How Instagram is helping Latina entrepreneurs survive the pandemic

The pandemic put most brands into turmoil, if not out of business. It’s a dire situation for all businesses, but the minority-owned businesses bear the brunt. This is especially true for Hispanic-owned businesses, which took a 42% nosedive in sales from February to March 2020 alone. A similar report even suggested that the impacts of the coronavirus would be twice as bad on black- and Hispanic-owned brands than for white-owned businesses.

Despite this outlook, many Latina entrepreneurs weathered the crisis by pivoting their operations. These Latinas turned to Instagram to reach consumers and connect with others in the community. Get to know these three Latina-owned businesses that beat the odds via Instagram.

Cafe Con Libros (Bookstore)

The bookstore closed up shop in early March of 2020 when the pandemic broke out. It was a tough decision for Latina owner Kalima DeSuze since the business relied heavily on their storefront— they sold coffee and pastries. But DeSuze knew that it was the best thing to do in the interest of her staff and customers’ safety.

41-year-old DeSuze took social media, SEO, and e-commerce courses to learn how to effectively use Instagram. Applying what she learned, the bookstore gained 15,000 followers on social media. DeSuze successfully tapped into online retail and created a platform to share books authored by women of color in the process.

 

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A post shared by Cafe con Libros (@cafeconlibros_bk)


Flower Bodega (Floral Design & Content Studio)

Florist and owner Aurea Sanabria Molaei was forced to rethink her business strategy after the pandemic hit. Her 2020 contracts started to fall through almost all at once. She came up with the idea of creating floral kits instead.

She would scramble to deliver all the kits to customers around New York. After completing deliveries, Sanabria Molaei would host a live floral arrangement class on Instagram, filmed from her studio. Other brands took notice and now ask Sanabria Molaei to do Instagram takeovers and live video sessions to teach floral design.

 

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A post shared by Flower Bodega (@flowerbodega)


Franca (Ceramics)

It was a massive blow to Jazmin de la Guardia and her business partner when their wholesale accounts shut down, crippling 95% of the business. This was when they decided to look to social media to drive sales up.

 

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A post shared by FRANCA (@franca_nyc)


The Franca staff poured their efforts into growing their Instagram account, and it proved to be a success. Online orders started to come in, and their products even caught Michelle Obama’s attention. She commissioned a line of mugs as part of her ‘Vote 4Ever Merch’ collection

You might be interested: 3 Marketing challenges Latina-owned businesses face

How you can maximize Instagram for your business

Maintain high-quality visuals

Aesthetics is crucial on Instagram. It’s a photo and video-sharing app, so there’s simply no room for shoddy shots.

Your photos and videos need to look professional if you want to be taken seriously— well-lit, in high-definition, and tasteful. Furthermore, make sure that your posts are cohesive. Choose a theme or color palette that best reflects your brand and stick with it.

Follow a schedule

More than pretty visuals, you need consistency to keep followers engaged on Instagram. This is why you need to plan out your content calendar in advance. In fact, you can even use a dedicated Instagram scheduler to ensure this calendar is followed down to the minute.

Some schedulers also deliver personalized insights that let you know when your followers are most engaged and suggest the best time for you to post. This is especially important given Instagram’s latest update to their algorithm, where new posts are noticed more. 

Take advantage of live videos

Take a cue from the Flower Bodega and the Fashion Designers of Latin America, start doing live videos. This gives you a unique opportunity to showcase your products as well as your brand personality in a more casual and intimate way.

Instagram allows you to broadcast live through the Stories format and even the IGTV format, which lets you upload longer-form videos, too.

COVID-19 put a strain on Latina entrepreneurs, but it’s also proven how their entrepreneurial skills and tenacity can tide them through even the most difficult times.

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