- Claire Michalski
Top Ten Instagram Tips For Vegan Businesses
Instagram likes to switch things up often and it can feel hard to keep up with their new features and algorithms, but no matter how they rework their social platform, ultimately they can't change the way humans work! We have put together ten simple vegan tailored tips that will always stand the test of time.
1. Clear call to action
A 'call to action' is a quick marketing term for "getting the user to do what you have posted about". The action you want the post viewer to take could be to simply learn something new, go vegan, buy a product, or subscribe to your newsletter. Whatever the action is, make it obvious and give them a reason to take action there and then. For example, on nearly every single post we add a link to our website (action) with a clear message of "Find more Vegan Founded businesses here" but we also give them a reason to follow the call to action, which usually looks something like "Support the real vegan businesses". This turns every single instagram post into a clear call to action for our followers to take.
2. What's your why? (because that is their reason to click and buy)
Think of instagram as an extension to your business website. Not wanting to overflow your web pages with too much text, Instagram is the perfect place to drip feed all of this information. Think 'company ethos'. Why you started your business? Why your business is worth supporting? Why does it exist? You know the answers to this but does your following? You need to give them a reason to support you and often within the vegan community that is because you are a cruelty free, ethical, 100% vegan business - remind them of that and get the support you deserve.
"My vegan digital designs were stolen by a non-vegan company and printed on unsustainable garments using non-vegan inks. Meat eaters were selling my artwork with the words 'vegan' using ink that contained animals...to vegans! It blew my mind and I knew our community needed to have a more transparent symbol to easily identify who they are buying from and if the company can be trusted. I simply wanted to know "are they vegan founded?"
That's my why and we make sure to share this story and general message often within our Instagram posts to ensure our existing and new followers understand exactly why we are needed.
3. Transparency posts
With so many big corporations and non-vegan businesses coming into the firing line for things they have tried to cover up and get away with, there is no wonder the vegan community in particular are calling for business transparency. As you know Vegan Founded advocate for knowing not just what we buy but who we are buying from, which is exactly why we often share posts of who we are (and our why). Showing your followers exactly who they support is a great way to be transparent and gain trust.
4. Testimonials turn into trust
Sharing product reviews, client testimonials, business ratings and positive feedback is the best way to...well, get even more reviews, testimonials, ratings and positive feedback. We have been doing this since the beginning of businesses. It used to be called 'word of mouth' and was often what would lead us to contract that builder that Susan from down the road used because she says he did a fantastic job of her patio!
Well, now its all digital and you can show this off! We have actually lacked in doing this ourselves and I have recently collated testimonials and lovely instagram comments to turn into posts! You will see them soon and probably say 'Ha - she said they were going to start doing that!' and I will because reviews are a great and authentic way to gain trust, sharing them on Instagram just makes sense!
5. Eyes and Faces
It's a very simple tip but using faces with direct eye contact just works. Whether that be your own face, a stock image face, or of course the faces of the many animals that need our help. Humans connect with humans and vegans connect with animals, so using a combination of human and animal faces to stop the IG user in their scrolling tracks and connect to your post works very well.
6. The 3 feelings rule
Have you ever wondered why so many of us enjoy watching the news? Or why we get sucked into fictional TV dramas? Or the classic X Factor sob stories? (Don't tell me you haven't ever cried watching a singing contest - I don't believe you). Humans react strongly to things that trigger the feeling of either anger, sadness or happiness. Makes us sound like very simple creatures I know! But it's the truth.
I'm not a massive fan of trying to trigger peoples emotions, so Vegan Founded try to go down the route of creating the feeling of unity as often as possible with our 'vegans support vegans' campaign. But admittedly, even those messages can spike anger in people when they think about non-vegan businesses exploiting the vegan community. Or, sadness for the animals who are no better off from the non-vegan owned vegan options, but hopefully we spark happiness with what it is we are trying to create here! Either way if you can tap into one or all of these emotions, you are likely to have a better success rate with the call to action you have applied to the post.
Don't freak out - I know not everyone can comfortably get in front of a camera and show the world all of their quirks, but videos are not the only way to show personality. Creating a 'business tone of voice' is a must. Coming from a journalistic and marketing background please believe me when I say this is ESSENTIAL to figure out. When I say 'business tone of voice' I do not mean an extra professional Siri like sound with no room for fun, unless of course that suits the business you have! A great example of a business creating a strong and recognised tone of voice is Oatly and they keep it so consistent. From their social media captions, to their billboards and product packaging, it doesn't waver and it's definitely not one person writing it all! Their entire company has adopted their business' tone of voice.
An easy way to figure out what your tone of voice should be, is to ask "what does my business represent?". When we asked this for Vegan Founded, we came up with the words "unity, real, passionate, helpful, community' and we have made sure that our captions, website, ads and articles all include language and have a writing style that we feel best represents this.
8. Shareable content
I repeat, SHAREABLE CONTENT! Think about what you share yourself on your personal account from others and see if you can create posts like it, because let's face it, a picture of a product doesn't often get shared, but a picture of a cute cat does! Now, I'm not telling you all to start posting pictures of pus...I couldn't commit to the rude alliteration sorry - What I am trying to say is, make sure you share things that others will want to share too. Info graphics, relatable memes, adorable animals, thought provoking posts, interesting videos, community interest content, whatever you can create that is also in keeping with your business. Get creative and make sure you often share shareable content!
9. Facts over fiction - Don't let a post forever haunt you!
Because I have mentioned 'info graphic' I feel like we have to point out the elephant in the room and briefly discuss censorship and call out culture. Get the correct information before making the post. We often post about the controversial topic of vegan options not doing a great deal for the animals, and we have to be prepared for the challenges we get from these posts - but we are armoured with information, so we know we have posted facts not fiction and feel confident as we click the share button. You want to avoid your post being fact checked and having a correction warning label slapped over it by fact checkers because that strips away trust fast! AND you also don't want to create an incorrect info post that everyone calls you out on because that also discredits you quickly. Just be sure to share facts not fiction and you will be fine!
What with lockdown, we need to check ourselves on this one! Life can get inconsistent and so can your social media, but consistency pays off so we've got to get on top of it. Post routinely at the same time and on the same days of each week and this will help to build your following. The easiest way to do this is to use an online scheduler and schedule your posts in bulk weekly or even once a month if you are an organisational guru! (You can find free schedulers for just one account very easily). Humans like consistency and reliability and apparently (from looking at Instagram insights) we like the accounts we follow to also be reliably consistent.
We can't wait to watch you implement some or all of these tips and see your IG grow! If you aren't following us on Instagram or Facebook yet then click the links and hit follow to join our Vegan Founded community.