← Back to tips

Social Media: A Field Guide

Social Media: A Field Guide
Caroline Hjerpe

Social media is a great way to get new customers worldwide and to brand yourself online. A while after I started my Instagram account I saw that there was a direct correlation between Instagram followers and sales each month. There’s no one proven way to gain followers, but if you show your passion for your brand in your social profiles, the followers will come! Having said that, it can still be intimidating to tackle any kind of social media, so here’s a few tips to ease you in and refine your profiles!

  1. Figure out your brand’s theme/image.

The most impactful and effective social media profiles have one thing in common; they have an image and a theme that unites their content. For example – your brand could be nautical, minimal or tropical – as long as you have an image and keep to it, people that like that category will be inclined to follow you. Whatever image and theme you’ll decide to go with, try to keep it personal. Chances are you’ll be working from the ground up so having a face to associated your brand with will give an authentic edge. 

InstagramMake sure your feed consists of images that are “on-brand” for you. It’s important not to “stress” a photo, meaning not to upload a photo “just because you need to update.” 

Facebook & Twitter – Try to post updates with things that fit into your brand and image. Make sure you keep updating your status regularly since you need to be seen in the news feed, and every now and then – make sure you update with a photo – this will generate more engagement and clicks!

hejublog

@hejublog take light and colorful pics that are in line with their brand and products.

2. Take photos that reflect your brand.

This is a great tip for your social media page – and whatever social media platform you choose, photos are equally essential. I’ve learned that light pictures are a great representation of my brand, but the the best advice I can give is to experiment! The theme of your posts could be a blue color tint or perhaps very dark and edgy. Try different types of posts and see how your followers react – how many likes and comments are you getting? The important thing is that once you find your theme, you follow that theme. Do not mix and match, stay with one kind of look that you work to perfect. After a while, if you feel like people are getting tired of your photos, you can always do another round of experiments!

Tip! While your phone might take pictures that you claim are high quality, most people can tell you aren’t using a professional camera. And if you aren’t spending your time making sure that you have the best quality photos, what does that say about the quality of your goods?

InstagramBelow you can see the Instagram feed of @majasbok. She has a wonderful feed with light and crisp shots, plus you can tell she doesn’t have off-brand filler content. An easy way to always have great content is to keep a library of pictures that you’ve saved up in advance for days when you don’t have time to take any good photos.

Facebook & Twitter – Just because you don’t have to upload photos, does not mean you shouldn’t. Even though you can keep to status updates, people want to see pictures most of the time. A status update with only words is much easier to scroll past and forget than an image, so whenever you can do upload pictures of your products and other things that you think connect to your brand.

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 12.53.08 PM@majasbok on Instagram.

3. Find your tone of voice.

The visual content you provide is great and very important – but that does not mean you shouldn’t spend some time working on your word choice too. Your brand might be an extension of you, but that’s not always the case. To put it simply, your brand is a business and your customers have expectations and it’s up to you to understand those expectations.

Every audience will be different so don’t think there’s a proven formula. For some brands a light and fun tone of voice is appropriate, for others a more formal and straightforward might work better. The Twitter examples below illustrate this point – Kate Copeland uses a minimal and almost cryptic tone which works with her deconstructed art while Tincal Lab prefers a more fun and conversational tone, which goes hand in hand with their casual wear jewelry and accessories. At the same time, you can see the difference between Brixtol and Createaholic on Instagram, as both post beautiful images but vary greatly in their tone of voice.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 12.03.48 PMTweets above from @katecplnd and @tincallab.

123Instagrams above from @createaholic and @brixtol.

4. Hashtag.

Oh, this is an important one. Hashtags are loved, hated and everything in between. The simple truth is that if you learn how to use them, hashtags can be your best friend!

Instagram – Of course you don’t have to hashtag to your posts, but if you want more attention to your profile you should use hashtags. Everything you can think of that works for your brand – for example I use hashtags like;

#handmade #handmadejewelry #creativejewelry #creativeminds #jewelrymaker #stackofrings #stackingrings etc etc. 

Tip! Only use one or two hashtags on the first description of the picture, and write the rest in a comment. I got this tip from a friend, and yes, it actually looks nicer.

Facebook & Twitter – Yeah, that’s right hashtags are a thing on Facebook! They aren’t anywhere as important as they are on Twitter and Instagram, but adding one or two to increase your audience is never a bad call! As for Twitter, keep in mind your character count, make sure to prioritize between content and hashtags well – I would say to make sure that at least 75% of you characters go towards actual content. 

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 1.47.53 PMAbove picture is from @carolinehjerpejewelry on Instagram.

5. Like around.

Yes, I know how this sounds. But it works.

InstagramExplore and like pictures all around Instagram, show people that you exist! Don’t just go into the explore section and start liking away, browse relevant hashtags and explore profiles similar to yours. Chances are they’ll see your like and check you out and maybe follow you, plus who knows, maybe it will lead to a wonderful cross-brand collaboration!

Facebook & Twitter – Like and follow pages, tweets, posts and everything else  that you think resonates with your brand. Chances are you could end up finding similar brands, getting a new customer, or maybe a new brand ambassador. For more on finding brand ambassadors click here. 

6. Pick one channel, and do it well.

Tip! As a one-person show, doing everything at your company – from production, to sales, to book-keeping and marketing – is tough! So if you don’t have time to juggle more than one social media channel, pick the one channel that you like the most and do it well. As opposed to doing a little here and there.

There is no right or wrong here, choose the channel where you find that you can connect with your target audience, wherever they may be!

7. Be smart about post times.

If this sounds easy, and you’re already posting daily, fantastic! If this sounds awfully hard, take a deep breath and read on! The numbers below are averages, if you decide that Instagram is the best platform for you – consider posting more on it and lowering your activity on other channels if you still want to do more than just one. If you want to do all of the channels equally, then the numbers below are good averages to start with.

Tip! Take some time to take a lot of pictures whenever you have free time, so that you can save these in a little “picture bank” and upload on days when you don’t have the time to take new pictures.

InstagramIt is hard to get good pictures that you can use twice a day, especially if you are a one person team. Having said that, posting at least two times a day should be your goal. Planning ahead is the best strategy to success here but if you do not have any good pictures to upload, it’s better to not post anything than to post something mediocre. 

Facebook & TwitterYou should update once a day on Facebook and tweet a few times a day. It is all about being seen, wherever you go and whatever platform you use to promote yourself. On Facebook and Twitter it’s harder to stick out so make sure you have something interesting to say. Facebook and Twitter are very trend based, so if you see that some hashtag or event is trending, think of an “on brand” post that applies to it!