Social media is a large part of many new fashion labels marketing strategy. A lot of people will refer to social media as a free tool, as yes, you can open an instagram account for free. But I think this is the wrong way to look at it, as it isn’t really free, it takes TIME which is either yours (which has value!) or you are paying someone to spend the time on it for you. Either way to have any success it takes commitment and investment.
There is a lot to cover when it comes to instagram, I know its just pretty pictures and captions. But those additive, engaging posts don’t happen by accident. So we have broken it down into three blogs. The next is all about the admin side of things – setting up your profile for success.
But first let’s get the foundations right.
Define your brand
Before you jump into the platform it is important to really find your brands voice. Is it your voice? Or is it your brands voice?
A lot of people struggle with this point. Is your label, YOU, are you the brand, is it YOU specifically that you are selling?
Or is it a brand that stands on its own two legs and has its own personality and growth.
The answer to this will determine whether you write captions with “I believe that” or for instance “Here at Sample Room we believe” etc.
Ok – now we have answered this. What is your brand voice? Give your brand a very clear personality. Really know who your brand is, like it’s a living person of its own! This needs to be developed at the same time as you develop your target market’s personality. Who would your target market respond well too? We will leave defining your target market to another blog.
Does your brand use casual or formal language? Are they obsessed with the environment or the latest trends? Cement this now, and keep it handy to refer back to. As having a clear voice throughout your instagram page is important, this is how people connect with you (your brand).
Define your visuals/interests
Now that we know our tone and language base, what are we talking about? What colours do we love? What is the general style/aesthetic of the brand? What consistency can we have that allows our followers to glance at our feed and know its our account without looking at the name? Are there pictures of the ocean and environmental efforts filtered throughout your feed. Or do your always lean towards warm/pink images.
Yes – it’s time to mood board. Firstly, purely for aesthetics, and then secondly for topics.
What value can you give?
What do you give your follower that keeps them coming back for more? Is it quick facts about a topic that would interest them. Is it stunning photos of a subject matter they can relate too. Most importantly – be consistent! Have a weekly tip. Or every second photos is of something “beachy”.
Really spend some time thinking about what your followers would find value in, this is really important. You followers will forgive other areas if you really get this right.
Curate your feed
Now that we have our voice, we have our aesthetic and what topics/value we are giving our followings. It is time to get the scissors out.
Does not have to be perfect, but start laying out how your feed could look. Remember people will look at your photos individually and also as one in a feed. So they need to work for both.
Think carefully about creating a pattern, this can be a trap. And if you are going to create a pattern, maybe create one that was designed to grow and change.
You can do large images chopped into smaller tiles. You can have words on a blank backdrop. You can have words over pictures or just plain pictures on their own.
You could have a line that runs through each image, a dot in the top right corner..
What is going to make your feed unmistakably your brand, and pretty. Yes – this is instagram it needs to be pretty. Don’t do all light images and then two dark ones in a row. Space it out. If you are going to do word on a blank background mix it up with images in between.
Check out your competitors – your customer is..
We use competitors for a number of things when it comes to strategic instagramming. But before we go into that, at this stage while you are developing your voice and aesthetic. Check out what your competitors are doing. After all – your target market is likely looking at their feed also!
Now jump back to your mood board mockup feed. Does it look better? Worse? Is there a point of difference? Why would someone rather look at yours?
Keep developing your feed until you can honestly look at your competitors and then look at yours and go – yep, mine is better.
Until then – keep cutting squares..
Now that we know your voice, your aesthetic and value. In our next blog we will get into the admin of setting up an instagram account for success!