Australia’s ‘Instagram Queen’ reveals her Social Media Secrets
Gravitites, Instagram isn’t just selfie central, it’s an outstanding way to build your brand, grow your audience, and effectively spread the word about your business.
With no money, no experience and no formal social media education, Mariana Fataccioli of SkinnyKitchen.com.au has become Australia’s ‘Instagram Queen’.
Starting with 1 follower (herself) the Australian Startup Awards finalist amassed an Instagram audience of over 300,000 before her business’s first birthday.
Here the Brisbane-based businesswoman explains how she built and maintained the Skinny Kitchen’s community.
How did you decide on which Instagram snap to launch your brand?
To be honest, I don’t remember my first Instagram post, and a while ago I went through and deleted a lot of posts that weren’t on brand. Since then I’ve realised I should have left it as branding, just like business is a constant evolution. From knowing myself, I would have wanted it to be perfect, and wanted to have an ostentatious post like “Hey Instagram! Here I am!”, but I set deadlines for myself so I think I settled on a recipe post just to get something out there and get it done.
How long did it take to reach your first 1k followers?
Wow, I really should have documented all this, haha. Going back through my history, it looks like 5 weeks, but like I said, I foolishly deleted prior posts. I was hitting it pretty hard posting many times a day, hashtagging and then constantly re-hashtagging. My big goal was to get to 10 000 followers, not in my wildest dreams would have I ever imagined it would get to where it is now. Absolutely crazy!
How has your brand/style developed on Instagram over the last 1.5 years?
The better I understood what I wanted to achieve, and the more I saw what resonated my audience via engagement, I was able to put out content that was on Brand and highly engaging, as well as building a community around what I was doing. In regards to style, my aim is to inspire through creativity and abundance, so I now make sure that visually it’s vibrant, appealing and tasty, whilst constantly delivering great content.
How have you built and maintained the Skinny Kitchen community on Instagram?
Mostly high quality content and collaborations with Food Bloggers from all over the world. If you have great content, you’ll find that your audience want to share it with their friends, organically growing the community for you. I really work hard on posting things that will resonate with my audience and inspire them to try new things, and teach them that healthy isn’t boring. Fervently injecting my message in everything Skinny Kitchen does. Sometimes I don’t get it right, which is ok. It’s all a learning process so mistakes will be made.
How do you manage your time spent engaging with members on Instagram, do you dedicate a time of the day to focus on that or just Instagram on the go?
From the last year and a half, I’ve noticed that there are certain times of the day that have higher activity and interaction. So I have alarms that go off at certain times of the day to remind me to post, and to help time management and organisation I plan out my posts once a week.
Because I’m trying to grow and expand the business, unfortunately I can’t spend as much time on the platform as I used to. However the community has been self-sufficient and chat amongst themselves and tagging friends. I pop in on occasion, but when I post a picture of myself or of the skinny kitchen store, I make sure I do it at a time I can respond in real time.
To filter or not to filter?
Photos should be high quality, not only in resolution but lighting as well. I don’t filter as I would like everything to be naturally beautiful. However, on my personal account, when photos just don’t work out, I love to use mayfair, hudson and sierra as a plan b.
Do you use Image Analytics tools or do you see which pictures are resonating most with followers?
I think that as a business grows they usually outsource their social media, however I’m very much hands on with all of mine, constantly monitoring and refining my strategy. I personally manage Skinny Kitchen’s Instagram so I don’t use analytics as I monitor it by it’s engagement and what people are saying about each post, or if they’re tagging friends to share the content.
Skinny Kitchen is also on Snapchat, as a marketing tool how does it differ to Instagram?
Oh my goodness! It’s completely different and I LOVE it! The differences are, firstly the post disappear after 24hrs which is great for special offers for example. However the main difference is that will all social media you spend time scrolling quickly past posts till you find something of interest. In a world where attention is so scarce, Snapchat is King because when you send a snap, for your audience to open the snap and view it, they have to hold their finger down to activate the post and then you have their complete attention for the length of the post. On top of that, it’s interactive, so you’ll have your audience send you snaps and have greater engagement with you. It’s brilliant.
What Instagram Apps will you be using in 2015?
I’m always looking to step it up, so if there are awesome new apps to help me take it to the next level next year, bring it! But so far, I’m entering the new year using Moldiv, and Animal Face for fun!
Mariana Fataccioli is the Queen Bee at Skinny Kitchen, a collaborative information hub for nutritional education, complimented with creative recipes and an online health food shop www.skinnykitchen.com.au