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Holiday Prep,Social Media

How To Get Your Social Media On Brand For The Holiday Season

Click to read how to get your boutique or shop's social media on brand for the holiday season.

 

Do you hear Christmas music playing in your grocery store yet? Maybe. If not, you will be soon! That’s right, it’s that time of the year where you need to be getting ready for the holiday season. Make your Christmas shopping list, pull out those decorations from the attic and get your boutique or shop’s social media accounts on brand for the holiday season too.

Earlier I talked about how often you should be posting on social media and if the holiday season should affect that.

Now, we’re going to cover a little bit of branding for your social media accounts for your boutique or shop. While there isn’t anything wrong with keeping the same old profile picture and header that you have all year round, getting into the festivities during the holiday season can make you more appealing to your customer.

Remember we want to build trust with our customers, both current and potential, and use social media to do that. To continue our trust building, why not add a little holiday cheer to your social media accounts. We’ll talk about the four ways to ger your social media on brand for the holiday season. Watch the video or continue reading to find out more.


 

1. Update your profile picture

Be honest when was the last time you updated your social media profile pictures anyway? Are you still using your logo?

If you’ve decided to continue using your logo as your profile picture, that’s alright. But your customers on social media really want to know that they are interacting with a human being, not another robot. So start out by updating your profile picture that adds a human element and also showcases off your products.

Take it a step further by introducing holiday elements. If you are a shop that focuses on one specific holiday, then by all means use props that reference that holiday. For example, if your shop is mainly for people who celebrate Christmas, try adding red, green, Christmas trees, ornaments or any other Christmas props you can think of into your new profile picture. If your shop geared towards those who celebrate Hanukkah, then focus on blue, silver, gelt, menorahs or any other Hanukkah props that would be relevant to include in your profile picture.

If your shop doesn’t focus on one particular holiday or you prefer to not focus one specific holiday, then keep it neutral by adding winter elements like pine cones, snowmen and snowflakes for example.

Mix and match holiday or winter related props and include them into your profile picture to make yourself more appealing to your customer base.

 

2. Update your profile header

Even though your profile header isn’t a feature on all social media platforms, mainly just Facebook and Twitter, it’s still important to have.

If you want to know why you should still have a business Facebook page for your boutique or shop, then read this here.

The header on your social media account is one of the most prominent images, meaning it’s what your customers will see first. So don’t neglect this!

Use this header to your advantage again by using holiday or winter related props to make your shop look relatable and approachable. Also, use this space to advertise special promotions and other social media accounts where you may be more active on.

For your Facebook header, it’s helpful to reference the call to action button in some way, whether that be by actually referencing the button by words or by arranging the subject of the header image directly above the call to action button so the viewer’s eye is naturally drawn in that direction.

 

3. Update your call to action button

Speaking of that call to action button, is yours working and is it relevant?

The most common problem I see with social media accounts is that their call to action button is either broken or irrelevant. For example, if your header is referencing your huge holiday sale page, but your call to action button directs people to your basic shop page, it will not only confuse the viewer but may also deter them from pursuing your sale any further.

Use any call to action buttons to direct the customer right where you want them to go. Don’t make them have to search around for it.

 

4. Update your social media bio

Just like our profile pictures, we don’t always update our social media bio as often as we should. But it’s extremely important to keep up to date with any current promotions.

Whether it’s a new arrival or a flash sale, including this in your social media bio is crucial because yes, your audience does look at it! The social media bios people tend to look at the most are Instagram, which is a great visual platform for product-based businesses to be on. If you are going to be updating any call to action buttons, then you should also be updating your social media bio and referencing that button.

If you want to update your social media bio, check out this post where I share the 3 most important tips to keep in mind when updating your bio.

 

Social Media

How to Create the Perfect Flatlay (PLUS A Video!)

Seeing all those flatlay images everywhere, but not sure how to go about creating flatlays of your own for your boutique or shop? Click through to read how to create the perfect flatlay image for your Instagram or website. PLUS watch a video on all my special flatlay tips.

Today I want to talk to you about how to create the perfect flatlay image. And I’m not going to sugar coat it, it’s not the easiest thing to do in the world. It takes some time and practice (lots and lots of practice to get that perfect image), but I’m sharing 5 tips of mine that have helped me create better flatlays.

 

Make sure to watch the video that goes along with this blog post. I’m really excited to start adding video content into our blog post mix. If you hang around with me in my private Facebook group, The Shop Social, you know I love hopping onto Facebook love. Well, these might not be Facebook Live videos, but they are going to pretty raw.

 

 

1. You need your products (the main subject)

 

Gather your the main products you want to photograph together, so they’re all in one place. But when it comes time to photographing each flatlay, choose one main product to focus on.

 

2. You need a few other smaller products (supporting subjects)

 

These products compliment your main product. If you’re hand making your final product, you could include some of the tools or materials that go into creating that product. You could add smaller accessories.

 

You could also try glassware, magazines, books, notebooks and office supplies. Be creative and don’t feel the need to shell out a lot of money. Check out the Dollar Spot at Target or try your local dollar store. Always keep your eyes peeled for craft store coupons or major sales.

 

P.S — Sometimes (alot of the time) I like going to Target and capturing it all on my InstaStory.

 

3. Use backgrounds smartly

 

Have a mix of solid background and creative backgrounds.

 

For solid backgrounds, use foam core. Again you can get this even at the dollar store or a craft store. Always have neutrals like white, black, gray, maybe tan or brown on hand, but use your brand colors as well. If they don’t have foam core in your brand colors, try scrapbook paper or painting a piece of foam core.

