The Skinny Me Tea - Instagram Case Study

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Skinny Me Tea was able to use strategies that drove their online sales to millions within months and all from using Instagram. Read exactly what strategies they used and how she continues to grow new business.

Company Info

Name:             Skinny Me Tea

Product/Services:     Detox Tea

Industry:         Ecommerce

Years in Business:     4 Years

Their Story
  • Founded by Gretta Rose Van Riel in 2012 from her home, using Instagram managed to achieve over 3 million in sales the first year.
  • They have over 15 Million followers on Instagram and a number of accounts.
  • They continue to use Instagram to drive sales to their ecommerce site.
 The Beginning
  • In her spare time at work and after work she started a detox tea business
  • She shared her tea with friends and saw an opportunity to supplement her income
  • She had grown her own personal Instagram quite quickly so thought it might work for her new tea business
  • With $24 in her bank account she started a Shopify website and an Instagram account for Skinny Me Tea and sold 4 packs of tea the first day
 Instagram Strategies Used
  • There were no rate limits in 2012 on how many people you could follow per hour so she followed all her friends, then their friends and then all the women in her age group in her area, then surrounding areas, then started going worldwide
  • Looks for products that have some popularity on social media and then tweaks it and the sales model
  • Use growth funnels that identify different verticals
  • Has numerous accounts across niches in the food/health/fitness niches
  • Drives followers from her different accounts to her main brand accounts
  • Does not use her niche audience building accounts to push her brand, rather only posts a once in awhile post as a Shoutout to her main brand page
  • Her suggestion for starting with 0 followers is to identify the content that is trending around your niche or vertical
  • Content, engagement, growth and then conversions is her suggestion in that order for successfully building a converting Instagram account
  • Suggests doing Shoutout for Shoutouts with other accounts that are of similar size
  • To make it as a Top Post in order to gain more followers post 3 photos at once and then like them from as many of your sub niche accounts as possible (she has many)
  • On the main 3 photos make the Call To Action to follow the account you are posting the photos from (this is because gaining tons of like within 15 minutes of posting will shoot your posts to the Top Post sections from which they gain new follower (this method is called “Like Bombs”)
  • Be consistent on posting because you Instagram will penalize you from not keeping engagement up
  • Instagram rewards you for the more consistent you are in posting and for having consistent engagement
Growing the Business
  • The business grew quickly and she started out as a Sole Trader for the first year
  • Reached over 600k US a month in her first year (yes per month)
  • Learned quickly that she needed staff and systems for things like Customer Service, Manufacturing and Distributions
  • Went on to moving distribution and manufacturing to third party logistic systems
  • Learned that systems and models she created for Skinny Me were transferable for her other new businesses The Fifth and Drop Bottle
  • Won the 2013 Shopify Build a Business contest, feels that her success came from audience building
Main Takeaways
  • Create systems
  • Multiply them (and your accounts)
  • Keep momentum up (consistency and momentum are key drivers for Instagram growth)
  • User analytics to know the most popular times to post