Within the span of a month, the San Francisco based Instagram became available on the Android, reached over 47 million users, and got purchased for $1billion. It is fair to say that Instagram has become the trendiest social media network out there, even becoming the fashion industry’s newest form of the Polaroid. The fashion industry has certainly taken advantage of this application, since the loss of the Polaroid. After following major fashion house, such as Gucci and Alexander McQueen, Instagram is being used as a visual representation of what the company is all about. For example, McQueen’s profile has photos from their current campaign, promoting the streaming of their Winter Collection, and from backstage and has over 45,000 followers. It only makes sense for all local fashion entrepreneurs and bloggers to follow this new trend, in order to market their business and talent.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, Instragram allows users to upload a photo, choose from the 15 filters to change the effect, add a comment and then share it with its followers. Followers are then able to like and comment on the photo. In addition themed hashtags can be created, making it another way to get the attention of potential followers and stay connected to your current users. If the photo is considered to be “interesting” enough by Instagram, it will appear on the popular page – a page that can be seen by all 47+ million users.
For an industry that is all about visual intrigue, it only makes sense that Instagram has become the “modern-day Polaroid,” as photographer Jamie Beck described it in a recent WSJ article for the Fashion Industry. It is no longer grieving over the death of the Polaroid camera film. As described from the article, “The death of polaroid film: a video montage,” by Tiffany Neal from The Huffington Post, casting directors used the instant film to snap photos of potential runway models, and magazine editors also felt the loss. The instant photos were used to take photos of pieces and put together outfits. A favorite of fashion houses, models, retailers, and many more, Instagram has filled this loss, but has contributed much more. Gucci not only has photos of their Spring Models, but also photos of their campaign and much more.
Consider also the fashion magazine Elle UK. Whereas before designer product photos were captured on Polaroid and shared only within the company, now they are shared on Instagram for all their followers to see. It is a simple but effective way to visually communicate what they’re all about to current and future readers. There’s no reason that all fashion entrepreneurs (bloggers, designers, publicists, etc) shouldn’t jump on this social media network bandwagon.
Here are some tips for getting started on Instagram:
- Try to keep the same username from your other social media network accounts – Easier for a user to find you
- Be consistent with your posts – Do not let your followers forget about you.
- Create themed hashtags and start competition/theme days – Stay connected with your users by creating themes and having your users share photos that relate to you
- Use it as a tool to get feedback – Ask questions when you post a photo. Any feedback is great feedback.
- Include your other social media accounts on your bio – Great marketing tool to get followers for your other accounts, such as a blog or website.
- Have fun with creating “artsy” photos – Make it intriguing enough for the follower to like and post a comment. For example, before and after photos from the Instagram account of Cannon Hodge, social media manager at Bergdorf Goodman:
Did I mention that the application is free? Being newly purchased by Facebook, we can only hope that Instagram will soon be available on all smartphone platforms. It already has the tacit approval of the fashion industry, and it’s sure to become every fashion lover’s must-have mobile accessory.