Social Media is a funny old thing for small businesses, on one hand it’s a marvelous way to get your brand out there and interact directly with your customers for free; but on the other hand it opens you up to all sorts of interaction, from Spam, to unhappy customers (gone are the days of dealing directly over the phone and being able to sort, now it gets put in writing publicly before businesses have a chance to reply) to fellow small businesses copying and stealing ideas (I’ve seen it unfortunately)
However when i discovered Instagram it really did change my perception; a beautifully visual app that was all about the imagery with text to back up (if required), meant it almost negated the option for any of the above issues. Quickly though you discover that like with any app there is spam and at times it’s non stop but IG are very quick to clamp down and are continually developing their algorithms to try and control as much as possible. There isn’t an option to leave reviews as per Facebook, so any unhappy customers tend to either DM (perfect) or post on a particular post which means it has limited visibility, giving businesses the chance to resolve fairly. Now the last point I never witnessed on IG at all when i first joined. It really was a beautifully supportive place with fellow small businesses doing nothing but helping each other to achieve their business goals together. It was the main thing i loved about IG and I’ve met some amazing peeps on it, who i now count as good friends, and their advice and support on a business and personal level has been invaluable. I’ve learnt so much. However i guess as with everything I’ve noticed a small amount of, shall i call it ‘less than supportive’ behavior recently and it’s quite sad. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, there is room for everyone, we all have amazing talent and we need to own it! As @motherpukka said this morning ‘Love the Spice Girls but bring on the Nice Girls’ (p.s. if you aren’t following her already then you must, her flex appeal is an awesome campaign for flexible working for parents, and her feed is a feast for the eyes!)
The one thing i particularly love about IG is the addition of BR’s (Brand Reps) & BE’s (Brand Enthusiasts) such a simple but awesome concept. Having reached 1000 followers recently I felt the time was right to launch my own search and it’s the best thing i’ve done! There is something about other people’s images compared to the ones you do yourselves (well mine anyway) I tend to over think and get stuck in a rut. Having brand reps and enthusiasts allows me to get some amazing pics that i would never have created for a fraction of the cost of a traditional photo shoot. It is continual as well, so a new launch of products gets on IG immediately rather than having to wait for the shoot, pick and edit the images etc. and your reps and enthusiasts get great products for free or a great discount. For me it’s win win! Just look at some of these shots…
If you aren’t on Instagram yet then I advise you to get on there ASAP as it really is a great app, if you are on there then make sure you are following me and Henry, Fred and Felicity (if not why not!!!! LOL) and look out for some of the amazing businesses i have been talking about as i share regularly (another lovely thing about IG is sharing fellow businesses for your friends to find).
So this is my high five to IG and the wonderful peeps on there! Keep it honest, keep it strong and most of all keep doing what you do best!