by Carrie Andeas and Stacy Hayden | Featured Contributors
When we first started out on social media we felt so overwhelmed. We had no idea where to start or how to increase our following. With so many social media channels to promote, we decided to focus on Facebook and Instagram.
While we are by no means expert on this topic, we do feel as if we finally have a handle on how to increase our following.
Here are some of our tips:
Engagement. We are very engaged in our social media accounts. Up front, we identified our target demographic on Instagram and then we introduced ourselves to them. You can do this by liking and commenting on pictures. We did not go and just start following a bunch of accounts, but rather took the “saying hello” approach by liking and commenting on several photos under an account. We try to take 20 minutes to do this daily on Instagram. We also try to reply to every comment on our Facebook and Instagram posts. Yes, this takes a lot of time! If you do not have the resources available, this would be a good job to outsource to interns or a third party. As far as engagement goes, we stand by the saying “the more you put in, the more you get out”.
Giveaways. We have participated in many giveaways. On Facebook, we have given away pieces of our jewelry or gift certificates for likes and comments on the giveaway post. This increases your reach and visibility to new audiences. On Instagram, we have participated in many loop giveaways for prizes such as gift cards or products. For loop giveaways, we have partnered with other bloggers and/or boutiques for the prize. While loop giveaways will gain you a following, it is not an active following and you are more than likely going to lose half of the new followers once the loop is over. At this time, we are no longer participating in Instagram loop giveaways. We found that the investment was not worth the return.
Features. Getting one of your pictures featured on a large brand account on Instagram or being tagged in photos on Facebook can gain you a lot of new followers. We try to mostly post high resolution, bright photos that will get attention. We have had several of our Instagram photos featured on large brand accounts. In order to be featured, you must tag the brand’s product in the post or use a specific hashtag associated with the brand.
Networking. There are several networking opportunities that can lead to new social media followers. Partnering with brands and/or influencers can increase your following. We have partnered with many bloggers in order for them to post our jewelry and tag us in the post. This has increased our exposure and following. We also try to attend events in our area that may attract our target demographic – such as fashion shows or vintage markets. A lot of events these days will have specific hashtags associated with them. Attending the event and posting pictures with the specific hashtag can increase your visibility.
We treat our social media accounts as our business cards. We make sure that everything we post represents our brand.
We hope you find these tips useful in growing your accounts.
Carrie Andreas and Stacy Hayden are the co-owners of the on-line vintage jewelry boutique, CS Gems. They scour the Midwest and handpick beautiful vintage jewelry at estate sales, yard sales, flea markets and auctions. Their motto is to “make vintage modern” by mixing their vintage pieces with today’s latest fashion trends. They use their fashion blog and social media accounts to highlight their vintage finds with hot new trends.
They have been friends since junior high and decided to go into business together in 2013. Neither Carrie nor Stacy come from a marketing or business background, therefore, they have researched all avenues to teach themselves the ins and outs of running a business. They are learning to navigate the business world while juggling being moms to two young children each. They are committed to learning and love the opportunity they have been given to share their experience in starting up a small business with others.