If you search online for tips on gaining Instagram followers, one of the really common pieces of advice you will get it to pick an Instagram theme and stick to it. For those of you who are as Instagram obsessed as I am, you’ll know what an Instagram theme is and the struggle of sticking to one. If you’re not, you’re probably wondering what the heck I’m talking about and why you should care. The idea of an Instagram theme is ensure the prominent colours/tones in each image posted are the same or similar.
For example this is how my page currently looks, I try to avoid bright colours – instead sticking with black and white.
But some other people can take their themes far more seriously, sticking to one specific colour or set of tones like these ones:
This led me to wondering, do these themes and colours really matter? Of course in the grand scheme of things, no, Instagram is a social media platform and the colour of the pictures you post there is not going to drastically alter your life. However if social media is part of your business and therefore your brand it really could matter. Branding is crucial to making a business distinctive from others and building a relationship with consumers. So could the colour schemes of these social channels mean anything? How can brands utilise colour to maximise the efficiency of their social channels at being able to drive sales.
The colour red can signal love, passion, excitement and more. Consequentially, colour schemes centered around red could induce these positive feelings within the consumer. But red, like many colours isn’t only associated with positive feelings. Red is also associated with aggression and danger so if used incorrectly it could just as easily induce feelings of fear or discomfort within the consumer. Similarly, yellow is associated with joy/happiness but also anxiety/irrationality. The tone of the image, language used around it in conjunction with the consumers mood when they see the image can all contribute to whether they feel the positive or negative emotions associated with the colour. One colour with fewer negative emotions associated with it is blue, which is often used within advertising and other persuasive media. Blue is generally regarded as calming and is associated with intelligence, making the brand seem more credible which could make consumers more likely to engage and purchase.
Due to the duality of feelings associated with images, brands should be careful about how they use colours within their imagery. However it is very common for brands to use colours within their branding strategies, some even going as far as trademarking their exact pantone colour. Some popular examples of this include Tiffany Blue (seen above) or Cadbury Purple. Colour themes within their branding has been extremely successful for them, however it is still important to consider that different colours mean different things within different cultures. As a result, brands should be careful not to use colours and branding in a blanket fashion – rather adjusting according the culture being advertised to. For example, the colour of love in western cultures is red yet in asian cultures it is orange.
What do you think? Are colour schemes a useful branding tool or hinderance?