There's never been a better time to be a working mom. Thanks to the dawn of the good 'ol internet, opportunities now abound for women who seek to work from home while also actively raising their little ones. In the past few years social media has been a booming asset to small businesses, and mom bosses are taking notice. Instagram in particular has been wildly successful for entrepreneurial moms, but there are a lot of secrets you need to know when figuring out how to network with other moms on Instagram — it's bound to make the app work even harder for you.
If your target clientele is other moms, you're in luck: According to Forbes magazine, U.S. mothers control 85 percent of household purchases and have an estimated $2.4 trillion spending power. Couple that information with the results of a study performed by the Working Mother Research Institute, which indicated that 92 percent of working moms with kids under 18 are on social media, and you see that your market is ripe for the picking. But how do you find them, and once you do, how do you draw them in and make them faithful followers?
One mommy blogger and Etsy shop owner, Nell O'Leary of Whole Parenting Family, tells Romper that Instagram has been a great catalyst for her personal business by reaching moms of young children. O'Leary says visualizing her buyer is an important part of her process. Who is she? What does she spend her spare change on? How is she moved and inspired? "Then," O'Leary says, "I honestly examine my offerings. Are they cohesive? Is there a look and feel to my products that is easily identifiable as a 'Nell' thing? Do I find joy in making them?"
But on Instagram, the visual of those tiny squares matters, even if you're not a professional photographer. O'Leary says she keeps her personal brand in mind when considering which pictures and captions to post — keeping a consistency to her own look and feel, even without a fancy camera or advanced photo skills.
There are plenty of tricks for growing your Instagram following — researching and using popular hashtags in your niche being a big one — but when you're specifically trying to reach other moms, vulnerability and warmth go just as far. O'Leary says, "If it’s on my handmade account or my personal account, if I’m directing people to my Etsy shop or my blog, I've found being genuine is the number one way to grow my business."
That's not to say the traditional advice is worthless. On the contrary, there are some social media basics that are just good manners and smart networking. O'Leary follows similar accounts and leave genuine comments, and she takes the time to respond to every single comment on her own account. "Hashtags," she says wisely, "are great for people finding you, but if they do find you, hopefully they find an intentionally curated, genuinely shared, heart of a woman looking to help others." Now that, your followers will stick around for.