Who cares about quality content and why it matters in a long run? I asked Editor-In-Chief of Jute Magazine, Lynzi Judith. She shared her inspirational story of why quality content matters and how it pays off to set high standards for the everything you put out in the world.
Tell me how it all started and how you managed to earn pretty impressive following relatively fast.
I learned pretty fast that it is important to constantly post content and to space it out throughout the day. We’ve never done advertising. We started doing webitorial every single day, because of high volume of submissions from all over the world. The most important thing is to being able to put out content continuously; and then on top of that being really diligent about getting submitting photographers’ social media handles so we can link to other people’s pages, which encourages sharing.
Which networks are you most active on and which ones do you like the most?
We are active on Facebook and Instagram, as well as Tumblr and Twitter. We share Instagrams to Tumblr and Twitter. Since I’m the person who manages all of our social media, it’s kind of overwhelming to be posting on all four at the same time. So I picked the two that I think are the most important and then share content from Instagram to the other two. Instragram is great, and honestly, I wish that I have gotten on board with Instagram a little bit sooner. We’ve had an Instagram account since the beginning but I really didn’t start using it consistently until, maybe, September of 2014. It was kind of a mistake on my part, because Instagram is where it’s at. There are no restrictions like on Facebook, so anybody who is following us on Instagram can see all of our posts. The following has been growing fast once we started using Instagram.
Jute Magazine cover
How difficult is it for one person to manage all of the social media efforts?
Very difficult! But I developed a few hacks. For example, if your company has frequently-used Instagram hashtags, save them in a document, so the next time you post something, you can just copy these hashtags directly into the uploaded image. At least, save the main tags.
I also try to schedule a time of day when I post something on Twitter and Facebook. You want to make sure that you’re posting at least once a day, because if you don’t, that kills your post engagement really fast. It can be anything, just post something. Another helpful thing is once you start posting more, you can figure out the best time when people are online on Facebook and Instagram. Use analytics to see where your following is based, then you can kind of explain their behavior. Say, posting at 5 pm may get lots of engagement, because people get off of work at this time and this is when they’re on Facebook. Just be very diligent about posting. I know it’s hard but at the same time it’s very important part of business, so at a minimum, have a Facebook page and an initial following. I also think that every business should have an Instagram page, because it’s easy to keep up. On my personal page, I share lots of photos of beautiful food. When I can’t tag a restaurant because it’s not on Instagram, people can’t go directly to their page. Nobody will go through the trouble of mentioning the location of it, so something as simple as being able to tag is so important.
What do you do differently on Instagram? Do you have any tips on how to grow your follower base on Instagram?
I’m trying to use different images on Facebook and Instagram, so people who are following us on both networks don’t see exactly the same thing. If I share a webitorial, I share different images on Instagram and Facebook. Tags have been really helpful, too. In the beginning I was hashtag-crazy, because I tried to build an audience and make the posts seen by as many people as possible. In the long run, however, it’s really not good to have lots of hashtags because it looks spammy when you have thirty tags on an image. I was doing that at first to build the initial following and now I’m focusing on doing more with less and try to just zero in on the most important tags. Just recently, I made an effort to actually find designers’ pages every time I post. It’s been difficult especially with smaller designer, but it has been really helpful in getting visibility through designers as well.
Jute Magazine cover
How many hashtags on average do you use now? Are they more general or very specific?
Around five. I’d say no more than ten. It kind of depends on the image itself. If there is something that stands out in an image that requires a more unique tag, then I’ll definitely use it. Generally speaking, I’ll stick with hashtags like “fashion,” “style,” “editorial.” I really like the “editorial” tag, because if you were to look through all the images tagged “fashion,” it’s anything and everything. “Editorial” hashtag is more industry-related. I really like this hashtag because I feel like the quality of tagged content is generally higher.
You’ve mentioned that you receive lots of submissions. I’m guessing the first couple of issues it wasn’t like that. How did you go about this challenge?
When we first started, we had a Facebook page and invited all of the photographers to like the page to let them know about it. I was going straight to photographers asking them to provide an editorial for most of the editorial work in the first issue. We didn’t have a team or anything. It was difficult to get photographers to contribute to that first issue. The second issue was a little bit difficult as well, but by the third issue we started receiving submissions and no longer had to contact anyone personally.
How did you go about promoting your brand new magazine so hard that by the third issue you had enough people willing to submit?
I made a list of other photographers that I thought were really good and e-mailed them to let them know that there is a new magazine. But then past that, I was constantly sharing the page and the content. Luckily, since I also work as a photographer I was able to let other photographers know about it. Once you pick up the magazine off the ground with the first issues, it’s really easy for it to keep running through word of mouth (assuming you’re putting quality content in the magazine and being very careful about it). Because a make-up artist in L.A. that gets his work published will let everyone know; and now everybody is wondering what this magazine is.
Jute Magazine cover
How do you keep the high level of submissions? Do you encourage it through social media? Do you still look for new photographers and reach out them? Or is it the other way where people are reaching out to you?
I rarely reach out to new photographers now. Once in a while I ask the photographers to shoot our cover story. Some issues, I might ask a photographer who have submitted a lot of quality work to submit more to thank them for all the work they gave to the magazine. I think that continuously growing and receiving better content comes from being really careful about what goes into the magazine. On top of that, I do mood boards on Pinterest for each issue. Mood boards are made up of things from Vogue and other big magazines, so this sets a level for what we’re looking for our next issue.
Why does quality content matters, especially in digital space?
I’d like to see our magazine grow; and I think in order to do that, the images people are looking at have to be really good. The clothing on the model should look awesome. Every piece of the puzzle should be there in order for us to accept the editorial.
What value do you see in such high level of commitment?
When people find us for the first time through Instagram, Facebook or website, they see beautiful imagery and it makes them a follower rather than a passer-by. People who would like to pay for advertising in a magazine want to be advertised next to the quality content. Our model is a little different from other magazines in that we portray fashion at all levels — from Gucci to Goodwill. So when we have imagery in our magazine, we want to know all of the labels. I think the whole point is to be a woman that can dress well and feel great no matter what the price point is. It’s difficult for photographer to work with much lower level of clothing and make it look great. This is why it is important to make sure that everything looks good and cohesive together, because a high-end designer will not want to have their advertising next to lower-end fashion unless it looks brilliant.
Where do you see Jute Magazine going next in terms of digital marketing strategy?
We have a very small team right now. I’d like to get to the point where we could build a larger team of people who do a lot more day-to-day content for the magazine, like blogging. I’d like to see it to be more diverse than posting editorial content all the time. We have a few photographers who are covering fashion shows and it would be great to expand on that and to travel to fashion shows.
Originally published at thesocialmediacurrent.com on February 27, 2015.