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“We reached out to our network who were in the creative community and pulled them in to help us develop these classes together,” says David Knight, co-founder of Workshop (@workshopsf). Together with Kelly Malone, the #founders started their unique DIY art school whose teachers are composed of other local makers and designers. In preparation for the busy holiday season, Workshop teases out its holiday-themed classes on Instagram—from making classic wreaths to scented candles. Workshop also shares photos during classes, while taking cues from their student's own posts on Instagram. “We learn a tremendous amount from what our students are posting on Instagram,” David says. “It's like we get to work together because they're excited to show off what they did in class and we're excited to show folks they can do it too.” Next Saturday, we're sharing more small business #founders and the ways they're tackling the busy shopping season.
“We’ve found that our community enjoys any content that allows them a close-up or behind-the-scenes look,” says Fashion and Textile Museum (@fashiontextilemuseum) Head Curator, Dennis Nothdruft. Situated in the heart of fashionable Bermondsey Village, the museum aims to do more than display items relating to fashion and textile design, but to offer inspiration to a new generation of creatives. On Instagram, sharing inspiration can take many forms, but one consistent theme is it has to feel personal. “Offer your followers a look backstage,” Dennis says. “For us, this means exclusive insight into an exhibition or garment, but as long as it’s something personal that lets your followers know you value them.” 📷 by @fashiontextilemuseum
“We want to create an open dialogue about our brand and business model with our customers,” says Italic (@italic) founder and CEO, Jeremy Cai. For Italic, transparency is at the core of their business. The fashion brand sells luxury goods without the brand label. And for many people that model feels too good to be true. “We use stories as a way to share the narrative behind our unique business model,” Jeremy says. “Original content from customers has proven to be a powerful way to build trust with potential customers who are still on the fence.” 📷 by @italic
“We’re not on Instagram for the likes,” says Shea Brand (@sheabrand) co-founder Krystal Vaquerano. “We love Instagram because it provides us with an opportunity to teach our customers and get them involved in the values that are so important to us.” On Instagram, the self-care brand preaches the importance of natural ingredients and what it means to be a sustainable business. It’s all in an effort to build an ethical and empowering community. “When it comes to empowerment, we focus on using our platform as a way to showcase people’s stories. It’s important to remind our audience (and us too!) to practice self-love and compassion.” 📷 by @sheabrand
“We believe that to create a long-lasting, meaningful brand, it’s critical for us to do far more than simply promote our products,” says Sierra Tishgart, co-founder of Great Jones (@greatjones). “There are over 100 million accounts on Instagram, we always ask ourselves, why should someone follow us?” The cookware brand keeps their content fresh on Instagram by prioritizing new ideas that highlight everything the company is cooking up. “Earning followers is great, but it's not the same as retaining them,” Sierra says. “We do this by trying new ideas—if we only posted overhead cooking shots, people would likely tire of us quickly.” 📷 by @greatjones
“The Creative Team, and specifically our full-time photographer is capturing images all day,” says Purple Carrot (@purplecarrotxo) Content Director, Jules Lemire. Purple Carrot started with just a seed: encourage people to eat more plants for their health and the health of the planet. Today, that idea has grown into a lifestyle—a lifestyle that starts with their employees. “When creating content, we like to get everyone at Purple Carrot involved,” Jules says. “Whether through a photoshoot or Instagram story, it’s really fun for our audience to see behind the scenes.” 📷 by @purplecarrotxo
This week we were in Istanbul, Turkey for Brand Week 2019 (@brandweekistanbul). We went on stage with brands, creators and influencers from across Turkey that are using Instagram to inspire and engage their audiences. And spent time with local businesses in a series of workshops sharing the latest tips and tools for success. See more from Brand Week, on our story now.
