Case Study: Social Stampers on Instagram
This case study will examine a real life Instagram account. Taking a deeper look at this account will help us understand what went right and what went wrong. These lessons will help us learn how we can improve our Instagram posts and accounts as a whole to be in a better position to reach our business goals.
Examining Social Stampers on Instagram
Social Stampers entered the Instagram scene in 2015, but didn’t see any sort of consistent posting until after Christmas in 2015. And it wasn’t until February 2016 that the channel had a strategy. Sound familiar? Let’s learn how Social Stampers managed the first year on Instagram!
How Consistent Growth for Social Stampers Started
In February 2016 Social Stampers became a business, catering to DIY types interested in crafting and all things handmade. Social Stampers uses Stampin’ Up! products in their handmade goods, and also sells supplies and kits in Canada and the United States. Figuring out how to use Instagram with this type of business was a big learning curve in 2016.
Becoming a business instead of a personal channel meant needing to upgrade to an Instagram business account. It also meant changing content up from personal posts to move toward more business posts with a behind the scenes flair. In February 2016 Social Stampers had 7 followers and followed 25 people.
The Social Stampers Approach to Instagram
Starting with one post per day, Social Stampers adjusted to using Instagram and learning how to really engage with people and not bots. As most people know, followers can go up and down pretty quickly as people use bots and spammy messaging looking for a quick sale. Within a few days, Social Stampers banned specific phrases that kept coming up in spammy posts and those cleared off the feed and from the comments to leave room for other content.
Lacking enough content to post regularly, Social Stampers decided to invest in quality stock photography that resonated with the brand. Testing out a few different types of stock imagery it didn’t take long to discover which content resonated well enough to invest in. As products were made over time Social Stampers made sure that the variety of stock images in the brand’s collection included ones that were great for mockups and creating original content. This allowed for feed variety, which people seemed to really respond well to!
Social Stampers also tested out various Instagram scheduling tools to see if any of them could be the right fit. The benefits to preplanning content is that it saves time, and allowed for regular posting. This reduced the number of times that posts didn’t go out as planned.
Let’s Look at the Results from 2016: Consistent Growth on a Small Scale
By the end of 2016 Social Stampers was getting consistent growth in small steps. The account had 135 followers on a regular basis. Not bad for the first year of trial and error and figuring out what could work well on Instagram. Also being the first year of business there was a lot to learn and plan, so being able to grow and maintain an average following was a positive outcome for the brand.
What Changed for Social Stampers on Instagram in 2017?
Now, looking back at 2017 Social Stampers was able to up their Instagram game. For 2017 Social Stampers posted an average of 3 times per day – morning, noon and night. The times picked for each day depended on when Instagram said people were the most engaged. Keeping track of that information on a regular basis allowed for more peaks in engagement, which helped Social Stampers to build relationships and boost followers. This led to being able to achieve consistent growth without a whole lot of follower fluctuation.
Sales Oriented Posts Led to Consistent Growth
In 2017 Social Stampers also posted more photos of the products being produced and tried to post regularly about products and services to inform people about their offering. More behind the scenes posts went out, and the odd video was added to add visual interest to the feed.
Spring 2017 marked the Kickstarter launch of Social Stampers’ greeting card subscription box, which was successfully backed. A hashtag was created for Social Snail Mail (#SocialSnailMail) to help track engagement and images posted online, especially on Instagram. Subscribers were prompted to post photos of their boxes on Instagram as they received them each month.
Photos were edited in different ways, and the filters used were consistent for the whole year (Flashes of Delight and Natural). Photos used were related to the written content in some way as much as possible. Quotes and motivational posts were still used, because those resonated well with the majority of the audience.
More Engagement Led to Consistent Growth
Making a point to engage with people regularly and respond to the majority of comments also helped people get to know the face behind the brand. This helped boost connections and reinforced the human element behind the small business. Using different hashtags in the first comment also helped to get the post in front of new people. Researching different hashtags helped to incorporate more variety, which increased the chances of being noticed.
Small Changes Made a Big Impact and Caused Consistent Growth
In the Fall of 2017 a more professional headshot was added, and the brand bio was updated to include more keywords. This helped people know what Social Stampers was about in the limited amount of space available; emojis helped to reduce character count and still get the point across. The change at this point was dramatic!
Up until the Fall of 2017 Social Stampers regularly had around 250 followers; not bad for another year of Instagramming. With a few tweaks and adjustments Social Stampers boosted their followers to a consistent 540 through the end of 2017 and start of 2018. And that’s even with reducing the number of posts per day to an average of 0.5! That’s a pretty crazy increase given a dramatic drop in content posted.
The neat part is that this is attainable and maintainable with the right strategy. Want to find out how? I manage Social Stampers’ Instagram account and can help to manage yours too!