 

For your creative backgrounds, think of texture and patterns. Maybe there is a patterned piece of scrapbook that works well. Don’t forget about fabric. My favorite background to use is the white fur fabric that looks like a rug. In fact, I do use it as a rug. You can also try out contact paper and adhere it onto foam core. For creative backgrounds, check out Amazon, your craft stores and dollar store.

 

Head over to my private Facebook group for boutique and shop owners to watch my exclusive Facebook livestream of all the products (and links) to products I use in my photography.

 

4. Have good lighting

 

I use natural light, but you can definitely rearrange lamps to help you create better lighting situations. Of course, there is always the option to buy professional lighting, but try out some DIY lighting situations in the beginning to get a feel of flatlays are really your style.

 

My best tip is to use the white balance feature on your camera if you are using a DSLR or a more professional camera. It evens out the color in your photo right off the bat.

 

5. Last but not least — Start taking pictures!

 

As I mentioned in the beginning, it takes time. When you rearrange your products on your background, you may need to rearrange them if your original layout didn’t work.

 

Now that you’re ready to snap away, stand over the subject (your flatlay) to get the right angle. Make sure when you’re standing over your flatlay arrangement that you’re not creating any weird shadows.

 

Also when photographing, don’t use the camera to crop. It’s much easier to create a better looking flatlay if you crop during the editing process. So my original pictures may not look perfect but after I crop the flatlay to get out any unnecessary products or background (or sometimes even my feet).

 

Now that you’ve read up on my five tips on creating the perfect flatlay, start photographing!

Guest Post,Social Media

4 Steps That Will Improve your Product Photography for Pinterest

Brush up on your product photography for your boutique, shop or product based business and learn how it can transform your Pinterest. Click through to read this guest post by Laura of The Badass BusinessMum.

 

Guest Post by Laura of The Badass BusinessMum

Taking product photographs for Pinterest is a little bit different from taking photographs for your shop. Your shop photography is all about showing your potential customers the details of your products, showing them all the things they’d be able to touch and smell and hear if they were looking at it in person.

Pinterest Product Photography is about bringing attention to your product in a way that fits with your buyers’ aspirations. Pinterest is used by people to plan things; it’s a visual to-do list and virtual inspiration board all rolled into one.

 

Make your Product Photographs tell an Enticing Story

Think about the lifestyle your buyers are aspiring to. Imagine these two scenarios for a second…

A jar of handmade bath scrub in a glass jar, beautiful label with a handwritten font, tied on with twine for that hand finished touch of luxury, sat on the side of a white bath. Nice picture hey, nicely shows off the product, it’s in a natural setting, technically everything is right.

Now, imagine the same jar of Bath scrub sat on the same bath, but this time in the background is a sea of candles, the light is dim, there’s a glass of champagne amongst the candles. The bath scrub is pin sharp, the background blurred enough to not overwhelm, but sharp enough to know what it is.

Which image tells the nicest story? Which one says, “Yes! I want that experience!”?

Use the photographs you take for Pinterest to sell the lifestyle, not the product.

And that’s the point of product photography for Pinterest. You want as many people as possible to re-pin your photographs. And every single time they do, that’s a link back to your shop.

So, I’ve put together a 4-step process to help you tell your Brand story with your product photography.

 


Step 1 // Get Inspired

If you’re not sure where to start, start on Pinterest! Create yourself a secret board and start collecting images that inspire you. Do a search for the type of products you sell, or start with popular brands in your industry to see what people are pinning.

Take note of what type of backgrounds are popular, common recurring props, textures, themes and styling and think about how you could use some of these elements in your photographs.

Use the words you associate with your brand when searching (eg; vintage, modern, luxury, minimalist etc) to see how other shop owners have chosen to represent their brands when photographing your type of products.


Step 2 // Choose your Props

You might have noticed that popular product photography on Pinterest is more than simply products on a plain white background. Popular pins tell a story; they inspire; they’re pinned because the person that pinned them wants to live in the World that your product is in.

They don’t want to live in a World of plain white backgrounds; they want to live in a World of beautiful Interiors, happy people, food that looks as gorgeous as it tastes, handmade Beauty products in luxurious bathrooms and stationary that’s used by people with flowing handwriting and posh fountain pens!

The moral of the story? Choose your props and backgrounds wisely. Your props and backgrounds need to:

 



Be on Brand
Choose props that work with your brand.

This includes things like the colours and patterns (or plainness) of your backgrounds, the amount of props you use and the atmosphere you invoke.

As an example, if you sell rustic style handmade wedding invitations, you might choose a faded wood background to photograph your invites on. But if you sell modern, minimalist invites you might choose a polished plain background.

 



Complement your Product
Your props need to compliment your product, not overwhelm it.

Use your props in the background, to put your products on or up against to display them at their best and to show your products ‘in use’ (eg; include a pen with stationary products, photograph art hanging on a wall, a canvas shopping bag with shopping in it)

Use other products in your range as props to create a cohesive, branded photograph.

If you sell clothing or jewellery, use a model to display it at its’ best. There is nothing that says ‘buy this gorgeous outfit’ like putting it on a gorgeous model whose life is obviously made so much better by her choice of clothing.

Are your products for the luxury or value market? Make sure your props match your product.



 

Step 3 // Take & Edit your Photographs

This section could be a whole blog post by itself (in fact, it could be a whole blog by itself), so I’m just going to touch on the most important points and if you need to delve deeper into the more technical aspects of photography, I’ve compiled a great Pinterest Board full of tips: Product Photography Tips & Inspiration.

