Who better to give advice on Instagram, than the social media editor of Harper’s Bazaar herself? ‘Gram guru, Nat Salmon, gives us a glimpse behind the grid with some of her most Bazaar insider tips, knowledge + insight into all things Insta…
How did you first get into social media?
I did a masters in Broadcast Journalism at City University, specialising in video, (which is so helpful now) and during the course I was really interested in the digital modules where you learned how to build your own website and it taught the ins and outs of online journalism. Shortly after graduating I became the first Social Media Editor at ES Magazine which led me to my job as Social Media Editor at Harper’s Bazaar.
How do you manage and plan content for Bazaar’s Instagram grid?
I meet with the team on a weekly basis to discuss what key stories we feel will perform well and I try to keep imagery consistent.
How do you use your personal social media accounts in comparison to Bazaar’s?
My main focus is growing the Harper’s Bazaar account and any spare time I have I use my own. On my personal account I share the articles I’ve written for the magazine and the things I am personally interested in which is mainly fashion tech and beauty tech. I also love to give Instagram advice on there with the hashtag #NatsAppTips.
What’s your advice for building an engaged audience on social media?
Make sure you know what your audience finds useful and stick to a niche. If you’re a fitness blogger it’s much better to just share fitness, or one specific type of content on your Instagram. This means your followers will return to your profile and you will garner a really loyal fan base.
“Whether you love talking about tech, beauty or baking, whatever you love – find your niche and stick to it.”
Is there an optimal time to post?
If you live in London I find the times people are on their way to work is an optimal time. But a good post will almost always do well if it gets comments & engagement within the first few minutes. Saturday night I’d stay away from.
Video content is becoming increasingly important – how do you integrate this into your strategy for Bazaar?
We aim to create as much original video content as possible, and connect with our YouTube audience by creating weekly series and making sure we post videos on a regular basis. Video is extremely important across all our platforms: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & Youtube.
You’re an app expert! What are your favourites for upping your Insta game?
My absolute favourites are Facetune, for editing pictures (whitening tablecloths, the patch tool can get rid of cigarette butts on the floor which could ruin a shot), I also use VSCO for the amazing filters and StoryLuxe & Unfold for beautiful Instagram story templates.
Any advice for using Stories Highlights?
I’d say this is a good place to showcase the key elements of your brand. If you are a beauty blogger for instance you can show off the different categories you talk about (skincare, eyeshadow, lipsticks, spa visits etc)
What would you say is key for building a brand on Instagram?
Make sure you know exactly what your brand is. Make a mission statement and stick to it. Only use images that are completely in line with your brand ethos.
“You don’t want to confuse your audience or customer, you want them to know exactly what you stand for and what you are selling.”
What are your hashtags hacks?
I like to always use 3-4 hashtags which are very specifically relevant to the picture. If you don’t like using hashtags aesthetically you can always post them in the first comment instead.
IGTV is becoming very popular – what’s your advice for creating content? What do you find performs best?
My advice for IGTV is to use it as much as possible, its currently being prioritised on the Instagram algorithm so accounts that use it are being given a boost! Talk directly to camera with good lighting and keep videos between 3-7 minutes long. I use it to do gadget reviews but I find beauty tutorials and short workouts that the viewer can replicate perform extremely well on the platform.
What’s the best and worst thing about Instagram?
Best thing is opportunity for small brands to have a free marketing tool and an audience they would have never reached before, the worst is the ‘popularity contest’ and the insecurity it causes. I’ve recently stopped looking at other peoples stories so that I don’t get FOMO!
Finally, what’s your advice for people wanting a career in social media?
Internships at magazines are always a good place to start – I found doing a masters in Journalism was a huge help to getting my foot in the door!