Nothing Funny or Fake - Just the Truth
Ahh Instagram. How I love thee and loath thee. I find so many amazing new discoveries on you but you steal so much of my time doing it! If only I had a dollar for every minute I spent on you!!
With over 600 million active users, it’s definitely a well-loved social media outlet. We may look like we have been around for a while but Instagram is where we first started Kulani Kinis back in 4 January 2015. And back then, we started with nothing...nada...zip...zilch. I think the first follower was me haha.
Having never opened Instagram, I downloaded it off the Apple store because I thought 'ok I need to start telling people I am going to start a brand of quality and affordable bikinis' and it was the only way I could let people know about us. Dani & I started by posting photos of our samples and us testing them at the beach, and it definitely looks different to where we are at now. We are brutally aware that we are not the biggest account on Instagram but we are really proud that we are about to crack 90,000 followers really soon! And we are sure the six digit figure will come super fast after that!
We recently got asked how we grew our fan base and we wanted to share a few of the tips for you girls and hopefully you enjoy them :)
1. Interact Outside Your Circle
In the early days, we told all our friends and family what we were doing but pretty quickly we knew we had to do more if we wanted to let every girl in the world know what we were doing. So we would spend hours (like 3-5 hours a day) liking other girl's photos each night.Go through and like 5-10 photos on someone’s account. It would also help to leave a genuine comment and give them a follow. This helps to get your name out there and allows other users to discover you.
Imagine you just hang with the same 5 people your whole life, you will only ever have 5 friends. Think of all the beautiful souls you will never meet if you don't just look around. Be yourself, be genuine and show that same spirit to everyone, whether you meet them online or in the real world!
2. Create Your Look
We’ve found that it really helps to create a theme for your Instagram. Easy to say as a brand but its really applicable to you as a person as well. Write down a few words that you want people to associate with your account. For us we hope our fans get our vibe is bright, colourful, and full of our love of summer. Once you’ve settled on a theme, try your hardest to stick to it! I think have that same vibe whether we have 1000 followers or 90,000 followers as you can see the beneath photo.
We all know that Iphones come with a camera....but first step...try to use an actual camera! I’m not going to lie, it’s a pain to pull out a camera, take a photo or 100, and then upload them to a computer so you can send it to yourself to post on Instagram, but it’s worth it. Instagram is a visual platform, designed for you to share visuals so that others can react to what they see.
3. Actually Socialise With Other People
Two words....Social....Media....It ain’t called social for no reason! Respond to the comments you receive and leave comments of your own. However I will caveat that if a creepy dude from another country leaves a comment on your photos or DM's you saying 'Hey Sexy'...feel free to block, ban, and delete! We do! In fact our policy is zero tolerance for that kind of weirdo stuff...so any creepers are Insta-gone so we can make sure we create a safe space for you girls!
Anyways...back to being social...sometimes it is hard to be honest and share what is going on. But we have always been surprised at the amount of people who are prepared to listen and take time for us. So don't be afraid to tell people what is happening with you and listen to others. Engage and interact! If a photo makes us smile, we like it. If it makes us stop scrolling for more than a second, we’ll leave a comment. It doesn’t matter how many or few followers the account has. It’s just a nice way to be genuine, spread kindness and make someone feel good. And always credit other babes if you choose to share their photo.
4. Don't Be Pretty....Have A Message
Posting photos of girls in bikinis in great locations isn't hard....but I know literally 100's of inspo accounts on Instagram that do it! So it's not enough to just have a pretty theme or curate the perfect page anymore...you need to have a message.
We like to tell girls...you can have a bikini that is luxury quality and affordable. We are made in the same place (yes the exact same place) as some of the most expensive brands in the world. The difference is that we don't like to rob our girls of their hard earned money. It's hard enough being a young girl these days, without having to spend through the nose for something that you can only wear 3 times before it falls apart. Quality and affordability have become a rare thing! But we are on a mission to change that! Our goal in the next few years is to give every girl in the world the opportunity to have something they love to wear to the beach and it not cost them too dearly. We pride ourselves on making something really cute & unique as well, so you won't find any of our designs anywhere else.
A girl that we really admire and has a message is Georgia Gibbs. She has a great message with AnyBodyCo and we think she is true inspo! So you need to figure out...what is your message? What topics are you most passionate about and how can you add your true value. Once you know that you can tie that message into your theme and you will become this light that everyone else will be attracted to!
5. Use Stories & The Fun Stuff
I am so happy that Instagram decided to give Snapchat a bit of competition! Stories are fun!!! They are raw, unedited and just give you more opportunity to show who you are. Sounds cliche but I think fun/silliness is contagious, and I haven't met a person that doesn't like to laugh.
Sometimes it can be fun to escape your own message and theme and just be silly! We love to use our stories to talk directly to our fans and just show some of our individual personalities! This is where you can too. We think we don't use it enough but we are going to change that really soon! We want to show you girls more of what the busy bees are doing in bikini land.
Thanks for reading as always!
Dani & Alex