With Social Media in its absolute height of success, we figured it a was good time to share our thoughts, loves, (dare we say it) hates and general feeling on
the world’s most popular social media platform…
Instagram is by far, for us, the most productive and effective marketing tool at our disposal.
It’s a constantly evolving, constantly updating and most importantly, the most interactive platform for Retro Press – and we try to use it to its full potential, week in, week out.
When we ventured back to how we started using Instagram, both from a personal account and business account perspective, it’s changed greatly. We scrolled back to the beginning of our personal Instagram accounts recently, and were left cringing at what we would post!
Random, blurry images of our shoes, the kitchen work top, a view from a window so foggy you can’t make it out; all with no captions, and more hilariously – ZERO likes! Laughable really, but I think no one really knew ‘How to use it’ at first. It was just this new exciting app that everyone was getting, so we jumped on the bandwagon and embraced it.
The filters have come a long way, never mind all the extra features like boomerang, slider scrollers, and the all-important Story feature.
We started using Instagram as a business back in 2012, crazy to think we’ve been active for 8 years …!
And again, when we venture back to the early days and our first years’ worth of posts, its less cringy, and more ‘ Wow, our business has evolved enormously’ … from every side of the spectrum.
Retro Press started as a Letter Press Design and Print studio; it was all posters, coasters and business cards. We loved it – no doubt about that, but from the moment a close friend asked us to design and print their wedding invitations, we had our first glimpse into an industry that was so alien, and to be honest, one we really fumbled our way through.
That being said, it was the start of the next chapter, and we’ve never looked back since.
It was once were knee deep in the wedding industry, that we realised just how important and effective a tool Instagram really was. A never-ending gallery opportunity of our best bits, career highlights, and personal landmarks, what’s not to love about it.
Instagram is so brilliant for us, it opens lines of communication with clients in an informal, comfortable way, it allows us to promote new and exciting work and services, and most importantly, reach audiences our otherwise other marketing strategies just can’t reach.
Instagram is the best, we can’t say fairer than that.
Or can we?!
We will, only momentarily, touch on the dreaded subject that seems to be a topic of conversation daily in the studio … Instagram Algorithms!
Since Instagram changed the way the feed works, no more chronological ordering, and just ‘what Instagram thinks you want to see’ well, it changed the platform for us entirely.
We now battle and with the like amounts, the reaches, and Instagram analytics constantly, but quite frankly there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it! We just have to stay active, stay positive, and know that our enquiries numbers are what to focus on, and to not to take it to heart that a suite we are so excited to post only gets 50 likes. It’s not a reflection on our work, that’s clear from the growth we see year on year.
But even still its hard sometimes.
Taking a break, a holiday, or even just being so busy we don’t find the time, directly effects our page visits and means we have a mountain to climb to get that algorithm positive again.
But its fine, because like we said, Instagram, for all its challenges sometimes, has changed our business for the better; and we’ll be forever grateful that such a platform exists.
When we were in the depth of questioning if we were doing something wrong, we decided to do a couple of Social Media courses; see if we were missing a trick.
We did one for Instagram, and one for Pinterest.
It was probably one of the best business decisions we ever made, and luckily for us we chose one of the best social media coaches out there. Georgie White, Queen and Director of Pineapple White Media is the social media guru every small business needs in their lives.
She’s incredibly knowledgeable, so personable, and just amazing at her job, teaching us things that are truly invaluable. We couldn’t recommend her enough.
In fact, one thing she advised on was blogging, and how important it is, and she was right. Very right.
But, rather than spilling then beans on all her tips and tricks on this blog, we’ll save that for you to find out for yourselves.
There was lots we already did, and Georgie was so complimentary of our Instagram page, but there’s so much to know, and Georgie’s got it all in her locker.
Pinterest is our next BIG THING, and something we’re gradually putting more and more time into. Georgie’s advice is that Pinterest is the future (and the now), and we totally trust her, so we’re actively getting our act together for this platform too, but Instagram can be hard to ignore sometimes..!
Anyway, I think it’s probably time to starting writing about what this blog was actually meant to be about in the first place!?
Anyone else find there life seems to be a constant distracting tangent?
No, just us? OK, cool.
So … Instagram.
Our style, layouts, compositions, photography style and general look.
It’s all so important to us, and really epitomizes our brand identity. So we try not to skew from our ‘look’ too much. You could argue both sides to our subject matter; Stationery is beautiful, so it’s got be easy to Instagram right?
What’s more aesthetically pleasing than, water colour washed, hot foiled invitations, with hand drawn venue illustrations, pocketfold envelopes, bespoke monogrammed wax stamp seals, envelope liners and luxury envelopes? Well its true, that is all very aesthetically pleasing.
But it can, at times, get a little samey, so we use props and alternating backgrounds to keep things interesting.
Our prop drawer is ever growing; It started as a prop box, then grew to a prop shelf, and has now made its home in an A1 plan chest… And soon won’t fit in there either!
Prop shopping is one our favourite things to do, finding complimentary products, shapes and colours could actually be a full time job for one of us, but we save it as a bit of light relief from our work load sometimes, and it’s such a satisfying thing to do!
We have a prop in all our key colours, and as hot foiling is our real USP, we find accentuating the metallics in our stationery is the best use of our prop complimenting.
So the Gold, Rose Gold and Silver section of the prop drawer is pretty extensive, and certainly holds some of our favourites.
With so many squares and rectangles featuring within our stationery, we need to keep our props soft, circular and just generally juxtaposing to our stationery.
Believe it or not, scissors are our favourite kind of prop. It’s the perfect combination of straight lines and curves, and very apt to sit next to paper based products. And as it turns out, there’s some beautiful scissors out there, so we now boast 8 in our collection, and we can’t get enough of them!
Now this, is MUCH trickier. Colour, tone, texture, size … so much to think about. We’ve tried so many things, making them ourselves, ‘photo boards’ from companies that specifically make back drops, fabrics .. you name it, we’ve tried it.
But nothing, nothing compares to Floor Tiles.
Might sound strange, but the diversity is massive, and its less 50 shades of grey, and more like 250! Grey is our key colour, everything goes with grey, so it’s our number one choice for a backdrop colour. What shade, well that’s open to hours of debate!
There’s the beigey taupey end of grey, the white grey tones, and then if you’re not careful, it starts to go into the green and blue spectrum, and that’s when we can get totally thrown off. Hence why choosing them is so difficult. We have 10 on rotation, but are always on the lookout for more.
The texture of a stone tile is incomparable to anything surface you can photograph and transfer to a surface;
The shadowing is natural and abstract, and you can’t achieve any kind of organic feel with a manipulated, digitally printed surface. Sadly, excessively large stone tiles take up a lot of room, and are really heavy… that’s there only downside! Every time we get to the end of our tether with the clutter and weight, we go on a photoboard shopping spree, and none of them compare, so we go back, apologise to the stack of tiles and carry on!
Finally, the layout is so dependent on the colour way and shape of the stationery, what prop its sitting with what, and what tile its laying on. There isn’t a sure fire layout that works every time, it’s all about trial and error.
And that’s it, our recipe and must haves to create the perfect Instagram post.
It’s ironic really, there’s nothing ‘instant’ about Instagram for Retro Press. But I think that’s a result of being true perfectionists. And we personally feel, if your stationer isn’t a perfectionist … there’s a fundamental problem!
Your Wedding will inevitably be the most important, and special day of your lives. Every inch of it should be perfect.
That’s our promise to you, our part of your day
will always be perfect.
Thanks to Instagram, we have a platform to continually display and promote our services and work. From the perfection of the grid, to the productivity on our stories, its all there for you to see.