You don't need to create all the content you share online.
In fact,content curation finding and sharing third party content—is a must for growing and maintaining an engaging social media presence.
In this episode of Shopify Masters, you’ll learn from Audrey Castonguay of Wholesome Culture about the process she uses to find and repurpose viral content for her Facebook and Instagram profiles.
When people tag their friends...then I think it’s always some good content.
Tune in to learn
- How to re-purpose viral content for your brand.
- The most important metric to look for to measure engagement.
- How to hire and train someone to run your social media.
Listen to Shopify Masters below…
Download this episode on Google Play, iTunes or here!
- Store: Wholesome Culture
- Social Profiles: Facebook, Instagram
- Recommendations: Udemy, Lynda, Canva, Google Drive, LimeSpot, MailChimp, Recart
Felix: Today, I am joined by Audrey from Wholesome Culture. Wholesome Culture is a clothing company with an ambitious mission to inspire better, healthier, and meatless lifestyles around the world, and was started in 2016 and based out of Montreal. Welcome, Audrey.
Audrey: Hey, Felix. Thank you so much for having me.
Felix: For sure. So tell us a bit more about the beginning of this business, because we talked a little bit offline, talked a little bit through emails about how it didn’t start off the way that I described the company. It started somewhere else. So take us back to the beginning and tell us what you began with and where you ended up today.
Audrey: Sure. So basically, I started trying to create vegan protein. I’ve been vegan for a while, vegetarian for years, and recently, I turned to more the vegan side of this whole thing. And I was like, okay, it’s pretty hard to find vegan [inaudible 00:01:46] and protein that’s actually really simple to use, not too processed food, and everything. So I was like, okay, I’m gonna make this happen. Back then … Well, I’ve been working in marketing for two years now, so I kind of knew good basics. Although I still finished school last year. So I’ve been working while going to school, right? I kind of knew the basics. So I was like, “Okay, I’m going to make it happen while still working full-time at the marketing agency I work right now.” From there, I started the whole process for vegan protein. Back then, it was in around July, so I had a business partner that I met. This guy was based in New York, so he was willing to help me a lot through all the process because he had experience with e-commerce.
From there, started the whole process. We pushed a lot, tried to make the whole manufacturing of protein happen. It was pretty hard, because it was a lot of researching, trying to find the right ingredients, trying to find what’s actually going to work, what’s trending into vegan market, everything. It’s the kind of thing that yes, you can test on a small scale, but it’s really expensive when you don’t have volume. What happened is August, September, October, we tried to really finish a product. But then what happened is we were in October and then we were waiting to get the final product, like final samples really ready after, I think, like four samples. But then the more we went into it, the more it was getting expensive, because everything you try a sample, it doesn’t work, then you need to kind of add up the hours of … well, at the laboratory that we were using.
At one point, it kind of became really, really expensive for one unit only, and that was … I knew the price of the markets and the margin and everything, because I’ve been working with different clients since I already worked in the marketing agency. It was like, “I feel like this just doesn’t make sense anymore.” I was really, really tired about it and it was really long, so my business partner was like, “Well, why are we waiting for the FDA approval anyway? Can you just start something else? Let’s start collecting emails, let’s start making things move, so that way, you kind of feel less depressed about the whole thing.”
He had a printing … like a clothing printing company, and so he was like, “Can you just make clothing?” I was like, “I don’t want to do clothing.” I was like, “Why would I just do clothing? It’s not … I want to inspire people to be healthy and live a healthy lifestyle, I’m not sure this makes sense to me to sell to people clothing at this point.” He was like, “Ah, just try it, you’ll see.” I’m like, “Well, okay. I mean, why not? Let’s at least collect emails so that way we can have a good little customer base for protein.” It was early November, and then I did a design, and then I created the website on Shopify. I really tried to make it perfect, and at one point, I was like, “Okay, whatever. Just launch it this way and that’s okay, it’s not perfect.” Kind of looked pretty bootstrap and kind of weird, then … that’s okay. Just going to do it. You know?
