Instagram tips for designers and makers
One of the best social channels for designers is Instagram – it’s visual and lots of fun. Talking you through her top Instagram tips is the fabulous Viktorija from And Smile! whose fun feed @andsmilestudio has gained a huge gathering of loyal followers. In this post she shares her top Instagram tips for designers and makers.
Before we pass over to Viktorija, here are some quick pointers for anyone new to Instagram…
1. Show who you are
Instagram has been described as a “visual storytelling platform”. It really comes into its own as a way of telling the story of your brand. You can use it to show people who you are, what inspires you, why you make, and where and what you make.
2. Be part of the Instagram Community
Instagram is a community. It’s not about the hard sell. It’s more about connecting with other people across the world, and sharing stories and images with them. Find your tribe and talk to them.
3. Picture your values
Try to tie your values into your feed. If your values are good simple design, for example, bring that into your photos, both in their content and in their style.
4. Be an influencer
Give people a reason to follow you. What is interesting or unique about your feed? Is it your style, your area of expertise, your work? What do people get by following you? For example, if you’re a printmaker fascinated by pattern, you could use your Instagram feed to share the patterns you find and love. Aim to be an influencer.
5. Get people sharing
Encourage people to share their pictures of your products – things they have bought from you looking pretty in their home! One great way of doing this is to start your own hashtag. It could be a hashtag that encourages your customers to share shots of your products in action, like Pygmy Cloud did with #pygmybearselfie. Or you could create a hashtag related to your values or interests, which other people can use to share their finds.
6. Say hello to us!
Tell us you’re on Instagram by adding the #feelingfolksy hashtag to your pictures or tagging us at @folksyHQ . At Folksy, we want to share your pictures and stories on our feed, and we’re always on the lookout for guest instagrammers who want to show us the story behind their shops.
7. Add clickable links in your bio
And remember, you can’t add clickable links in your comments, so if you want people to visit your Folksy shop put a link in your Instagram bio.
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Viktorija’s Top Tips
Pick a good user name
When registering your Instagram account choose a suitable user name that is easily recognisable as your business. Ideally it should be the same as your Twitter name as that will make your life easier when sharing and interacting with people.
Take good pictures!
The quality of your photos is really important. Luckily the majority of the smart phones have really good cameras now, and there are also plenty of apps to help you edit photos on the phone – my favourite is VSCO cam. Instagram has its own great selection of filters too.
Be consistent with your photos in terms of style. Try to match the style of your photos and the filters you choose with the products you create. Think about how you would display your work at a craft fair. Would it be minimalistic, over the top, eclectic? Is your work fun and bright; vintage and faded; or more serious and subdued? Think about how you want to present your work and then make your photos correspond to that style.
Be creative with your content
I always enjoy looking through the feeds of creative people because I love seeing beautiful photos of products and sneak peeks behind the scenes. Being able to see the creative process of the artist is such a pleasure, and social media makes that much more possible, so use Instagram to show photos of your inspiration, the things you love and how you live. Show your working space, and your work being made as well as your finished products, because people love to see where your goods are created. Don’t be afraid to show your fun side too. And don’t go wild on hashtags – use only relevant ones.
Inspire people with your products
Try to make your Instagram content different from your other social media channels. So rather than just having the same product shots that you have in your shop, share how you yourself use your products. If you make homeware products, post some photos of your products in your home, or if you make jewellery post a photo of yourself wearing your creations. Give your followers some inspiration and hopefully they will become customers :)
Encourage people to interact with you through Instagram, post photos of your products and tag you. If someone has posted a photo of one of your products, you can always ask if you can use it and share it with your followers. Sharing other people’s photos is a great way not only of showing your products in action but also how happy your customers are with their products. Instagram is also great way to do research, ask questions and get feedback on your work, so ask people what they think about your latest product or idea, and don’t forget to thank them for their help.
Say thank you
Always try to thank the people who follow you and comment on your posts. A nice way to say thank you can be a giveaway. You can do that by asking people to repost a photo with details of your giveaway, follow you and tag you in it. That also helps to spread the word about your brand.
How often to post?
Posting regularly is important but spamming is bad. You want to keep people interested, so post when you have something you want to share rather than just for the sake of it, and stick to a routine you feel comfortable with, whether that’s once a day, twice a day, or three times a week.
Tell people you’re on Instagram!
Add your Instagram username to your business card, and if you include any little cards with the parcels you send out, add your username there too. Some people will come to you directly through Instagram, but other people will find you through other platforms or your online shop, so make it easy for them to discover you by adding a link to your Instagram account there.
Finally, find your voice and look, be proud of what you do, stay true to yourself, find people you enjoy following, interact with them and most of all have fun!
• For more advice, Instagram has a great blog about how to use IG for business, including lots of case studies, Q&As and tips from inspirational businesses.