When we took over organic social media marketing for the Berkeley Herbal Center in October of 2019, we decided to optimize most of our posts for Instagram growth. In this social media case study, you will see how we made the choice to optimize for Instagram. Plus learn a little bit about our social media growth method.
Why We Chose Instagram for Berkeley Herbal Center’s Social Media Growth
It takes knowing a nonprofit’s brand, their audience, and the various platforms to choose the right one.
1 – The platform lends itself to beauty.
The herbs, medicine making process, and care that BHC takes to bring elegance to the school is stunning. We knew that if we could get photos and videos of the day to day herbal preparations and herbalists, we could share the wholesome nature of the herbal center and garner interest for the classes and events at the center.
2 – It was a blank(ish) slate.
The BHC team was already heavily focused on Facebook posting and ads traffic, and they had hardly been posting on Instagram. There were posting few and far between and hadn’t infused their voice into the platform yet. They weren’t communicating or engaging with the audience they did have. That gave us the chance to have clean data where we could test out our audience profiles on a group that was ready to engage.
3 – It was in already healthy standing – and could be stronger.
BHC did have an Instagram channel already, and the students had been tagging them and posting for events like their medicine faires so it was in good standing with Instagram. We noticed that people would ask great questions on posts here, and that they were willing to engage – but weren’t getting any response from BHC. With consistent responses from BHC and regular posting, this channel could have very strong engagement stats.
Just posting the occasional beautiful photo on Instagram isn’t the way to grow a nonprofit on Instagram. When we work with a brand’s social media, we create audience profiles, guidelines for the brand’s voice, and post types structured around the audiences. This allows us to work both creatively within guidelines and gather data on the audiences to learn what they like and don’t like.
We create posts that are necessary to drive traffic – like blog content, classes and events – along with content that allows folks to engage while staying on the platform – like poetry, recipes, and spotlights. We watch engagement and traffic drivers for the brand, along with keeping up with the algorithm changes within the platforms and we optimize wherever we can to ensure that we meet the long term KPIs of the companies we work with.
Social Media Case Study: The Results
Not only has BHC almost tripled their following organically on Instagram, they have seen growth in class sales and website traffic from social media! BHC grew throughout 2020 and 2021 (during the pandemic) partly because of new customers through Instagram.
You can see The Berkeley Herbal Center Instagram Here: https://www.instagram.com/berkeleyherbalcenter/