Five Ways to Use Instagram to Dramatically Improve your Business: “Use User Generated Content” With Tiffany McEachern & Candice Georgiadis
Use User Generated Content. UGC saves businesses money because they aren’t creating the content and it gets them exposure when people tag them in their posts. I have shared content on my Blazers and Blue Jeans Instagram handle and tagged businesses and they will share my images on their Instagram feed. I will then share their post on my Instagram stories, getting them more exposure to my audience. They don’t have to spend money to create content and my Instagram handle gets exposure to their audience so it is a win-win.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Tiffany McEachern, a Social Media Specialist for PSCU, a payments provider credit union service organization. Tiffany has undergraduate degrees of Marketing and Business Management and her Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. She has worked in the marketing departments of several Fortune 500 Companies and also runs an online lifestyle blog called Blazers and Blue Jeans.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
When I started college, my heart was set on majoring in advertising. I had these big dreams of working at an ad agency in a big city and helping Fortune 500 companies develop marketing campaigns. When I didn’t get accepted into the advertising program at Florida State University, I changed my major to the next best thing, marketing. As I took more business and marketing courses, I realized there were so many areas of marketing that I loved like social media, analytics, and content marketing. It wasn’t until graduate school that I really fell in love with social media marketing. Social media marketing encompasses a lot of marketing aspects that I love like content creation, graphic design, and analytics.
Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?
I started my marketing career while I was in graduate school interning for Bloomin’ Brands and then interned for Raymond James Financial and Coppertail Brewing Company. Each one of my internships had a different focus, one was focused on market research, another was heavy on social media, and the last one was focused around PR and Communications. After completing my MBA, I worked for DR Horton doing their social media and marketing for the Tampa/Sarasota division. I now work for PSCU, a payments provider credit union service organization, and oversee our social media strategy and help manage our social media product that we offer to credit unions. I currently oversee 10 social media channels, both B2B and B2C. When I am not at work, I am creating content for my lifestyle blog, Blazers and Blue Jeans, where I share recipes, career tips, style advice.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
Meeting Guy Kawasaki earlier this year was the most interest experience I’ve had since starting my career. He was a keynote speaker at PSCU’s annual user conference and I got the chance to speak with him and we talked about social media marketing and Canva. It was just so crazy to me to speak with chief evangelist of Canva, a graphic design tool that I use all the time to create content!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
It’s not really a funny mistake but somehow, I landed a social media internship at Coppertail Brewing Company and I knew nothing about beer. The extent of my beer knowledge was drinking Bud Light out of a keg in college. During my first week I was taking pictures of this dark porter in a glass at the bar and after a while the beer started to lose its head (foam at the top). So I post some of the photos on social media and the bartender later tells me, “So usually with dark beers, you want to photograph the glass while it still has the head on it because porters have thick foam when you first pour them. You can tell that beer has been sitting around since there is no head on it.” Since I knew nothing about beer I had no idea. The biggest lesson I learned from this was to understand your product before you start promoting it on social media and if you don’t know something, ask!
Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?
It really depends on the audience. If you are trying to reach millennials, Instagram is your best option. If you are trying to reach Baby Boomers, then Facebook would be a better option. I think the best social media platform to use in general is Facebook because it has the largest number of users and the widest demographic. Many of the credit unions we work with, have a strong Facebook presence as their membership and target market fits squarely in the age-range demographic.
Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share 6 ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.
1. Use User Generated Content.
- UGC saves businesses money because they aren’t creating the content and it gets them exposure when people tag them in their posts. I have shared content on my Blazers and Blue Jeans Instagram handle and tagged businesses and they will share my images on their Instagram feed. I will then share their post on my Instagram stories, getting them more exposure to my audience. They don’t have to spend money to create content and my Instagram handle gets exposure to their audience so it is a win-win.
2. Partner with other local businesses
- Follow other local businesses on Instagram, like their pictures, and comment on their content. By building relationships with other local businesses, you can cohost future events or even do a giveaway together. This ensures that you are both getting exposure to each other’s audiences. I frequently see giveaways on Instagram where several local businesses will giveaway a gift card or merchandise and all you have to do is follow each businesses Instagram handle to be entered, that’s it!
3. Collaborate with Influencers
- Collaborating with local influencers can really impact your business if you are trying to get exposure to your business or are trying to break into a new demographic/audience. If you are trying to find influencers to collaborate with, many influencers use this hashtag on their content: #[city]blogger (For example: Tampa would be #Tampablogger). Also consider using unique codes for each influencer to help you see which influencers have a bigger impact over others. That way for future collaborations, you can work only with the influencers that bring you revenue.
4. Use the Instagram stories feature
- Using the stories feature helps show content that might not be as ascetically pretty as the content in your newsfeed. This is an especially valuable feature for retail stores because you can show new merchandise, limited time promotions, and new markdowns to your followers. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone into a store specifically because they had an Instagram story that said an item was almost out of stock or was just marked down. You can also use this feature to ask your followers poll questions like “what types of content would you like to see more of, would you rather wear a top that is solid colored or has a pattern?” and learn about their preferences.
5. Engage with your audience
- If people are commenting on your posts and tagging your business in their content, engage with them! It could be a simple like or even a compliment, it shows them that you’re appreciative for doing business with you. You can also learn more about your customer base by looking at the types of content they create with your products. Did they wear heels or sneakers with the dress they purchased at your store? Did they pair the top they purchased with jeans or a patterned skirt?
6. Understand linking
- Since links don’t work in Instagram captions, use Linktree or LikeShop in your profile bio to drive your followers to the content they are looking for. The more clicks it takes for someone to reach a specific web page, they more likely they are going to leave before reaching the desired web page. Real Estate Agents could really benefit from this since they are constantly sharing their listings. They can just link each photo in their feed rather than constantly changing the URL in their bio.
Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would love to see more companies and organizations that give back to others as a part of their business model. There has been a rise in companies that follow the One-For-One Business Model but I feel like there is more room for companies to give back to the community and others that are less fortunate.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
That would have to be a tie between Sophia Amoruso and Emily Weiss. Sophia Amoruso is someone who created a multimillion dollar company unintentionally, failed, and is still incredibly successful with her new venture Girlboss. I am a huge fan of Girlboss and listen to Girlboss Radio on my way to work. She really wants to help other women be successful and start their own companies and I admire that. Emily Weiss is also someone I would love to sit down with. Her company, Glossier, and blog, Into the Gloss, really resonates with so many women and focuses on helping them look and feel their best and I really respect that.
Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!
Five Ways to Use Instagram to Dramatically Improve your Business: “Use User Generated Content”… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.