The Changing Face of Instagram

It only takes a few years for social media breakthroughs to feel like ancient history. This industry moves at a pace where a company that is less than 10 years old can feel like a relic of communications past. Yet even though Instagram’s star power might be dulled with age, it’s still the platform that’s on the top of everyone’s minds in the fashion industry.

The combination of curated never-ending images with an eager, content hungry audience means that it’s still the platform of choice for brands trying to break out. Everyone is still wondering how to win Instagram.

If you’re a brand that wants to use social media to engage and attract customers, the most important stage of your strategy is deciding what you want to say. How you say it, what we call the storytelling strategy, is important but secondary. First and foremost you need to discover your unique selling point and only after you know that can you craft the story.

Once you know your narrative, it’s important to forge your own path and your own visual identity. The more we see brands succeed in social media, the more you see 100 copycats pop up on your feed. No, using a washed out pastel filter doesn’t guarantee success. And no, just because it works for X, Y or Z doesn’t mean it will work for you. Stop copycatting. 

Social media is the place to be personable. Over filtering your content (whether that be in the decision making or editing process) will never result in true organic success. Enough with the faded pastels. Post pictures that make you laugh... have something to say... be bold and colourful. It’s a noisy, crowded world out there and playing it safe rarely works.

As Instagram moves towards the Facebook business model the way we see the content is changing. The algorithms mean your content isn’t necessarily going to be seen. That's why everyone's instagram engagement is going down. Above all for the accounts with large followings. The days of tracking posts all the way back to where you left off in the last mega-scroll session is over. Plus, the new Stories are very distracting. The raw immediate content is taking users away from the primary feed. You need to take action and reach out to your audiences where they are.

You need to treat your profile like a flagship store. When people come to visit you they should get a clear idea of who you are and where you stand. That should be your first priority. Once you have that you can worry about growing your audience. The number of likes and followers may fluctuate over time, but what you can control is the image you’re putting out into the world. Make your profile a destination. 

Sofia Barattieri