Who am I?
• Sarah Hyde also known as Sarah MacDonald (maiden name) on Facebook
• Nappy Go Lucky – cloth nappies & accessories
• Wipey Wipes – reusable wipes kits made in UK
• sarahmac designs – reusable bags made in UK
• Freelance social media work
• Work alongside Prabhat with Daytodayebay
• Big Ideas Wales Role Model
• Networking host for WiRE
This evening we will cover
• Who uses Instagram and why it really works for product businesses
• It’s all about the Hashtags
• Finding people to follow
• Content ideas and tips
I love social media because……
• It’s a great way to interact with customers, friends and other businesses
• It’s a great way to get noticed
• It’s cheap compared to other marketing strategies
• It can be done in house (or by YOU!)
• Different platforms are suited to different people and/or different business
types – you don’t have to be on all of them!
I particularly love Instagram because…
• It’s visual and it’s fun and you can be really creative with your content
• You can add up to 30 hashtags
• It’s quite addictive
• You can stalk your competitors and their fans in a way that isn’t possible on
Facebook or Twitter
• It’s a popular platform that is growing and you can probably build up your
followers more easily than on Facebook
• It’s great for product based businesses but can be used by anyone
Instagram – what is it?
• A visual social media platform that utilises hashtags as a referencing system, a
way to find things
• A growing platform
• Launched in 2010 and acquired by Facebook in 2012, Instagram has taken
the mobile photo-sharing niche by storm, with no signs of stopping soon.
• Great for visual storytelling and in 2017 (having failed to purchase snapchat)
they launched ‘Instagram stories’ which rivals snapchat with disappearing
photo and video. More info here
• There are over 600 million Instagrammers globally
• Of that 600 million, 400 million are active every day
• There are 16,600,000 Google searches for "instagram" per month
• 7. 51% of Instagram users access the platform daily, and 35% say they look at the
platform several times per day
• 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram per day
• Over 40 billion photos and videos have been shared on the Instagram platform
since its conception.
source www.wordstream.com 2017
Basic set up
• It is primarily a mobile app (you can set up on a laptop but the functions are limited) it is designed
for mobile use so download the app
• Choose a recognisable name not bert1981 something that reflects your business name or brand.
• Instagram usernames can only be up to 30 characters in length
• You can use _ but no spaces or punctuation so you can run words together like stcatherineswalk or
space it out st_catherines_walk
• to be valid it must be made up of any of the following: letters, numbers or underscores
• Set it to PUBLIC so that you are visible – essential for a business
• Add a recognisable profile picture, the icon is small and can’t be enlarged (zoomed) so it needs to
be recognisable as your brand or your face
As a product based business do some research
on your competitors
• Check out your competitors – are they on Instagram?
• What kind of content do they use?
• Is it very curated?
• How many followers?
• Is it active
• What hashtags are they using
• Follow some of the people who follow them!
• Comment on their photos
By curated I mean carefully planned out like
Curated accounts take more planning but are visually striking and
Curated accounts can follow a pattern like this or smaller images can
make up one large
Some Do’s and Don’ts!
• Original content is best but you can use stock images
• You can protect it by using a logo or watermark
• You can add text or a quote
• Using square images as they fit the grid best
• Make them visually attractive
Lifestyle shots are really popular and visually
more interesting than plain white background
Add a phrase to the image
• The aim is for your image to capture people’s attention however you need to
provide some kind of caption or comment on the image. What inspired you,
why you are posting, is this your product or just an inspirational quote.
Provide some context.
• Then add hashtags
• Instagram is ALL ABOUT THE HASHTAGS!
• On twitter the experts say use no more than three
• The jury is out on Facebook, some people use them, others say they are useless
• On Instagram it’s all about the hashtags. It’s how your images are found
• It’s like an indexing system and people can look for content bases on the hashtags.
