Community//

How to Use Instagram To Dramatically Improve Your Business: “Target psychographics as well as demographics”, With Candice Georgiadis & Michelle Chuang

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social platforms in the world right now with advertising revenues just right below Facebook and Twitter. The advertising platform enables a brand to target its customer not only by demographics but also psychographics, making it one of the most efficient way to finding the right customer. But it’s […]


Instagram is one of the fastest growing social platforms in the world right now with advertising revenues just right below Facebook and Twitter. The advertising platform enables a brand to target its customer not only by demographics but also psychographics, making it one of the most efficient way to finding the right customer. But it’s essential for brands to post regularly and consistently. The most effective frequency is once per day. This volume may be daunting for companies that are struggling to produce content, but to establish a strong relationship with your customers, consistency in the frequency of communication is vital.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Michelle Chuang, Principal of MMS Brand Consulting, LLC and the founder of lifestyle blog www.MimiStrawberry.com. With more than 15 years of experience in senior leadership roles at marketing-driven organizations such as Starbucks and Chevron, Michelle has developed effective marketing strategies to increase brand awareness, drive customers loyalty and deliver revenue growth across online and offline channels for multiple businesses.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I was an aspiring journalist back in college and had a fantastic opportunity to work abroad in Beijing as an on-air talent for CCTV in China. Due to unexpected life events, my relocation plan fell through. Instead, I ended up joining Starbucks and began this incredible journey developing an exciting career in marketing for the last 15 years. When I look back, marketing and journalism are similar in many ways. Both are about telling a meaningful story and engaging your audience. The only exception is that journalism is based on an unbiased viewpoint, whereas marketing is about taking a strong position on what the brand represents.

Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?

The beauty of marketing is that it is ever-changing. Marketing is about connecting products and brands with people and through technological innovations like social media, people now have unprecedented access to connecting with products, businesses and each other. The emerging growth of social media marketing in the last decade has really presented social platforms as an effective and engaging channel for marketers to connect with their target audiences. Instagram alone grew five times from 100M users to more than 500M users in just the short span of 3 years. That is why I invested my energy early on in learning social media, to thoroughly understand the capabilities of multiple social platforms and the best way to utilize each of them to more impactfully engage with consumers to generate the result that we aim to achieve. Then in the summer of this year, I started www.MimiStrawberry.com, a lifestyle blog site with the purpose to inspire readers to live a more well-rounded life. MimiStrawberry.com is my creative platform but also a gateway for me to further engage, experiment and experience to gain insights into the world of social media. Also with influencer marketing now exceeding to become a billion dollar industry, MimiStrawberry.com provides me with an inside connection to developing a holistic social marketing strategy involving influencers that will drive brand advocacy.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

Hmm, this is a tough one. Since I’ve been in marketing for nearly two decades now, I feel that there are so many exciting stories, but at the same time, none are particularly fascinating. I will say that marketing is a very dynamic career to pursue and no two days are the same. Many may feel that it is a glamorous profession with parties and events, but there are also tough days like being on your feet all day staffing a trade show booth or walking the streets for a grassroots marketing program. I’ve had my share of attending cool events and meeting celebrities like Ryan Gosling and Mylie Cyrus, but I’ve also spent countless days traveling through airports and endless nights working in front of your laptop to meet deadlines. The critical thing to recognize is that there is no substitute for hard work but the more you do, you will get better at it. And the better you get, the more satisfaction you’ll get from your job.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

As a first-generation Chinese American, I never immersed myself in the American pop culture growing up. I never followed the top 40 charts nor did I listen to hip/hop music or followed any celebrity news. Then when I started working for a large retailer, I started dealing with strategic partnerships that required dealing with PR partnership and celebrity appearances. One day we were in a meeting strategizing about an upcoming product launch, and the team was discussing which celebrity we should invite. A bunch of names was thrown out, and one person suggested “The Black Eye Peas.”

I couldn’t help but follow up with a sincere question to the team, “Is Black Eye Pea a person or the name of a snack?” There was a long silence followed my question then an outburst of hysterical laughter filled the meeting room. As you can imagine how embarrassed I was. Right then, I realized that being good at your job is very different from doing well in school. You may be well-versed in all the business principles, but a well-rounded professional also needs common knowledge in the field that you operate in, to be successful in your job.

Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?

