Another season of fashion month has come and gone, leaving behind a trail of beautiful slow-mo videos of models sashaying down the runway. Gone are the days you had to wait for images to be uploaded on to enjoy your favourite designer’s collection. Now, a quick search of the hashtag #SS19, and your feed is flooded with runway looks, detail shots, boomerangs and street style stars. You could even be there as the collection is unveiled, via Instagram Live of course.

“Instagram has made it possible for everyone to have a front row access, giving a first-hand preview into how the fashion industry works,” says Eva Chen, director of fashion partnership at Instagram (and of the famous #EvaChenPose). In fact, the social media platform has taken it one step further, by collaborating with brands to create customised filters. Just this season, Virgil Abloh posted a video of Chen testing out Off-White’s new Insta filter hours before the show, allowing users across borders to feel like they were a part of the event. “[Instagram] empowers small businesses and democratises opportunity, giving individuals, creators and emerging brands the ability to reach a global audience,” says Chen.

So how does one up their Insta game? “Whether it’s a brand, a stylist, a designer or someone like you or me, building your Instagram persona really just comes down to being yourself,” she says. “For me, bringing your own unique point of view to your Instagram is of utmost importance. Use Instagram to deep dive into your own self to find your community and your people to make the most of it.” And Chen would know—she recently crossed 1m followers on her personal account.

From choosing the right hashtag to promoting your fashion brand, Chen shares her tips on how to create the most beautiful Instagram account (including ditching the picture grid).

Making the most of Instagram Live

1. Don’t overthink it: The best live content is casual!

2. Go with the flow: Answer questions from followers, show people what you’re seeing, and who you’re with.

3. Acknowledge your fans: When answering questions from your followers, be sure to give their account name a shoutout and repeat the question.

4. Give it time: Go live for at least 15-20 minutes to hit peak viewership. People need a chance to see that you’ve gone live.

Top tips for Instagram Stories

1. Mix it up: Use Boomerang to add dimension to any moment. The best stories mix photos, videos, Boomerang and Hyperlapse.

2. Play with the new tools: Layer stickers and add a location tag for your next story.

3. Use @mentions: It’s a great way to give your followers more detail on what you’re wearing and who you’re with.

4. Try the new hands-free option: We’ve seen influencers and models use this to show makeup techniques.

How can you create a successful fashion brand on Instagram?

1. Hand over the account to staff members (intern, head of merchandising, stylist). This person should be young, nimble, quick (with a short approval chain) and provide insight and a behind-the-scenes/different angle to the brand.

2. Your engagement is equal to the likes, comments and dwell time, which is the time spent looking at an image or video—this is why video is so important.

3. Good engagement gets you into the Explore feed, which has 150 million views per day.

4. When you’re working with talent or a celebrity, get them to like or comment on your posts. This creates a ripple effect by putting you in front of their followers through Explore.

5. If you are wondering how often to post to improve engagement, try adding one more post a day and monitor the response. There is no magic number, but if you post five times, try six, etc.

6. Forget the grid. The majority of views you get come from feed. People don’t see the grid and you need to over index on content that is engaging in feed. (Note: The grid has a role to play in converting followers, but choosing to follow is a more impulsive action and it is better to prioritise keeping followers.)

7. For videos, think mobile first and lightweight. Break videos into short segments, with one action per video.

8. Think community. Nurture the ecosystem around your brand. For example, millennial beauty brand Glossier has such an engaged community that when a question is asked in comments, the community responds. This provides scale when your followers grow.

9. Reward your community through followed hashtags. For example, how Versace responds to #VersaceTribute. It encourages engagement.

10. Remember your audience. An average fashion enthusiast follows 1,200 accounts. You need to post a lot to feature in the feed. Don’t over-curate. Over index on the unique, insightful, behind-the-scenes content.

11. Cross post from stories to feed, remind people to check out your stories. There should be something different on every surface.

12. Add context to the videos/images you post on your feed. Provide an insight and the story behind the image or video.

13. Use comment filters.

14. Be specific rather than general in the use of hashtags to ensure relevance. For example, #MOTD (makeup of the day) vs #makeup.

15. Set a framework for feed posts. A format and style that stands out will mean that you can recognise the brand instantly, without viewing the handle.

16. During a Live, try to show a different perspective. At event/shows, find a unique/different angle to give to your followers.

Navigating adult life can be hard, but we’re here to help. From practical tips on how to back up your data to essential advice for introverts, our Vogue Hacks series will get you the know-how you need

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