All the things you have to learn and remember to do in you first year of selling often sees the creative / making side feel like it's left on the back burner. How do you find time to stay on top of all the different social media platforms to get your work seen, let people into your making world, and network?
There are two of us, which eases the burden compared to the average solo maker and designer. I am not a tweeter. Before our not-for-profit work, and before Frilly Industries, I can honestly say that Twitter was not my platform of choice. I have always had a penchant for long sentences, and the twitter character restrictions makes me mash my phone and rewrite my sentences a million times. So I let Adrienne be our twitter networker.
I am the lead on our Instagram. I am a visual person. (although so is Adrienne, she shouts over my shoulder!) I devour the visuals and imagery from the people I follow personally, and we follow. I am not an Instagram expert, I can only share what I've learned over the last year, the half truths I think I know, and suggestions from other makers that we plan on implementing.
My own Instagram account has been neglected in favour of @FrillyInd. On my account you will find pictures of strangers I fall a little bit in love with because of a great sneaker sock combo, or a commuter I'm shaming for bad conduct. Things not relevant for our feed. This leads me to tip number 1.
1: YAY YOU CAN NOW HAVE MULTIPLE ACCOUNTS ACCESS!
This has long been a demanded feature and until a couple of weeks ago it had been a pipe dream. Keep your business and personal life separate. Have two accounts. That way you can follow your friends and family, see their life moments and share the same in return from your own personal account.
It will help you streamline who you follow through your business account so that you see the content that will help you connect to your peers, bloggers, influential customers, style leaders and inspirational creatives.
Now that this feature has launched I can show my own personal feed some love, take some vanity selfies and streamline who we follow, so that both me and Adrienne don't have to see our respective friends families. No offence friends, we love you and your support, and yay I can finally see when you tag me in images again!
In case you don't know how to have multiple accounts, just click on the settings wheel, scroll to the bottom and there you will find the 'Add Account' section. Hurrah!
Having said that....
2: What to post
You need to show more than just a stream of your products! People love being nosey, and DON'T love being bombarded with sales pitches. They want behind the scenes in your workspace, the work in progress shots, to get a sense of what inspires you, and also the frustrations you face too. Instagram is a primary place to continue to cultivate your brand. If you're all minimalist spaces and muted colour palettes, outdoor fun and plants - then a shot of neon streamers and colourful donuts is not consistent to your story and aesthetic, and not necessarily very relevant to your customers. You want people to instinctively know who a post is likely to be from as they scroll their feed before they read your name. That's the big goal of brand development.
For us its about being authentic, playful and sharing our passions. We celebrate the successes of our peers, engage with those that comment on our feeds and use appropriate hashtags. Don't forget to regram customers pictures of your products! Your items in their new native homes is the biggest affirmation of your work! In return reward customers with sneak peeks of new items and exclusive competitions.
Also - don't be selfish! If you're posting photos and hashtagging and linking in to various themes - make sure you're also liking other people's images and commenting on their posts! Actively engaging other people with a quick like and occasional genuine comment will do wonders and will enable people to see you're not a small business robot, but instead a person with interests and personality! (As an aside, Adrienne has just reminded me that many giant companies are getting really good at using their social media channels creatively, rather than just as a giant sales pitch - some even employ 'secret comedians' to run their social media accounts - such as Betfair Poker whose Twitter stream is just complete random comedy, and not linked into betting at all.. but in turn generates great press and interest in their social media, which in turn raises the positive profile of their brand!)
3: When are the best times to post
You need to post at different times of day to see when you get the most responses from your followers.
Is it 9am in the morning (commute-o-clock) or 10pm at night? (winding down before bed)
Does this change depending on what day of the week it is?
Is there anything big happening at that moment, like a Wimbledon tennis final, that could impact on visibility?
Remember your followers will not just be in your home country.
So what times of day are your followers likely to be checking their feeds?
When could you post to work for multiple sides of the globe?
4: Apps to help!
Some people carefully edit and cultivate their posts from their desktop to share at a later date. However, when you aren't yet working to a solid and defined content plan you may have ideas on the fly to work with - or be playing catch up on your plan to post an Instagram a day. That is one of two realistic marketing goals we have for the for the year, the other is to reach 1,000 followers on Instagram.. little by little!
So what apps do we use to help?
We use Over to add text to images, we often snap potential backgrounds when out and about or textures and colours from our studio materials to save for future occasions. Here's a post we shared using Over and one of their Birthday bundle packs.