We’re like mid-November at this point, and then I opened the Instagram, and at this point, I opened for like a couple of design of shirts and like maybe two or three, and then I start selling organically. It’s like mid-November, and I’m like, “What? This stuff is working?” You know when you get your first sale, and you just don’t expect it because you were so convinced it would never work? The feeling of having the first sale, I called my business partner and I was-
Felix: It’s like a breakthrough, right?
Audrey: Yeah. It’s like, “Thank God.” After months of trying to do something that wasn’t working, I was just selling without even trying. He was like, “Just go full on. I know you can do it.” I was like, “Well, that’s weird. No, I’m never going to make it.” I still remember that day he told me, “I know you’re going to make 5,000 in sales by the end of this month.” I was like, “Nah, it’s impossible.” It felt like it was such a big number, like an impossible number to reach. I was like, “Okay, well we’ll see.” I was like, “It’s impossible.” I already knew how to use Facebook ads, so it kind of helped, but then I started pushing ads just to see what happened and then it started selling more. I was like, “Okay. This is actually working. People actually want that. Like, wow.” From there, we started building such a strong community, and like of people being super pumped about the vegan lifestyle, just plant-based lifestyle, living a healthy, as much as possible cruelty-free living. It really kind of blew up from there. That’s the whole story. Now here we are.
Felix: That’s cool that you realized that while you are waiting for, essentially, your main product at that time to be ready, you decided to still build a community anyway. I think a lot of people are in this position where they’re still trying to maybe wait for their product to be completed in production, or maybe they’re waiting for funds to start it, or maybe they’re just waiting for … to figure out what is their main idea, and then they want to do the same thing you did which is to build a community. But when you don’t have a product yet, the main product yet, how do you even kind of build an audience or build a community around something that doesn’t exist yet at that point?
Audrey: Yeah. I think that it’s just … there’s so many ways to start pushing a product to people without actually having something. I mean, [inaudible 00:08:34] that can really do design and everything … well not design, I mean t-shirt printing really quick. So like this, I was lucky, because yes, my business partner at the time already had this set up easily in New York, which did help, but I mean, everyone could have done this. I was selling organically, it was not even like ads. You can just go ahead, create your Facebook page, and you create your Instagram page. If you pass like three hours a night, even if you’re working 9-to–5, because I have still worked 9-to–5 and I was still working 9-to–5 … Even if you pass just three hours pushing content, trying to find good content, create some, push Instagram pictures, you’re going to sell organically. It’s impossible that after two weeks, if you pass three hours a night trying to push content to people [inaudible 00:09:35] and then try to turn it into something that’s going to make money, you have that one point to have at least one organic sale. Once you have the sale, you’re going to be so pumped that you’re totally going to keep pushing. That’s just the beginning.
Felix: Okay, so when you were starting this other project and then decide to pivot into this new one, could you reuse any of the work that you had invested in the initial project, initial products, or did you essentially have to start from scratch?
Audrey: Well, I started … I knew everything I was reading about like vegan or vegetarian or healthy lifestyle … I mean, I’ve been in this field for a while. Well, it’s just myself. You know, I’m not starting from a market I don’t know. But from all of this knowledge that I already knew, I kind of just picked whatever I knew already and whatever I found and just used content. I mean, it’s really easy to find stuff on the web that is already viral and kind of make your own version of it, right? I think everyone can do that for any niche or market. Yeah, I think so.
Felix: Can you say a little bit more about this? You said it’s easy to find something that’s already viral and then create a product around that. Can you explain what you mean by that?
Audrey: I mean, more in the content side, you don’t have to push necessarily the product directly. At the beginning, I was showing the clothing, right? But then in all of this, my main focus was not to sell the product. It was more to just push good content to people so that they feel like they want to buy from me, so it creates more of a vibe around it and a lifestyle instead of trying to just be like, “Hey, can you buy this?”
