I wanted to talk about getting your fashion blog known in the social media circuit. Once you have started a fashion blog and have published some interesting content, you need to get readers. This is where social media networks can help.
You might sit there and get upset that nobody is coming to your site to read it, but it’s a lot like having a shop. If it’s new and down a side street somewhere, the chances are that not very many people know it exists.
Search engines won’t help drive traffic to you in the early days. Google is flooded with content, and it takes a long time to build up any credibility and success in the search results. Heading down the social media route for acquiring visitors is one of the best and quickest things you can do early on.
Instagram is perfect for fashion and other visual content
I want to target Instagram specifically in this post. Fashion blogging is very visual, and readers generally come to your site to look at the photos. Photos draw them in much more than text does.
Using this knowledge over the years, I came to realize that one of the most powerful forms of social media promotion is Instagram. It’s very visual as it’s purely about sharing photos, not text.
It’s made for fashion too, and industry has adopted the platform. According to this report from Instagram, “fashionistas” are:
- Viewing 5 times as many photos as the average user
- Posting 3 times as much
- Following 2.5 times more accounts (353 on average)
- Have 350% more followers
- Have 6 times as many impressions
- Are logging in every day of the week
- Are checking the app 15 times per day
- 45% of all users follow a fashion brand or personality
Very impressive and full of opportunities! Let’s see how you too can take advantage of them.
Instagram is growing, has higher engagement than Facebook
Instagram is a very popular, mobile-first and visual platform. It’s actually more used than Twitter. More than 500 million monthly active users, 4.2 billion likes daily, and more than 95 million photos are posted there on average every day (date from October 2016).
Despite the growth, Instagram is still much smaller and less noisy than Facebook. According to Mike Krieger, the co-founder, people are seeing some 100 photos in their feeds per day.
On Facebook, people could see more than 1,500 posts per day and the news feed algorithm determines the top 300 to display. Instagram has introduced a feed algorithm in June 2016, but still the percentage of people who see and engage with your content on Instagram is higher compared to Facebook.
A perfect place for you too to get a piece of the action. Let’s have a look at how you can get started.
14 steps to building your Instagram community
I have gained almost 11,000 followers on Instagram and have found it to be a huge help for my brand. After doing research, some of the top fashion bloggers like The Blonde Salad, Song of Style, Style Scrapbook, Atlantic Pacific etc. all have hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of followers on Instagram.
That in comparison to their amount of followers on Facebook or Twitter is huge. I would say they have about 80% more followers on Instagram.
You generally upload photos via your phone and not through the internet, which makes Instagram more personal and more of an on-the-go type of app. You can really build up a community there with your own profile and spread the word about your content by doing a few simple things.
These are the steps you need to take:
Convert your personal profile into a business profile
A business profile gives you several benefits. One is that you can add a “contact” button to your profile. You can also pay Instagram in order to get your content to a larger audience.
The main benefit is getting access to Instagram Insights. It’s similar to insights you get on your Facebook page. You can see the total number of times your content has been seen (impressions), the unique number of people who have viewed your content (reach), and the number of clicks to the link in your profile.
You can also learn more about who your followers are (gender, age, location). And when your followers are active on Instagram.
All this helps you figure out how well you’re doing. These insights can help guide you towards creating better and more engaging content. They can also help you figure out the best time to post.
To convert, simply go to your profile and tap “Switch to Business profile“. You need to also have a Facebook page in order to convert your personal profile into a business profile.
Think of your profile as a portfolio of who you are
If the photos are attractive, it’s likely that people who come to your profile will follow you. If they are dull, blurry and uninteresting, it’s more than likely they won’t.
Here’s advice from Instagram on what a good fashion feed looks like:
Upload colorful and attractive photos
Make sure that the photos you post are bright and clear. I use some photos of my personal outfits, some of food, shoes, bags, scenery etc.
Since you can’t include clickable links in your photos, it does make it harder for followers to go to your site, but in general, they usually click the link in your profile if they are interested in checking you out. It’s why it’s important to have an attractive profile as people love the photos, so they will go on to click your link.
Here’s my full guide on taking beautiful pictures. And these are Instagram’s creative principles for photos:
Make your profile description short and to the point
Pick a niche topic and describe what you are doing in order so people know what your profile is about and what they can expect from you. Be creative. Be unique. Be yourself. Be funny. Use emojis.
Include your URL
Instagram doesn’t allow clickable links in the descriptions or comments section of the photos. You are only allowed one link on your profile.
