So.. now you're a business (hooray!) and your Instagram account is now devoted to your business. You need to treat your business account differently than you would a personal one. Now, it's a marketing tool. Your Instagram account is an extension of your business, and more importantly, an extension of your brand, and needs to reflect this. I find the photography/branding part of my business just as creative and fun as the actual product development, but I know not everyone feels that way! Here are 5 things I like to keep in mind when posting -
1. Every photo should have a purpose.
How many of us have spent time trying to set up a cute flat lay in our living rooms because we needed something to post that day? I know I have! I don't do this anymore though, because I want to create my content from a place of creativity, not out of necessity. I'm way less stressed out about social media now, and I take my photos when I'm feeling most inspired and do a better job at it. You should be posting intentionally, not just because you haven't posted something today and just need something to post. Don't just snap a photo in haste because you need something to post on social media. If you don't have something to post, don't. The world won't stop if you don't post that day, and it's better than putting out content that you're not 100% happy with. If it doesn't reflect your brand and put out the vibe you're wanting, scrap it.
If you're not used to making the most out of your posts, let me give you a starting point: Is the purpose of your photo to share a new product? To ask your audience a question? To share what you've been up to? To share your favourite makers? To display colour options? To ask your audience to click the link in your bio for more info? To engage your audience in the comments with an open-ended question? To educate? To inform?
Every post should be intentional and have a reason for posting.
2. Natural light and bright whites.
I see so many talented knitters and crocheters on Instagram who don't get the recognition their talent warrants because of poor lighting. It's a really simple change you can make to your photo game - stop taking photos at night in your dark living room. You need a really bright room or natural light. I take my flatlays between 12-3pm right in front of the biggest window in my studio or in my living room because it's the best time for lighting and the brightest part of my house. Nothing ruins a pretty image more than poor lighting.
If you want an app to help you whiten backgrounds of your photos, I use Facetune. It's got a "whiten" feature that makes SUCH a difference and helps brighten up shadows or yellow-y tints. That being said, also don't brighten your image so much that it distorts the colours in the image. If you're posting a product shot, the colours of your product should be as close to accurate as possible.
3. Include photos of you
I know, I know.. you hate including your face in your feed, you don't like photos of yourself and you just want to post your work. I get it. But you're missing out on a really huge connection point! Your followers want to see the maker behind the work. If there's no human shown in your feed, it can sometimes seem cold and lifeless. People don't just want to see perfectly curated photos, they want to see the real life behind the business. They want to follow people who they can relate to and would want to be friends with. Do you know who my favourite accounts are? The ones who show their faces.. because those are the ones I recognize and remember! The other ones all blend together!
I have shown my face frequently in my feed for the last year and it has made a huge difference in my business. When people send me messages, comments, or emails, they know exactly who they're talking to. I know it might seem self-indulgent if you're not used to it, but it's all business my friends! And trust me - It's totally to your advantage to show who you are. People will get used to seeing YOU in your feed and start to connect with you and feel like they know you. The whole point of building a business is to get people to know, like, and then trust you. If they never get to know you, start to like you, and eventually trust you, they sure as heck aren't going to buy from you.
Here's one of my more recent mug shots..The more you do it, the less awkward it becomes, I swear! Don't stress about it - it's not a beauty contest, it's a get-to-know-you introduction!
4. You want your feed to be multifaceted, not just your product.
People will get tired of you always trying to sell to them. The purpose of social media is to form connections, not just to push your product. If you're a small business, of course you are going to post items you're selling, but that shouldn't be all you're posting about. Because there is so much more to your business than just your wonderful product. Pick other areas of your business to showcase once in a while. And don't forget about stories! If you're having trouble finding ideas of things to photograph, rotate your Instagram photos between things like:
WIPs, showcasing other makers, raw materials you use, a post about you, maker introductions, your packaging, your city, your family, customer photos, testimonials, things about you, etc.
5. Don't underestimate the power of captions
If you post a good photo with no caption, you're not inviting your audience to engage with you, and your missing out on a really important opportunity to connect with your audience. There's nothing more impactful than a powerful message paired with a good photo. The caption beneath the image is a chance for you to share your brand's message with your audience and give your brand some personality. Social media is all about connections, and forming a well-thought out caption is the perfect chance for you to start branding your business and forming relationships with your audience. You shouldn't ever post a picture without inviting your audience to do something. This is what marketers call a "Call To Action" or a CTA. Ask a question and invite your audience to "comment below" with their response. You could invite them to click the link in your bio to shop, see more colour options, or to see more products. You can invite them to read your blog post or to watch a video. Never post a photo without utilizing this important space!
That's it! I hope you found something helpful in here! Remember, this is just what I've found to work for me. Take what you wish :)