Let’s say, for instance, on my Facebook page, I was pushing a recipe video. That did help a lot, because people share videos and then they just love watching this kind of stuff. Or, let’s say, funny quotes … Because you know people say that Facebook pages, the organic reach is dead. It’s not true. If you find good content to push and from there people are going to share it and you’re going to get super good reach. From there, once you have this whole share and this whole community that’s building, you can start pushing product, because people are going to search into your brand once they kind of see something they like from you. It doesn’t have to be a product at the beginning. If you don’t have … let’s say you don’t have clothing, you could do it with like an e-book. I mean that everyone can do an e-book, like if you have certain knowledge on a specific subject. That’s what I mean. Is that clear?
Felix: Got it. You have a product, but you’re just saying that you’re not pushing that product, or you’re not solely pushing that product, you are also finding content that is going to get good engagement and then putting that out there. Now, talk to us about the breakdown, then, between … Maybe start from the beginning and tell us, how much of the … I guess, the posts that you were putting on Instagram and Facebook, how much of it was content and how much of it was your actual product?
Audrey: At the beginning, I was pushing a lot of videos. Maybe like 60% of sharing good videos I could find that I liked. Instagram, always been way more pictures. I was pushing at least three pictures a day on Instagram, plus obviously, adding hashtags and trying to really create a good vibe. But at the beginning, it really started on Instagram because when I was posting on Instagram, I would ask people, “Oh, would you like to see this product? What do you think of that?” Or like, “What would you like to see?” People would answer me in the comments, like four, five, six people. From there, I would talk to those people and be like, “Oh, would you buy this if you could buy it?” They’d be like, “Oh, sure.”
Felix: I want to take a pause here. You are sharing all this content, so you’re getting a lot of followers, a lot of engagement, a lot of people are paying attention to what you have to say. Then now that you have this attention, the next step that you take is … are you posting like designs of t-shirts or designs of the clothing and then just asking the audience like, “What do you guys think about this?”
Audrey: Exactly. From there, what I did is really ask people what they thought about that. Would they buy it? Really create like a relationship with the people. But you have a really small, like a small amount of people that follows you and that believe in … like start believing in you. I was putting myself out there and I was talking with them in the comments or in the inbox. I would be like, “Hey, I really want to start this. Would you buy this?” People, once you ask what they would buy or if they would buy it, and then after you actually launch it, they’re really excited for you and they actually want to help you. They really wanted this product because they asked you. It did help a lot because from there, it starts selling organically without even making ads. People start believing in you and you create this emotional kind of bond that really help the whole brand.
Felix: Got it. This sounds pretty straightforward. Of course, it sounds like a lot of work, but pretty straightforward. I want to break this down and focus on this a little bit more. Now, when you were building this audience, do you remember how long it … How many followers or how large of an audience did you build by the time you started testing out products?
Audrey: I think I had around like maybe … not even 1,000 like on Facebook page and around 1,000 on Instagram. Not more.
Felix: Got it. Once you had about 1,000 followers on each platform, how long did it take you to get to this point?
Audrey: Yeah, this was in November. To get to the point where I am?
Felix: To get to the point where you … Say you started with a brand new Facebook, a brand new Instagram page.
Audrey: Oh, [inaudible 00:16:17].
Felix: I want to give the audience an idea of how long it took you, and maybe even tell us, how much work did you put in on a daily basis to get to the point where you had about 1,000 followers on each platform and to get to the point where you can kind of start asking them what they want to buy from you?
Audrey: Got it. I’m really, in life, disciplined and really intense. I would just get back home, go to the gym to pump me, and then from there, from 7:00 to like 12:00, I would post on … I would just post on Instagram, post content on the Facebook page or Instagram page. That took like … I would do that like every night. Every single night. Even the Friday night. I wasn’t like going party. Even Saturday, all day on Sunday. Maybe three weeks, four weeks, and then I had a good following after like three or four weeks because I was putting so many hours.
