Easy ways to use Instagram to skyrocket your soap making business
Nowadays, anyone with a decent camera and a hunger for fame can just post their pictures on social media and achieve the title of “social media celebrity” or “Instagram model” through re-posts of a thousand followers. The same formula works for starting a soap business as well. It can be a post of an unboxing video of a soap making supplies haul, a new DIY soap making kit for kids, a candle making challenge with mom, or behind-the-scenes footage of one of the customers’ most beloved soap recipes!
It could literally be about anything that could push the business to internet fame. Through tough thorough research and some business know-how plus too much time spent on the interwebs, I present to you…
10 Marketing Strategy Tips for Craft Businesses on Instagram
1. Picture Perfect
I’m sure by now you’ve heard of the term “Instagrammable”? If you’re not sure what this means, Urban Dictionary describes it as ‘a photo or picture worth posting on Instagram’. Restaurants and businesses have taken advantage of this trend by focusing on the aesthetics of their business. And sometimes people don’t even care anymore how the food tastes, it’s now all about how the food looks. #Instagrammable
And since you’ll be selling on Instagram which is all about photos, it doesn’t mean you can just grab your phone, take a picture of your handmade soap and hit upload right away. Unless you have the natural skills of Annie Leibovitz or David LaChapelle, you might want to consider editing your picture first. Remember, Instagram is all about aesthetics.
Don’t worry, there are plenty of photo editors out there that you can make use of. Photoshop isn’t just exclusively for the professionals anymore, they’ve released user-friendly programs that even your 90-year-old grandma can use. Another software you can use is GIMP. It pretty much has most of the features that Photoshop has and the best thing is that it’s free.
But wait, there’s more! If you just can’t get the hang of those photo editor softwares, you can opt for a simpler solution. Every acne-ridden girl’s Holy Grail… FILTERS. Instagram has built-in filters you can use which are already good enough to use. But if you want more, there are a lot of apps you can use for your photo editing.
2. Spice Things Up
Salt is not the only seasoning out there! Variety is the spice of life so instead of constantly posting photos of your handmade soaps trying to convince people to buy them, why not post photos of your soap making supplies being used in different ways?
Like how your creations can be used to beautify a plain oak table in the living room. Or your handmade soap floating on a pool making someone’s wedding reception even more magical. Or even your Squidward Q. Tentacles macaroni art turning a blank boring wall into something interesting because yes that would definitely catch someone’s eye.
You could even post photos of the creating process. People would enjoy seeing how a simple square cloth turns into a pretty lil’ dress for a doll. There is just a feeling of magic to it and people love that. And they would even be more willing to buy your handmade soaps seeing how much time and effort was given to create your beautiful masterpieces.
@aromakyoor’s Instagram page is a perfect example of the variety. When you visit their profile, you can clearly see a theme going. They alternate their posts between images of their handmade soaps or their customers enjoying their soap making kits, pictures of homes and home spaces made beautiful by candles and motivational quotes. The result, an aesthetically pleasing profile!
You can alternate between fun posts and business posts. Put up some feel good quotes and even memes, just remember to keep it relevant to your handmade soaps and the business image you want to project. You can upload multiple photos at once, you can use that to share how to make bath bombs complete with illustrations.
Keep track of what kind of post gets more attention to better understand your target audience. That way, you can post contents that can cater to their interests.
3. Hashtag, hashtag, hashtag but don’t #overdoit
Imagine I wrote this whole article putting a # symbol before every word. That would be #insanity! I do know this one person who’d add so many hashtags to his captions but I must admit, I did get curious what hashtags he’d use on his next posts. But if you’re selling on Instagram, you might wanna tone it down a bit and use a few hashtags that are relevant to your business and handmade soaps.
Even though you can have up to 30 hashtags for each post, it doesn’t mean you have to use all 30. You can have 2-3 consistent hashtags, meaning you use them for every post. For example, #DIY or your business name or if you have a clever slogan for your business. And the rest can be hashtags for specific soap making kits you post or for contests you’re running.
Interestingly enough, there are actually people who do use the maximum of 30 hashtags. According to them, Instagram gave us 30 hashtags to use so why not utilize it all? But what works for one doesn’t always mean it works for all. Use whichever is more convenient for you or which one you think works best.
And you can either post them in your caption after a line break or if you prefer less clutter in your captions, you can post them in a separate comment. If the latter is your preferred method, keep in mind you have to do it fast because the Instagram algorithm works as soon as you post it.