“We’ve used [Instagram] to build a tight, loyal customer base who is fully invested in our journey,” says Ali Bonar, CEO and co-founder of Kween (@kweenandco). “Never before have customers been able to get as ‘close’ to businesses as they can now—they’re able to see the behind the scenes, challenges and wins, etc. It creates a loyal customer who is a part of our journey.” The food and wellness brand use Instagram to spread the word about granola butter, the world’s first spreadable granola. Kween likes to feature the silky texture of Granola Butter in posts, but their real secret recipe is building personal relationships with their community. “Kween Foods isn't just a company, it's a community. And Instagram helps us grow it.” 📷 by @kweenandco
“Instagram has had a huge impact on building a recognizable brand image for us,” says Millican (@homeofmillican) Marketing Manager, Stephanie Bradshaw. “[It's] allowing us to be clear with our aims and principles as a business, which allows authentic conversations within our community.” Millican designs their sustainable bags for conscious travellers in the English Lake District. The lush surroundings embody their continual commitment to exploration and keep their values connected with a community of travellers that span the globe. “We’re lucky to have a community who get excited when they see someone else out and about with a Millican bag on,” she says. “They feel an immediate connection because they know that they must share a certain amount of interests and values of sustainability with that person.” 📷 by @homeofmillican
The fashion industry is built on change. Just ask clothing brand Bird (@birdbrooklyn). In 20 years, the company has seen a lot of trends come and go. But among them all, Bird has managed to stay connected by remaining true to the brand. “Be open, stay curious and always be willing to try something new,” says founder, Jen Mankins. It’s a belief they practice on Instagram where they like to feature bold looks. “We think an outfit is more interesting when it enhances what the wearer has to say and provide opportunities for expression by curating the most unique, beautiful and intelligent designs from around the world.” 📷 by @birdbrooklyn
Framebridge (@framebridge) was founded with the mission to provide an easy and delightful way to custom frame. But along the way they noticed something even bigger—helping people tell their most personal stories. “[On Instagram], our favorite thing to feature is customer content—those unforgettable stories hanging on their walls,” says Robin Doody, Social Media Producer. While Instagram plays a big part sharing these stories, they also use Instagram to drive business success. “Ads featuring UGC and leveraging Instagram specific elements like stickers or native fonts have driven engagement upwards of 30% higher than similar ads without this approach.” 📷 by @housesevendesign, @ralphtheminicockapoo, @jointhebandd
“We want to give our customers the opportunity to share their memories at the farm with the world”, says Bella Organic Farms’ (@bellaorganicfarm) Marketing Manager Sofia Kondilis-Hashem. Autumn marks a busy period for Bella Organic Farms—a time occupied by visitors exploring the farm, searching for the perfect pumpkin patch to take family photos at and corn mazes to conquer. “Instagram gives us, as well as our customers, direct access to communicate and share all the farm has to offer.” 📷 by @bellaorganicfarm
👻🐶 Looking for some #Halloween spirit? Well look no further than these lovable pups. Chewy (@chewy) believes in the power of pets. And they share that belief with their community on Instagram. “We continually innovate by working backwards from our communities’ desires and needs,” says Social Media Manager Kyle Harty. “Our approach is simple: we lean in, ask and listen. And then we encourage our communities to lean back and tune in.” The pet brand engages with their community by trying to infuse more humanity (and pets) into everything they do. “Instagram and Instagram Stories play the role of a cultural microphone we can continue to pass back-and-forth within our communities.” 📷 by @chewy
“As a brand, it is important to utilize the platform as a friend to your consumers,” says Justin's (@justins) Marketing Manager Leah Swalling. “It’s a great way to show personality and have your fans get to know you beyond the products.” The nut butter company celebrates its 15th year anniversary of creating delicious products that contribute to the world in a positive and meaningful way. Beyond making drool-worthy products, Justin's is all about being real and relatable and finding ways to connect with their community. “We’ve set goals and track metrics monthly, but where we see the most value in Instagram is using it as a tool to listen to our community,” she says. “We get instant feedback from our fans. This is something that’s unique to the platform.” 📷 by @justins
We invited small businesses in San Francisco to share their experiences using Instagram. In this #SmallBusinessSessions, see the learning and tips that The Riddler, The Cheese School and Picnic SF had to share with other small businesses. For more tips from Instagram, visit the link in our bio.
“Test new concepts, fail fast and keep learning”, says GREATS (@greats) founder Ryan Babenzien. The Brooklyn-based shoe brand provides premium sneakers made in Italy by some of the world’s best craftsmen. With the help from Instagram ads, GREATS knows exactly which of their products to invest in. “Recently we’ve kept a close eye on what content receives the most saves and Instagram Shopping which increases month over month which helps us forecast demand,” he says. “Before email or our website sees trends, Instagram sees it first. The platform is vital for informing new and existing about what’s going on in the GREATS world in a way that no other platform can.” 📷 by @greats
Get to know Gen Z, the generation of global citizens whose values are set to redefine marketing as we know it. Discover how they’re different and ways to connect with them, on our story highlights now.