Felix: Yeah, I mean, it’s a lot of hours, but that’s a pretty good turnaround. If someone came up to you and said, “Hey, would you want to have essentially a business built, ready-to-go by just investing a month of your time?” It’s a no-brainer, right?
Audrey: Yeah, exactly.
Felix: I think it makes a lot of sense.
Audrey: It’s just about discipline, because it’s honestly … Honestly, anyone would be able to just put those hours. It’s just a [inaudible 00:17:40].
Felix: Got it. Talk to us about your process, then. You come back from the gym, you sit down, how do you find content that’s going to be engaging? Walk us through your step-by-step of how to find the juicy content that gets people excited to learn more or stick around and pay attention to your Instagram or pay attention to your Facebook page.
Audrey: Sure. I did a training on that with my social media girl now, and she’s super awesome. Better than me, even. How we do it now is … there’s a couple of ways. First, I like going on Facebook search, the bar, and just the specific subject, like your niche or anything, and I tap the subject I want to see and I search into the videos that there is on the Facebook search bar. You know? Does that make sense?
Felix: It does. You are focused … I think you mentioned that Instagram is all photos for you. On Facebook, it’s 60% video. That’s a pretty big chunk. Do you find that video is the best medium to get engagement versus like words or photos?
Audrey: Yeah. I love video for Facebook page, and I love picture for Instagram. Okay, there’s this way on Facebook search bar. Then the second way, Facebook groups. I love Facebook groups. You have this community of people, usually, and then you can find so much good stuff about them with Facebook groups. Because there’s almost groups for every single niche out there, right? From there, I would just look at what’s being shared, look at what people like, and if I could do my own version, I would do my own version. Let’s say it’s a quote, like a fun quote. Then I would just try to do it myself, like the same way, with adding my logo. Or I would try to make it my own way, change it a little bit to make it more fun. The more I’d go, the more I would make it more or brand so that it’s different. But at the beginning, it was a good starter, you know? To find stuff that’s already there.
Felix: Got it. You’re going to these Facebook groups about your particular niche or your particular industry, and are you just looking, reading through, just browsing and reading through the different kind of posts and seeing what has the most comments, what has the most likes … What are you gauging, what are you looking at? What kind of instructions do you give your assistant at this point to tell them how to understand which content is worth, essentially, repurposing for your own page?
Audrey: I really look at the comments. When people tag their friend, when they feel like it’s important enough that you feel like you want to tag someone, then I think it’s always some good content there, because … I mean, we love sharing with our friends, but for that, it needs to actually be really good. That’s my key.
Felix: When they do that, that essentially says that this is potentially viral content, right? Because it’s someone that’s actively sharing this piece of content. So you put it on your page, then it could likely kick off some virality as well, is that the line of thinking?
Audrey: Yeah, exactly. I think that’s a really good way to find good stuff.
Felix: Got it. Cool, so Facebook search, you said Facebook groups, any other kind of sources that you use to find engaging content?
Audrey: Yeah, totally. There’s obviously Tumblr, that’s pretty good to find some stuff. Good quotes with picture, funny stuff. Also, obviously, Pinterest. That’s amazing. I love it. Sometime, I do some Google search too. That’s also … Oh, and the trending section in the Instagram and the hashtag on Instagram that help me find what people have been putting on their Instagram, and look at what’s being shared on Instagram too.
Felix: Got it. When you do all this, it sounds like there are just so many sources, so many places to tap for content, you should never really run dry, but do you have any fear of posting too much? How many times are you posting on Facebook, on your Facebook page? How many times are you posting on your Instagram page at this point?
Audrey: I was trying to post at least two or three times a day for the Facebook page, and for the Instagram, I always at least post three times a day, because people don’t get much tired of Instagram. When you scroll, it’s not annoying if it’s different pictures. As for Facebook, sometimes … I don’t know, I find it a bit more annoying when I see someone often coming back in my feed if I don’t want to see that person. But if you’re on Instagram, then it’s kind of different, because if it’s content you like and you’re following intentionally that person, then you don’t really mind. Three times is great.