 



My top tips for taking photographs

  • Pay attention to lighting. Natural light is best, so if you can get next to a lovely, big window, that’s a bonus. If you can’t, use white lights to avoid colour casts and adjust the white balance on your camera to compensate for artificial light.
  • Blurred backgrounds are brilliant for product photographs. To make a blurred background, you need to create a shallow depth of field (so your camera focuses only on a small area and blurs everything else). You need to be able to adjust the aperture on your camera to a low f-number (which is called a wide aperture – yep, confuses me too!) to create this effect.
  • Use a tripod or the timer on your camera to avoid camera shake & make sure your photos are pin-sharp.
  • Take lots of photos! Move your props around, change locations, take photos from different angles, experiment with different lighting. What looks great on your camera might not look so great at full size, and vice versa! So give yourself loads of options.
  • Don’t let a ‘lack of equipment’ stop you! There are tonnes of resources on Pinterest that show you how to create backgrounds, DIY lights reflectors and diffusers, everyday item prop ideas and how to take photographs with your phone. You don’t need a DSLR & thousands of dollars of ‘stuff’ to take brilliant photographs!

 



My top tips for editing photographs

  • Make your Pinterest images vertical, the recommended size is a ratio of between 1:3.5 – 2:3, with a lot of people saying the ‘best’ size is 736px x 1102px.
  • Learn how to make simple edits such as removing colour casts and changing the brightness and contrast. Super simple changes can make a big difference to your final photographs.
  • You don’t need to know how to use Photoshop to edit your photographs. There are several highly rated free options such as Pixlr and Pic Monkey.
  • Create collages. Collages are a brilliant way of creating vertical pins from horizontal photographs, showing different angles of your product and showing some of the processes that went into creating it.

 


Step 4 // Create your Pins

The final step is to create your pins. You can create pins in two ways:

  1. By pinning direct from a site
  2. By uploading an image to Pinterest and adding the link manually

As I said, the aim with Pinterest is to get the maximum number of re-pins you can and to do that I’d recommend creating a selection of different pins for each product you want to promote. Select between 3-5 different photographs that highlight the different benefits of your product and might appeal to different buyers. As a starting point consider a selection of the following:

  • A collage that shows the design / manufacturing procedure (especially if your products are handmade or individually designed)
  • A styled flat lay
  • Your product being used
  • Your product in situ / on display
  • A collage showing different views / different parts
  • Seasonal variations

 



Include the different variations on your shop site or just use them on Pinterest, whichever best suits your site design.

The title and description on your pin are important for getting buyers to click, not just re-pin or like it. Use your keywords in both the title and description to greatly increase the chance of your pin being shown in a pinners’ Smart Feed and in Pinterest Search.

Use your description to continue to sell the lifestyle, or solution to a problem that your product provides. Mention your Ideal Customer, so they know you made this product just for them. And lastly add a call to action, show your customers know what you want them to do. (eg; Visit our shop to find out more about….)

Make getting Product Rich Pins part of your Pinterest marketing strategy too. Rich Pins are special types of pins that display more information, take up more space and are therefore more pinnable thnon-Richich Pins. A big benefit of Product Rich Pins is the inclusion of real time pricing and stock availability.

I really hope this post has given you some actionable ideas of how to tell your story with your product photographs. The best advice I can give you is to experiment and have fun. And use product photography as a great excuse to buy gorgeous props!

 


 


my-profile-picABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura
is Head Twin Wrangler & Business Owner at The Badass BusinessMum, where she helps new Bloggers & Business Owners develop their Brands, master Pinterest, get organised & create compelling Content. Before she started The Badass BusinessMum, she ran an Etsy shop selling her Hand Drawn Prints & Cards, which helped develop her love of Product Photography.

Keep up with Laura! Blog | Pinterest | Twitter | Instagram

Social Media

3 Instagram Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Are you making these Instagram mistakes with your boutique or shop? Stop and read these three major Instagram mistakes and how you can fix them. Click through to enroll in my three day e-mail course and learn how to become an Instagram pro.

 

Still struggling with your Instagram account? Losing followers as fast as you’re gaining them? Posting and hearing crickets?

 

These are common struggles I hear from Instagrammers. They’re not sure what the problem is with their account. What’s making people unfollow them? Why don’t they receive any comments? If you’re not sure what the problem is, then how can you go about fixing it.

 

I’m sharing the three most common mistakes I see boutique and shop owners make on their Instagram AND I’m telling you how to fix those mistakes too.

 

1. Not making the most of your Instagram bio

Here’s what I see in a lot of Instagram bios: that you own a business, have a few different hobbies and anyone who stumbles upon your Instagram profile should shop from you now. That’s wrong for a few reasons.

 

For one (and this is going to be pretty blunt), but your Instagram followers and potential customers are not really interested in your hobbies. They’re interested in spending their money and you want them to spend it on your shop. If you start talking about your hobbies, they’ll take their money somewhere else.

 

Another thing to consider is whether or not you should be including your religion or bible verses in your Instagram bio. If your shop is religion based, it makes sense to include something about religion. However, if it’s not, I highly suggest keeping your religion out of your Instagram bio. Others may not agree with your stance on religion or what you practice and you don’t want that to be a reason for not gaining followers or making sales.

 

And yes, you should definitely be telling people to click that link in your bio, but tell them a little bit more than just “shop now.”

 

Here’s how to fix your Instagram bio:

I talked about the importance of your social media bio in this post, but right now, we’re just going to talk about Instagram. Your Instagram bio is the first thing people see when they check out your account. You need to make the most of it.

