VULGAR CITIZEN is the amazing young clothing boutique recently launched by the incomparable, sublime, Vel Jones. The thing is, when you’re trying to launch a fashion line – in LA, especially – you’re going to need to be seen. Jones recognized the potential power of using Instagram to get the brand in the eyes of the tastemakers and otherwise.
We’re super pumped to have Ms. Jones answer our questions about making Instagram work for a small business and if we sound a little star-struck, well, maybe just a bit. But for you other small businesses, listen to these words and adopt them as gospel!
Vel Jones on using Instagram to foster the success of her clothing brand VULGAR CITIZEN.
Why did you start using Instagram?
My clothing and accessories boutique just launched this year. I knew that I needed to quickly build my boutique’s brand and I felt the best way to do that was through pictures. My company has worked with incredible photographers and models to showcase our products. Of all social media options, Instagram was the best way to highlight this. Using the right hashtags, we were able to attract attention from shoppers who may not have found out about us any other way.
What are some of the greatest successes you have had, what are some of your failures?
Instagram has been amazing for making connections with not only potential customers but also, the press. I have been able to set up interviews and meetings with press officials who have made comments on my Instagram posts. This is especially important because if someone from the press is commenting on my posts, it already shows that they are interested in what my boutique is doing. As far as failures goes, I tend to be long winded in my Instagram posts for VULGAR CITIZEN. I realize that Instagram like most social media sites is very much about the quick and easy delivery of information. I am aware that most people are not going to spend the time to read a paragraph under an Instagram post so I have made an effort to make the posts as short and sweet as possible. A lot of times the quality of the photos/videos do all of the talking for you.
What do you love about using Instagram from a small business point of view?
I love that Instagram (for now) seems to give small businesses an equal playing field to work on. Twitter and especially Facebook have made it very clear that if you want people to have access to your posts and essentially, have access to your small business – you will have to pay. Instagram, as far as I can tell, has not gone this route quite yet. If you post something, the people who follow you will eventually see it. I do not have to pay to give people who follow my company access to what they should have already.
What are your best tips for other small businesses using Instagram? Why should they use it?
The best tip I can give another small business is to just start using Instagram RIGHT AWAY. Get your company’s name on Instagram and on people’s radars before Instagram goes to the way of Facebook and you will have to pay for that “privilege.” One thing that I am proud of about my company’s Instagram presence is that if you were to scroll back to our first posts, you can really see how far we have come and how much this company has grown. As a small business owner this is an amazing reminder of all that you can accomplish in such a short period of time.