Life in those little squares has never been better. Don't take our word for it. Let these women and Instagram's brand development expert share their secrets.
Do you know it’s ten years since Instagram launched on October 6, 2010. I remember it clearly. Albeit Instagram business advice was not on my radar. I was on maternity leave rolling my eyes that any new platform could usurp my beloved Facebook.
Still I joined up. Posted a pic of my baby. The benchmark of cuteness IMHO. I think my best mate liked it. She was my only follower. Likewise I was hers. I’d have scoffed for days in the face of any a time traveller from the future telling me that pretty soon, women just like me, would be make a living from these squares. You’ll not be shocked to hear maternity mumpreneur is not on my CV.
After its launch in 2010, Instagram rapidly gained popularity, with one million registered users in two months, 10 million in a year, and one billion as of May 2019. Only 790 are following me for my pet cats pics. Trying not to take it personally.
Business life on the squares
OK back to the Instagram business advice. As we’ve all come to know, small businesses have always been an important part of Instagram’s community – an amazing 90% of the billion people on Instagram follow businesses. However, for millions of entrepreneurial female businesses owners, lockdown meant becoming digital-first, for the first time. And even now with life getting back to normal, well the new normal, Instagram has a pivotal role to play for anyone with a solid business idea.
And it seems us women are pretty blimming good at this at taking Instagram business advice. Female founded businesses really stepped up to the (digital) platform in response to the pandemic: by May 2020, 63% of female-led small businesses said they were making a quarter of their sales online, compared to less than half (48%) of male-owned businesses.
This may be why in the UK, female-led businesses have fared better during this time: 64% of male-led businesses reported falling sales during the crisis versus just 52% of those led by women. From independent homeware brands, to local restaurants and interior designers – there are so many examples of businesses using Instagram during the pandemic to keep their businesses running. Their spirit and adaptation in using digital tools is a glimmer of hope on our path to recovery.
Meet the pandemic entrepreneurs
Liha Okunniwa & Abi Oyepitan, the pioneering women behind @lihabeauty, took to Instagram at the beginning of lockdown to empower their customers to try raw skincare ingredients. They launched an IGTV series called ‘Quarantine DIY’ sharing their knowledge behind their beauty range, which fuses natural ingredients with Yoruba tradition.
Read the whole list at Marieclaire.com