At this point, I think we can all agree that Instagram is an extremely valuable marketing tool for your growing your business especially, as a fashion brand. Instagram is a great platform for showcasing your designs and your product, connecting with customers on a 1-on-1 level, and for expanding your reach. Before social media and Instagram, designers had to get media coverage in order for their designs to be seen beyond their network. Now, designers and fashion brands can post to Instagram and easily have their designs seen by potential customers and buyers nation and worldwide. Ah.maz.ing.
There’s no doubt that there’s a lot of potential with a platform like Instagram but as a business, specifically as a fashion business, there are a few best practices to growing your following and turning “likes” into sales.
Here are our top 10 Instagram do’s and don’ts for fashion brands.
DO. Post consistently. It’s really hard to build your following when you haven’t posted in 32 weeks. If you’re not good about posting daily, create a schedule and try to stick to it. Unfortunately, there isn’t an automatic scheduling application for Instagram but, you can use a scheduler like Later to remind you when to post.
DON’T. Post 6 pictures in a row all within 20 minutes. So you forgot to post to Instagram for a few days so now you’re going to post 5 pictures all in a row to make up for it. NO. DON’T DO IT. Posting multiple pictures all at once can come across as spam, not to mention annoying to your followers. Space your posts out throughout the day and use Iconosquare to see what the best time to post is for you.
DO. Tag others in relevant pictures. For example, let’s say you post a picture from your latest look-book. Feel free to tag the makeup artist, the model, the stylist etc. Social media is all about being social and creating community and what better way then to show support to the people who support you.
DON’T. Tag people in random pictures who you think should buy your product. It’s annoying and comes off super salesy. Did I mention that it’s annoying?
DO. Be social and engage with your followers and respond to every comment and tag. It’s called social media for a reason. The more social you are the more connections you can build. It can get tough once you start to get hundreds of comments to respond to everyone but if you’re averaging 3 or 4 comments a picture, there’s no reason why you can’t respond. If your customers are taking the time to comment about how much they love that new dress you designed or, how awesome your new lookbook looks, why would you not respond? Your customer is more valuable than any other component in your business. You can have a flawless production strategy and have awesome manufacturing and materials resources but, if no one is buying your product, it really doesn’t matter. Be social, be humble and engage.
DON’T. Copy and paste emojis or respond with the same message over and over. It looks really unauthentic and it’s pretty obvious to others that you’re just commenting just to comment.
DO. Share a behind-the-scenes look at your business and show a little personality through the pictures you post and the tone/persona of your copy.
DON’T. Over-share and get too personal. One picture of your cat is cute “maybe,” but 3 or 4 pictures is annoying. Remember, people are following you for your designs and to get an insiders glance at your business. Always ask yourself, “will my audience find this interesting?” before you post. If you want to post a million pictures of your cat, don’t be afraid to make a personal account just for cat lovers.
DO. Post clear, bright, hi-quality images.
DON’T. Post dark, grainy or fuzzy pictures. Instagram is a visual platform where quality will always reign supreme over quantity. As a business that’s using Instagram to promote your brand, you want to make sure your audience can clearly see what you have to offer. Accounts with fuzzy pictures give off the vibe of potential spam, lack of quality.
DO. Edit your photos by editing the highlight, saturation, warmth, etc to enhance the photo.
DON’T. Over edit and use so many filters that the image is unrecognizable. As a fashion brand using Instagram to promote your product, you want to make sure that customers can easily see the true color and texture of your pieces.
DO. Use hashtags that are relevant to your audience and will attract the people who will buy from you.
DON’T. Not use hashtags. When you don’t use hashtags, only the people following you can see your post which means, unless someone stumbles across your page, you are limited to only get likes and comments from the people who follow you. When you use hashtags, you allow anyone who searches for the hashtags you used to see your post. Thus, you’re much more likely to get a ton more comments and likes using hashtags than without. There’s a lot of debate when it comes to hashtags about how many to use. People tend to shy away from using “too many” because they don’t want to look like they’re trying too hard. Find what works for you and what makes you feel comfortable. Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags per post and we use them all…strategically of course. After posting our initial post, we go back into the comments and post a block of hashtags so that as people comment they “disappear.”
DO. Be consistent with the overall aesthetic of your feed and make sure it’s cohesive as a whole.
DON’T. Be afraid to delete pictures that no longer represent your brand or match the aesthetic you’re trying to build.
DO. Be careful with the information you share and what’s in the background of the photos you post especially if you have a home studio. I’ve seen someone post a picture right in front of their address. Not safe considering the whole Internet now knows where you live. Also, be careful of geo-tagging “the studio” when you’re at home. Instagram will literally show a map to the location that you tag and boom, now I’m coming over for dinner.
DON’T. Make your account private. No one but your current followers will be able to see your posts even if you use hashtags if your account is private. As a business, your account needs to be public. End of story.
DO. Recognize that Instagram is an extension of your brand and that you should take pride and pay attention to the pictures and captions you post.
DON’T. over think it and spend hours editing the same picture. Have fun! Yes, you want to grow your following, I get it. But don’t allow the process to stress you out. Understand that like everything else in business, it takes time to build a large following and just because someone else experience “quick fame” doesn’t mean you can copy their strategy and the same will happen for you. Be patient and have fun.
DO. Include your contact information and website link in your bio. Make it easy for buyers and potentital customers to find you.