This week, small business editor Caitlin Sykes talks to business owners about Instagram.

Angus Allan is a co-founder of The Collective. The dairy products brand has around 5,000 Instagram followers in New Zealand and around 2,000 in the UK.

When did The Collective start using Instagram?

There wasn't a lot of social media around when we started the business, so it was quite easy for us to get on there in the beginning, and we've since made social media a primary focus for marketing our business. I think we started using Instagram in 2012, but began putting a lot more effort into it from 2013 because we could see how it could add value for our brand.

Why did you see it as a good fit for your brand?

It's a very visual platform, and we're a very design-centred brand. It's also very easy to engage directly with people on Instagram - and it's cheap, which always helps.

What level of staff resourcing do you put into Instagram?

We put quite a lot of resource into our overall social engagement - which we do all internally - and we probably put more effort into Instagram than any other platform. We have a number of people across New Zealand and UK who are responsible for social media, but all the members of our marketing team will jump on there as well and have a go.

What tangible impacts are you seeing in your business from your activities on Instagram?

We have a loyal following, and that's a very tangible thing. The most important benefit of that is it gives us direct customer feedback. We have a very engaged audience who we can talk with about our products and what we're doing and they tell us what that means to them. For example, if we're trying a new flavour, we'll put it out there, get feedback from our audience and that informs how we proceed.

What have you learnt over time about building an audience on Instagram?

Have something to talk about. Whatever you're posting has to be interesting because it's giving you a one-on-one audience with your customers, so they need to be getting something out of it. It can be hard to keep things fresh when you're posting every day, so you also need a strategy behind what you're doing. We have a two-monthly plan of what we're doing on Instagram, and that ties into our overall marketing plan. We also have an element of spontaneous content which is often not even about yoghurt, but really resonates with our followers.