Instagram is a very popular social network that’s fully dedicated to visual art in all of its shapes and forms. You can use it to promote your designs and draw public attention to your t-shirt Shop. There are a few things you need to be aware of, though. Here we’ve put together a few key facts for you to leverage its power for your designs and help you promote your shop on Instagram.
Create Feelings with Visuals
There’s great power of persuasion and emotion in visuals, and getting your visual direction right is the key to strengthening your reputation and your social media presence. When used effectively, your images, pictures or videos should capture the attention of users and make them engage with you. Before you post on Instagram, consider your visual aids and how you present your designs or products. Instagram offers photo editing tools such as cropping, exposure compensation, contrast editing and film filters, and you can put them to good use to refine your visual identity.
Do’s and Don’ts
We strongly advise you to refrain from publishing screenshots of your shop products. Above anything, the folks on Instagram appreciate authenticity and original ideas. Publish your designs without any frills, and you’re in the money. You can e.g. take a photo of your sketch or illustrate the various stages of the creative process in installments. This offers a nice way to grant a look behind-the-scenes and generate interest in your work.
On Spreadshirt’s Instagram account, we’ve noticed that more users engage with our posts whenever we publish pictures of our products worn by a person. If you do not feel like wearing your products yourself, you can always ask friends or family to model for you. Different genders and age groups sporting your gear in everyday situations will go a long way for you. There’s an article for more tips on how to get the best out of smart phone images for more inspiration.
When you make your introductory bow on Instagram, do it with the same name you use on other social networks so people can easily recognize you. It’ll also increase your chances of being found with Google searches.
Instagram doesn’t allow you to add active links in your publications, but you can link to your Shop in your Instagram profile biography. This way, anyone stumbling over your account may be tempted to just click on the link to explore your Shop.
You can easily publish your Instagram posts on other social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Foursquare or Tumblr. Sharing your Instagram stuff on all channels may generate a bigger following and more subscribers to your Instagram account.
Using hashtags is absolutely vital these days. In addition to creating a social bond and categorizing your images for easy search, hashtags increase your internet visibility. That’s why it’s important to choose your hashtags well, and especially check their use on the web before you post. Apart from a hashtag’s literal meaning, it might be connected to an idea or a movement that you don’t want to be associated with.
Also, try to avoid general hashtags like #design. Choose hashtags that will highlight the subject of your image or video clip. You can also take advantage of a buzz if you identify a cool hashtag somewhere and can relate it to one of your designs. As a rule of thumb, you should never use more than 5–8 hashtags max.
Bonding with your subscribers and followers is bound to improve if you regularly challenge them for contests you either invent yourself or find somewhere else on the net. Of course, you will need to create or add the respective hashtag for the contest. These measures will provide you with additional content created by the users themselves, and in turn, link it to your designs. Ultimately, this will help you gain more visibility.
It’s called “social media” for a reason
Believe it or not, it’s the social aspect of social media that’s frequently neglected. We’ll admit, as your audience grows, it becomes harder to keep up with comments. Still, it’s crucial that your Instagram following knows you’re there, and that you’re listening. Responding to comments, asking questions and engaging with your audience will go a long way. It simply shows that you care.
Isn’t it exciting when one of your favorite brands likes your photo or engages with you personally? Consider how connected your audience will feel if you’re acknowledging their thoughts as well. Plus, the more engagement means more visibility and more customer-generated content for you to share. It’s a win-win situation!
Nobody wants to be all business all the time. Instagram is one of the few places where the term “business” can have personality and vibrance. Promote your Spreadshop designs by giving each product a little bit of character. If your Instagram followers can imagine having fun while wearing your designs, they’ll be more inclined to buy them!
Here at Spreadshirt, we try to give each photo a story. We want our followers to crave our product. Our target audience is innovative, fun and creative, so it’s important our Instagram images reflect that. Sharing relatable content will help drive the right audience to your page and optimize your social presence as well.
Keep it consistent
One key factor that will make or break your following is consistency. It’s vital to remain relevant to your audience, so make sure your Spreadshop designs are being posted on a regular basis. If you’re posting at least once each day, you’re a lot less likely to fall off the radar.
Posting frequency isn’t the only form of consistency we’re talking about here. Visual consistency is equally important. Have you ever scrolled through your Instagram feed and immediately knew the brand behind a photo? That is the perfect example of a brand that has a strong visual presence. Notice how Spreadshirt’s Instagram sticks to bright colors and feel-good images? A little trick we use, is “the grid” concept. Observe the color, voice and message of the first nine photos on your Instagram profile. That is your Instagram grid. They should all share similar characteristics. If there is one photo that doesn’t fit with the rest, don’t be afraid to delete it. As long as your Instagram is consistent and together, your following can only grow.
Both on Android and on iOS, there are many different applications offering a multitude of possibilities to put Instagram to good use. To name but a few: the Repost app allows you to republish your photos on Instagram, and it keeps updating older designs. With Latergramme, you can determine the date of your publication. And to keep an eye on your statistics, Analytics is the application for you. You will find a list of applications to boost your videos, photo editing and more Instagram.
Do you use Instagram to promote your products and designs? Do you have any other advice for other partners to gain exposure? Please share your experiences below.