Felix: Yeah, that’s a good point that you kind of have … not necessarily lower expectations, but you have a higher threshold to tolerate on Instagram versus on Facebook. Facebook is maybe more intimate and people don’t want to be, essentially, I guess, bothered so much. But that’s a great observation, because I feel that way for sure and I didn’t really think about it until you put it that way, but I can certainly see why you might want to curb the amount of posting on Facebook versus on Instagram.
Audrey: Also, let’s say when you think about Facebook feed, that’s why I’m also posting more videos, because you really want it to be integrated into the user journey because it’s two different channels completely, and Facebook, you don’t feel like being interrupted, although Instagram, you’re intentionally going to scroll and look at pictures. It’s two different channels.
Felix: Can you say a little bit more about that? You’re saying that video is just a more natural kind of content for Facebook?
Audrey: Yeah, so I found it less annoying, less interrupting the user for Facebook feed, because Facebook feed, if you’re looking at videos, then they’re going to show you another video, and you stop and then you look at it and you like it. It’s more a bit … it’s less disturbing, [inaudible 00:24:23], because you just stop and you want to watch it and it’s just fun for you. Instead of like-
Felix: I see what you’re saying.
Audrey: Yeah, okay.
Felix: Yeah, because you’re saying that … I think [inaudible 00:24:32] what you’re saying where you are, let’s say on your phone, and you’re looking at a particular video. The video finishes, and then essentially, you start the next one. Because most people are already in the mindset of watching a video, they’re not going to be disturbed by, essentially, your content because they’re already in the mood to watch videos.
Felix: Got it. Cool. When you’re posting on your Facebook page, I think probably Facebook specifically, and you are also, of course, trying to sell your products, do you worry about your viral content burying the products posts, or the product videos or product images that you’re posting?
Audrey: No, because I do remarketing with my Facebook ads, so I know that they’re going to see my product at one point. I also push my product enough on Instagram so that I know that people still see it. Usually, it’s not too much of a problem. It just reminds … When we publish content that’s, let’s say, it’s not product-related, I think it’s really still good because it always reminds the brand and what we are about and what we’re trying to share as a vibe.
Felix: Yeah, that’s a good point about how when you are sharing content that’s not directly tied to your business, it’s a good reminder. Are there any tips or techniques that you use to tie your brand into the content? Are you just writing something in the description, are you writing something in the comments? How do you make sure that the audience that consumes this content remembers that it’s from you?
Audrey: Yeah. I used to do it myself, answering every single comment and thanking people. Just that, it’s … now I don’t do it myself. I hired my customer service manager, which she is freaking amazing, but every single comment on my page is answered within 24 hours, usually. Because you cannot value the emotional bond that you’re going to create with someone … you cannot put dollar sign on answering the comment of someone, but I know that when I answer someone, they’re going to remind me way more than this brand that they commented on it and never got any answer. I think that’s the best way, is to treat each person that interact with your brand as a future potential customer and also as someone you care about.
Felix: Got it. Other than coming and answering these comments, are you placing any watermarks? How do you make sure that they … or, do you care to do that? Where you make sure that there’s an easy way for them to essentially click over or type in your brand name to get to your website?
Audrey: Yeah, totally watermark. Beside that, I don’t put the URL of our website when we share quotes like that because I don’t want to be too pushy, too annoying. The other thing we do sometimes when it’s our own quotes that we created, we tag the product in the quote so that this way, people can still go to the website easily.
Felix: Can you give me an example of that?
Audrey: You know when you do product tagging, like when you have a product feed? You can tag the product. So sometime, I’ll just going to tag the product, even if it’s only a quote, so that this way, people can go more easily-
Felix: Got it.
Audrey: On the website.
Felix: Is that the new feature where you can essentially see the different products almost underneath the post, the images?
