The T-shirt industry generates billions of dollars every year. Anyone with good designs could sell T-shirts, but only when people can find them. If you have a new brand of T-shirts and are looking to sell them online, you must build and grow an online presence. The best way for a new brand to do this is by leveraging social media in the beginning, while building an SEO presence for the long term.

Create Social Media Accounts at the Start

When you are thinking about starting an apparel brand, social media is going to be one of the best ways for you to get in front of customers quickly. Today, t-shirt companies are having the most success with Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Make sure you can get a good, short social username on each of these platforms at very minimum. If your brand is unique, this should be easy. But find a way to create a short, memorable username. Nobody wants 26 letters in their Instagram name, so be smart.

As soon as you get the accounts started, upload consistent logos and images to each platform, then start following people, and start engaging.

Focus on Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is a long-term marketing gem that is going to pay dividends for your brand if you invest the time in it. For a t-shirt brand, you want to do some research before you create titles in your ecommerce platform.

Find out which of your shirts are already being searched in Google, and what search terms are being used. You can do this with keyword tools like Ubersuggest, Google ads keyword planner, and Ahrefs.

The title is one of the most important SEO factors for an ecommerce store. Make sure your titles are SEO and user friendly, and they are relevant to your product. Do not repeat words in your titles. Use keywords once. Make sure your product URLs are short and sweet.

For t-shirt product descriptions, it is important to provide all the size information, material type, and anything the customer would want to know about the shirt. The last thing they want to do is buy a t-shirt that shrinks from an XL to a M.

Use awesome product photos. You want your photos to be great representations of your products. You can and should also use mockup photos of people wearing your shirts. You can do that with real people you know, or with a mockup tool called Placeit.

Create more content than your competitors for any product. Besides the t-shirt material and the size, you want to describe the shirt in a way that is like telling a short story. This will improve your overall user experience and differentiate you from competitors.

Whether you use WordPress, Shopify, or Wix, make sure and build content. If your shirts are for millennial moms, then blog about things that millennial moms would be interested in. Try and keep your blog content as close as you can to what you sell.

Google rewards websites who give their customers a great user experience. Think from the perspective of your customer. Build your website and your t-shirts around your customer, and your brand will find its way into the upper ranks of Google.

Market on Instagram

Instagram is one of the most engaging social media platforms for t-shirt brands. For anyone who is starting a new t-shirt brand, you have to know your audience. Go out and find your Instagram audience by following the followers of your competitors. More importantly, follow the followers of people that are engaging with your competitors posts.

The more relevant people you follow, the better you will build a relevant audience for your brand. If you don’t mind giving away shirts, you can create T-shirt giveaways where you require people to follow your profile and tag their friends for a chance to win. This is a great way to build up a following on Instagram.

Reach out to people through direct messages. Don’t spam. But find potential partners and influencers that you want to connect with. Send them a message. Often you can get great advice or partnerships through direct relationships on Instagram.

Your brand should be easily identifiable. Pictures on Instagram are small, so make sure your posts are easy to digest. Consistency is key. You’ll need to post regularly and build trust with followers. If you’re just starting, you’ll want to build a bit of a following to establish some legitimacy on the platform. Don’t forget to post Instagram Stories. Stories are a great way to increase engagement with your brand.

Add your store link to your bio. This is the only place you can add a link. So make sure it’s available for your followers. Lastly, use hashtags. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post. Use a tool like Flick hashtags to research the best hashtags per topic. Comment your hashtags in the first comment. You will get a lot of visibility if you leverage hashtags the right way.

Use Facebook Ads

Facebook has a sea of users. Take advantage of this. Get involved with the Facebook community via Facebook groups. Here, you can strengthen relationships with potential customers and further establish your presence. You can also interact with other T-shirt sellers and discuss the T-shirt selling experience.

Facebook ads are more successful when people know what they are seeing. You really need to deliver the message as quickly and efficiently as possible. You need to grab their attention. Facebook ads can help target your audience by directing people to what you’re selling. The ads will take them to you; make sure what you have waiting is as top notch as the ads.

The power of Facebook ads is in the targeting. Build targeted ads to an audience specific to your t-shirt. If you created a t-shirt for Teachers, build an ad that targets teachers. If you sell Christian t-shirts, then build your ad targeting Christians on Facebook.

Test your ads. Don’t give up if your first ad fails. Build an ad, spend a few dollars. Then after a few days, if you don’t like what you see, make a few changes and build a new ad. You should see results in 3-4 days. Once you land on the right kind of ad for your audience, use that as a template to build out new ads for your new designs.

Know Your Audience

Most importantly, you’ll need to know your audience. Engage your audience. Be active and social. Get help from influencers. Get your brand out anywhere you can but don’t be salesy. Offer help to people as you can. You will see returns from serving others.

As your audience grows, you will get a better idea of what they like, what they want, and why they like your brand. Once you know you have landed in the right place with your designs, multiply them. 100 designs gives you way more content and opportunity than 5 designs.