Social media is a mine field, with some platforms saturated, full of white noise and impenetrable… Instagram is one of those platforms that has changed a lot.

Here, someone who has had a lot of success in creating a community, strong storytelling that is authentic and true to herself is Hollie Evans – founder of Florafairweather: an online store that is full of rainbows, country life and all things craft. It offers a little slice of the Hollie brand through open and honest storytelling, engaging products and snippets of her idyllic life at Rose Cottage, Norfolk.

Here’s what she had to say about how she’s used Instagram to bring her brand to the masses:

Honestly, if I was starting an Instagram page right now, I’d be petrified, it’s SO difficult these days to be seen, let alone be wanted or heaven knows how you’re ‘searched’ for in this climate of algorithms and ads BUT it’s deffo possible to still be successful despite the nasty words we’d all like to shout at Mr Insta himself!!!

ANYWAY- a powerful grid for me ALWAYS starts as a set of at least 9 pics, this means being super organised by always having some beautiful pics ready to go.


Tools to help

I use Plann app to set my photos in the right order and it makes such a difference seeing them in the order they’ll be posted before they’re actually posted. I often post a killer pic between two fillers to really show it off and always post boring stuff that’s not too important in the morning or on boring days of the week!


When to post

Depending on your audience, take things into account like what time they go to bed or get up, for example, most of my followers are Mamas so I get good engagement really early when they’re awoken by little legs or anytime after 7pm bedtime because I know they’re housebound and sat on the sofa with their phone! My busiest night for shoppers is Sunday or Monday because KNOW-ONE goes out then and buying something cheers up the start of their week so I deffo make sure I’ve got something for sale then! 


Until the algorithm changes I used to be very reliable at posting at certain times every single day, I think Mamas liked the companionship of me being around when they were and felt less alone in a house full of kids knowing I was doing the same as them but these days not many photos are seen on your feed in ‘real time’ so you don’t have to be so strict with yourself posting and if it’s beautiful, people will ‘call by’ for page rather than relying on scrolling past you which I actually prefer to be honest!


Build your stories

Also these days Stories are SUPER important. I get a lot more sales if I show what I’m working on or talk a lot on my Stories, I guess it proves you’re real and not just a huge brand with an enormous identity. 


Stay connected

Engagement wise, you really need to answer as many comments etc as you can. There’s a feature in app which gives you an average engagement percentage and just by replying you can pump yourself up thus being featured higher up in people’s priority feeds (again, thanks a bunch for that Instagram. What a pain!!!) 


Stay consistent

What else?? Consistency not just in posting but in colours, quality, content, NEVER post an ugly pic, just never do even if you have nothing to post, don’t do it!!! You can post useless ones or hollow ones but never ugly PLEASE! 


I’ll recap with my most important top tips:


  1. Figure out what times your audience want you to post.

  2. Plan your grid a good few days in advance so your content is all in the right order visually & substantially! e.g useless but pretty pics first thing, important things to buy etc in the eve

  3. Reply to EVERYTHING.

  4. Show as much as you can on Stories & make it parallel to your page.

  5. Be kind & Instagram will be kind back!


Check out Hollie’s feed Florafairweather

????A splendid Summer at Rose Cottage, we have a rescue pig, a toddler, a lavender farm & some blankets for sale! ???????????? ????

Norfolk, UK