With Instagram quickly gaining on Twitter in registered users and daily active users, it’s safe to say that the photo-sharing site is social media of choice for the visually-inclined. Fashion bloggers have built substantial audiences on the mobile platform, adding that much more fuel to the fire in making names for themselves and for standing out to brands for potential partnerships. In the ever-changing landscape of blogging and social media, Instagram has even paved the way for a new set of bloggers – who start a blog after having amassed a following of their Insta-#OOTDs.
Whether Instagram’s introduced you to the fashion blogging game, or you’re adding the site to your overall blog strategy – here are a few essentials to think about in the way you look at marketing your blog and personal brand on Instagram. Some of these might be small and tactical; others might be much more complex. They’re all important to brands when it comes to finding and deciding whether or not to work with bloggers like you and I!
Is it easy for your blog readers to find you on Instagram? This might be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people name their blog something totally different from each of their social media sites. You don’t have to have the same handle on every site (and sometimes you don’t have a choice, because someone else already claimed it!), but be consistent enough that you are easy to find. If your actual name doesn’t work, try your blog name, then go from there.
Hashtags and people tags are standard features in Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and the like – and they’re the easiest way to make sure a brand notices you. Mentioning brand usernames in your caption is good, but always use the ‘Tag People’ feature to denote which brand corresponds with each piece in your outfit posts! That way, it shows up in their profile under tagged photos, where the brand (and their fans) can always see it. Be smart with your hashtags. Use the most relevant ones to your photo, and try to keep it between 3-5 tags at most.
Just like you’d take time and care in responding to (meaningful) comments on your blog, Twitter or Facebook page, your Instagram comments are no different. You’re a lot more appealing and likely to gain a follower from someone who leaves you a comment and gets a reply back from you – and brands can see that you’re engaging with your audience too. Remember to support your fellow bloggers by leaving comments on their Instagrams as well!
You’re already including affiliate links in your blog posts – why not your Instagram outfit posts too? Services like LikeToKnow.It (a product of rewardStyle) have popped up solely to help bloggers and other fashion fans connect affiliate links to their Instagram photos. Affiliate networks are also paying bloggers for sponsored social media posts, including Instagrams. Almost every sponsored post I’ve done through the networks I’m signed with have included an Instagram or two in my contract. (More on affiliate networks here.)
If you’re posting regularly to Instagram, there’s a good chance you’re also posting on Twitter and a Facebook page to promote your blog as well. Give your readers a reason to follow you on Instagram (and these other sites) by keeping some content exclusive to Instagram only. It’s tempting to post ten photos of the same outfit in one blog post – but why not save a few to post just to Instagram, and others just to Facebook? I’ll take a moment to think about whether or not my Facebook page fans or Twitter followers would like to see an Instagram, and while I try to Instagram at least once daily, I know it’s not always fun to see the same thing on every social media site. Not every Instagram will make it on those sites.
The fun thing about instant photo-sharing is that you can give your blog readers more insight into your everyday life. Take full advantage of that! Instagram your outfits, closets and shopping hauls, yes – but mix in equally awesome shots of your city/town, what books you’re reading, your favorite people or pets, and the other things that light up your life beyond fashion. A diversity in the type of Instagrams you post will help attract new followers (and potential readers of your blog!)
We might not all have photographer boyfriends who can make us look like angels and unicorns, but we do have fun smartphone apps that can help with editing and filtering our photos. Just like with hashtags, though – don’t overdo it! I like VSCOcam, Camera+ and PicFrame for cropping and editing photos for Instagram. Here are other IFB favorites. (Full disclosure: I haven’t played around too much with Instagram’s recent filter and edit updates. They were so bad for so long, I’d just gotten used to using these other apps to edit my photos before Instagramming them!)
Anything you’d add to your blogger Instagram strategy? Let us know!
[Image credit: The Coveted's Instagram]