Felix: Got it. That makes sense. That’s a good technique. Talk to us a little about this. This is a relatively new, I guess, way of advertising. Any tips or tricks on how to get the most use out of this new, I guess, ad format on Facebook?
Audrey: I really love posting customer pictures, just tagging product. Your customers are going to post amazing content, so everyone should view that content. Now, with that feature, you can tag the product into that content, which makes it so easy for people to go to your website and buy from there. You can just take the post of your customer picture and the product tag and you just make an ad with it and push it to either a remarketing [inaudible 00:29:23] or either a completely new people. I think this is just an amazing way to just advertise, honestly.
Felix: Because you’ve had success both on the Facebook page and Instagram page, I have to ask, if someone out there doesn’t have the time to focus on both and you’re put in this situation where you had to choose to keep one or the other, which one would be more important to your business, Instagram or a Facebook page?
Audrey: Honestly, to me, I would answer Instagram, but honestly, I think that if you don’t have the time, the most expensive thing to be would be to stop doing one, like choosing one. That’s the most expensive thing to do, because you should hire someone to help you if you don’t have time. Because that person is an investment, and that person’s going to make you money if you keep pushing that other channel.
Felix: Great point. Let’s talk about that, because you’ve clearly done a great job outsourcing and hiring people and delegating your business so that you can get to the point of scaling a business to this size and still hold a job, what’s your process for training … what’s your process for hiring someone for this … specifically for this role of, essentially, social media, hiring someone for this role, and how do you train them?
Audrey: At the beginning … I’ll just go with the story of why I hired people first, because I think it’s so, so, so important for people who will listen to us. Because it was the only thing that allowed me to be able to scale the business, and why I had to hire people is in December, I was starting being like so overwhelmed and so in a bad mood because I would come back home and answer emails until like 1:00 AM and then wake up at 7:00 and go to work at 8:00 and then come back, answer people … It was just crazy.
At one point, I think if you want to scale your business, you have to be able to map how you would hire people. Write it on a sheet, what would be your requirement and how you would explain them what you’re currently doing. Once you map this on a paper and then you know how, like what’s your own process, then you can teach the person your process. To come back to your question, how I hire social media person is … I’ve been mapping everything I was doing and how I was thinking, and I wrote everything on a sheet. From there, I looked on Upwork or any freelance website. I tried to find someone that did not have that much experience, just a bit. Just enough so that she knows the basics. I was like, “I’m going to teach her my way of doing it, and I’m sure that person is going to be so amazing because she’s going to be super grateful. Because I’m teaching her something, and she becomes freaking amazing at what I’m teaching her.” So I’m happy with that.
Felix: Yeah, like you mentioned earlier, your employees now are better than you are at these different roles that you’ve given them, but I can imagine that they probably weren’t as good as you when they first started because they were just learning. How do you kind of course correct and make sure that they are developing or they’re learning and getting to a point where they are better than you at the task that you were doing previously?
Audrey: First of all, at the beginning, you need to follow up really closely with them. Teach them really, really closely. See what they’re doing. People make mistakes. They have to make mistakes to learn, and you need to really watch that closely to explain them what they’re not doing right and how they can do it right. The other thing important is you can buy so many classes for so cheap now. Either it’s on [Udemy 00:33:39] or either on the other website, I don’t remember. The one that LinkedIn created. I don’t know, they have so many courses. Those courses can be very valuable. If [inaudible 00:33:54], and then you pay them to watch these courses that you don’t have time to watch or anything. That person from there can take the knowledge that you paid her to learn and she can just apply it to your business.
Felix: I think you’re probably talking about Lynda, is that correct? L-Y-N-D-A for LinkedIn company?
Audrey: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Felix: So you’re buying courses and having them, having your, essentially, your employees take them and, essentially, you kind of don’t have to spend the time to learn it yourself. You can have someone that you’ve hired learn how to become an expert on something.
Audrey: Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative). Definitely.
Felix: Got it.