 

Your Instagram bio is not all about you! It should really be more about the kind of customer you are serving. How can you be of service to them? What makes you stand out from the crowd and what about your products is going to change their lives? These sound like extreme questions, but they’ll help to write that awesome bio.

 

In your Instagram profile, you only get one clickable link. Including why your Instagram audience should click that is super important. People may not click that link otherwise and you would lose out on e-mail sign ups or sales and nobody wants that.

 

2. Using the wrong hashtags

This is a big one for me. Here’s the thing. Google has SEO, right? Well, Instagram has hashtags.

 

When you want your website or products to be found on Google, you use keywords that your ideal customer would search in Google. It’s the same thing with hashtags.

 

Instead of using the right hashtags that their audience would use, I see many Instagrammers use hashtags that the same kind of business owners would use or hashtags that describe what’s going on in photos. You want to stay away from those hashtags!

 

A common hashtag for boutique owners is #boutiquefashion, but that isn’t the hashtag you should be using. Why? Because you are only going to attract more boutique owners and my guess is that is NOT your ideal customer.

 

How to fix your hashtag problem:

Market research. Get to know your ideal customer — it’s more than just a gender and age. Once you get to know your ideal customer, you’ll be able to figure out what hashtags attract those customers. Use those hashtags! And just because you found a few hashtags that work doesn’t mean your work stops there. You should always be looking into new hashtags and experimenting with different ones.

 

3. Not engaging with your audience

Not getting any comments or getting those robot comments is pretty frustrating. You could delete those robot comments or report the spammer, but what do you do if you’re not getting any real engagement?

 

Well, first go back and take a look at those hashtags again. Are those really the best hashtags you could be using to attract your ideal customers? If not, go back to the drawing board. There’s no one size fits all for hashtags.

 

Second, how are you engaging on other accounts? Are you just leaving comments like “love that” or “beautiful”? That’s not engagement either, my friend. If you’re commenting on other accounts, you need to posting engaging comments (and liking the photo too, of course).

When people do leave comments on your Instagram account, are you responding back? And I don’t just mean saying thank you when someone leaves a compliment. Are your responding with an engaging comment?

 

Really look at your account and see if you are.

 

How to fix your engagement:

Let’s talk about leaving engaging comments on other accounts first. Stop wasting your time and their time leaving comments like “love it.” Tell them why you love it. Did someone post a picture at a special occasion wearing one of your products? Ask them how the event went.

 

Next up, your account. If someone says “love it” to you, all hope isn’t lost. Respond with a thank you and ask them where they would wear that outfit you just shared. Or what accessories they would pair with that new shirt.

 

Go take a look at your Instagram account. Are you making these mistakes and are you going to take the steps to fix them? What are you struggling with on your Instagram account?

Social Media

3 Collaborations You Need To Be Doing Instead Of Loop Giveaways

Getting nowhere with loop giveaways on your boutique or shop's Instagram? Stop them all together and try these three collaborations out instead. Click through to read and to enroll in my FREE e-mail course all about Instagram to help you boost your engagement.

Ah, the infamous loop giveaways. I hear so many things about them: how good they are, how bad they are, they’re too long, too confusing, too hard to put together. Everybody has their own opinion of them. Want my advice? Stop doing loop giveaways altogether.

 

I see loop giveaways for MacBooks, home decor and coffee mugs all of which sometimes have nothing to do with the boutiques and shops hosting the Instagram loop giveaway. That makes no sense to me! Don’t you want your audience to have your products?

 

I also see loop giveaways that are just too long. To be honest, any more than five boutiques or shops and many people lose interest, forget where they started and just give up. That defeats the purpose of your loop giveaway, doesn’t it?

 

I know you want to grow your Instagram account. You want more followers and more engagement. It makes your shop look good. But if you are just gaining irrelevant followers because you joined in on a large and random loop giveaway, then it really doesn’t do you any justice in the end.

 

Loop giveaways are a type of collaboration, but they are not so the most successful kind of collaborations. While collaborations should be included in your Instagram strategy, there are many other types you can host besides loop giveaways. Collaborations are not only important to grow your number of Instagram followers and boost your engagement, but collaborating with others encourages a professional relationship — someone, whether another business owner or a customer, who can refer you to others.

 

If you continuously only participate in one kind of collaboration, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Step away from the loop giveaways and out of your comfort zone. Try these three collaboration ideas instead.

 

1. Joint giveaways that do NOT involve loops

Earlier, I mentioned that I see loop giveaways giving away MacBooks and items that have no relevance to the boutiques and shops hosting the giveaway. Here’s an idea instead: come together with a few other shops that have a similar ideal customer as you. Let’s take new mothers, for instance. If a few shops all sell products for new mothers, they can each include a product from their shop to be part of the prize.

 

Instead of hosting a loop giveaway to gain followers (which may end up unfollowing you after the contest ends), host the giveaway on a program that allows e-mail captures such as Gleam or KingSumo. Then, use Instagram to promote the giveaway. Your Instagram posts should appeal to the audience who would want to win your giveaway and would benefit from winning it.

 

2. Blogger or brand influencer collaboration

These are my favorite collaborations to have! I’ve collaborated with several bloggers as well as business owners in my niche. For product based business, it’s great to collaborate with a blogger or brand influencer who can provide lifestyle images and post about your boutique and shop and products on their Instagram account (and any other relevant social media accounts or their blog).

 

Overall, it’s important to collaborate with the right kind of blogger. Meaning if you are a boho-chic boutique, then a city-style blogger may not be the right fit for you. While yes, you want these bloggers to post about your products to gain more followers of your own as well as sales, it’s also important to develop a solid relationship with them.

