08 Jan Creating a Unique Instagram Layout
With a degree in aerospace engineering and her previous work at NASA, Aisha Bowe took her passion for science and founded STEMBoard, a company that provides cost-effective engineering and IT services. By analyzing her Instagram and LinkedIn presence, it’s clear that Bowe understands both platforms’ strengths and weaknesses and has successfully created content that is most effective on each one. Keep reading to learn more tips on how executives can use these platforms to build their own social media strategy.
Using a Structured Instagram Layout
What makes Instagram different from other social media platforms is its heavy reliance on visual content, whether it’s an image or a video. When browsing through a user’s feed, you will see the images first, rather than the post’s copy. Here is a look at Bowe’s Instagram layout:
What makes her online presence stand out from other executives is that she has maintained a very structured Instagram layout with a text-based image in the center, which is flanked by two other posts. Quote graphics add a more custom element to a user’s feed and can often be used to engage with the reader and develop an executive’s thought leadership content.
In Bowe’s case, she uses text-based content to convey inspirational messaging, which aligns well with her company’s values of being innovative and inclusive. For executives looking to create custom quote graphics, one tip is to make sure the text is large enough to be easily read, even on a small screen.
Bowe has also used her Instagram feed to share third-party content, such as articles seen in the example above. One important tip to keep in mind is that links do not work in an Instagram post. We always recommend either sharing a screenshot of the article in the feed or as an Instagram Story if the screenshot doesn’t visually fit the rest of the regular feed.
Her Instagram profile is effectively organized, including her job title, a few lines about her, and companies that have highlighted her. The use of emojis in a profile can help draw people’s attention and provide a fun look to the space.
Rather than linking to her company website, she’s included a linktr.ee link instead. Linktr.ee is one example of a third-party platform that allows users to create a list of links. This is particularly helpful for executives who have multiple links they want to share since an Instagram profile only allows for one URL.
LinkedIn Top Voices 2020
In 2020, Bowe was named one of the Top Voices on LinkedIn in the technology industry thanks to her passion for making STEM more accessible to a wider audience. Her overall presence on LinkedIn is equally as effective as her Instagram profile. Similar to her Instagram presence, her content on LinkedIn has been curated to fit this platform’s audience. LinkedIn is seen as a platform for industry professionals, so her language and content there are much different than it appears on Instagram, which tends to focus on photography and quotes that feature her.
In the example post below, Bowe has made effective use of tagging brands and individuals, as well as including relevant hashtags.
Social media is an effective platform to convey key messaging, such as a new partnership with another company. By announcing the news on LinkedIn and properly tagging Groupon, Bowe ensures that the post will reach more people, particularly those who follow Groupon but don’t yet follow her.
Similar to her Instagram profile, Bowe’s LinkedIn profile is also well optimized as she has included all of the relevant sections, including Skills, Accomplishments, and Featured content. The Featured section is where she links to third-party content, such as a Forbes article that highlights her accomplishments.
For executives who want to build a strong LinkedIn presence, adding a Featured section is an excellent way to highlight interviews they’ve been in or their company.
Improvements: Touching Up Visual Content
When posting images on Instagram, we always recommend using a 1:1 (square dimension) to make the images in the feed look more cohesive. When displaying preview images on a user’s feed, Instagram will automatically crop images that are not 1:1, which may result in certain elements of the image being hidden on the feed (note that when users click on a post, they will see the full image if it’s not a 1:1 dimension).
For certain Stories, the added text can be harder to read, particularly if it’s placed on top of other text. For executives who want to add text to their Stories, we recommend selecting the “background” option that automatically creates a solid-colored background behind the text. This can help improve legibility when dealing with placing text on busy images.
While Bowe frequently uses best practices, there are times when minor tagging errors occur, such as a personal tag not populating correctly on LinkedIn. Unlike a platform like Twitter, you can edit a published post on LinkedIn and any minor errors can be corrected.
Curating Content Based on the Social Media Platform
Aisha Bowe posts different content to her Instagram compared to her LinkedIn and also tailors the tone of the content to suit the two platforms. On Instagram, most of the content is about building her thought leadership and presence as a CEO through a curated Instagram layout. On LinkedIn, there is more emphasis on her company, STEMBoard.
When an executive is present on multiple social media sites, one of the most effective strategies in building an online presence is to differentiate content for each platform. This gives people a reason to follow a CEO on different apps, but is also beneficial for the executive as well as they can tailor their messaging and content to fit the platform.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many brands are turning to online resources to reach their target audience. Successful companies aren’t just developing their own social media presence but they’re also looking at how they can position their leadership team.
In the meantime, take a look at our case study where we worked with an executive in the healthcare industry to take her Twitter and LinkedIn presence to the next level.
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