In spite of running my business for the last 10 years it is the last 3-4 years I have focussed on Instagram. I have grown my Mama Designs Instagram from less than 400 to over 51,000 followers in this time. I have done this organically and have found that it has made a huge difference to my business. I have found new retailers, collaborated with influencers and celebrities (who have discovered us on Instagram) , collaborated with other small brands and even done some influencer marketing myself.
Here are my top 5 tips for brands on Instagram. Firstly I should say that I love Instagram and I do spend quite a bit of time on there but I totally think that it is worth it and it has paid off for me (in the form of followers and also sales).
1. Collaborate!! This has been the biggest way I have achieved Instagram growth. This can be with other brands, similar target audience, so for me brands selling to parents (product or services). Collaboration can be in the form of creating images (product swaps), shout outs or even sharing discount codes. I recently did this with the Positive Birth Company, we have a similar target audience. I am pregnant and have been using their digital pack, which I think is amazing, so I have shared about this a few times and she has shared a discount code for Mama Designs. A simple and effective collaboration!
Giveaways are another great way of collaborating. Although the algorithm seems to be picking up on wording in the copy and showing to less people as a result so lately I have noticed that giveaways are less successful than previously. Still a good way to be discovered and followed by more brands.
Influencer gifting can be a great way for gaining exposure. Bigger is not always better! Research the influencer as some will certainly be more giving than others and you might get more from a smaller "micro" influencer. I would avoid paying for influencer marketing.
2. Be fussy with what you post! Could your picture go in a magazine? Is it good enough? This is you curating your own mini magazine advertising your products! I don't post pics if they are fuzzy, off brand or have mess in the background, or even if the colours don't work with my feed. If you want a curated feed that works together you do need to think about the overall look and feel of your feed.
3. Plan ahead! When I don't do this I always regret it. Having a week ahead planned is always a good idea and means you can take time to put together posts and copy (you can always add to the copy when you post). It means you can think about your hashtags etc. I have used Planoly in the past for working out what works next to each other. There is a downloadable Instagram planner in my online course which is really useful for this.
4. Create your own great content. Although you can share pictures from other people and other brands featuring your products, having brand new content is always good. You can easily create content in so many ways. Flatlays (whether you sell a product or not, just even items in your colours), shelfies, selfies or set up a scene / shoot at home or at a friend's house. Use friends for your pics, their homes, their children. I have been creating nursery scenes at home for years in spite of not having a nursery. You will be surprised by how many items you already have at home that you could create great posts from.
5. Be sociable!! It is called social media after all. This means replying to every comment you receive (and not simply liking). It means liking and commenting on other peoples content too. Not only does this connect you with that person (to a degree) but it also means more people are likely to see your name and discover you as a result. You want to be commenting on other peoples pics, who have a similar target audience. Also going to events (Mothers Meetings for example!) is a great way to network and be sociable in real life with the people you meet in these little squares. Don;t be shy it definitely pays to be sociable!
My online business course Grow Your Business On a Budget is a self taught course, packed with easily actionable tips and advice (including an Instagram section) You can find out more here... https://www.mamadesigns.co.uk/mama-designs-business-club/