Audrey: One mistake, though, I made was that I would suggest people to not make is sometimes I kind of got too busy, and I would just … They would ask me question and I would take a lot of time to answer. I think it’s something that no one should do. You should always answer quickly when your employees have questions for you because if they’re asking you, it’s because they don’t know what to do and they need your help. You need to be there for them even if you have other priorities.
Felix: Nowadays, when your employee has a question, it becomes your top priority?
Audrey: Yeah. I’m going to answer within three hours, max.
Felix: Got it. It’s essentially your dollar, too, that’s going … your money that’s going to waste, too, especially if they’re blocked or they’re stuck on something. I think as someone that’s running a business and has employees, probably your most important job is to make sure that nobody is blocked on anything, make sure everyone has what they need, they can do what they need to do, they have everything they need to do their job, otherwise you’re essentially clogging up the entire system by not doing your job, essentially. That makes a lot of sense. Now, speaking of scaling your business, hiring employees and everything, can you give us a sense of how large the business has grown? Revenues, whatever you can share about how successful you’ve built this business?
Audrey: Yeah. We went from like a couple of thousand only like in November to like up to like six figures in sales now.
Felix: That’s amazing. As you are going through this process of growing the business this large, what’s next? Do you ever have the intention of returning back to the protein business? Do you want to introduce that back into the current brand?
Audrey: Honestly, it’s still in my mind. It bothers me it’s not done, but I’m thinking about it. I’ll see where that goes. I would also like to start doing more outside events related to my people. Like, let’s say, events, festivals, and everything. I think that’s a good way to connect with people in real life. I’ll see what happens with that.
Felix: Very cool. You mentioned that you use Facebook groups for getting content, so you of course spend a lot of time on the Facebook page. Any thoughts on whether you should start a Facebook group or a Facebook page when you are trying to grow a community?
Audrey: Oh, yeah. I think everyone should just try to do it as much as possible. Both of them are great tools that everyone can use. Facebook groups are so great, because you really connect with people and you can also relate that to your page. You can use both together kind of in link. So let’s say you have a page about a specific niche. Let’s say, I don’t know, people are talking often about … Let’s say fitness. You have your fitness page, but you also have your fitness group that actually brings value to people, like fitness advices, everything like that. So that really help people to feel more your brand and the lifestyle you’re trying to show.
Felix: Got it. Do you have both at this time, or is your focus specifically on the page?
Audrey: Right now, I do have a Facebook group, but I wish we would use it more, because I just do not focus so much on that lately.
Felix: I think one of the big issues, I guess, when people have both of these, a Facebook page and a Facebook group, is how to get them to work together. Right? Let’s say you have a piece of content that you found that can do super well with your audience. Do you post that to the page? Do you post it to the group? Do you post it to both? How do you determine where the content goes, specifically on Facebook?
Audrey: I think you can definitely post content on both, but what you also need to make sure is that people in the group feel like they’re having VIP stuff. Not only what they can find everywhere, but stuff that they can not find. Whether it’s like really awesome original recipe of like food, or whether it’s just specific tips or advices from a professional, really adding value because that’s what people want, right? When you’re in Facebook group, you want to find value, so I think that’s where people should put their energy on.
Felix: Got it. If you did have both, is it fair to say that maybe your top tier content should go to the group, and I guess you can call it a secondary content goes to the page?
Audrey: Yeah, or maybe create a challenge. That makes it more fun too, and more community if you want.
Felix: Create some kind of challenge, like a 30 day challenge or something in the Facebook group.
Felix: Makes sense. You mentioned that one of the techniques you used early on to determine what to sell is just to go around asking, posting, essentially, designs that you had created and asking people if they would buy it. Did anyone ever say, “No, I’m not interested in this”? What kind of, I guess, critical feedback did you get on the kind of products that you wanted to put out?
