At Milkcart, Marnie and Ryan have built a strong business on limited resources with smart marketing and a great product.
In this interview, we take a look at how much their social media presence has influenced their sales.
- Number of Employees: 2
- Instagram: 5588 followers [as of Nov 1, 2014]
- Instagram account started in early 2013
What does your business do?
We design and create handcrafted furniture in Australia, filling a niche market of affordable, stylish handmade items.
How important is online marketing to your business?
It has helped to build brand awareness especially in recent months.
People are telling us that we are ‘popping up everywhere’ which is great as it is making
people feel confident about our products and brand, and we are increasingly gaining sales
via social media.
What has been your most successful online channel in terms of sales?
Instagram has been our best online channel as our followers are loyal and complimentary,
and with daily reminders of our items, we are seeing more and more people being
channelled towards our website, and sales.
I don’t engage with the followers like I do on IG. The FB
followers chat as if they know us, but almost feel too chummy – they often try to get ‘mates
rates’ and then the sales fall through, as they never follow up, and are too casual about the
The Instagram community is more respectful, and they are happy to be directed to the website to more formally order an item.
What channels haven’t you tried but would like to try in the future?
I don’t want to add any more social media at this stage. I decided to focus on the main
channel that I enjoyed (IG) so I wouldn’t spread myself too thin.
If a friend of yours was starting a business in a similar line of work tomorrow, what is the 1 thing you recommend they do to get the word out and get sales in the door?
Be consistent. In everything.
Use the same font, same lighting, same feel in your social media as in your website. We found that once we locked in a consistent style of photography, we were more easily identified when people scrolled through IG, so we try to use the same filters etc to keep it consistent.
Also, be consistent in timing your posts. Constantly remind them of the human face behind the brand, by spacing a few ‘behind the scenes’ pics every now and then (Click to Tweet this quote).
Focus: You Don’t Have to be on Every Social Network
There are so many free channels where you can promote your business, but therein lies the trap. If you spread yourself too thin, you won’t be able to cater well to any of the communities on these platforms.
As Milkcart has just 2 people working full-time, it made a lot more sense to double-down on the one channel that was working well.
Marnie tried a selection of platforms, but quickly found that Instagram was the best platform for her business to grow. Others may say “You have to be on Facebook” – but if it doesn’t help your business, then it is not for you.
Whether you have limited resources or not, it is key to find the channels that work and then concentrate your efforts where it will actually make a difference. Find the channels that work for you, and do them really well!