We’ve been talking for a while now about how graphic design and photography skills can really give fashion publicists an edge. If you’re as Instagram-obsessed as I am, you have undoubtedly noticed that when you first stumble on a new account page, you might be greeted with a large image broken up by multiple squares. I’ve actually been taking screenshots of these on my phone for a while now, telling myself that I need to figure out how to do them – they make such an impact because they are so different!
Luckily for me (and you!), one of my favorite fashion photographers put together a little tutorial to teach us all. I took the opportunity to also check in with Erika Astrid around her suggestions for how fashion brands be more successful on Instagram.
What is an Instagram grid? Why is it a great idea for fashion brands?
An Instagram grid is when you break up an image or a collage into 3 squares wide by x squares tall, so when you view someones profile it appears as one large image.
Its great because not a lot of people are doing it yet so it is something that sets you apart. Plus it shows off your pieces better, you can show of details that otherwise would get lost in a small square. I did a 3×4 a few weeks back and you can see every detail in the dress she was wearing and it tripped people out. Each square stands on its own and looks like its own image, but when you go to my profile it’s this big image of a girl.
What has been your single best strategy to grow your own Instagram account?
Hands down, engagement and quality content (don’t post your lunch or your night out unless its part of your business). Be seriously engaged and interested in the people you follow. Leave insightful comments or emojis (I love them). Find hashtags that fit your business and like and comment on images that use them (i.e.#fashionphotography #editorial etc.).
It’s also important not to ask for anything, give and you shall receive and be patient. I have had people follow me back (finally!) that I have been making a habit of engaging with for months and months. Like any good relationship, it takes time. There is no quick fix to build long lasting and engaging relationships. Its also important to have a balanced followers to following ratio. Don’t follow 5000 people, you will never be able to engage with them all. A good following is between 250-500. But make sure you always follow fewer people than people that follow you (a 80% followers – 20% following ratio is good – its psychological stuff!)
Share a big mistake you see brands making on Instagram. What would you suggest they do instead?
Brands try to follow as many people as they can, hoping this will cause people will follow them back. That focus on following takes precedence over the quality or value of the account itself. I’d rather have 100 loyal fans that’ll actually buy my designs than 5000 people that don’t care about what I am posting and will never buy. Here are 3 more tips
- Find a style and stick with it.
- Have quality images of your pieces.
- Find a great photographer in your city.
If getting new, Instagram-ready content is a challenge, Check out Instagram or modelmayhem.com for photographers in your area. There are thousands of up and coming photographers out there that would be happy to trade with you or donate their time for the exposure you can provide.