Introducing Tips from Instagram. Find ways to better tell your business story and connect with people who want to learn more about your products and services. To get started, visit the link in our bio. And check back every week for new tips.
“We have a heavy emphasis on styling and with the product tags, people can immediately find the item that we’ve styled and view it on our webstore,” says OAK + FORT (@oakandfort) Marketing Director, Jason Wong. The Vancouver-based fashion brand is quickly making a name for itself with weekly coordinated product “drops” that showcase their sophisticated approach to everyday essentials. And to model their frequent releases, they turn to Instagram to tell their collection narratives and build awareness. “There’s no other channel where we see the same level of engagement with our content.” What's their pro tip you should try on? “We find that heavy experimentation is essential for success,” Jason says. “Fans use different Instagram features in different ways and experimentation allows us to find the optimal mix of content and content type.” 📷 by @oakandfort
“Whether it’s posting about fan favorite scents, or lust worthy bathrooms we all wish we owned, our customers are most engaged when we add personality to our posts,” says Victor Verdugo, Native (@native) Community Manager. The San Francisco-based company makes products for everyone that are safe, simple and effective. And with products that speak to everyone, Native uses Instagram to speak to them individually. “As a direct to consumer brand, Instagram is crucial for creating a dialogue between us and our customers. We aim to give each person who reaches out the time and attention they deserve. No generic responses—we operate like one human connecting with another.” What’s their Instagram pro tip? “You can learn a lot of insights from your community by understanding the sentiment behind your content,” he says. “Using fun and engaging tools like polls, quizzes, and questions allows for more chances for followers to provide emotionally-driven insight to the type of content and products that best resonate with them.” 📷 by @native
“Instagram continues to be the best way for us to connect with our members,” says Amanda DiAntonio, ClassPass (@classpass) Head of Social Media and Content Marketing. The fitness brand is working hard to make finding a workout class easy, with membership access to thousands of different studios, gyms and wellness programs worldwide. Engaging with customers through polls and questions in stories, ClassPass gets to learn what their ClassPassers like. Knowing that also helps inform their content strategy. “We’ve recently started using IGTV to share our ‘Credit Diaries’ series where people can get a glimpse of how ClassPassers in different cities with different goals use their plans each month,” she says. “We look at our Instagram as an opportunity to showcase our brand personality and interact with people in ways you can’t achieve through a website.” 📷 by @classpass
“Instagram brings our belief that the best moments are spent outdoors to life,” says Alex Millard, Social Media Strategist for Outdoorsy (@outdoorsy). The peer-to-peer RV rental company is on a mission to give people access to the world outside. And to show just how special a trip in an RV can be they turn to Instagram. “Many people have outdated ideas about RVs and one of the ways we’re changing that is through Instagram,” she says. “On our feed we show how you can literally park at the edge of a lake for a dip or sleep under the stars in a national park. Each post reminds us all about the importance of being close to nature and to each other.” 📷 by @outdoorsy
When it comes to luxury outdoor living, California-based production company Shelter Co. (@shelterco) has businesses covered. 🏕 The production company specializes in building full scale off the grid tented hotels for weddings, festivals, social parties and corporate off-sites. “Instagram has been a huge asset to our business as so much of what we do is aesthetically driven,” says their co-founder and CEO, Kelsey Sheofsky. Their feed not only evokes a feeling of what it's like to be at one of their events, but it also creates a desire to attend one. “We also use Instagram to gather inspiration for locations, new decor ideas, color palettes, graphic design, etc.,” she says. “I also keep a folder of bad event design because that’s really entertaining and also a good reminder of what not to do.” 📷 by @shelterco
“Our content aims to encapsulate our belief in the power of adventure to make the world better,” says Cotopaxi (@cotopaxi) Social Media Manager, Paisley Wildman. Beyond showcasing their outdoor gear, Cotopaxi inspires Instagrammers with their colorful and lighthearted content from their staff and fans that also emphasizes the brand's core values: people, innovation and adventure. “Instagram has been an invaluable tool for our business,” she says. “We’re able to further our mission and strengthen our community while supporting sales goals.” 📷 by @cotopaxi