait for the color gradient to appear. Choose the color you prefer.
  • Use a green screen for your stories. Go to the story as if you were making a. Swipe right and select “reels”. Click the filter icon. In the panel with various effects, you can write “green screen” or select it manually. Select “Add media” and choose the background you want
  • Add links to your story with customizable text. Prepare the publication of your story. Tap the sticker icon in the upper-right corner. Select 'Link’ and enter the URL. Add your preferred text in the field “Customize sticker text”. 
  • Reorder filters of your photos. Add a new photo or video and enter edit mode. Go to the filters page and choose a filter you want to move. Touch and hold the three-line icon and drag the filters to the order you want.
  • Use your Instagram stories to get information about your followers. The sticker of survey Instagram allows your followers to choose from options to learn more about what they would like.
  • Choose a different cover photo for your video. Click the + of your homepage and choose “Publish”. Choose the video you want to upload. Click “Cover” and press the + at the bottom of the screen to add a photo.
  • Paste photos into your Story . Did you know that you can paste images into your Story? You can add screenshots, a logo… Prepare your Story and make sure you already have a selected photo. Exit Instagram and search your photos for the one you want to paste into your Story. Select “Copy photo”. Go back to your Story, tap the screen and click paste.
  • Fill in the background of your Story with a color solid. Go to your Story and select any photo. Click on the three dots and select “Draw”. Select the color you prefer. Tap anywhere on the screen for about two seconds and wait for the screen to fill with your chosen color.
  • Fill in the background of your Story with a translucent layer. Go to your Story and select any photo. Click the three dots in the right corner and select “Draw”. Select the pen tool. Select the color you prefer from the palette. Tap anywhere on the screen for about two seconds and wait for the screen to fill with a translucent layer of the color you've chosen.
  • Add music to your Story and customize it. Choose the photo or video you want to post. Tap the sticker icon, then tap Music. Search Instagram's song library and choose from different genres. Select a song to add to your story. Adjust the duration of the clip by tapping “15”: you can submit up to 15 seconds of the song you want to appear.
  • Post multiple stories at once. Open Instagram Stories and choose the multi-capture feature on the left. Start taking pictures: you can do up to 8 using the. Click “Following”. Add effects, paint and edit each of the photos as you normally would. Click the share arrow in your Story.
  • Used a video as the base layer of your photo in your History. Select a video from your library or record a video for your Story. Open the stickers in the story on the right. Select the photo sticker. Select the photo you want to post next to the video from your gallery. Layer the photo over the video, move it and change its size to your liking.

To know more about Instagram

  • Book: Monetizagram, of the Pedro Rojas, Lid Editorial 2020. A good text to take advantage of this network.
  • Andrea Antelo: follow his profile @oletna_blog, oletna_blog
  • Dani Dini: Journalist, she is not an expert in GI but her profile and timeline are exemplary. Follow her on @danidini
  • Laura Chica @laura_chica, psychologist and coach, she is not an expert in GI but her profile and timeline are inspiring.

Stock Photos from Ink Drop / Shutterstock

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