You can see when people come to your site via Instagram when you check your referral sources. Usually, it’s not a huge amount as there aren’t a large amount of links on Instagram.
In general, the point of Instagram is more about building up your profile, your status, and your community.
Post screenshots of your articles
One interesting way of bypassing the no links situation is to actually take screenshots of your content and post them directly on Instagram.
This will still not be clickable but will raise the awareness of the new post on your site and should get more people to take a look.
Include also the different hashtags relevant to promoting a new blog post: #ontheblog #linkinprofile.
Add relevant hashtags to your posts
Including popular hashtags in your photos is a great thing as when people search for photos they want to look at, yours will come up in that search system. Hashtags are very important in getting you discovered by a wider audience.
There is an unlimited number of hashtags that you can use. Are you a food blogger? Use #foodblogger. There are also #foodporn, #foodstagram, #instafood and thousands more.
Here are some of the most used fashion-related hashtags throughout Europe:
Post content about the popular trends
Do some research on what’s going on Instagram that’s relevant to what you’re doing. What topics are people posting about? What hashtags are they using? Then post content about the popular trends and tag it with some of the popular hashtags.
There are many popular hashtag trends to consider. #photooftheday, #picoftheday, #bestoftheday, #instagood, #quote, #quoteoftheday, #tbt, #instamood are just some of them.
Here are some recent fashion-relevant trends to get you inspired:
Be creative with your use of emojis
Instagram is huge for emojis. Almost every post includes at least one emoji. Use them freely and be as creative as you can.
Here are some of the most popular fashion emojis:
Start following people you are inspired by
Follow also those who are in the same line of work as you. The best way to get known is by heading over to someone else in the same area of work as you, for example, one of the popular fashion bloggers. Click their followers, like their photos and follow some of them who you think might be interested in your photos.
By clicking their followers and following some of them who you think might also be interested in your account, you put yourself on the ladder. It’s a great way getting people to know about you.
Browse hashtags and interact with people using them
Do the same for hashtags. Find relevant but popular hashtags. Then follow and like photos of people who are posting content with those hashtags.
Doing this you can gain a lot of people who are interested in your photos and they will follow you back and like your photos. The more promotion you give yourself, the better.
Continue following and interacting every day
Keep doing this consistently each day over a period of time and you will build up a good follower amount daily. Like everything, it takes time to build a significant following.
Not everyone will be interactive or follow you back. It’s up to you if you want to unfollow them in order to make your profile look more tidy.
Post when people are most active
Look at your Instagram analytics. See when your followers are most active and aim to post those days of the week and times of the day.
Here’s some data on days of the week when the “fashionistas” are posting the most.
Videos are getting increasingly more relevant
Video views on Instagram have increased by 150% in the first half of the year 2016. This means that you should try to create videos. Here’s some advice on creating great video content.
Experiment by posting a few videos on Instagram and see what results you’re getting compared to your photo content. Use also the Instagram stories for that. Are you getting more impressions, reach and engagement on a video than on a photo? Consider the data in order to create the best content strategy.
How can I monetize my Instagram feed?
Brands and bloggers are actually getting very creative in order to avoid the no-links rule on Instagram and figure out a way to monetize their profiles. Especially those in the fashion and food industries.
Several “advertising” platforms such as Like2Buy and LiketoKnow have been launched with the focus on figuring out how to get people from Instagram to partner sites to shop and buy a product they see in their feeds.
LiketoKnow solution is for people to sign up to their platform. Then anytime they like a picture that is tagged with a specific tag they will get an email with details on the outfit that they liked and links to where they can buy it. Maybe not so convenient as a direct click like for example on Facebook or Twitter, but still a creative way of getting around the restrictions of the platform.
The more traditional and most common way of monetizing your Instagram activity is by getting sponsored. The concept of sponsorship is that a brand pays an Instagram influential to post an image or a video using the product of the brand. For example, there are model agencies that now represent bloggers and get them in touch with big brands.
Single sponsored post such as an Instagram image could cost anywhere from $500 from bloggers with thousands of followers to $20,000 or even more for bloggers with millions of followers. It all depends on the size of the audience and the brand that is looking to promote their products.
I know social media can seem daunting at first, but when you get into it, it’s one of the best things you can ever do for your site. It’s best to use what works well for your field.
I have definitely found that Instagram, along with Pinterest, is the best for visual-based sites. Twitter and Facebook are amazing too, but in terms of finding people who really love your site and fashion as a niche, Instagram is a gold mine.
Thanks to Lorna Burford of Raindropsofsapphire.com for contributing to this post.