How to manage your small business on Instagram ft. Isha Malhotra aka RunwayBaby

Piyush Singh
New Update
Isha Malhotra

From establishing a strong brand identity to leveraging Instagram's features, in our conversation with Isha Malhotra, we discussed the dos and don'ts of managing a small business on Instagram.

It's fascinating to think how the concept of social media that started off as a fun way to interact and connect with others has now become an integral part of our lives. While most of us use platforms like Instagram to connect and consume content, we all know how it extends far beyond just entertainment. Brands recognize the significance of their presence on social media platforms beyond mere visibility. Instead, they utilize these platforms as tools to establish and reinforce their brand identity while connecting with their audience.ย We all know how the access to social media has opened doors for many aspiring entrepreneurs and content creators to start their own businesses, leading to the emergence of numerous indie brands. After all, it's through platforms like Instagram that we often stumble upon our favorite unique and niche brands. However, managing a business on Instagram can pose challenges for many because having an idea for a venture is easy but the tricky part is to manage it and to build your own unique identity.

Fashion stylist and content creator,ย Isha Malhotra spoke to us about the same while talking about the idea behind building her jewelry brand "World of Fian. What strategies did she use to manage it? What lessons did she learn along the way? Let's find out!

Also Read: Content creator, Drishti Sharma gives you deets on how to understand the right target audience for your content

What inspired you to start your jewelry brand and how do you differentiate your brand from others in the ever so crowded jewelry market on Instagram?

My family has been in the fine jewelry and gemstone business for over half a century now, so my brothers and I decided to take it forward and mix things up a bit with our very own silver jewelry brand! I've always been captivated by the elegance and timelessness of silver jewelry. And the idea was to create a brand that had a little something for everyone - handcrafted rings, pendants, earrings. Recently, we even launched a line of customizable charm jewelry which I personally believe is quite a niche market to be in. Charm bracelets and necklaces are completely customizable and unique to every customer! You can easily switch the charms out for different ones and just keep building your collection.

How did you build your initial following on Instagram? Which strategies have you found most effective for engaging with your audience on social media?

For us, building an initial following on Instagram required a mix of authenticity, consistency, and a lot of support from friends and family. I engaged with my followers by sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses of the creative process, sneak peeks of upcoming collections, and having monthly giveaways for our loyal customers and followers. Posting stories at least every other day and interacting in our comment sections were key strategies for fostering engagement. Along with that, collaborating with influencers proved to be quite beneficial for our page.

Is it important to decide on the visual aesthetic and style of your Instagram feed to best showcase your product? How do you do it?

Yes, itโ€™s important to decide on a visual aesthetic for your Instagram feed especially if your product is meant to visually appeal to your audience. I carefully curated our feed to reflect the brand's identity, incorporating product shots, lifestyle imagery, and mood shots of our jewelry. I also believe itโ€™s important to decide on a color palette or at least a mood for your brandโ€™s page. Consistency in that area helped us create a recognizable brand presence.

Can you share any tips for creating compelling content that resonates with your audience as a brand?ย 

Iโ€™ve learned a couple of things while creating content for my brand actually. I used to think that Iโ€™d simply post images of my product and people would see that itโ€™s pretty, follow me, and buy it. But thatโ€™s not exactly how it works. When youโ€™re a small business and you want to get organic followers, I believe you have to provide value as well. For example, my best-performing Reels have been my โ€˜jewelry hacksโ€™ and โ€˜styling tipsโ€™.

Creating compelling content involves understanding the desires and interests of our audience. Other than our โ€˜tips and tricksโ€™, we also focus on storytelling - we try weaving narratives around our products that inspire connection. Behind-the-scenes footage, customer testimonials, and user-generated content all contribute to a dynamic content strategy that resonates with our audience.

How do you leverage Instagram's features like Stories, Reels, and IGTV to promote your brand?

Leveraging these features has been instrumental in promoting our brand and engaging with our audience. We use Stories to provide real-time updates, sneak peeks, and exclusive offers while Reels allow us to showcase our creativity, share tutorials, and highlight our products in an engaging way. Additionally, we utilize Instagram Posts for mood and lifestyle shots of our products as well!

Have you faced any challenges or setbacks while managing your brand on Instagram, and how did you overcome them?

Managing a brand on Instagram comes with its fair share of challenges. We have to adapt to algorithm changes, competition, and content saturation - especially for a jewelry brand. However, by staying consistent and true to our brand values, we've been able to deal with these obstacles.

What metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) do you track to measure the success of your Instagram marketing efforts?

The key performance indicators (KPIs) we track to measure the success of our Instagram marketing efforts include engagement rate, follower growth, website traffic, conversion rate, and customer retention. For us, these metrics provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of the content we put out, audience engagement, and overall brand performance.

How do you stay updated on Instagram's algorithm changes and adapt your strategy accordingly? Are there any features that you think people are not using enough which can be beneficial for their brands?ย 

Itโ€™s essential for us to stay updated on Instagramโ€™s algorithm changes because adapting to those changes helps us maintain visibility. To do that, we have to keep updating our social media strategy and actively engage with the Instagram community to stay informed. The Instagram Shopping feature is often underutilized, even by us, but I think it could be incredibly beneficial for brands. We havenโ€™t delved into it as yet, but it could provide an opportunity to create an immersive shopping experience directly within the platform.

How important is it for small businesses to establish a strong brand identity on Instagram, and what steps can they take to achieve this?

Establishing a strong brand identity on Instagram is essential for small businesses looking to stand out in a saturated market place. A starting point would be to set your brandโ€™s values and vision and stick to them, at least for a while. Consistency in these areas helps foster brand recognition and trust among followers. To build meaningful connections, loyalty, and trust within your audience, you need to be authentic and provide some sort of value to them. Additionally, investing in high-quality content, leveraging user-generated content, and being open to listening to feedback from your customers and even making necessary changes based on them are crucial steps in refining and strengthening our brand identity over time.

Were these tips useful? Tell us in the comments below!

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