 

There are countless ways to collaborate with a blogger or brand influencer. It’s a matter of working with the right one, professionally and personally.

 

3. Instagram photo contest for a giveaway

Instagram photo contests are so much fun and a great way to get your audience involved and interacting with your business (bonus points to help boost your account’s engagement). What you should do first is decide if you want your audience to share a particular picture of your own or if you want your audience to snap their own pictures of your products and use your brand’s hashtag. (Hint: Make a disclaimer on your website that you have permission to repost images posted with your brand’s hashtag.)

 

Then, post about the contest and share the rules — how will the winner be decided, how long will the photo contest will run, when will the winner be chosen and what will they win? Make sure the prize is a good one!

 

Continuously post on Instagram during the duration of the contest to encourage people to keep sharing posts of your products. If your photo contest includes your customers sharing their own pictures using your brand’s hashtags, start sharing those pictures. Your customers will be so excited that you featured their picture on your boutique or shop’s account.

Social Media

8 Quick Tricks to Boost Product Sales on Pinterest

Not sure if Pinterest is the right social media platform for your boutique, shop or product based business to be on? Well, my friend, Zoe from zoelinda.co.uk is telling you that it is and sharing her 8 quick tips to boosting sales through Pinterest.

guest post by zoe of zoelinda.co.uk

 

When times are tough for your biz, you might find yourself scrambling for any hope of product sales. Tweeting, Facebooking and ‘gramming until your heart’s content trying to boost sales – but you could be missing out on a goldmine of potential customers on Pinterest. With 2 million products being pinned every day and 93% of Pinners using the platform to plan their purchases, the stats speak for themselves! “But how can I use Pinterest to boost my product sales?” I hear you ask! Well, I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve.

 

Sign up for a Business account

 

First things first, make sure your Pinterest profile is set-up as a Business account. This may seem obvious but many biz pinners skip this important step.

 

There are many benefits of signing up as a business account and getting access to detailed analytics is one of them! You can find out so much about your audience (their demographics, their interests) as well as who is pinning your products. Not only do you get amazing analytics, you can also start promoting your product pins with a Business account.

 

Learn how to get started as a Business account over on Pinterest here.

 

Keep pin descriptions concise + keyword rich

 

When pinning your products, keep your pin descriptions concise. Ideally, they should be between 100 – 200 characters – pins of this length are much more likely to be shared [source].

 

Not only should they be short, they should be keyword rich! Adding relevant keywords into your pin description will mean that your products are much more likely to show up in Pinterest’s search function.

 

This doesn’t mean overflowing your pin description with keywords – you don’t want to lose all the personality of your brand. You want to integrate those keywords into your description so you are cleverly selling you product and increasing your chances of getting seen on Pinterest.

 

Use Pinterest’s search function to find keywords

 

Like I said, keywords are super important if you want to reach more potential customers on Pinterest. Not only are they essential for your pin descriptions, but they are a great addition to your board descriptions too.

 

The easiest and most effective way for you to find the best keywords in your niche is to use Pinterest’s search function.

 

Use Pinterest’s search bar and search for the most obvious term for your pin. So, if you sell handmade handbags, and you wanted to pin one of your products, you may search ‘handmade handbags’.

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 15.30.23

 

Once you’ve hit search, take a look at the list of words that appear underneath the search bar and VOILA! You’ve found a wealth of keywords that users are searching for on Pinterest! For ‘handmade handbags’, you’d find keywords and phrases like ‘patterns’, ‘DIY’, ‘shabby chic’ and ‘homemade’.

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 15.30.32

 

Use these words in your pin and board descriptions – this will make it much more likely for your posts to show up when someone searches for your chosen keywords!

 

Avoid faces in your product pins

 

As silly as it sounds, images without faces receive 23% more repins than images with faces [source]. You would think that people like to see other people on Pinterest, but apparently not!

 

This may seem completely unavoidable if you’re in the fashion, jewellery or makeup industry. However, some clever cropping and photography set-ups can help you get around this problem.

 

Use multiple product photos in one pin

 

Pinterest recently revealed that pins with multiple products perform much better than pins with a single product. They actually tested this themselves and found that their multi-product pin performed 7x better than their single image pin [source].

 

Make your pins more shareable by creating vertical pins with various product photos. These could be pins with images of three different products, or three images of the same product. If  your product lies in the digital realm, try creating various mock-up images to use on your pins.

 

Showcase your prices

 

Don’t be afraid to show-off your prices! Did you know that pins with prices on them get 36% more likes? [source] Whether it’s on the image, pin description or title of the pin, put your prices on show!

 

If you’re a little unsure about your prices and don’t want to advertise them so boldly, create one pin with a price and one without. Monitor how each of them perform and check back after a few weeks of them being live. You might find that your products and prices were desirable for some Pinterest users!

 

Add a ‘Save’ button to your site

 

Do you want visitors of your website to be sharing your products? Hells yeah you do. More saves mean more impressions, which means more followers and more sales!

 

Make it easy for them to share your content on Pinterest by adding a ‘Save’ button to your site. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

 

Learn how to add a ‘Save’ button to your site here.

 

Pin to relevant group boards

 

And last, but definitely not least – pin to group boards! Group boards have been a key player in increasing traffic to my website. Sharing content to group boards means you are reaching a whole new audience of pinners.

 

You can find group boards on Pinterest by searching manually within your area of business on Pinterest – just make sure you select ‘Boards’ in the search box. You can also use pingroupie.com to search for group boards, but this can be a little hit and miss.
Make sure you follow the rules of the board and don’t overcrowd a group board with your content.

