Meet the insider – Ulrike Schulz, who, using Social Media nailed a dream job, became an entrepreneur and helped a number of creative businesses grow online. We met with Uli to talk about her Social Media strategies and the secrets and tools every Fashion brand should use to grow.
Fashion Bloc: When did you discover that Social Media is a tool you are good at?
Ulrike Schulz: It happened by accident. I really wanted to move to London from Germany but didn’t know anyone in the city/country. I had the idea to connect with people on Twitter and try to look for a job on the social media platform. Long story short, The Guardian discovered my idea and asked me to write about my job hunt experience on Twitter. Before I realised it, I was invited for interviews in social media agencies where I was told that I really understand how to use social media. I did end up working in the best social media agency so I could even write about my success story at the end. If you want to read more about it please see articles on The Guardian.
FB: What is your main SM channel?
US: It has changed now. Above, I was talking about Twitter which was my main social media channel for a long time. Nowadays, it’s Instagram. People are very active, it increases in popularity every day and finally, people connect with brands and professionals more naturally.
FB: How can Fashion Brands use Instagram to grow their businesses?
US: Instagram is great for Fashion Brands. I always say communicate beyond your products. Visualise a lifestyle people can be part of. Define 3-5 content buckets and be consistent with posting. To give you an example… Let’s say you have a shoe brand. Of course, you would also show your products as one part of the content buckets but also show the people who would wear them. What life do they live? Where do they travel to? What does their work life look like? What main colours do you use? You can treat Instagram as a mood board. One-word tip: experiment!
FB: How do you use Instagram for business?
US: There are many ways you can use Instagram for your business. I have a service based business as well as a product based business called Secrets of Green. In fact, Instagram is my main traffic driver to the website although it might be difficult sometimes because you only have one link on Instagram (links in Instagram Stories are coming soon, though – I already have it on Secrets of Green). Apart from posting content on Instagram it’s also crucial to interact with other accounts by following them, liking their content and commenting on their posts.
FB: Can you reveal three Instagram strategies every brand should know and use?
US: These tips seem simple but you won’t believe how many accounts are not following these tips.
- Post regularly – Best is once a day but it can be less if you don’t break the circle, i.e. not posting for 2 weeks can harm your engagement
- Use hashtags – It’s simple: if you use more hashtags you get more exposure. Post hashtags in the comments if you don’t want to look spammy.
- Post on Instagram Stories – This is fairly new but by posting on Instagram Stories you help people find your account as well. Instagram also rewards you for being more active.
FB: How do you grow your Instagram followers so quickly? Secrets of Green just launched earlier this year and now you have over 19K followers?
US: It’s a secret… hahaha No, just kidding! It’s a combination of activities.
– I post regularly (always)
– I use user generated content to connect with people
– I use all 30 hashtags
– I follow people, like posts and comment on posts
FB: How much should fashion brands invest in the Social Media per month? And what should be their priorities – hiring a SM strategist, investing in Ads, etc?
US: That really depends on the brand. You can’t say that all fashion brands are the same. They have different audiences, different content, different products etc. There’s also not a certain amount you should spend on social media per month. A person could spend 24 hours on social media or just one hour and that means the price could vary hugely. I think what’s really important is that they find a person or agency who is creative. Some brands succeed because they do things differently. They’re curious, observe, and experiment. Same with ads. For some brands/products social media ads work, for others they don’t, or it needs a bit of time to make it work.
FB: One mistake almost every Social Media for business newbie does?
US: Feeling overwhelmed. I hear it from so many people and it kills their curiosity to use it for their businesses or even to be excited when they hire someone to do it. Social Media has so much potential and you don’t need to follow ALL the rules. Maybe just one rule: be consistent. Even if your content seems not right at the beginning to start somewhere and then just get better. You can always improve and you don’t have to be perfect at the beginning. Don’t give up and enjoy the opportunities!