6 tips for using Instagram to sell your swimwear collection.


With 500 million daily users generating 4.2 billion likes in a single day, Instagram is one of the most widely used social platforms of 2018. Given these huge numbers, it's no surprise that what businesses once considered an auxiliary marketing platform is now an essential way to generate customer interest and sales.

Instagram also supports business accounts, which allows real-time tracking of how your content is performing and how your customers are interacting with it. As a visual platform based around image and video, brands with tangible products have the edge.

This couldn't be more relevant than it is to fashion and swimwear brands - great photos do the selling for you. If you're not maximising your business
Instagram account to its full potential, you're missing out on revenue and growth. The key to Insta-success is employing the right strategy.

But what does that encompass?


Instagram is a great platform for fashion designers to share their products with the world. It's also
become a fantastic channel for selling, and you can do extremely well if you take the right approach.

But what approach should swimwear brands take to Instagram?

Here are 6 great tips for growing your brand.


The right balance of product and lifestyle


There are two schools of thought when it comes to selling on Instagram. Firstly, you should focus on selling lifestyle - ie: when your customer wears the swimsuit they buy, they'll be relaxing at the beach, drinking a cocktail and having fun with friends. The second school of thought is product based, and suggests that as a business, your followers want to see what you have for sale. The truth is somewhere in between.

 Yes - you are selling a lifestyle, but lifestyle images can get lost on Instagram. An item presented for sale is more likely to be received as such, and according to a study from Simply Measured, your followers like seeing your product range. The key is to show off both, whether they are separate posts or multiple photos within a single post, product and lifestyle go hand in hand, so don't be afraid to show it.


Use (the right) hashtags


Hashtags are a great way to target the right audience. Instagram recently updated the platform to allow users to follow hashtags rather than just accounts. In this sense, they can see any and all posts relevant to their chosen topic.

This bodes very well for businesses, as it allows them to market directly to interested parties without necessarily having them as a follower. You'll want to do a little bit of research into hashtags to make sure you're using those most relevant to your
swimwear range.

You should aim to use 10-12 hashtags per post to cover your bases. These might be related to the style or materials you've used in your swimwear collection, or as we mentioned earlier, relevant to the lifestyle your product promises.

Creating your own brand-relevant hashtag is a great way to help potential customers find you. Be mindful of using hashtags that are already trending if they aren't relevant to your post.

Do a little bit of research to find the hashtags that are the most relevant to your brand.


Interact with your followers


The ability to engage directly with your customers is one of the key draw cards for businesses using social media. There are a few ways to do this on Instagram. The first, always respond to direct messages as soon as you can. Even if it doesn't seem like a sales lead, engagement is hugely important and consistent communication is a feature the most successful brands share.

The same goes for comments on your posts. If they require a response, don't hesitate. Sometimes, your followers may be giving feedback, so it's always worth saying "thank you". Whether you follow your customer's accounts is up to you, but when you start your page this is a good way of establishing
a relationship. This will include where you're based, wha you produce, and where possible, some of your brand values. Shared values mean it'll be much easier to connect with like-minded consumers.

This particular tip splits into two categories. The first relates to your bio. Since Instagram doesn't let you link to external sources, you should have a shortened URL to your website in your bio, as well as brief, but
essential information.

Secondly, don't be afraid to write some copy about your products in the text fields of your post. Though it's true that Instagram users will sometimes scroll right past the captions, if something catches their eye, they will definitely stop to read it. That's why providing all the relevant information is essential, it'll give your followers a clearer idea of what it is they are about to buy.


Make use of sponsored content and influencers


Like Facebook, Instagram gives businesses the option of paying for ad space. These ads show up in a users feed like a post they follow, and they are typically targeted at whichever demographic you're hoping to sell to. Pricing is fairly flexible and it can be a good way to kick off your account. Some businesses rely on courting influencers - those people with huge amounts of followers who tend to set trends.

If you can identify some of these people, follow their accounts and get them to engage with your brand you may find an opportunity to cross promote with them. Follow our tips and you'll be sure to generate a strong following. For more inspiration, or guidance around sustainability and growth in Australia's fashion industry, contact Textile Hub now.

Nick Smith