Recalling the previous article, social media has a profound impact on our lives, which becomes increasingly public. Not only for us as individuals, but brands undoubtedly also need a platform to interact with customers effectively.
Instagram may seem simple when used in engaging with customers or promoting their sales, but it takes an in-depth understanding of this platform to get the best out of it. With excellent industry knowledge and vast international networks, Push PR, co-led by Emma Hart, is focusing on helping the world’s leading luxury brands to create bespoke and inspiring digital and social media campaigns. We’ve interviewed her and are happy to share her insights with you here.
As an international business with clients from all over the world, Instagram is a very important platform for Emma. Out of her years of experience, she has explored the deep twists and turns of social networking. “What’s very important to Push and something we champion to all clients and indeed apply to our own Instagram is natural dialogue and genuine interest through the comments” she begins. Putting aside business-related matters, creating a community and bringing people together is what social network is all about.
Perfect or Polished?
Keeping in mind that brands feel the pressure on giving sneak peeks behind their progress, the question is whether that needs to be in a ‘perfect way’. Emma doesn’t quite agree. “‘Perfect’ is not essential”, she says, “but polished and planned is good! The main thing is that all your posts and content should feel consistent and genuine“
She elaborates further; “Of course, social media can feel that it is an extra thing to do and manage and get right. What’s so important is to have a clear plan and strategy. Before any activity or post myself and the team always ask the following questions; ‘what’s the content plan’ ‘what is the purpose of the post’ ‘what do you want the post to achieve’. This proofs that planning is essential but a real identity is still a priority. Without maintaining brand values, people run the risk of attracting the wrong customers.”
Different brands have different types of engagement through their posts. “Some are becoming far more curated and Instagram has become a campaign portfolio and mirrors the aesthetic of the website and overall branding,” says Emma, “On the other hand you have the group of brands and designers ‘inviting you in’ with real time, honest content taken on a camera phone without lighting, featuring ‘real’ people in ‘real’ places such as bars, museums, music venues and many more.” Besides that, many brands have been showing appreciation posts by featuring people behind the curtain.
Looking at how our society is always looking for perfection, we must think that customers strive to see posts of the glamorous surface of the industry only, but actually Emma mentioned that it really depends on the essence of the brand and the consumer you are targeting.
“Sneak peeks are a great way to give your audience a snapshot of what’s to come and – if executed well – are highly recommended”, Emma suggests.
With the help of this social media platform, smaller labels are now on a similar competition ground with the bigger fashion houses due to Instagram’s easy accessibility. “Instagram is a huge opportunity for self-publishing and being seen within the same environment as large brands and labels. Instagram offers an essential opportunity to be seen and create a community.”
Moreover, with the growing formats of posts in Instagram, brands are able to step up their game. “The addition of many formats has increased the opportunity for engagement immensely. Rather than jumping off Instagram to check out video elsewhere you can now stay on one platform.” admits Emma, while referencing Instagram as the ideal platform when it comes to informing (brands) and being informed (consumers), “It brings content to life having these different types of format and enables brands to be creative and consumers to be engaged.”
Keep up or get left behind
And what can fashion designers or brands do to keep up? “Don’t follow, lead!” says Emma Hart and goes on to advise: “Set your own plan, your own content and your own objectives and stay true to your brand. Stay inspired, be creative and keep looking (but not copying) what the world is doing.”
Lastly, Emma lays it out quite matter-of-factly: “Instagram’s future will be successful, yet visibility will become harder as the platform becomes more monetised and bigger brands begin to invest. Like anything we cannot take this platform for granted and keeping informed of the changes to the platform is so important.”