On Wednesday evenings from 8 to 8:30pm ET, I host #MakerBizChat, an Instagram event to help Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs build a solid business foundation, increase your income, and use your business to create the life you love. Our topic last night was 5 Step To Use Instagram to Tell Your Brand Story, and my guest was Caitlin Bacher of Little Farm Media in San Francisco, California. Caitlin offers social media consulting services to creative business owners.
Instagram is a go-to social media hot spot for Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs, and for anyone who likes using styled imagery to showcase their products and services. It's fun. It's mobile. It generates sales. What else do you need?
Here is a summary.
Q1: @LITTLEFARMMEDIA: WHY SHOULD I TELL MY STORY ON INSTAGRAM
1. Instagram is a fun way for you to reach your target market, introduce your product, and increase sales.
2. Instagram has a higher engagement rate than Facebook and Twitter, which means more opportunities for you to connect with your target market.
3. Instagram and Pinterest are where I spend most of my time, though I often find ways to re-purpose content for Facebook and Twitter.
Q2: @LITTLEFARMMEDIA: HOW DO I FIND MY TARGET MARKET ON INSTAGRAM?
1. Research hashtags that your target market uses.
2. Search these hashtags on Instagram.
3. Engage with people who use them.
4. Think about the hashtags that your target market uses. If you make baby products, then search #babybump. Don't routinely use hashtags like #etsy and #handmadegoods, because the people usually using those hashtags are generally not your buying customers. Use hashtags that show your customers you can solve their problem with your product.
5. Definitely have a separate account for your business and personal use. You wouldn't post pictures of your kids on your website on pages where people buy your products, so don't do it on your business Instagram.
6. Hashtags should be included in a comment and not in the post where your headline is.
Q3: @LITTLEFARMMEDIA: HOW DO I PROMOTE MY BUSINESS ON INSTAGRAM WITHOUT BEING SALES-Y?
1. People are following you on Instagram because they WANT to learn more about your products.
2. Put some effort into your photo styling so that your Instagram feed doesn't look exactly like your Etsy shop. Your audience will appreciate the effort you put into it.
3. Speak authentically. It helps to imagine you are speaking to a specific person.
Q4: @LITTLEFARMMEDIA: HOW DO I USE PHOTOGRAPHY TO TELL MY STORY?
1. Brand your Instagram feed with consistent colors and content.
2. Include work in progress photos. Just make sure they're pretty.
3. Good lighting is a must so your audience can clearly see your photographs.
Q5: @LITTLEFARMMEDIA: HOW DO I USE CAPTIONS TO TELL MY BUSINESS STORY?
1. Each post should include a ‘Call To Action' to lead people to your website.
2. Include a short narrative of the photograph, so the audience feels they are right there with you.
3. Develop a ‘brand vocabulary'. These are words that you want people to associate with your brand.
Connect with Caitlin Bacher of Little Farm Media:
Look Caitlin's free ebook How I Gained 1,000 Pinterest Followers in One Month.
When Is The Next #MakerBizChat?
The next #MakerBizChat will be Wednesday, May 13, 2015, at 8pm ET.
Our guest will be Andreea Ayers of Launch Grow Joy, and our topic will be How to Pitch Your Products to Holiday Gift Guides.
#MakerBizChat takes place Wednesday evenings at 8pm ET on Instagram. Be sure to follow so you can catch all of the questions and participate in the live and lively discussion.