There are also popular hashtags you can use and even one for each day of the week. Here are some examples of trending hashtags on Instagram:
- #MarketingMonday – Perfect time to give your followers the ol’ razzle dazzle of your handmade soap business
- #MondayMotivation – Post motivational quotes and photos for your followers, a little goes a long way for some
- #MindfulMonday – For businesses related to mental health or any advice you can give your followers for their wellbeing
- #TipTuesday – If you have any advice or tips for your followers (ie. How to make bath bombs and not bomb it or how to make candles without turning yourself into a wax statue)
- #TuesdayTrivia – You can quiz your followers about the craft business and could even use this opportunity to give away free stuff
- #TransformationTuesday – You can showcase how your handmade soaps can help and improve daily living
- #WisdomWednesday – A bit like #TipTuesday but more on sharing your business expertise. Some thoughts for them to chew on (Again don’t eat bath bombs kids)
- #WellnessWednesday – Use this when you want to give health and wellness advice to your followers and especially how your business can help them get that “glow up”
- #WoofWednesday – Everyone loves dogs. Who doesn’t? Well, those who don’t can stick to #Caturday (See Saturday hashtags list). Share a photo of your furry friend or any good boy/girl and this would be even fantastic if your handmade soaps can also be beneficial or aren’t harmful to our four-legged friends.
- #ThrowbackThursday or #tbt – One of the most popular hashtags out there. Post an old picture of your old soap recipes like when you were just starting out or a meaningful event your company had in the past
- #ThankfulThursday – The perfect opportunity to thank your loyal customers and followers for their support. Show gratitude to those who’ve helped you get to where you’re at.
- #ThursdayThoughts – You can ask your followers their thoughts and suggestions on how you can improve your soap making supplies or soap recipes.
- #FlashbackFriday – In case you missed #tbt, you can still do #FlashbackFriday.
- #FollowFriday – Shine the spotlight on a particular user you admire or a business you follow and tell your followers why. And hopefully, you too will get featured in return.
- #FeatureFriday – Feature a specific handmade soap or even a loyal customer. Post that bath bomb recipe you created that everyone was talking about at yesterday’s PTA meeting
- #SaturdaySale – Pretty much what the hashtag says, for promotional sales and the likes
- #SaturdaySwag – Another hashtag you can use when you’re giving away free stuff or for reposting photos of your handmade soaps that your customers have uploaded
- #Caturday – Cats rule the internet. How can this help your business? People love cats – they’ll share your post – their friends who love cats will share your post – and so on = free advertising
- #SmallBusinessSaturday – Who’s gonna stop you from promoting your small soap making business every Saturday? No one!
- #SelfieSunday – Post a picture of yourself or your employees. Show your followers that you’re all humans who like to do human stuff too
- #SundayFunday – Highlight some fun ways that people can use your soap making supplies
These are just a few examples you can use. Most of them have been used in millions of posts but don’t limit yourself to these. You can come up with your own and maybe even start a new trending hashtag!
Got an awesome hashtag we should hear about? Tell us in the comments below!
What if I told you could bathe in avocado? Try this DIY avocado soap made with two other special ingredients!
4. Create an Effective Business Bio
So you’ve posted you’re tips on how to make bath bombs for #TipTuesday. People love it and they are curious. They want to know more!
The next thing they’ll do is visit your profile. You only have 150 characters to impress or depress your potential customer. Make the most of it! You should be able to clearly define what your business is about, the type of business you are and encourage people to engage with your business.
You can also add a link to your website on your bio. If you add a link in your captions, people won’t be able to click on it. So having your link in your bio is the only other way your Instagram followers can read more about your business and find more of your handmade soaps and soap making supplies they can buy.
With an Instagram business account, you have additional Call-To-Action options so utilize it and pick the right one for your business.
5. Having a Posting Plan
Picture this: you wake up, make breakfast and send the kids off to school. Now you have time to check social media, you wanna show off that mimosa you had after the kids left for school so you open Instagram and you see a post on how to make bath bombs. You think oh that looks fantastic, I should definitely try that. Few minutes later, you see another similar post by the same company. Another five minutes and you see another and another and … well you get my point.
It would definitely be annoying to your customers and you might even end up losing followers. And most importantly, there are certain times in a day when Instagram traffic is high. According to this metro.co.uk article, these are the best times to post on Instagram.
- Monday: 7pm and 10pm
- Tuesday: 3 am and 10 pm
- Wednesday: 5 pm
- Thursday: 7 am and 11 pm
- Friday: 1 am and 8 pm
- Saturday: 12 am and 2 am
- Sunday: 5pm
6. Upload Videos
Don’t limit yourself to pictures only! Upload a video and let people watch that bath bomb and soap recipes come to life. There are two ways you can utilize Instagram’s video option.
One is taking and streaming a live video – you can use this to show some interesting behind the scenes footage of your business. Your audience can leave comments and if they have questions, you can answer these live. Once the stream is done, it goes to your Instagram Stories and stays there for 24 hours after which it will self-destruct. Ok, it disappears but self-destruct sounds cooler!
