Instagram—the free and popular photo-sharing and video-sharing social media platform that has pervaded everyone’s personal and social lives. But does Instagram help businesses succeed, especially those in the pet industry? If creating compelling social media campaigns centered around animals is something that strikes your interest, then you might be pleased to know that Instagram is one of the best tools you can use to grow your business. Not only can it increase your visibility, but it can also add to your customer base. As long as you do things right on the platform, Instagram can be one of your keys to success. However, some people still find themselves having a hard time taking full advantage of Instagram’s many benefits. To make things easier for you, digital media strategists, like Skarlet Shuplat, suggest building authentic connections with other people in your niche, such as pet owners. Skarlet, an Instagram strategist herself who choose to work specifically with pet professionals, enthused,
As someone who provides support in authentically connecting brands and bloggers with more pet parents on Instagram, Skarlet has helped dozens of clients harness the power of social media to help them grow their audience and monetize their influence. To give listeners a better idea, she shared,
“I think for me, Instagram is the social media network that currently sticks the best to the concept of what ‘social media’ is supposed to be. I think it’s the most connected. And conversely, Facebook has become something that, like—you have to have a Facebook the same way you have to have a website. But your followers don’t—you don’t really start conversations and relationships with them the same way on a Facebook page as you do on Instagram.”
Considering the numerous distractions that take our attention nowadays, it’s understandable why trying to get in front of your audience and get them to give you more than a hint of recognition of your business identity poses such a huge challenge. However, for Skarlet, this is a challenge that can be resolved if you use Instagram correctly.
“I create and implement custom campaigns and increase the visibility and the opportunity for people to actually monetize their influence. That way, whatever their mission is, they can have more success in reaching the person that is their ideal customer, the people that they need—I mean, the people who need what they have.”
the self-proclaimed rabbit lady stated. Contrary to the journeys of her colleagues, who became “really good at social media marketing” after starting it as a hobby with their pets, Skarlet discovered her affinity for the role only after having already established her social media agency back in 2015. Although she worked with a lot of different companies in broader niches, such as restaurants, coffee shops, and retail stores, it was only when she happened to work with a client in the pet supplement that she fell in love with the concept of working in the pet industry. Looking back, Skarlet described the experience,
“I also find that the fact that you absolutely have to have a photo or a video, being a much more visual platform, also makes people a lot more engaged. The engagement rate on Instagram is, like, five or 10 times what it is on Facebook for the same content. It’s insane. Like, the average for a page with 1,000 to 5,000 followers, the average is about 5%. And like, on Facebook, the average is a tenth of that percent. That engagement rate does go down as the numbers go up. So, like, if you—you know, a hundred thousand or a million followers are closer to one percent, but it’s still much better than Facebook even at those numbers. And I think that’s why a lot of small businesses especially, really gravitate towards it, because it is a place where you can connect more authentically with your audience,”
Wanting to impart a bit of her Instagram knowledge and expertise, Skarlet suggested that those who are looking for a career in the same industry as she does (i.e., social media marketing) should do the following for new businesses:
“It was just a whole different feeling than working with any other industry I ever worked in. So, I decided to narrow down and only work with pet professionals after that… And I realized that it was because the pet industry is just so different from any other industry. And I have a passion for it that I didn’t have for any of the other industries I worked with. And the combination of the two things just made it to where I knew this was where I really wanted to be.”
- Keep in mind that nothing you do is cookie cutter. While you may have a checklist of things that you can go through for your market research, remember that your research may still bring back different results for different clients. So, you need to formulate a strategy that’s going to be different for each of your clients.
- In your first month, make only a single post for your client. This period is always reserved for doing market research and creating the client’s custom strategy.
- Afterward, you can then build a content strategy from your market analysis. Your content needs to be the type that attracts your audience in a way that isn’t necessarily going to come off as too much “commercial-like”. After all, most social media users are looking to be entertained, and that’s the content that you want to put out.