Last September, Instagram announced it had reached 800 million users. With fashion as the second largest industry represented on Instagram, the chances are high that you’ve been working on growing your following there. Brand visibility is always good, especially in fashion. But Instagram can give you more than that.
What if you could use your Instagram account to make more sales?
#1 – The Ground Rule: Know Who You Are
Before you start or continue posting, you should be crystal-clear on who you are as a fashion brand. Perform a quick review on what your fashion brand is about and the kind of people who would be happy to connect with you. Who are those people? Where do they hang out? What other fashion brands do they like? What kind of magazines do they read? You can research Instagram for similar brands and get to know more about your target audience.
Once have sufficient information, you can build your own persona and a lifestyle that your followers can easily identify with. It’s easier to sell a dress to a follower if she already relates with the lifestyle you show on your account.
#2 – Make Your Bio Work For You
Use the few lines of bio to your advantage. The user name and the Instagram handle are both sensitive to search engines so you should name them differently. This is a usual mistake fashion brands do on Instagram. They use the name of the brand both in the user name and in the Instagram handle. It is suggested to use the brand name in the user name and useful keywords describing the brand in the Instagram handle.
#3 – Use The Link In The Bio To Collect Emails
Building a database is crucial to sell your fashion to the adequate audience. For example, you can create a fun game or an interactive quiz to find out to which celebrity style they mostly relate to. Have them subscribe to your list to read the results of the game.
You can use e-mail marketing tools such as Mailchimp and Convertkit to collect the email addresses and build e-mail sequences that your subscribers would receive. It will then be easy to nurture your audience with weekly newsletters linked to your products.
#4 – Be Cohesive
If there is one thing that works to build your Instagram followers loyalty, it’s this: visual cohesion.
You should have no more than 5 themes that you should post about. Make sure the themes you choose are in line with your identity.
Before you post the pictures, you can use apps like Preview to check how your profile will look like.
#5 – Use Your Instagram Stories
Instagram stories are a great ways to get your followers’ attention. Show videos featuring your product and use them as an opportunity to interact with your audience by direct message.
If you have more than 10,000 followers, you can link the story to the website on which the viewers can immediately buy your product. If your audience is smaller, you can work with influencers with over 10,000 followers and ask them to add a link to your website in the bio.
#6 – Work With Influencers
In order to increase your reach, you can collaborate with influencers. Find the ones that best fit with your style and build a relationship. Don’t just rely on the size of their audience. See the level of interaction on their posts and choose the ones who really authentically engage with their followers.
#7 – Use Hashtags Smartly
Regarding the number of hashtags to be used on the posts, the practice can differ from one user to another. However especially if you start, it is recommended to use 30 hashtags. But regardless the number of hashtags used, you should definitely use the ones that correspond to your fashion tribe.
Firstly you need to look for the adequate hashtags. At the beginning, don’t be too eager to use the most popular hashtags. If you have an account that counts over 5,000 followers, use hashtags used in 100,000 posts or less. If you have over 10,000 followers, use hashtags used in 500,000 posts or less. If you have over 50,000 followers, use hashtags mentioned in up to 1 million posts.
Secondly you need to research them regularly to make sure they are still in use. If recent posts no longer show when you research a hashtag, it means that Instagram suspended it. So your content won’t be showing up if you use that hashtag.
#8 – Regularly Engage With Your Audience
Take some time during the week to research your hashtag and interact with users who recently posted content using that hashtag. Be authentic and not too salesy. Leave a comment that delivers actual value or ask a question, something different that the user can definitely relate with. With the number of standard comments left on the platform, it’s highly probable that the user will check the profile of the people who care. Showing that you genuinely care is a great way to get attention and connect.
#9 – Check Your Metrics
If you set up your Instagram profile as a business account, you’ll be able to check how well you are doing. You’ll have the days and times that work best for your audience. But you’ll also have the opportunity to see how well your stories are doing depending on the views, the drop-offs, the feedback you got.
Definitely use your account metrics to monitor the quality of your posts.
Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
#10 – Don’t Follow For Follows & Like For Likes
There are still too many users out there who use following and likes as a vanity metric. If your audience doesn’t trust you and doesn’t engage with you, the size of your audience will be absolutely no help to increase your sales. So don’t fall into the trap of following for follows and liking for likes.
It won’t get you any customers for your fashion brand.
To know more, you can also check the items on my Instagram checklist
About the Author: Bako Rambini
Bako Rambini is the founder of Fashion Cross Functional and the author of The Fashion Business Plan. She is a fashion business lecturer at ISEM/ESMOD Paris fashion school and helps fashion brands make more impact with their business.
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