Interview: Simone Devine on social media visual identity

One of the most important aspects of a social media strategy is the visual look and feel. With so many businesses saturating each and every digital platform these days, it’s crucial to have a visual identity that your audience can immediately recognise and engage with – whether that means muted tones or screaming colours.

In this interview, Simone speaks about her process of creating the Simone Devine visual identity and gives advice on how you can develop your own.

When I first met you, you told me you’ve previously studied in visual merchandising, how important has that been in shaping your visual social media identity?

Simone: It certainly helped me value the importance of my Instagram aesthetic and that merchandising a store isn’t really that different to curating your feed. Your store’s visuals need to draw customers in and your Instagram account needs to do the same. You need to create something that makes people feel excited, enthralled and a little obsessed (or a lot, hopefully). You need to create that feeling you get when you walk into a store that feels super you and you need everything in it when people look at your feed.

How long did it take you to develop you visual identity? Was it a process of trial and error or did you know straight away what you wanted?

Simone: I knew I wanted it to be bright. Mixing and styling colours and objects together is a strength of mine but even if it’s something you are particularly confident doing it can take a while to get it just right – to feel like you are in a visual rhythm. There is no real harm in trying different things initially. I took photos everyday. I learnt that I didn’t really like photographing food. I realised taking photos midday, inside near and a window resulted in the best quality. I also learnt I really, really like doing flatlays.

A snapshot of the @simonedevinebespoke Instagram feed

Was there a moment where everything just clicked for you and you thought ‘oh yeah, this is how I’m going to do this’?

Simone: I’d been doing flatlays for a while using a large piece of bright fabric as my background. It was the first time I used multiple pieces of coloured paper to create a graphic collage for items to be styled on that really felt right. I find it incredibly thrilling when things look exactly as I like them to – when they perfectly fit my aesthetic. Stepping back from my first colour blocked flatlay was so satisfying. Thankfully other people like them too.

Do you feel as though your signature style has helped you set your business apart in a city that loves their craft?

Simone: We make pieces that stand out. No matter how bold the outfit or grand the room, our designs stand out. They make a confident statement without feel gaudy or over the top, which is an essential balance. My Instagram aesthetic complements and reflects our design’s uniqueness, which has assisted our growth.

How do you plan out your social content – week by week, day by day, month by month? Do you set aside time to take a big batch of photos, or do it as it comes to you?

Simone: Every post has to work with the ones around it so each picture is planned. I like it when the colours in the background of each post flow from one to the other. The easiest way to do this seamlessly is to take three to five photos at once. I have to also consider the content too. We have a few different products and I like to show them off evenly. I try to take most of my posts for the entire week by Tuesday. This works most of the time, unless I’m just not feeling it. I’d rather take the photos everyday rather than force it.

A snapshot of the @simonedevinebespoke Instagram feed

Do you do anything in particular to grow your fanbase, or do you leave it up to organic traffic?

Simone: I did at the start. I read many blogs about how to grow your followers and I tried a few different things, one of which really worked.

Before I go into that, I’m just going to point out one thing: Don’t follow lots of people, wait until they follow you back and then unfollow them straight away. Nobody will like you and you may accidentally annoy the wrong person.

Ok, so on to what I did: I looked up relevant hashtags to my feed (such as #resinjewelry, #handmadehomewares and #flatlay) and scrolled through the images, liking and commenting on the ones that I felt shared similar qualities to my aesthetic. I would do this for images posted within the last two hours, as the users are more likely to be responsive. I’d do this around three times a week for about an hour each time. You will get likes and relevant followers and it’s not an especially annoying way to do it (I mean, who doesn’t like a bonus ‘like’ from a random account?). Don’t scroll too quickly though, Instagram will think you’re a robot (not a joke).

It’s important to get your followers up, as it helps your business grow. Stores will be more likely to stock you and new customers will be more likely to trust you. Now that I have good amount of followers I focus on content and responding to all comments and messages to encourage engagement and sales.

Are there any particular apps you love using for your marketing?

Simone: Not especially. Just good old Instagram.

What advice could you give to small business owners looking to develop their signature style on social media?

Simone: Ensure that it reflects your product in a way that not only appeals to other people but that you feel really excited by. You will enjoy creating the content and your community will be able to tell.
Instagram: @simonedevinejewelry

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