Your Instagram feed says a lot about you and the first 6 squares are like a first impression for your audience. Now go check out your Instagram feed and see what type of first impression you are making. Go ahead… I’ll wait….
So, what did you see? Would you want to come back and check out your own feed again, just based on the first 6 squares? It’s not something that we might think to do, but we should. If you want people to WANT to visit your page and check out your new images, then you should make an effort to create a space that makes people want to come back.
Imagine you are decorating a room. This room is part of a row of hundreds of thousands or millions of identical rooms. You have the opportunity to decorate that room and get people to want to check out what your room is all about. What do you do with that space? Do you just put a bunch of random things there to fill space or do you actually think about the room as a whole?! Do you just put a table and a chair, sit down and hope people will want to come in and ask you questions or do you make the effort to make it a beautiful space, with information, great images and ways for people to interact?! For the sake of this blog post, let’s think of your Instagram feed like a room. What can you do to make it interesting, inviting and a place that people will want to visit and tell their friends about… what can you do to stand out?!
I recently spoke to some brand reps that have been in the game for years and found out what makes them want or not want to visit someone’s feed. I got some great feedback and hope that this will help you to create the perfect space for you.
The accounts that post a bunch of pictures in a row that look almost identical. You wouldn’t place a bunch of identical chairs in your room, each with an identical teddy bear on them and just move each one a quarter of an inch over and expect people to want to come in, would you? One of the biggest turn-offs for a lot of people I spoke with, is going through a feed where there are multiple pictures of the same child, in the same outfit and the only difference in the pictures are a very slight tilt of the head or a slightly different smile. People tend to get bored with those feeds quickly because it feels as though we are just looking at the same picture over and over and over again. If you are still posting in sets of 3, 6 or 9 and you post them all in a row, make an effort to make sure that those pictures are different. Try different angles… try close ups or detail shots, try action shots… try sitting, try standing… just don’t post the same picture over and over again. Not only will it turn people off, but it won’t provide the exposure that the small shops you work with deserve. You could even try posting randomly vs. in sets of threes so that when a picture of that same outfit appears again, a week or so later, it will be exciting again for your audience and will give the shops extra exposure that spreads out past that one day.
The accounts that post lots of shop reposts. You wouldn’t hang a ton of advertisements all over your room and expect people to want to come in, would you? Reposting is great and helps small shops, but you don’t want to overrun your feed with shop shares. Remember, this is your feed and whether it’s for fun, you are in it for the long run or you are currently or will be blogging in the future, you want to make sure that your feed tells a story about you and what you’re offering as a brand rep. Try to keep shop shares to a minimum if possible. I tend to post no more than 3 at a time (and sometimes not even that many), but I space them out so that they don’t take over my feed. And most importantly, delete them when they are no longer relevant (or within a certain number of hours, depending on what your shops prefer). Your followers are much more likely to check out a sale if it’s posted randomly vs. with tons of other sales where it may get lost in the shuffle. A great way to be a little less “salesy” and still get the shops some extra sales, is to post your shop share code in the comments of your pictures! It’s convenient and provides a call to action for your followers to go and shop while the discount code is fresh in their mind.
The accounts that post a bunch of space fillers. You wouldn’t go around to the other rooms and hang dark curtains in front of their doors, would you? There are a number of accounts that I see posting white spaces, arrows or just space fillers. I imagine that it’s to keep their three images together at all times… but is it a good use of your space?! If I’m scrolling my newsfeed and I see a bunch of random white spaces, I will probably unfollow that account because let’s face it… with this new algorithm, I only get to see a certain number of images and if you are wasting the space by posting white squares, it’s taking away from someone that is posting something I may really want to see and that’s not fair to your followers or to those other accounts.
The accounts that post tons of close ups. You wouldn’t put all of your decorations at the doorway so that people couldn’t even get into your room, would you? While I’m a sucker for detail shots, there are so many accounts that take like mega closeups of their kids. Back up a little. Give your little ones some space. It will also help with cropping out parts of their heads, hands or feet. We want to see the outfits just as much as we want to see the top of your child’s head! We want to see how you’ve styled the item(s) you are repping. You will also find that if you back up a bit, you will catch the most beautiful and natural moments of your little one just being a kid. Don’t be afraid to back that thing up.
Like I said, this is your “room” and you can decorate it however you see fit, but remember that first impressions are EVERYTHING. Especially in the brand rep world. As a shop owner, it takes me less than 30 seconds to look at a feed and decide whether or not I want that person to represent my brand. I’m constantly working on our feed and trying to better it, trying to make it look more cohesive, trying to make it a place that people will want to come back to. You should always be looking to improve whether it’s your photography, your feed organization, your promotion ability or your style. The key to staying relevant is to learn from those around you and let them inspire you. And while we will never be able to visit all of the “rooms”, I want to make sure that I’m visiting those that are making the most effort to stand out.
What do you think about this topic? Comment below and let me know your thoughts! Have a topic you want me to talk about? Email us! Make sure to check out the shops featured in this post and follow our daily small shop fashion on Instagram @thesmallfashionista and on our new Facebook page.
Heather is the Mom of three and a marketing professional. She enjoys graphic design, writing, photography and making new memories with her family.