WWD + Samsung: The Insta-effects on Fashion
Instagram is one of the greatest outlets for exchanging ideas and connecting around fashion. It's been an amazing way for bloggers, like myself, to show off our fashion style and connect with our audience. It's also a way for direct to consumer retailers to build there business and new audience. During NYFW, I was able to listen to a talk with WWD's style director, Alex Badia, and Director of fashion at Instagram, Eva Chen. They talked about how fashion has become such a democracy ever since Instagram has evolved because it is a quick and easy way to access all kinds of fashion. Instagram has changed fashion for the future and I learned the answers to the questions that everyone wants to know.
Instagram is a great way to launch your ideas and beliefs. When launching ideas, Instagram is one of the top social media platforms to widen your audience. Since Instagram is all about marketing your product or mission of your company, it's important to have that connection with your audience. Eva used an example with one of her friends that used to shop at a specific major department store. After a while, she started following a competing major department store on Instagram. When she saw a product that she liked, she would comment on the picture asking for a specific size, and they response back almost immediately, through comment or DM, with her size. After experiencing a customer service like that, she switched department stores and only shops at the one she knows will respond back to her on Instagram. This shows that, when dealing with the customer intimacy, Instagram is a great way to develop a relationship with the followers.
Now for some of the juicy secrets of Instagram, the answers to everyones questions about how to conquer Instagram..
1. How much should I be posting on Instagram? If you are wondering how much you should post throughout the week, whether you should post twice a week, or three to five times a day, the answer to that is the more you post, the merrier. With the new update, it has become critical for bloggers and retailers to post more on a daily basis, so their pictures won't fall to the bottom of their followers feed. The more you post sporadically throughout the day, the more people will be active towards your account. Don't feel like you are spamming your followers by posting more than one or two photos, because, at the end of the day, you will receive much more activity.
2. Should I be posting things on Instagram stories? Instagram stories is an outlet that you can post as much as you want, actually you can post up to 100 stories on Instagram. Eva recommends posting a lot of your story because it's a way to have your audience see your personality and a behind the scenes look at your life. Now, since my life on a daily basis isn't really all that exciting with school and stuff, it's not everyday that you need to post a lot on Instagram stories, but a good way to develop a relationship with your followers is to post what your type of exercises you are doing at the gym, or what foods you are eating, or an outfit of the day story. This will give your followers a way to see what a day in the life of you is like!
3. Is a theme for your profile that important? I always thought that the way your profile looks, as a whole, is important when followers are looking at my profile, but according to Eva, it's actually not all that important! Followers will notice if you have a specific color trend, or tint, to your photos, but that really only takes it so far. Your audience is much more interested in the quality and content of your posts.
4. Post more videos!: Posting videos is definitely something that many bloggers, including myself, are very hesitant to do because we are focused on the amount of likes vs the amount of views. But actually, posting videos may help add some personality to an outfit or a places, depending on what you want to show off. For example, when posting a picture in a fringed dress, vs taking a video of you twirling, the video will receive more views because you are showing people what the dress is like in real life and not just in a posed picture.
5. Should I use hashtags in my posts?: Fashion people are super against hashtags, because they look "tacky" in posts, but they actually are helpful, in moderation, for your posts. Hashtags are a great way to tap into your interests now that you can follow hashtags. Eva said that she does not recommend using the full 30 hashtags for every post, but to use around 5-7 hashtags per post, including the brand of clothes that you are currently wearing, the place that your at, or just some general ones. The trick to hashtags is to find ones that aren't too general, but still relate to what your posting. So, instead of using #fashion, which has over 400 million posts, use #stylelover, which only has a little over 100 thousand. Another tip is to use similar hashtags to people that have a similar amount of likes that you do, so you can tap into profiles that are more similar to yours.
6. Posed vs candid photos, which ones get more likes?: I knew that the quality of your content is important when getting more likes or followers, but Eva brought up another factor that I did not take into consideration. When I am doing photoshoots for Instagram posts, I'm so set on finding the perfect pose and the perfect place to take it at. Although having a good photogenic place is great, Eva brought up the point that, "your photos will do better when they are authentic and candid." This means that a picture of you eating a giant pretzel inside of a taxi may actually get more likes than you posing in front of Time Square, looking straight at the camera. I think that is a very good thing to consider when thinking about the quality of your posts, but I think when you do a mix of posing and candid, it makes for a good profile!
7. How do I get more REAL followers?: The answer to that is being active. The more you stay active, by liking and commenting on others posts, commenting back on your own posts, and using Instagram stories, the more people will want to follow you. The more that you develop a relationship with your existing followers, the more followers you will natural get. If you are a brand or a blogger, staying active will create a ripple effect, giving you a better chance in getting followers through other peoples accounts because other peoples followers will see you consistent comments and likes.
8. How to I solve the new algorithm?: With the new Instagram update changing, once again, what accounts we see, it makes it harder for bloggers to be seen by their followers. According to Eva, people don't see about 70% of the posts. This is because Instagram has changed your feed based on the account that you are giving mire attention too. When you comment and like a certain account, Instagram will recognize that and make that account more of a priority when you open Instagram next time, which means that the people you don't give those likes or comments will go further down the list and you will eventually not see their posts. In order to change this, and solve the new algorithm, it is so so important to like and comment on all the accounts that you are interested in, so you can stay up to date on what they are posting. As bloggers or retailers, you want to create better content that you know people will like and comment on, like showing people more authentic, behind the scenes pictures and videos.