April '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 9 A P R I L P R I N T W E A R 2 3 hashtag, so be sure to tag them by in- cluding @theirname if you want them to notice your post, and, ideally, they will then share it. Invite your customers to post on their Instagram when they wear something you made for them and then tag you. You can then like that post and even share it after getting explicit permission from that user. 8. Create teasers. Generate and keep the interest of the people following you on Instagram. Reward your followers with first glimpses of new catalogs, products, equipment, techniques, ser- vices, or an event. Post teasers before you head to a trade show and invite your followers to send you a wish list of products to look for. When you find one of the products at the show, post it and tag that customer letting them know you can't wait to show it to them. 9. Measure and adjust. Unless you take the time and effort to measure how your posts are doing, posting on social media just becomes a guessing game. The only way to discover what kinds of posts generate interaction and engagement from your ideal targets is to keep trying, see the results, try something different, and measure again. Regularly mea- sure your follower count, engagement, and clicks so that you can refine and improve your posting strategy. This social media platform is growing rapidly and represents a unique way to connect with existing customers and engage with new customers. Develop a presence where they already are by creating an Instagram account for your business. Spending at least 20 minutes once or twice a week to post photos and videos of what you are doing, where you are going, and who you are already working with helps your target audience get to know you and your business. The goal is to show the human side of your business. I hope these tips help you connect with and attract new business from your existing customers as well as bring in new customers. Email me at, and I will send you a tutorial on how to set up your busi- ness account on Instagram. PW Jennifer Cox is the president and co-founder of the National Network of Embroidery Professionals (NNEP), a professional organization for apparel decoration business owners. NNEP supports the success of NNEP members with best practices, ideas, sources, solutions, volume-buying benefits, and services. Cox was recognized as a Top 50 Small Business Influencer and Community Choice Leader by Small Biz Trends in 2013, is recognized as one of the industry's "Most Creative Thinkers," and repeatedly ranks in the top 40 on the industry's "Power List." Reach her at or go to » More than 1 billion active monthly users (source: » 25 million active business accounts, as of June 2018 (source: » While 59 percent of its users fall in the 18–29 age bracket, 33 percent are in the 30–49 bracket and another 18 percent are in the 50–64 bracket (source: » Users are: 38 percent women, 28 percent men; the rest are not identified (source: » Geographically, 39 percent of the users are listed as urban, 28 percent as suburban, and 31 percent as rural (source: » Income is reported rather evenly with 38 percent listed less than $30K, 32 percent listed $30–50K, 32 percent listed $50–75K, and 38 percent listed greater than $75K (source: » Instagram posts generate 58 times more engagements per follower than Facebook posts (their parent company) (source: » Instagram users average 55 minutes a day on the platform (source: » 80 percent of Instagram users follow at least one business on Instagram (source: INSTAGRAM INFO:

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