Making

Fresh out of our (Maddie Johnston and I’s) prototyping phase we had one goal for Finders Keepers: find our audience and get them engaged.

The question was… how?

We knew we needed to reach more people who fit within our starter pack, and somehow stimulate them to like and importantly, comment, on our content. And we knew that if our audience was engaged with us in this way, then we were fulfilling both our primary utility of providing information to make the market experience less overwhelming, and our secondary utility of providing aesthetic ‘entertainment’.

DA Audience Starter Pack

Closing the feedback loops

Increasing hashtag use

Source of feedback: lack of new followers, a plateau in likes.

Response: we increased the number of hashtags used in the captions on each post. We kept half of them consistent per photo, using location words like #Wollongong and #Illawarra as well as interest words like #boho and #handmade to draw out the starter packed audience from the appropriate location. Then we added photo specific hashtags such as #ceramics on pictures of pottery and #chai on pictures with artisanal tea.

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Results: new followers and likers found us almost instantly, increasing interactions with our content exponentially. A considerable amount of these people are also local, proving the success of tagging the location in drawing the right audience.

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Changing the aesthetic

Source of feedback: plateau in likes, comment on ‘Prototyping’ blog post.

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Response: we modified the aesthetic from muted pastel tones to vibrant rainbow colours. This was achieved strictly through editing using a different process on the VSCO Cam app. We felt that this was more eye-catching, which is a must-have in the digital attention economy, helping us to stand out rather than blend in like we were doing before. There’s no denying that our previous aesthetic was appealing, it just didn’t suit the platform.

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Results: we received more engagement with the aesthetic component of our blog, thus generating more interest in our page.

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Engaging with stall owners

Source of feedback: a disconnect between our photos and reality evidenced intuitively by a lack of engagement

Response: we featured and tagged stall owners, giving followers a review of the products. We made sure to frame each post positively, in a way that was enticing both at an aesthetic and an informational level. This would allow stall owners to engage with us in our own feed, and it also silently gave them the option to give us a shout out to their own established audience. A chunk of this audience would fit into our starter pack as their engagement with the stall owners evidences their interest in all things markets and market-related. This helped us fulfil our utility as users are able to know about these brands and where they can find them before they even attend the markets, thus reducing on-the-day stress and making the decision process easier.

Results: some of the brands responded to us thus contributing to building our community and discussion.

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Scrapping the blog

Source of feedback: a noticeable lack of useful information on our Instagram, no click-throughs to the detailed blog posts raising concerns that we weren’t fulfilling our utility of providing information to make the market experience less overwhelming

Response: we decided to remove the blog from the FindersKeepers repertoire and use Instagram as our primary channel of communing with our audience. This lessened the effort required by users to find useful information as both the aesthetic and informational elements can now be found together in a single location where the majority of our audience already exists. Such a change provides us with the guarantee that our utility of making the market experience less overwhelming is being fulfilled. This also made user engagement easier as Instagram comments and comment threads are much shorter and easier to make than blog comments. It must be noted that not all of our captions are informational, some are aspirational as this is also a key component of the ‘entertainment factor’ of our page.

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Results: more people have engaged with the written aspect of each Instagram post, demonstrating that the information is reaching our audience. It is difficult to determine what actions our audience takes with the information we provide unless they tell us explicitly, but this has not yet occurred.

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Recreating previous posts which have been successful

Source of feedback: our most popular post from the prototyping phase was this one:

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Response: we actively sought to replicate this content and style at each market we attended thereafter. This was challenging as not all markets featured live musicians.

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Results: our recreation was even more popular than the first, though not the most successful from the making phase. It also gives our page some consistency with regard to content and adds an authentic humanising element which prevents too the growth of disconnection between our audience and our content.

That goddamn Pinterest

Source of feedback: lack of new followers, a plateau in likes, no engagement.

Response: we sought to generate traffic from Pinterest to our Instagram. We knew that part of our starter pack existed on Pinterest and we wanted to tap into this. There were two components to our plan. The first was to repost our photos onto our Pinterest board with links to our Instagram so that anyone who viewed our content could be easily funnelled to the main part of our DA. The second was to draw people in by creating other boards and reposting other people’s content which fit within our starter pack through the meme objects it contained. The intention was for this to lessen he cognitive dissonance between existing content our audience was already familiar with and our content which was new to our audience.

Results: our Pinterest gained no traction as our plan did not fit within the scope of the algorithm and thus failed to fulfil our aim of generating traffic to our Instagram.

So what is our DA right now?

We’re just an Instagram page with a killer, vivid aesthetic. We feature meme objects from the markets to appeal to our audience, and provide them with useful information to make the market experience less overwhelming and more enjoyable. We’re slowly building a community of local market-lovers who we hope will continue to discuss and learn with us long into the future.

Find us at https://www.instagram.com/finderskeepers_mc/ or just search @finderskeepers_mc

2 thoughts on “Making

  1. Hi Christina,
    I love your DA and the new aesthetic of your account. It definitely brings your page to life and will attract an audience with its eye-catching colours.
    Your idea of engaging with stall owners is such a great idea to create engagement with the market community and like you said is great as it has fulfilled your proposed utility.
    Like yourself, I also keep hash-tagging consistent throughout my posts whilst adding a few extras when necessary and I’ve always found it does generate great traffic to the page. I’m not sure If you have previously thought about this but deleting and refreshing the hashtags every once in a while, puts them back up the top of Instagram’s ‘algorithm’ and always tends to generate even more views which I find very useful. Not only can you do this with your latest posts but also with any older posts which is great to bring attention back to some of your favourite images.
    It seems like you are keen to continue with your page in the future and I think something great you could add to the account is short edited clips from your market trips if either of you girls are into film or editing. I think fun edits showing some of your personality and showcasing local markets could add another personal layer to your account and I think would definitely suit the aesthetic with the right music and filter!
    Overall I love your DA idea and think your account is definitely going to take off in the market community! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I’ve never thought about that hashtag trick you suggested, I’ll definitely look into that, same with the short video ideas–personality can be tough to translate into something like this sometimes and I think that would really help.

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