Leading up to the L&S Instagram Workshop (which is this Sunday, whoo!) I’ve spent a lot of time chatting with designers about their thoughts, feelings, concerns, likes and dislikes about Instagram. I’m all about giving value and wanted to make sure everything covered in the workshop this Sunday is beneficial and valuable to those attending.
In talking with a number of designers and looking at their feeds, I noticed a pattern in the mistakes people are making on Instagram. Here are four mistakes you too might be making on Instagram and how to fix them.
#1 YOU’RE NOT COMMENTING BACK OR ENGAGING.
If you read the L&S blog you know that I’m big on creating community. Community is so important to growing your business and is what creates loyal customers, brand enthusiasts and ultimately what helps to authentically spread the excitement about your business. Building community simply means, making people feel valued and a part of the team. The best and easiest way to create community via Instagram is to simply engage. (It’s called social media for a reason, right?)
If someone leaves a comment on your post talking about how much they love a dress from your new collection, respond. Try to leave comments that lead to more than one-word answers. Create a dialogue between you and your following by using a CTA's (call to action) on your posts.
Building community is about building connections and making people feel connected to you and your brand. The more you interact with your followers, the more they will want to comment and engage with you when they see your pictures on their feed. (Not to mention, with the new Instagram algorithm, the more comments your pictures get, the more Instagram shares your picture with people).
Spend 10 minutes in the AM, 10 minutes at lunch, 10 minutes before you leave the studio each night engaging with your community and notice the difference.
#2 YOU’RE NOT USING HASHTAGS…OR USING THEM CORRECTLY.
I hope at this point we are all in agreement that hashtags are necessary for growing your Instagram platform and getting eyes on your brand. Statistically, posts with 11 or more hashtags perform the best and get the most engagement on Instagram. If you don’t want your hashtags to be so obvious, there are ways to “hide” the hashtags by adding them as a comment.
Using hashtags is key but it’s more important that you use the right hashtags. Meaning, use the hashtags that people are actually looking at and, the ones that will attract your potential customers.
For example: let’s say you’re a jewelry designer that makes necklaces. Right now, go the hashtag #necklace on Instagram. Do you see how pretty much every post under this hashtag is of people who are selling necklaces? If you are a jewelry designer, you’re not trying to reach other jewelry sellers, you want to reach people who will buy. Logically it makes sense that since you’re posting a picture of a necklace that you use the hashtag #necklace however, you can see that this isn't a good hashtag to use. Use hashtags that attract ideal and potential customers, not competition.
#3. YOU’RE NOT PLANNING AHEAD.
I see this all. the. time. Instead of planning posts ahead of time, you rack your brain every day trying to figure out what to post on Instagram and then, when you can’t think of anything, you just don’t post anything. Or maybe you post something just to post it but aesthetically it doesn’t look all that great or it’s super random.
Why are you making your life harder?
I talk about content calendars all the time because they are a total game changer. A content calendar is essentially a calendar that maps out all the content that you intend to post within a specific time period. Content calendars help keep you organized and ensure that you consistently publish quality photos with the right hashtags (specific to each post) in a way that is time efficient and stress-free so you can focus on the many other tasks on your to-do list.
Whether you use an app like Later, or a Google Doc spreadsheet to plan your content, you will see your Instagram game change so drastically from this and free up so much of your time. This is an example of my content calendar for Laptops. We use a Google Doc spreadsheet.
#4. YOU DON’T THINK INSTAGRAM IS WORTH YOUR TIME.
I get it. As a designer, as a business owner, you have a lot to do. From design & development, production & supply, marketing & PR, sales & distribution you have a lot to handle and a lot to do. You know Instagram is an extremely valuable marketing tool for growing your business especially, as a fashion brand. And you know Instagram is a great platform to showcase your designs, connect with customers on a 1-on-1 level, and expand your brand awareness, but who has the time to focus on posting to Instagram when you have to fill 3 orders by Friday?
Maybe you tried spending time on Instagram doing all the things you read you were supposed to do, but you didn’t see results and now you’re #OverIt.
I get it.
Maybe you feel there are other things to focus on. But answer this, how, other than through social media are you marketing your business? What's leading people to your website?
In order to sustain your passion, you have to make sales. You have to be bringing in money. Having a website is not enough to make sales. The saying, “if you build it, they will come” is outdated and simply not true in today’s competitive market. The fashion industry is extremely crowded and customers have tons of options for where to purchase.
Instagram is an awesome platform for fashion brands because your customer is on Instagram, IN MASSES. One post on Instagram (done correctly) can and WILL expand your brand awareness and put your product in front of your customers. And you can convert followers into customers…I’ve done it.
Maybe the reason you’ve thrown your hands up to Instagram is because you don’t know what to do. You don’t know how to attract people who will actually buy from you and you don’t know how to take photos and create the “perfect” flatlay that will get people’s attention.
I really want to see you be successful on Instagram because I know how powerful of a tool it is for small businesses. I know there’s a way to make Instagram work for you so you can get more out of it without spending hours scrolling and double tapping and, I want to teach you how.
From now until Friday I’m going to be offering the Instagram Marketing Workshop for a special price, because I know how much value this workshop can bring to your business and I don’t want you to miss out. Especially with the holidays being here, I really want to see you succeed this holiday season and get the most traffic, the most sales, the most engagement.
You can keep using the same strategy you’re currently using and keep getting the same results or, you can invest in the future of your business and come hang out with me and learn a new way to approach Instagram to make it work for you.
Sign up for the Instagram Workshop at the special price here
The choice is yours, but I hope you choose to hang out with me. :)