When it comes to selecting the right social media platform to increase business revenues, it would depend on the type of the business, price point, stages of the marketing funnel and transaction process of the sale.

Generally speaking, Facebook is the most effective social media platform due to its algorithmic capability in targeting a specific audience group through demographics and psychographics. Facebook’s industry-leading capabilities are rewarded with leading in ad revenue at 11B+, while its sister company Instagram is another effective platform due to the ability for users to shop directly on the image, within the app. Particularly for small businesses such as fashion apparel or other mom & pop shop that has lower price points, Instagram is a great way to engage with the intended audience and drive sale conversion, all at the same session within the app.

Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share six ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

1. Growing the brand awareness of your business

Instagram helps you find and engage with your target audience (through hashtags.) There are over 500 million users on Instagram daily, and those users are always looking for what interests them through hashtags and “look-alike” aka, people that Instagram suggests to follow. This enhances the relevancy of content and connects the brand closer to its intended audiences. And because Instagram is visual-focused, (image, short video, etc.,), it broadens the scope of reach of the audience through other in-app features such as Instagram stories, live TV, etc.

2. Increased engagements with your targeted audience

Brands can quickly engage with audiences through Instagram through engagements of Like, Comments and Saves. Brands generally see engagement rates 10x higher than Facebook. This creates a personal touch to connect with your customers and also presents positive brand image through its social sentiment. For businesses that are looking to conduct customers research/feedback, Instagram is an incredible platform to implement simple questionnaire as a way to gain input from users. Plus, the more businesses engage with Instagram users, the more exposure your feed will receive by the Instagram algorithm.

3. Stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the market and the competitive landscape

Instagram is also an effective way to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the market and also with competitors. By following key trade partners and competitions, companies gain a good pulse on crucial announcements in the industry as well as what promotions that are happening with their competitors, securing an edge in the business they operate in.

4. Utilize as a source of benchmark to stay up-to-date with your customers.

The Insights section of Instagram is a brilliant way to provide current metrics about your business. You can utilize the metric to determine the effectiveness of your content strategy, which headline and copy is generating most engagement and which Call-To-Action is triggering most conversions.

5. Instagram as a method to survey and “test-and-learn.”

If you’re thinking about a product or consumer research, then the Instagram story function may be a great way to ask questions and get immediate feedback from your customers (followers.) Not only it will present you with the data that you are looking for, but it also shows customers that you’re interested in gathering their feedback, adding positive sentiments to the relationship that you’re looking to build with your customers.

6. Cultivate a strong relationship with your customer

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social platforms in the world right now with advertising revenues just right below Facebook and Twitter. The advertising platform enables a brand to target its customer not only by demographics but also psychographics, making it one of the most efficient way to finding the right customer. But it’s essential for brands to post regularly and consistently. The most effective frequency is once per day. This volume may be daunting for companies that are struggling to produce content, but to establish a strong relationship with your customers, consistency in the frequency of communication is vital.

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I always think the world can use more compassion and I believe a more compassionate world starts with loving ourselves. Love is like a three-tier pyramid. We must first love ourselves by building a foundation of healthy self-esteem and self-respect, then we can give more love to the people and things around us, offering more help and minimizing prejudice. Finally, when we’re good to ourselves and great to others, we will end up with a better world.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I’ve recently been reading AI Superpower by Dr. Kai Fu Li, the world-renowned expert on artificial intelligence. In the book he argues because of unprecedented developments in AI, dramatic changes will occur much sooner than many of us expected.

And what’s more fascinating is that as the US-Sino AI competition begins to heat up, the US and China needs to both accept and to embrace the great responsibilities that come with significant technological power. Most experts already say that AI will have a devastating impact on blue-collar jobs. But Lee predicts that Chinese and American AI will have a substantial impact on white-collar jobs as well.

I share Lee’s vision of AI, and the need for us as humans to embrace this science. Just like industrialism advanced the world of agriculture. AI will make us smarter and better at our jobs and in our lives. We just need to embrace it and have the drive to learn.

Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening! 

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Successful Content Marketing Strategy in 2019

by Shane Barker
Community//

5 Social Media Myths That Are Hurting Your Business

by Angie Gensler
Community//

“How to create social media content that your audience will value” With Candice Georgiadis & Adwaiz CEO Patrick Smith

by Candice Georgiadis

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.