 


 

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Zoe Linda is a social media strategist and influencer marketing expert. Zoe helps passionate small business owners stand out online and help them along their exciting biz journey! She also blogs about blogging, social media, and business over at zoelinda.co.uk.

If you need help with your Pinterest strategy, take a look at Zoe’s Pinterest Makeover package on her site.

Follow Zoe on social media: Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

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Social Media

You Need To Be Writing These 3 Types of Instagram Captions

Struggling to write your Instagram captions for your boutique or shop? Click through to read the 3 Instagram captions you should be writing and posting PLUS sign up for my free e-mail course to help you grow your Instagram.

 

Yes, it’s true Instagram is an insanely visual platform. Be honest, the main reason you scroll through your feed several times a day is to look at the gorgeous pictures everybody is posting. While pretty pictures are fun and all if you just have a personal account, when you’re using Instagram for your boutique, shop or product-based business, you need to look at everything that Instagram offers, especially your captions.

 

Why do captions matter? Captions matter because it gets you, your brand and your business to connect with your audience on a personal level. That’s what social media, especially Instagram, is all about — connecting with your audience in a way that traditional marketing such as flyers and ads cannot. Captions can take your Instagram to the next level and skyrocket your engagement. They encourage your audience to have a dialogue with you to build trust with them. And we all know trust equals more sales!

 

But when it comes time to write about your Instagram caption, what I hear from many boutique and shop owners is that they don’t know what to say. As product sellers, many think they just have to talk about their products — new products that just hit the shelves or current sales or promotions that are going. That is so not the case. There is so much more you could talk about.

 

When thinking of what to write in your captions, the overall idea and goal of each one of your captions should be to provide value to your audience. As a product based seller, what kind of value can you provide to your customers that is NOT tangible (AKA your products).

 

Here’s what you could be posting about instead of your next sale:

 

1. You could be sharing styling advice in your captions.

Your customers may love buying from you, but who do they turn to or where do they turn when they need styling advice? Don’t just be someone they turn to for a new shirt when it goes on sale. Be the person they turn to when they’re not sure what necklace to wear with their little black dress for date night.

 

You can share in your Instagram captions tips about what to wear to your next business meeting, your next family event, or first date. The options are endless. Add a personal touch to your captions. If you’re advising your followers to opt for the small clutch for their date tonight, don’t forget extra cash and some gum!

 

BONUS!

You can even take it a step further! Video is a huge tool you can be using for your Instagram. Because your audience can now watch you talk about your styling advice, they can see your enthusiasm. This can make a much bigger impact than just posting a picture and typing some words. Instead, post the video and give a recap of a few key points you made in the Instagram caption.

 

2. You could be sharing fun events in your area.

The fun part about being a local boutique or shop is the community you surround yourself with. Several times throughout the year, many local stores get together to host or sponsor events. A few that come to mind are seasonal festivals, girls nights out, and fundraisers for charities.

 

Only selling online? Not a problem. Make it an online party! Join together with a few shops and host a summit. Ask around for business owners and influencers who can get online and speak to not only your community but anyone who signs up for the event anywhere. This event could be free, but then when anybody purchases from either of the shops that host the event over the duration of the summit, a percentage can go to one or several different charities.

 

3. You could post what goes into the making of your business.

You may think no one cares about what goes on behind the scenes of your business, but that’s not true! What about all those factory tours people go on every single day when on vacation? People are interested in what it takes to make your business successful, so let them in on it!

 

Meeting with a blogger for a new collaboration idea? Give a sneak peek on Instagram, talk about your lunch meeting and get people excited for your collaboration together. Have a gorgeous coffee bar cart in the office where all the employees hang out to take a break? Snap a few pictures and share them on Instagram. Share what makes your employees want to come to work every day, their favorite productivity tricks, and what they take their coffee with.

 

Captions matter, my friends! Don’t just write a one-liner and be done. Write a caption that will engage your audience and keep them coming back for more.

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Social Media

10 Of The Best Instagram Hashtags For Boutiques and Shops

Not using the hashtags means you aren't being found on Instagram. And if you want people to find your boutique and shop on Instagram, you have to be using not any plain ol' hashtags, but the right ones! Here I have ten of the best hashtags for you to use for your shop or boutique's Instagram.

The hashtag struggle can be real! Finding the best Instagram hashtags for your shop or boutique to use can be difficult, but it’s important.

Why It’s Important To Use Hashtags On Instagram

You know how with Google you can type in a few keywords and your search results pop up? The same thing happens with Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter, but NOT Instagram. You still need to search Instagram using hashtags unless you’re looking for someone’s username.

If you’re not using hashtags with your Instagram posts, then you are not searchable (did I just make that word up?), meaning you cannot be found by others than use already follows you.

Let me reiterate: no hashtags = can’t be found by new people = your Instagram growth stays stagnant.

You Know You Need Hashtags, But How Should You Find Them?

You should know the ins + outs of your customers and if you don’t know the ins + outs of your customers, you should take some time to conduct market research.

Why? Because you want to be using hashtags your audience would use. You want your hashtags to be audience specific.

But We All Need To Start Somewhere.

I wanted to help you out with figuring out what hashtags to use, so I researched and researched some more to come up with 10 of the best Instagram hashtags for boutiques and shops to use. Remember Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags for each post, so go find 20 more to use in addition to these. Happy Instagramming!

