By Dylan Beach & Llian Hayter

Instagram. We check it before we go to bed, when we wake up and about a hundred times throughout the day. With over 100 million monthly users, it provides an excellent platform to get to know your customers better, and communicate with them on a personal level that is responsive to their interests.

Many accounts in the surf industry nail Instagram, using engaging images and quality content to capture their customer’s attention. But with so many accounts online and so many photos for people to flick through, how do we get people to double tap on the photos, visit your store and buy your product? To answer that question we talk to Llian Hayter, a social media guru who has developed, rolled out and monitored social media accounts for numerous major Australian fashion brands. To make it simple she provides us with a few key tips to take away, and work on to make sure you make the most of the little purple coloured app.

1. Lifestyle content:

Not everything needs to be product based. Use Instagram as a portal to sell your lifestyle. Original imagery is always best – think holidays, events, things that happen around the office, special guests, exclusive sneak peaks of product- people like to feel involved or get that ‘behind the scenes or exclusive imagery’. The new Instagram Story is also a great new feature to instantly engage with your fans. Use this to keep your followers updated daily.

2. Timing:

Similar to Facebook, your Instagram account can be available as a business account that gives you access to analytics. From here you can find out helpful insights into your account such as when is the best time to post, when do you get the most engagement and then be consistent at posting regularly at that time. People are creatures of habit. You can use programs like Iconsquare – this will give you key times, what posts received the most engagement, what days of the week are best for your audience, etc.

 3. Clear and professional imagery:

Never upload a blurry image and avoid uploading a screen shot. It will stand out a mile away. Consider the flow of your feed; does that image look good next to the one you previously uploaded? All the little things matter!

4. Respond to every (as much as you can) comments and mentions:

Always! It’s such a simple way to make someone feel special and important. Not just one of the thousands.


( @stephaniegilmore mixes lifestyle, sponsor product and original content for an effective account)

5. Create and monitor branded hash tags:

This enables you to run and measure specific campaigns, to track photos related to your brand and allows customers to share their experiences with your brand, shop or product. But don’t use to many! Lots of hash tags can look ugly on your post. Keep them relevant to the industry, and only ones that are relevant at the time. This WSL’s #itson

6. Utilise and tag your geo locations:

Everyone knows you can tag a location in each post. But not many people know you can click on the location and see all the posts that people have posted with your location. This brings us back to point #4. Make a point every now and then to scroll through the images people have tagged your shop’s location in and comment, like and interact with them. You might not know them or remember them in store, but a simple comment goes a long way in building that customer relationship. You will see them walk through your store, tag and post more images in the future.

7. Remember to credit:

If you regram or your image isn’t your own – ALWAYS tag and acknowledge where you found it. Intellectual property is so important these days, and you would be mad if someone did it to you and didn’t acknowledge it.


For more on Llian Hayter, check out her website here