If you’d rather have a video that doesn’t feel like a one night stand, you can simply upload a video straight from your camera roll. Or you could also shoot a video through Instagram. Post some how-to tutorials (how to make bath bombs or how to lose a guy in 10 days, whichever you feel like doing) and behind the scenes clips.
Artist @annietarasova utilizes Instagram’s video feature by uploading a clip of her making one of her prints that she sells in her Etsy shop.
Words of encouragement…
Although success won’t be guaranteed, it wouldn’t hurt to try. Unless it’s trying to eat lava a second time, don’t do that. That hurts. Don’t even do that the first time. Did you know you can only eat lava once?
Anyway, you could even experiment and see which times would work for you. It would vary depending on your target audience, either those who want to make DIY bath bomb or those who eat bath bombs (Just kidding, don’t do that kids). So schedule your posts accordingly to get the best results.
One of my personal favorites is using the boomerang effect. It is a mini video that loops back and forth, pretty much like a GIF. Click these links to get boomerang for Apple or Android. They are quite fun to watch and can be hypnotic.
Imagine that mesmerizing moment your DIY bath bomb dissolves in the water, that graceful dance the medley of colors make… and your potential customers get to watch that over and over and they will want to personally experience that magical moment themselves. #Ka-ching!
Want to try an absolutely Instagram-worthy soap recipe? Click here!
7. Behind the Scenes
You must be wondering why I keep mentioning “behind the scenes”. Well when you post behind the scenes images or clips of your soap making kit business, it adds a personal touch to it. When you’re selling on Instagram, people see you as merely a handmade soap business but you would want a deeper connection than that.
It doesn’t mean you have to go to their kids’ piano recitals but humanizing yourself creates emotional attachments easily and makes you relatable to your audience.
This encourages your followers to interact with you more, like and leave comments frequently on your photos. Your audience would surely love to see the genius behind that bath bomb recipe. Be sure to reply to their comments too to show that they’re being heard and that you care about what they have to say. Ask them questions.
8. Run Contests and Giveaways
What better way to keep people interested than to give them free stuff? Contests are a great way to engage with your followers and an even greater way to promote your business. One clear advantage is that this can ultimately earn you more followers.
One of the most popular contest forms is the Photo Contest. You ask your followers to post certain photos with a specific contest hashtag. You get a lot of exposure through your hashtag.
Another contest you can do is the Likes Contest or Like to Win Contest. This one is fast, easy and simple.
And you can never go wrong with the Tag-A-Friend Contest. Your followers will tag their friends and their friends will tag their friends and so on and so forth.
You could even have a weekly giveaway. This guarantees that your page gets activity weekly. It doesn’t have to be huge all the time, you wouldn’t want your soap making business to disappear into suds. And don’t forget to regram or repost those posts your followers have posted that feature your handmade soaps. People absolutely love it when they’re featured in anything!
Speaking of giveaways, want one? Click here!
Not sure how much to sell your homemade soap? Here are 4 things to Remember on Pricing Your Homemade Soap!
9. Followback Girl
You ain’t no hollaback girl but you can be a followback girl (or guy if you prefer). It’s pretty much like networking. The more you branch out, the more you benefit. Send shout outs to your followers and maybe they’ll even do the same for you. That’s free advertising! And it doesn’t have to be every Friday (#FollowFriday), you can do it any time of the week.
You could also send shout-outs to other businesses who are in the same field as yours. Use that opportunity to create partnerships where you can both benefit from each other.
Your soap making business could partner up with someone who sells embroidered towels! It may not be the most ambitious crossover in history but it will definitely give you more exposure and widen your audience.
10. Connect to Facebook
Why? Not everyone who has Facebook has Instagram. And not everyone who has Instagram, has Facebook.
Your Facebook followers would see that you also have an Instagram account and start following you there too. You can have contests and deals exclusively for your Instagram followers and then share the news on Facebook earning you some new followers in return.
Whenever you post content on Instagram, you have an option to also share it on Facebook and other social media platforms so go ahead. Hit that share button and make some noise! Believe me, Facebook moms would not think twice to forward and share your bath bomb recipe with their Facebook friends.
…To Instagram we go!
And there you have it, 10 marketing strategies to get your craft business up and running on Instagram. Before you know it, Jessica will be raving about your bath bomb recipe at next week’s soccer practice.
If these tips didn’t work for you, I don’t know what else will help! (Again, it’s just a joke..) But seriously, don’t miss these freebies when you buy our soap making supplies! And, if you’d like to learn more soap making 101, head here.
Tried out these Instagram marketing strategies for yourself? Or if you have your own tips to share, be sure to let us know. We would definitely love to hear from you! Let’s connect! via Facebook or Pinterest and check our homepage regularly for more posts like this!