Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Socially Speaking: Bellocq's Instagram

It's time for the second installment of my Socially Speaking series. Instagram is a platform that many retailers struggle with so I wanted to focus on one who I think does a really fantastic job. I've heard so many tea company owners say that they are too old for Instagram or that they had tried briefly but couldn't get the hang of things. I hope that this example shows that its not that hard!

Brooklyn based +Bellocq Tea Atelier is one of my favorite tea shops, mostly because their interior design is breathtakingly beautiful. Their very popular Instagram account is just as gorgeous. Here are some of the reasons why:
  • Thoughtful use of lighting and color
You don't have to be a professional photographer to know when something looks pretty. That is basically the entire point of Instagram, to empower the average smart phone user to take beautiful pictures. What looks kind of pretty to the naked eye can often look quite amazing when one of the app's filters is applied. A quick scan through Bellocq's stream shows that each photo is very thoughtfully yet organically composed. It helps if you start thinking in Instagram filters.
  • Infuse personality without making it too personal
Your Instagram account should reflect your personality and that of your business. That being said, it's easy to cross the line into TMI (Too Much Information) territory. A few scattered personal pics can help your followers feel more connected to you. No one wants to see what you have for dinner every night.
  • Share things other than your products
In additional to photographs of their own teas, Bellocq frequently shares sunsets and countryside views. While not directly related to their products, the pictures still fit in with the general aesthetics of their account. Sourcing trips are a great opportunity to show what your company is all about. Don't limit yourself to just sharing tea. People, animals and architecture all help you to tell your story.
  • Use hashtags appropriately
Hashtags are a great way to find new followers. Bellocq frequently uses #nyctea, #bellocqtea and other tea related hashtags. Do not use unrelated hashtags as a thinly veiled attempt to gain more followers. #Paleo, I'm looking at you!
  • Be responsive
Respond to every comment that your pictures received. If someone took the time to comment you should at the very least take the time to thank them. If you have a brick and mortar, it's even more important to stay on your game. Anytime that I have mentioned Bellocq in a photo, they've always been very quick to respond. Even if it's just with a quick "enjoy! xoxo", their responsiveness makes me like their brand that much more.