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“Instagram Brings In More Sales Than Any Other Marketing Tool” says One ShipStation Customer

by
December 9, 2014

 

Can you imagine having over 50,000 social media followers? Even more amazing is that Solly Baby (Instagram handle @sollybabywrap) has, as of December 1, 2014, over 60,000 followers on Instagram (that number would fill almost an entire football stadium) and the account was only begun in October of 2010.

While it’s nice to have lots of followers, you have to put in a lot of work to get to that point. Is it really worth the effort? Elle Rowley, President and Founder of Solly Baby, which makes and sells baby carriers, gives a resounding “Yes!”

If you’re not one of Instagram’s 200 million users, here is some information from a recent post on Jenn’s Trends that might get you more interested:

  • 17% of all online adults now use Instagram (compared with 18% who use Twitter, 21% who use Pinterest, and 22% who use LinkedIn)
  • 57% of Instagram users access the site daily
  • Average Instagram users spend more than 4 hours on the site each month

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Elle’s Story

“In early 2011 I started using Instagram personally,” says Elle. “Soon after I started posting on Instagram, we were getting ready to launch Solly Baby, so I started posting photos related to the business.”

As part of her marketing efforts, Elle also sent samples to well-known bloggers. Before Solly Baby’s website even launched, one of those bloggers, Naomi Davis, posted a picture of herself holding her son in a Solly Baby carrier to her Instagram account.

“That one post literally launched my business,” notes Elle. “We got hundreds of pre-orders from that. So early on, I realized the power of Instagram.”

Her Process

But as a mom with three kids, running a business, Elle needed to use her time wisely. With over 1,300 posts to date, Elle has developed a process for Instagram posts. She started by creating an editorial calendar, to manage all of her social media posts.

On Instagram, Elle posts between one to three times per day, in real time (the company doesn’t currently use scheduling apps such as ScheduGram). “I generally post in the morning, afternoon and evening, with a combination of product posts, lifestyle, and editorial.” She has set up her Instagram feed to automatically post to Faceboook and Twitter.

A mix of posts is crucial. “If we just posted product photos, we’d have no followers. People want to learn about you and your brand, not just about your products,” says Elle. “There are lots of different reasons our followers connect with us. They are usually moms with babies or people who are interested in a mom who runs a business.”

Tuesday Tips and Friday Flipagrams

Solly Baby offers two regular weekly features on Instagram. “On Tuesday, we do a Tuesday Tip with some helpful information.”

“On Fridays, we do Flipagram Fridays, and use the Flipagram app to offer a slideshow of customers using products.”

 

Contests

Solly Baby has used Instagram contests to gain sales and followers. “We offered our largest contest this past summer,” says Elle. The prize was a trip to Europe. To justify the expense, Elle created goals for an increase in followers and sales. “All of the goals were exceeded.” Elle used an app, Gleam, to set up the contest.

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Elle’s Final Thoughts

“Figure out the message you want to share with your target market – and figure out a way to best communicate that message. For us, it’s using Instagram.”

Did Elle’s Story Inspire You?

Ready to jump-start your Instagram efforts? Here’s how:

  1. Start an Instagram account for your business, if you haven’t already!
  2. Create a simple schedule to post regularly.
  3. Share your product with like-minded folks on Instagram.

These tips will help you gain followers and sales!