This article was written following the conference given by Jonathan Ruimy, an expert in commercial brand strategy for Fashion and Luxury brands, at the September 2019 edition of Who’s Next. He also supports brands with content creation and Instagram communities.
Instagram has become a real tool for communication and sales that is extremely important to brands and shops, whether physical or virtual. Here, we are talking about a shop as a brand. Let’s get back to the 10 golden rules that these brands should follow to optimise their accounts to make them real tools of seduction.
Rule n°1 – Build a community
Communities are built by creating a brand universe. This is conveyed through the content that is posted. The brand has to specify the themes on which they want to communicate, to pre-plan content in advance. Once created, the content has to be published prioritising quality over quantity, according to a personalised editorial line, creating interaction with its clients. You therefore shouldn’t just post product photos but also inspirational images, which help to create the brand universe. The product/lifestyle ratio also obviously depends on the brand’s capacity to create content.
Rule n°2 – Providing quality content
The images used should be chosen carefully and with attention to detail. For those that are photos of products, multi-branders will be able to use the photos for themselves. Smartphones are also now good for taking pictures, so don’t hesitate to use them, taking care of the scenography as it gives a real personal touch and a “behind-the-scenes” side that plunges the customer into the brand’s universe. For lifestyle photos, Instagram curation accounts will be very useful.
Rule n°3 – Create a coherent feed
A balance between product photos and lifestyle photos which can also be called mood photos has to be established, but it also has to be seamless in terms of the styles and colours used. The latter have an extremely strong visual impact when well planned out.
Rule n°4 – Be consistent
The posts have to follow a regular schedule and be shared at the right time. Hence the importance of monitoring account statistics in order to adapt as closely as possible to follower reactions, but also to anticipate content production so that you never run out of posts.
Rule n°5 – Post one story everyday
This is the minimum number of stories, don’t hesitate to create content for this feature too. The fact that stories are temporary means you can express your creativity with less constraints than your Instagram feed.
Rule n°6 – Choose appropriate captions
The captions that accompany your photos have to be engaging, meaning that it will provoke reactions from your followers or contact from current or prospective clients.
Rule n°7 – Interact
Brands have to engage in conversation with their current and prospective clients, leave comments and stay active in all ways on the app.
Rule n°8 – Create special instagram events
At well-chosen and relevant times brands can launch special events such as competitions. And alongside this, use specifically chosen products that promote the brand, accompanied by engaging captions and high quality visuals. Influencers will be key for this kind of post.
Rule n°9 – Use relevant hashtags, tag brands and geotag posts
A batch of successful hashtags is one that generates 100 interactions within the first hour. A good hashtag strategy is to use between 1 and 9 hashtags per post, they really increase brand visibility.
Rule n°10 – Never buy followers
All robotic, automated accounts are detected by the Instagram algorithm and sanctioned so, the brand account could be hidden from the followers after some time.
In reality, at the heart of these issues is engagement which, dominates over everything else. Engagement is the ratio between the number of comments and ‘likes’ on a post and the number of people following the account. This is easier to see once the right content strategy has been put in place, one that allows you to respect these ten golden rules. The brand is therefore able to use Instagram as a powerful communication and sales tool, but above all as a link to its community.