 

10 Best Instagram Hashtags For Boutiques and Shops

1. #thatsdarling
#thatsdarling was started by Darling Magazine. Photos under this hashtag tend to be more ethereal — light, airy and girly. What I love about #thatsdarling is it’s used to capture moments ranging from first loves to vacations and everything in between. Boutiques and shops could use this hashtag for their lifestyle images or when reposting their customer’s posts.

 

2. #shopoholics
#shopoholics is another great lifestyle hashtag. Because who doesn’t like a day of shopping! If you use this post, you’ll reach people who are interested in shopping.  And isn’t that the whole point? To get people onto your Instagram, so you can get them to shop. Posting mirror selfies (say in your shop or warehouse) would be ideal for this hashtag.

 

3. #shoppingday
Again, shopping days are every shopaholic’s delight. You’ll reach people who are in the midst of shopping. Pictures that usually pop up in this feed are street style pictures. Outfits photographed on the street. Think of New York fashion street photography.

 

4. #fashionaddict
Well, your shoppers should be addicted to fashion. These photos range from runway shots to selfies. Putting pictures of your products from your shop or boutique in front of fashion addicts is a no brainer.

 

5. #currentlywearing
Do your shop employee’s wear items from your store on their shift? Showing what real life people are wearing from your shop is important. Using this hashtag is like informing your potential customers of entire outfits they can purchase from you.

 

6. #flatlay
Flatlays are extremely popular (and I have a feeling they always will be). You know when you’re deciding what to wear for the day or for a night out and you start laying out your clothes and your accessories on your bed to see what looks good together? It’s the same concept of a flatlay photo. You’re showing your customers what items of yours look good together.

 

7. #instastyle
Super popular Instagram hashtag for those who want to show off their style. Similar to #fashionaddict. Types of pictures can range.

 

8. #styleblogger
As important as it is to get your Instagram posts in front of your customers, both current and potential, it’s just as important to get in front of fashion bloggers and brand influencers. What better hashtag to use than #styleblogger for that purpose. You never know what next blogger will see your shop and want to work with you.

 

9. #styleinspo
I like this one for exactly what the hashtag says: style inspiration. I believe a big part of being a boutique or shop is knowing current trends and showing everybody how you express those trends. If you don’t get them to purchase from you yet, your style inspiration post can be rather unforgettable — so you can get them next time.

 

10. #whatiwore
This is another great post for style inspiration. I personally love seeing how others put together their outfits, what accessories they pair with their jeans and tee or their party dress. Again, as a boutique or shop, showing your products style together and providing styling advice is important.

 

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Guest Post,Social Media

15 Instagram Tips: A Collaboration

On the Instagram struggle bus? Click through to these 15 tips from some amazing Instagram pros. Your Instagram for your boutique and online shop will flourish with these fifteen Instagram tips.

Today we’re celebrating National Social Media Day. I wanted to do something special for this day because hello social media strategist over here! 😛 At first, I thought of just sharing tips on Instagram because it’s my favorite platform, but I thought about getting others involved and how much more fun that would be. So I put out some calls and got some helpful tips from some amazing people. I’m laying out all the tips on this blog post, but we would love it if you would head over to Instagram and give everybody’s tips some Insta-love.

 

1. You can’t always be everywhere, but you should be where your audience is.

instagramtip-katiewilliamsen

“Choose the right social media networks. You do not need to be on every social media network. Instead, you want to select the networks that are most enjoyable for you and best serve your target market. Once you select your social networks, share only what you love. Because you represent your brand on social media, it is extremely important to love the content you share. If you love it, chances are good your audience will love it too. They choose to follow you, so be sure share content related to your niche that you enjoy.” — Katie Williamsen

 

2. Hashtags are super important!

instagramtip-cotihowell

“Make trending hashtags work for you, as long as they’re relevant.” — Coti Howell

 

3. Have a signature post.

instagramtip-leconsulting

“Come up with at least one signature daily post. Maybe it’s #hotmessmondays (like @rosemarywatson) or maybe it’s something super unique to your brand. Either way, having a signature day will keep people coming back to your profile on that day to see what this week’s post is and it’ll help your engagement!” — Le Consulting

 

4. Captions are key.

instagramtip-saganlives-1

“Write longer captions (ideally to tell a relevant story, share a valuable lesson, or provide more detail on the topic of your Instagram post) to connect more deeply with your followers and build better relationships with them. People will engage with you and remember you better if they feel like they actually *know* you and can relate to you and your stories.” — Sagan Morrow

 

5. Engage with your audience.

instagramtip-ripe_mangoes

“Engage. Engage with your followers and non-followers. Build a relationship as if you’re about to get to know a friend.” — Love

 

6. Shoutout your favorite products.

instagramtip-keeleybehlingstudios

“Share your favorite small business product you’ve recently purchased or used. Share what drew you in the first place. Maybe it was the sellers personality, awesome pics or all the amazing uses that product offers. Tag them in the photo and description. Those shout-outs create a great networking opportunity and we can make another maker’s day!” — Keeley Behling

 

7. Be true to yourself.

instagramtip-littleaholicbycsd

“ALWAYS be you, regardless of media.” — A:holic by CSD

 

8. Find a balance between business and personal.

instagramtip-saganlives-2

“Achieve balance in marketing your biz and posting more personal lifestyle images by using an alternating-images theme: go back and forth with the same ratio of a biz/product image and a lifestyle image. When you are CONSISTENT with your ratio (whether it’s 1:1, 2:1 etc), it will produce a lovely aesthetic to your feed and encourage more people to follow you… especially if you stick to an on-brand color scheme!”— Sagan Morrow

 

9. Be YOU.

instagramtip-j.s.coaching

“Be authentic and transparent, the most appealing thing about you is WHO you really are.” — Jennifer Scott

