Jeff Bezos starting Amazon from a garage may seem like the height of entrepreneurship, but Instagram could soon be the future of startup businesses and vital recruiting ground for customers. According to Our Social Times, 86% of top brands use Instagram accounts (Our Social Times 2014).
For Georgia Kay, a senior at Tufts University, Instagram provides the sole customer base for their jewelry business, Earrings by Georgia. “It kind of just started to grow in popularity; I made an Instagram, then took orders through my direct messages (DMs) before eventually getting overwhelmed because of the volume of requests,'' said Georgia. “From there it just kept growing.” Though Earrings by Georgia became successful on Instagram in a matter of months, Georgia said they hope to expand beyond the platform soon.
While Earrings by Georgia is a one-person company, Instagram is also home to much larger businesses.
Made by Mary is a successful stamped jewelry company that also originated on Instagram. Janie George, senior graphic designer for Made by Mary, said Instagram gave the company its loyal customer base and is home to much of its advertising.
Janie said Instagram is still an instrumental means of advertising despite its algorithm. According to the-International Journal of Management, Accounting and Economics, 82.7% of respondents said their preferred form of communication from brands they follow is pictures (2017). Instagram is an optimal platform for image-based advertising. “In pre-algorithm days, Instagram was a humungous sales driver,” said Janie. “Even [in] 2018, 2019, Instagram was one of our number one sales channels.”
Janie said Made by Mary’s big break came when a popular Influencer posted about one of their products. “Haley Divine, the bigger influencer here, did a giveaway and I think that kind of blew [Made by Mary] up,” said Janie. “Made by Mary is definitely what it is today because of Instagram.”