Audrey: Yeah, well usually people are really, really nice, so they’re not going to really tell you, “No, this is not a good” … but there’s two things that you can consider, and that is one, sometimes people are going to tell you, “Oh, I would rather see this on that specific type of shirt instead,” or, “Oh, I would rather see that on a tank top,” or on the whatever specific object. That gives you a good kind of idea of where you should maybe put that instead. Or sometimes, they tell you, “Yeah, this is too big. Maybe it should be more aligned.” That’s good advices. The second thing you should consider is you’re going to see it. If you post a really good product and then a not-so-good one, you’re going to see the engagement is lower compared to when you had a really good one. You have to test a lot to see and start knowing your audience.
Felix: Got it. You’d have to almost know that there are going to be some, essentially, failures, right? Things that you post and then it’s going to get terrible engagement and you learn from that?
Audrey: Yeah. Or worst case scenario, you can do pre-sale. If you do a pre-sale, you’d be like, “Oh, this is a pre-sale price. We only have a certain amount of units.” If one, no one buys, then your test is done. This is not a winner one. If like a couple of people buy, then you know it’s a winner.
Felix: Got it. You mentioned that you are doing things like remarketing on Facebook, I’ve seen some kind of cool application that you have on the site, too, this notification pop-up. Talk to us a little bit about the kind of technology that you use to help you run the business. What kind of apps or software do you use to help market the business?
Audrey: You mean in term of apps in general?
Felix: Yeah, apps in general, whether it be on Shopify or outside Shopify. What kind of apps or tools do you use to run the business?
Audrey: Yeah, sure. Okay. I like a lot canva.com to create nice visual, nice graphics easily for my social media. My social media girl used it a lot, and I think it’s great. The second tool I use the most is Google Drive. Honestly, the most simple stuff on the planet, but for the returns or for the pictures, anything I think of. Just a great tool. The other thing, in term of Shopify Apps, I really like Lime … LimeSpot? To upsell product. I think it’s very good. I also use, obviously, MailChimp, amazing, to do email marketing. The last thing I’ve been using lately is Recart from my friend Soma. I really like the whole app because it basically automates your abandoned cart. So the way it works is it automate everything in like a second. So you just add the app, and then from there, the app also can push notification to your customer when they abandon their cart, and it also sends three emails for that. It’s pretty good. The other great thing is it keeps … it can see the emails even if they don’t submit the form. That really helped me, because I’m not really [inaudible 00:44:03] the email marketing yet, so I like to have some tools to help me with that.
Felix: Got it. I saw something interesting when I went onto your site too where it says, “Wholesome Culture would like to send you notifications. You’ll be notified about the latest sales and discounts,” and it has basically an allow or don’t allow button. What does that do? What is the software that you use for that and how does it work?
Audrey: That’s exactly it. Recart does that at the same time for abandoned cart. Yeah, that’s the app. It’s called R-E-C-A-R-T-
Felix: Got it.
Audrey: It’s just included in the whole abandoned cart process. It even reminds people when they forgot their carts with push notifications, and they didn’t launch yet the promotion campaign, like push notification promotion campaign if that makes sense. It’s in the process, but they’re doing a really great job and I’m really happy to encourage them. So that’s good.
Felix: Cool. We’ll link all that in the show notes. Thank you so much for your time, Audrey. Wholesomeculture.com is the website. What’s next? What do you have planned for the next year? How much more do you want to scale this business, and what do you have planned to do so?
Audrey: Well, building an empire and just making sure everyone can get all the products cruelty-free, they can. So whether it’s like cosmetics or anything else. Hopefully we’ll make this happen.
Felix: Awesome. Thank you again so much for your time, Audrey.
Audrey: Thank you, Felix.
Felix: Here’s a sneak peek for what’s in store the next Shopify Masters episode.
Speaker 3: It takes seven plus times before they actually build trust in you enough to part with their hard-earned money.
Felix: Thanks for listening to Shopify Masters, the e-commerce marketing podcast for ambitious entrepreneurs. To start your store today, visit shopify.com/masters to claim your extended 30-day free trial. Also, for this episode’s show notes, head over to shopify.com/blog.