 

10. Respond to comments (and use your desktop computer!).

instagramtip-ashlynscarter

“Answer every person back on social media — it’s you bread-and-butter form of customer service for those of us with online businesses! My best tip is to get off your phone app and jump on your desktop or laptop to answer Instagram comments on your photos. You’ll type faster, which is a good way to maintain your brand voice and tone – less likely to get lazy! So, next time you have a slew of comments to respond to, put down your phone, pop open your laptop, and head to instagram.com to knock out your responses in no time.” — Ashlyn Carter

 

11. Post quality photos.

instagramtip-ripe_mangoes-2

“Always post clean and clear photos. Your flatlays and the props you use, make in intentional and cohesive. It’s better to take photos with even gray lighting, than bright and obvious source. Because once you edit, it will evenly apply the changes with minimal contrast/shadow. Again, unless it’s intention.” — Love

 

12. Your dog will always win your audience over.

instagramtip-tmistick

“Incorporate your pets! It’s no secret that the Internet loves cute cats and pretty pups, so don’t hide them from your followers! Photos of my dogs always increase engagement and introduce me to new followers.” — Tori Mistick

 

13. Post consistently.

instagramtip-carolinecreates

“Being consistent, scheduling posts like a pro” is key to having a successful Instagram. — Caroline of Caroline Creates and Creating Bizness

 

14. Your Instagram bio matter.

instagramtip-whyhellobeauty

“Capture your audience quickly by nailing your bio. Keep it matter of fact yet witty, add as much detail as you can about who you are – within the 150 character limit! – and if you are a user, add in your Snapchat details. Scroll through winning Instagram accounts and look at their bios to brainstorm ideas for your own!” — Emily Crawford

 

15. Have fun!

instagramtip-melissahebbe

“Don’t take your Instagram so seriously. Yes, it is an important tool for business, but have fun with it by collaborating and connecting with others (like with a mini series such as this one).” — Melissa Hebbe

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Blog + Business Tips,Social Media

Why It’s Important to Participate in Social Media Holidays

 

Think those national social media holidays are silly? Think again! They help with brand awareness and sales or promotions. Click through to read more on why you should be participating in social media holidays.

 

#NationalDonutDay
#NationalCoffeeDay
#NationalWineDay

Who the heck cares about these social media holidays? More than you think. These “holidays” are becoming an integral part of business’s marketing and brand awareness strategy, especially on social media. I know what you’re thinking — “I thought National Donut Day was just something fun, to get people hyped about donuts and share pictures on Instagram.” Exactly.

Businesses of all types from donut shops to coffee shops to boutiques are participating in these, what I like to call, social media holidays for a reason, well for a few reasons actually.

3 Reasons Why Brands Participate in Social Media Holidays

1. Brand Awareness
Let’s take the holiday Flip Flop Day on June 17th. I’m a huge flip flop fan so I can think of several flip flops I like. Not going to lie, but one of my favorite classic summer flip flops of all time are the Old Navy brand flip flops. You know, they come in a variety of colors and have no crazy embellishments so you can wear them to the beach or wear them on your date night. I’m all about simplicity.

Knowing that Flip Flop Day is coming soon and how popular Old Navy flip flops already are with society, Old Navy can start planning social media posts for that one day. Getting three high-quality pictures to share on Instagram and everywhere else on social media is all they need to get started.

Even a few days before, they can start promoting the holiday. How? By telling their customers to snap a picture of themselves wearing Old Navy flip flops, using the hashtag #NationalFlipFlopDay and tagging Old Navy in their photos for a chance for their customer’s photos to be reposted. And bam! Old Navy just went from having 3 pre-planned Instagram photos to thousands of photos that can be continuously shared.


2. Customer Service and Interaction

If you caught this post, then you know I believe social media is a MAJOR form of customer service. Funny, right? But more and more customers (both current and potential) are starting to turn to social media to interact with brands as opposed to e-mails. So use this to your advantage!

Exactly like we talked about with Old Navy earlier — they are able to connect with their customers by encouraging them to use the hashtag #NationalFlipFlopDay and tagging Old Navy. They can take this one step further by holding a contest for a gift card or for flip flops in every color available that season.

Encouraging customers to share photos of your brand also encourages the communication between the brand and customer (this is super important, people!). By communicating with current customers and potential customers, it opens the doors for more fans and sales, which leads me to my next reason.

 

3. Boost Sales
Let’s still use Old Navy as an example. Did you also know June 18th is National Splurge Day? Oh, yeah — a guilt-free day of splurge shopping? Sign me up!

You can totally create a sale around a social media holiday. By participating in a popular social media holiday, your posts on social media are getting in front of potentially thousands of customers, both current and new. Take it one step further by also including your e-mail list in the fun promotion and you’ve got yourself something there.

 

BONUS! Collaboration Opportunity
This may be my favorite because I love collaborating with others! Yes, we’re still going to talk about Old Navy because why not. So Old Navy wants to promote National Flip Flop Day and their classic flip flops that come in every color known to mankind each summer. What better way to get further exposure than with a collaboration with a blogger or brand influencer. Collaborations with bloggers and brand influencers differ from one person to another, but what remains consistent is sending the product that you would want to be seen by others.

A tip for collaborating with bloggers and brand influencers — they are essentially becoming a face of your brand for a time period, so choose wisely. If you are a city-inspired company, then a beach-based blogger wouldn’t necessarily be an ideal fit now would it? But since Old Navy wants to show off their flip flops, a beach blogger would be perfect.

 

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