Day 12: Deep dive into the world of social media
1. Tweet today’s quote → 2. Get to work!
On Day 2, you got a crash course on how to start scouting social media for potential partners and customers. You also learned that social media is an incredibly valuable tool for doing ‘market research’ and ultimately getting closer to success.
On Day 8, you built your Facebook and Instagram accounts and started engaging with these people so they’re familiar with your name.
Now, it’s time to build out your pages and start approaching your micro-influencers.
- Learn some tips and best practices for posting on social media (especially Instagram)
- Message a handful of micro-influencers to ask for ‘shoutouts’ for your store
Let’s do this.
Make your Instagram sexy
If you’re in the type of niche where Instagram is valuable, you’ve already noticed that looks are everything. That’s the whole point of Instagram, after all.
So before you start reaching out to people, you have to build that immediate sense of trust by having a nice-looking page.
If you’re in the fashion niche, this means posting some fashion-related photos. The best way to snatch up some good photos (that you won’t get in legal trouble for using) is to go to my favorite 2 websites: Burst by Shopify and Unsplash.
You can download whatever you see for free and use them however you want. It’s awesome.
There are loads of other websites too, just try Google searching for something like: ‘[items you want] free stock photo.’
Amanda went to Burst and typed ‘scarf woman’ because she wanted photos of women wearing scarves.
Plenty of results.
She repeated the process on a few sites and collected enough to start posting regularly. You don’t have to always post your own products – and you shouldn’t, actually.
Instead of always hard-selling, look for photos that visually represent your brand. For example:
- If you’re high-fashion, choose glamorous high-fashion photos
- If you sell luggage or travel accessories, post photos of beautiful travel destinations
- If you sell pet supplies, post photos of adorable pets
- If you sell home decor, post gorgeous interior design photos
You get the point.
Think about the kind of stuff that ‘goes viral’ and tap into that. Make your page something people can envision themselves into, so they want to look at and talk about it.
You should also use the page for brand announcements every once in a while, like posting about giveaways and contests, sales, etc.
You can even try some ‘behind the scenes’ kind of stuff so people can get to know your brand. Just don’t go crazy with self-promotion – that’s not what social media is here for.
Once your page is lookin’ nice, you’re ready to start reaching out.
Reach out to your micro-influencer list
Whip out that mini influencer database we made on Day 2. The time has come to pitch them on a collaboration.
Since we’re operating on a low budget, we’re going to try the ‘free item in exchange for a shoutout’ route. This one is pretty reliable.
But you should set your expectations – surely you’ll send some free items out, because a micro-influencer (and every other person in the universe) loves free stuff. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get sales from a shoutout.
So if your budget is tight, be careful about shooting out free items as fast as those little t-shirt guns shoot out band shirts at concerts.
Just a warning note.
“What should I look for in a good micro-influencer?”
My answer: It’s a combination of scouting through their profiles and understanding your niche audience.
Look at these things when you’re scouting their profiles:
- Do their posts, comments, hashtags, etc. fit with the ideal audience you have in mind?
- Look at their past 5 posts. How many likes and comments do they have in relation to their total followers? If someone has 5,000 followers, but only 50 likes and 7 comments on their posts on average… that’s a no-go.
- Read the comments. Do they actually add value? Do they look like they’re from genuinely interested and engaged people, or are they spammy, generic, or weird? Paid likes and comments are very much a thing… don’t be fooled by them.
I actually look through their followers’ profiles too. This is also great research, and I add many of these people to my separate list for my direct messaging strategy. Apart from that, you can tell if they’re actually real, engaged people, and you can get more and more insights into your target audience. It’s a big bag of wins.
With these new insights, comb back through the big list you made on Day 2 and re-prioritize the most promising people. Then it’s time for some good old-fashioned chatting.
Send a good message
A good Instagram message shows that there’s a real person behind the account. Introduce yourself by name, be friendly and straightforward, and use emojis to express emotion (if it fits with your audience’s communication style – you can see this in their own posts).
Keep in mind that it will take 10-20 days for an influencer to receive your product. So if you want to get some attention now, you can ask if they’re willing to promote it before they get it.
Pro tip: Since an Instagram story is short-lived, many influencers will be willing to do this without even receiving the item yet. Try asking if they’ll give you a shoutout there.
Here’s an example of an initial message Amanda sent:
Amanda knew that she wanted to give these influencers a shot regardless, so she offered them a free scarf first. After they agreed, she asked for their address and scarf of choice so she could send it. (She also offered to send them a discount code to check out themselves, in case they didn’t want to share their address. Only one influencer chose this option, the rest happily gave their address or P.O. box.)
When everything was squared away, she then asked if they’d be willing to give her a story shoutout now while they wait for the scarf.
Here’s an example of a story shoutout she got:
She had about a 70% success rate getting story shoutouts with this approach. Most of them gladly tagged her in a story along with a photo or video of the Evooli website, but a few of them didn’t want to promote something they didn’t have yet. Understandable.
But unfortunately, she didn’t get any sales from these story shoutouts. Womp womp. (She did get some traffic though, so there was a benefit in the end.)
Try different message variations and approaches to see what works best for your audience. And as always, don’t expect a miracle.
This can also be a great opportunity to get ideas about how to work with and co-create with influencers. Ask them if they have any suggestions for how to work together. Be open to trying new things!
Address the criticisms from yesterday
Yesterday, you reached out to some people who you thought could give you some feedback on your store.
If they replied, set aside some time to really examine their suggestions and see if you should apply them.
Keep in mind that whether advice is really ‘good’ or not will depend heavily on who you asked – so don’t feel like you have to change every single thing someone mentioned. However, you definitely shouldn’t ignore anyone either.
It’s a balancing act and a constant state of growth.
I can’t stress enough: there’s no single right answer, and it’s all about testing until you find what works.
Day 12 Recap
✓ Learned how to make a stellar Instagram profile that generates interest in your brand
✓ Reached out to your top micro-influencers asking for collabs and shoutouts
✓ Hopefully got a couple of mentions!
✓ Started to address the criticisms you asked for yesterday
Doesn’t it feel good to get out there and interact with people? When you spread positivity and kindness, you’ll inevitably get it back.
Let’s keep the good vibes going through tomorrow.