Saturday, October 10, 2015

title pic Winning with Instagram

Posted by Joanne Dewberry on October 7, 2015

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms. In July, 2015 it was announced that there are 14 million monthly active users in the UK.  Are you one of them? (Just in case you fancy following I am @CharlieMoos feel free to like any pictures that aren’t of my cat! ) If you need help setting up and account then go here – A Beginners Guide to Instagram.

instagram poppy sparkles

The idea behind using Instagram for your small business or blog is that it enables you to develop a brand identity through storytelling and behind the scene content.  Research has proven that Instagram users connect and engage far more than they actually post. Interesting.  I’ve noticed a few things since I started using Instagram.

  • Less is More : I find if I’m at an event/day out etc a few thought out images during and after maybe days after, get a much better reaction than bulk loading as the event is occurring. Save these for your blog.
  • Life should be edited ALWAYS! : To me this is almost ironic! The whole idea of Instagram is that images are posted instantly on your mobile phone not carefully crafted on your DSLR, edited to an inch within their life then emailed to your mobile and eventually uploaded but it appears this is what people want to see!
  • One child is more beautiful that the others : Yes images of a certain child * cough possibly the blonde haired female cough * get far more reaction that my other two, who are equally as beautiful in my eyes.
  • Hashtags : #YouMustIncludeHashtags #HashtagsRule #AWorldWithoutHashtagsIsBoring
  • Cats and Wine Rule! : This image of our cat George is one of the most popular on my feed followed by a photo of me drinking 2 glasses of wine. I’m still trying to get a shot of the cat drinking wine image how many people will like that!

George appreciates all of Daddy Moo's trees. #instacats #catsofinstagram #trees #silverbirch #George

A photo posted by Joanne Dewberry (@charliemoos) on

Three things that makes Instagram different from other platforms :

  1. It’s all about the mobile : Instagram is all about being instant you can’t load images via desktop it has to be on a mobile using the app.
  2. It’s not link heavy : The only clickable link appears in your bio. TOP TIP : Ensure the link in your bio goes to a mobile friendly site!
  3. Insights? What insights? : Unlike other platforms where you are provided with tons of analytical information other than the likes and comments there is none!

Hashtags hold a lot of weight on Instagram compared to other platforms especially Facebook where they can still look a bit weird!  So why use them? Hashtags are used for content distribution, they broaden the reach and put your business/blog in front of a new audience. There is the golden rule of 5 #hashtags but some use more others less, I think personal preference and working out which go with your image is key.  As you start to type your hashtag you will notice a list appears and sometimes just one letter can make all the difference. For example the tag #garden is associated with 14,118,330 posts whereas #gardens in comparison only 992,117 already reducing the pool of viewers.

Top hashtags include,

  • #sky
  • #cloud
  • #bestoftheday
  • #girl
  • #boy

Apparently 5-6pm is the optimum time to post an image but I tried this and for my readers it didn’t make much difference. I think there are best practice tactics but ultimately you need to manifest your own plan based on your own audience and for some part this will be trial and error.

Other posts which may be of interest include:

6 simple solutions to increase your Instagram followers

Instagram – going beyond snap happy posting

title pic Taking Your Craft Business to the Fair

Posted by Joanne Dewberry on September 24, 2015

A few weeks back I had the please of working at the Great Dorset Steam Fair in the PR & Marketing department.  It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done before. Social media for events is far more of a customer service role than social media which main aim is to sell products.  I learn’t a lot about how other businesses utilise social media. I’ve always been aware and expressed how it’s not a one size fits all scenario so it was really interesting to see social media being used in a different format to how possibly I’d have approached it.   One thing I really enjoyed was the Rural Crafts Tent.

Photo Credit | SKC Photography

Photo Credit | SKC Photography

As a craft based business you can’t sit in a tent for 5 days without a) going a bit stir crazy and b) loosing a great deal of stock making hours.  It was so refreshing to see handmade goods being created on site alongside the finished articles.  This also meant a few were able to offer personalisation and bespoke pieces, which is amazing for parents who call their children unusual names like, say Olive!

Being able to make your handmade goods on site enables you to develop a relationship with potential customers.  We are inquisitive folk and are more likely to ask lots of questions and appreciate the effort and time that goes into making products if we are able to see this. Making your handmade goods on site not only adds value but is super visual merchandising which potential customers are unlikely to forget.


If you are planning to take you crafted based business out and about to craft fairs and make on site then there are a few things to consider :

  • What do you need to take and is it practical?
  • Will you need a power supply? Is this provided by the events team or will you need a portable generator?
  • Are you putting others at risk?
  • Does your insurance cover you for making handmade goods outside of your business premises?
  • Do you need to be in a well ventilated area?
  • Always check with the organisers as they may need to check with the venue, their insurance and other stall holders.

Do you have any other tips for taking your handmade goods to make at craft fairs?  I’d love to hear them so why not send me a tweet @CharlieMoos

Other useful Craft Articles :

Craft Fair Top Tips as featured in Craft Business Magazine

Craft Fair tips from Nellie Dean and Ware Street Market

How to nurture a follow on relationship with customers 

For more information on running a craft based business check out my book – Crafting a Successful Small Business: Making, marketing and merchandising

Photo Credit | SKC Photography

Photo Credit | SKC Photography

This post is a collaboration and complies with my Disclosure Policy

This post contains an affiliate link.  

Photo Credit | SKC Photography

Title Image | ShutterStock