So we have spent some time this month concentrating on social media, looking at why your current tactic might not be working for you and how to change that. Today I wanted to spend some time showing you a business that is getting it ‘right’.
I want to preface this case study by simply restating that your social media channel choice, design and content is a reflection of your brand’s ethos. So what I’m about to go through with you is something that works uniquely for this studied business and so I am not suggesting that you all rush out and join Instagram, unless you know that’s the right fit for you, your brand and your business model.
Ok? Let’s dive in, shall we.
Case Study: Makelight on Instagram
Makelight is the brain-child of Emily Quinton, who is a successful photographer based in London. Evolving naturally from Emily’s previous wedding and portrait business, Makelight became the online answer to a call for workshops from many of her previous blog readers.
Makelight was a full time concern by 2016 after four years of hard work and saw Emily’s husband Stef Lewandowski join the team to help deliver what has now become arguably the best offering of community-based workshop programmes, that focus around photography and social media, Instagram notably.
Go check out their website, as Emily has some great course advice and some of the community challenges really look quite fun.
So let’s refocus for a moment.
Why is Makelight such a great case study?
As a business Makelight is promoting photography courses for personal and business use in a way to help share better content online, primarily through Instagram. Now those are two very different customers, but catered to in a very similar way, albeit by different courses and so the social media streams are combined.
Of course you can find Makelight on most social media channels; Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, but they all do one thing. They draw you back to the Makelight website by showing Emily as an expert on photography and Instagram.
Now if you read my previous blog post, ‘Your Social Tribe Needs You! How To Build Your Audience’ you will have noted that there are several things I said were key to creating your perfect audience;
- Seeking to gain only a ‘quality’ following.
- Understanding who your customer is.
- Finding the places they hang out.
- Then ‘WOWing’ them by inspiring them, engaging them, delivering consistent and valuable content and finally defining a clear call to action.
How is Makelight stacking up to that?
On both Twitter and YouTube you can see that while there are less followers there is still an engagement happening on the content that is produced. However, it is very clear that Makelight has already worked out that this is not where their main customer hangs out and so posting isn’t as regular or as detailed as elsewhere.
In making this decision you can see that their focus lies both on Facebook and Instagram. Let’s look at Facebook for a moment.
Here you can see Makelight has almost 36,000 followers who are engaging regularly and so they spend far more time creating content for this platform over Twitter and YouTube. This is because they know that Instagram allows sharing to Facebook easily and certainly for most of their Instagram followers and customers, Facebook is probably the one other key place they are sharing their snaps.
But where Makelight’s marketing really works is over on Instagram and of course that totally makes sense, right? Emily has created a business around photography and Instagram, so that is the one place where you would absolutely expect to find higher engagement and higher followers, because that’s where those customers are!
Emily doesn’t waste time here by trying to gain followers using odd tactics to increase numbers, instead she concentrates on delivering content that peaks potential followers’ interest.
She’s not in it for the hard sell; instead she inspires and adds value to her followers’ daily feed by creating content that speaks to her audience and encourages engagement.
All of this content is created on two basic ideas; firstly representing what customers might get out of courses, by taking shots as if Emily were taking a course right now and secondly what’s happening in the business - so sales, blogs of interest, etc. This is a really great way to share what you do without shouting, ‘buy this’.
We have to remember here that Emily didn’t start her Instagram journey with the Makelight account. In fact Emily has her own personal account still active that has over 87k followers! Every one of these followers knows she is Makelight’s founder because she links to the website from her personal page and occasionally talks about her work too.
She uses this profile as a different way to peak potential follower and customer interest. She uses it as a personal portfolio of work to show she is the right person to teach you how to take better photographs for Instagram.
This is great way to influence a potential customer’s buying decision in this instance.
Now if we imagine that the statistic is right and 3% of your following are potential customers ready to buy from you now, image what that looks like for Makelight today. That’s 3% of 9,757 on their business account and 3% of 87+k from Emily’s account (based on these screen shots)… that’s a potential customer base of almost 2903 people in this case. That’s a lot of people to spark the desire to buy and so getting the message right is really important!
This marketing plan clearly works for Makelight, because even Google has sat up and taken notice awarding Emily’s business $100k in funds towards using their Google Cloud Platform for Start Ups to grow their business in relation to this interesting social media connection.
Right… ok Sara, but how does that work for me and my small business? What can I take away from this case study?
Ok, I hear ya… after the come down of what seems like a far off exciting journey, back to your own small creation of a business. How do you replicate that success?
Well you are looking at 5 key factor to building your key audience;
Seeking to gain only a ‘quality’ following.
Understanding who your customer is.
Finding the places they hang out.
Then ‘WOWing’ them by inspiring them, engaging them, delivering consistent and valuable content and finally defining a clear call to action.