• You can use up to 30
• Opinion is divided some say to use five others say use all 30
• I’ll be honest I mostly struggle to use 30 but I use way more than five
• Be relevant - don’t use #selfie if it’s a product image. Don’t use #madeinuk if it’s a Chinese import
• You can create your own hashtag #sarahmac #isladog Use location eg #southwales #Carmarthen
#madeinwales #madeinuk #buybritish
• What are you? #solopreneur #ladyboss #shoplocal #highstreetfashion #creative #online
• Check what your competitors are using
• You can edit so if you think of more later on you can add them in
• They can be used for humour #parentingfail #howdidthathappen #nailedit
• Think about context – a photographer friend took a great image of the pier with dinghies and boats and
nautical debris. It was attractive. He used a lot of good hashtags but included #rubber for the rubber dinghy.
Rubber dighy is fine but as you can image #rubber on it’s own brings up all kinds of ‘interesting’ content!
When to add the hashtags?
• I add them in my initial comment
• Some like to add them in the next comment box
• It doesn’t really matter, it’s personal preference
• Some people consider it ‘spammy’ to use 30 hashtags so put them in a
separate comment box. I like to see the hashtags other people use.
• If you are going to share to other platforms it will look spammy with 30
hashtags so best not to put all your hashtags in the comments in that case.
Set up a location
• If you trade online then location is less important but if you only sell to the
UK then make sure it’s clear on your bio that you are located in the UK
• When you post an image you have the option to tag people and to set the
location. It’s worth doing even it you don’t sell from a bricks and mortar
• Tagging is useful if you are at an event with other businesses e.g. exhibitions,
events, conferences or networking
• Only tag people if it is relevant otherwise it’s spammy
Tell people you are on Instagram!
• You will be prompted to tell Facebook friends that you are on Instagram
which is fine if you and the business are one person but less relevant if it’s a
multinational or you are managing an account on behalf of someone else.
• Share on your other social media platforms that you are now on Instagram or
are now active if your account has been quiet.
• Share the Instagram icon on your website and link it in to you email
Follow other people!
• The easiest way to gather followers is to start following people of interest, thos who are interested in your field
or similar businesses.
• Not everyone follows back but many people do – they will look to see if you are *interesting*
• Look at who follows your competitors, take a look at their profiles, they maybe set to private but if not then
see if there are images there that you can like (click the heart icon) as they will receive a notification that you
have liked their image and most people will check out who is liking them so if you sell pet products look for
dog images and then click like on the dog pictures. There is a high probability that the dog owner will then go
and check out your profile to see if you are ‘interesting’ and worthy of a follow.
• It’s easy to like lots of images, particularly if you find something that you are interested in, dogs, babies,
clothes, shoes, food, coffee, wildlife, seascapes but the trick is to like, like, comment.
• When commenting think of something complimentary to say, or a question, it creates engagement. Remember
it is SOCIAL media. It’s not all SELL, SELL, SELL
• Think about your overall strategy, your brand and what it represents, who your target market it and what will appeal to
• You can try to stick to a theme or a pattern (grid)
• Mix it up
• Product photos
• Flat lays
• Staged images/ Lifestyle shots
• Close ups
Content ideas continued….
• Look at your competitors
• Who has lots of followers, lots of comments and interaction
• Mimic what they are doing, don’t copy but use what is working for them as
inspiration for you
• Be topical, post for special days like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, Valentines
• Be seasonal
• The Brits love to talk about the weather….. and dogs, and babies
Make a monthly plan
• Map out your month in advance
• Try to post daily but if you want weekends off then plan for Monday to
Friday and vary your content
• If you have a plan it’s not so stressful to keep thinking of new content.
• If you’ve had a new delivery of stock resist posting 5 images in a row of all
the stuff. Save it up and spread the posts out.
• Or if you must share them all now create a slideshow on Ripl
5 Top Tips for Instagram
• Use images to tell a story, not blast your branding
• Be strategic with your photos, don’t put ten out at 3.30pm on a Monday afternoon
and no other content for another fortnight. Don’t post too often but try and be
consistent, once a day is perfect
• Choose an appropriate handle (name) for your business (try to be consistent with
your other social media platforms)
• Consider how your grid looks, does it reflect your brand, is it attractive?
• Use hashtags effectively