There’s no doubt that there is a massive space for fashion related content on Instagram, with ‘#fashion’ being the fourth most used hashtag on the platform (beaten only by #love, #instagood and #photooftheday – not a bad effort, right?). But, whilst the social media channel could potentially grow your fashion Instagram profile, you want to make sure you’re implementing the best Instagram practices, in order to stand out.
And, even though you may love fashion, you may not love the hard work that comes with growing your account quite so much. Good news though – this checklist should (fingers crossed) cut out the umming and ahhing, and help you build your account more efficiently, organically and strategically.
So we’ve established that there are a lot of accounts out there that post about fashion, which means the first step, before posting any content is to find your niche. You want to be offering content that is fresh, different, and something you wouldn’t necessarily find on someone else’s feed.
Once you attract your ideal audience, the content you produce is what keeps them engaged, so you want to leverage what makes you unique on your channel. Think about what would make you come back to a page. Whether its lookbooks, fashion hacks or thrift tricks, make your identity and voice known and translatable through the content you create.
An example of someone that nails this is Emily Owen (@theglitterygoose on Instagram). On her account, the fashion blogger features original content and outfit posts that show both her style and personality. Her combination of a completely unique image and an open voice for her followers to get to know her on a personal level has allowed for the success that she has built thus far.
This doesn’t mean meticulously plan out everything you post a month in advance – that wouldn’t be authentic. But, it’s great to organize the content you already have before you post, so you can map out how it would look on your feed (especially if you’re someone who loves a good insta-theme). Think about it: the way your feed looks is what makes someone initially decide whether or not they want to know more (by clicking on your posts), and eventually, whether they convert into a valuable follower of yours.
So, you want to make sure your page overall looks cohesive and makes sense for the niche you’ve established. Quality content is super important for growing your fashion Instagram profile, but it’s even more important that users want to click on the content in the first place – and this stems from how your page looks overall. My personal favourite app that helps do this is Planoly, purely because the user interface is easy-to-use and cute (see, aesthetic is everything), however, there are loads of apps out there that can be really useful in helping you plan.
You don’t need to have a direct ‘theme’ for a good aesthetic, so don’t fear if you can’t keep up with having each piece of content in the same colour-way. Take Emily Canham. Her Insta feed is well laid out and cohesive but doesn’t follow an observable strict theme, it just works.
A top tip if you are struggling, is to pay attention to colour. If your last post is brightly lit and features a lot of red, you probably don’t want your next post to be darkly lit and blue, get it? Phase it out, by making your next post feature a pop of red, and continue to do this until you get to your next colour/lighting palette.
You probably already know that you should be using hashtags to grow your fashion Instagram account, but it’s really important that you know how to, if you want them to make an impact on your following. If you post in the right hashtag groups that target your audience, you’re casting your net out pretty wide for new followers to discover you. Buuuut, as we’ve already established, #fashion is one of the most popular hashtags on Instagram – ever – so just using that one means it’s unlikely your post will be seen.
This is because there’s a lot more competition, and you also might not have 6 million followers. If you post in niche hashtag groups that don’t have too high a volume of posts and feature people with a similar follower count as you, you’re way more likely to be seen and you’d be surprised at how much little tweaks like this can up your game.
If you’re not sure how to select which hashtags are the best for your account, check us out. Flick suggests hashtag groups based on your page, engagement, and follower count so you don’t have to manually research every single one.
So essentially, you can put in the hashtag ‘#fashion’ and get 10 more fashion-related hashtags that you’ll perform much better on. You’ll be given a list to choose from, showing the average number of likes and comments people receive when posting in those hashtags, allowing you to benchmark your own performance and work out which hashtag might allow your content to be seen. It works really well when it comes to upping your engagement too as you’re reaching audiences that are interested in the type of content you put out.
We’ve also written a whole guide on Instagram Hashtags that can point you in the right direction!
An example of effective hashtag use can be found in Luke Franks (@lukefranks1), who uses hashtags to push relevant content to the right people. This post, for example, featured mainly fashion-related hashtags with not a ‘#fashion’ in sight.
If you’re not keen on overloading your captions with hashtags, learn from Luke and pop them all in a comment to keep everything nice and clean, but still reap the benefits of upped hashtag engagement.
Ok so here’s another fun fact for you:
did you know that video posts receive a 38% higher engagement rate than image posts?
By trying out new formats on your page you might up your engagement, but also offer your audience a range of content to choose from. If you’re a fashion blogger you might consider little video look books or how-to-style tutorials. If you’re into longer form videos, you can also take advantage of IGTV to do branded clothing hauls (who doesn’t love a good haul?) or fashion challenge videos. Always make sure to tag the brands you feature – they might also repurpose your content for their owned media, leading to increased exposure – double win!
Patricia Stelmach, AKA @patriciamac_frequently shares quick styling videos on her feed which receive crazy-high engagement levels. She often partners with brands to show how to style a set of pieces for fashion inspirations, and the videos have grown her fashion Instagram account organically.
If you want a good engagement rate, a genuinely receptive following, and to authentically grow your fashion Instagram profile then please pleaaaase shy away from follower bots. Most of the time people unfollow anyway because they’re not specifically interested in your content, so it’s better to invest your time into organic growth.
One of the most effective ways to do this is to find accounts that are similar to yours and then engage with their following. It’s likely that someone with the same interests as you, will have followers that might enjoy your content too. Engage with these accounts too, and don’t be afraid to comment or chat with new people who live in the same Instagram field that you do. I’ve met some amazing people through Instagram, that I’ve gone on to shoot with or just have as a fashion event buddy.
Also, make sure to stay online after you post, and respond to every single comment that comes your way – it may seem like a no brainer but it’s really important when it comes to showing your audience that you care. The best performing accounts are those with a dedicated following who genuinely love their content.
Someone who is constantly interacting with and listening to her followers is Lucy Moon (@iamlucymoon). This has allowed her to develop a great fanbase, who she frequently has open conversations with about her content.
Ready to grow your fashion Instagram account? Good luck!
Here’s our handy tool to help you optimise your hashtag strategy and start seeing results.