Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses

Collaborate your way to Instagram success

Social media can be surprisingly lonely. It’s designed as a space to have conversations with like-minded people, but let’s be honest; there’s also a lot of shouting into the void going on! To be able to have those conversations, you need to find those like-minded people – and collaborations can be a great way to get your posts in front of more of those people.

What a collaborative post is

A collaborative post is essentially a post that comes from you and someone else at the same time.

Instagram has an amazing “collaborate” feature allowing your post to literally be posted by both accounts. There are a few important things to note though:

  • The caption will appear as written by the account that actually created the post.
  • The other account will have to accept the collaboration request before it shows up on their grid.
  • You can’t ask someone to collaborate on a post after you’ve posted it.
  • You can’t schedule collaborative posts.

Facebook has the same feature but it only works for Reels and a Page can’t collaborate with a Profile.

Why collaborations work

Collaborative posts get great reach because they get shown to all the people they would have reached from your account and from the other account at the same time! And if you’ve chosen your collaboration wisely, you’re now tapping into a whole new audience who could benefit from your business.

They also give your audience a slightly different kind of post to your usual – and changing things up is always exciting!

Different ways to collaborate

  • Collaborate with someone you’re working with. This is probably the most obvious use of the “Collaboration” feature, but if you’re planning an event with another business or if you’ve had someone guest on your podcast, promoting it as a collaborative post is much more powerful than simply tagging them.
  • Run a collaborative giveaway. Honestly, this is the use I see most – and for good reason! If you’re running a giveaway and the winner will get something from you and something from another business, collaborative posts are definitely the way to go.
  • Work with a creator. Influencers and other creators might create a collaborative post for you showcasing what they love about your business. This will usually be in exchange for a freebie or cost a fee – but reach and to them and find out how they work!
  • Support other small businesses. If there’s a business with a similar target audience that you love, offer to show their products/services on your account in a collaborative post where the caption talks about both businesses. This gives them a “made for them” post that’s totally different to their usual and it allows you to tap into that audience.
  • Share reviews. For example, if you’ve been to an event and want to thank the host and share some photos/videos you took, it’s always worth posting as a collaborative post. The worst that can happen is that the host doesn’t accept the collaboration request.

Before you start collaborating

Collaborative posts need to be a win-win. While you’re tapping into someone else’s audience, they need to benefit from tapping into yours – and how many followers you have doesn’t matter. It’s going to be more beneficial to collaborate with an account that has 500 super-fan followers than an account with 10K uninterested followers. Your reach and engagement rate are what really matter.

  • Before collaborating with someone you’re working with, make sure your account is talking to your target audience.
  • Before running a collaborative giveaway, make sure your posts are getting some engagement.
  • Before working with a creator, make sure you’ve got a consistent social media presence.
  • Before supporting other small businesses, make sure you’re sharing valuable content.
  • Before sharing a review… actually no, just share that review!

Does it really work?

Yes! Last year, I started working with a business who was struggling to maintain a consistent social media presence and was stuck at the 1K follower mark. After about a month of working with me, they started organising collaborations. Over the next few months, we ran a collaborative giveaway more months with increasingly more popular businesses. Within six months, they’d got an extra 4K followers (all of which were their target audience!). Then they started reaching out to well-known names and organising even bigger collaborations.

All of that led them to get noticed by a TV Presenter who bought from them, shared a post about it and unfortunately got a lot of hate. But her response was spectacular and we ended up running a giveaway as a collaborative post. That collaborative post gave us 13K extra followers!

If you’re feeling like you need that same support to keep your account consistent and powerful, why not book a free enquiry call with me?

Thanks for reading! I share a blog like this one every other Tuesday, and if you feel like they help your social media presence, and more importantly, your business – then please consider leaving a tip.

Every time this tip jar reaches £15, I’ll run a giveaway on social media so a small business can access my membership group for two months.

Tesni xx