“Post With Purpose” To Achieve Results With Instagram



At SMWLA, Kaitlin Bray, head of social media for Food52, shared top tips for using Instagram to build a community.


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Food52, an independent digital food publisher, began as an effort to create the very first crowdsourced cookbook in 2009. Fifty-two weeks and 140 recipes later, co-founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs realized they had much more than the raw materials of a cookbook at the fingertips; a community of almost 2 million social media followers and a stock list of 2,000 products.

At Social Media Week Los Angeles, Kaitlin Bray, head of social media for Food52, shared top tips for using Instagram to build a community.

The statistics around Instagram provide certainty that this is a highly valuable marketing tool:

  • 800 million monthly users
  • 300 million people view Instagram Stories every day
  • 1/3 of the most viewed Instagram Stories are from businesses
  • 60% of people say they discover new products on Instagram
  • 200 million users visit at least one business profile daily

Post With Purpose

Bray highlighted the need for intention with every social media post. There must be a clear purpose that supports the business strategy, helps to promote brand personality while establishing a community.

Voted ‘hottest Instagram’ by Adweek, Food52 has amassed 1.95 million social media followers and 7.2 million uses of the #52grams branded hashtag.

Test New Features

The need to keep innovating with Instagram and their new features is critical. “Always push boundaries on how you engage with your audience, to see what works”, said Bray. “Instagram is constantly innovating so you can’t just stick with what’s worked in the past. Every new tool is a potential new way to communicate with your audience.

Analyse, Tweak, Repeat

Setting specific benchmarks and KPIs for each Instagram post will help you to know what’s under and over-performing.

Bray talked about three types of metric:

  • Traffic ie visits to the website
  • Engagement – ie likes, comments and direct messages
  • Revenue, and the need to know what helps your followers convert to purchase

Bray’s Top Tips for Optimising Posts for Success

  1. Spread out commerce posts
  2. Sandwich commerce posts in-between posts that are known to be top performers
  3. Use creative that you know resonates with your audience
  4. Show how products can be useful in everyday life
  5. Use video to add value
  6. Experiment with Calls-to-Action (CTAs)
  7. Apply organic learning to paid posts (and vice versa)
  8. Ask your audience for feedback

Bray concluded the session by going back to posting with purpose; “lead with great content, and commerce will follow.”

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