Storytelling for social media with Vivi et Margot

Vivi et Margot is a French homewares brand founded in 2016 by Charlotte Reiss. The concept for Vivi et Margot was born after Charlotte and her husband invested in a 150 year old vacation property in rural France, and the LA native would bring homewares and brocante finds back home with her to the US.  So many of her friends asked where she found these items that she quickly realized there was a niche in the market for traditional French homewares that are accessible to everyone. Charlotte shares har approach to Storytelling for Social  Media, how she grew her Instagram from 25K to 40K in the past four months, builds her brand and drives sales using social media. Keep scrolling for a special discount code to shop with Vivi et Margot. Read the feature about Vivi et Margot and Charlotte here.

Charlotte Reiss

Charlotte’s top tips on Storytelling for Social Media 

  1. Keep it “themed” meaning don’t mix up your stories, If you are doing a story about new merchandise keep it to that topic and keep it to your branding. For example as much as I love rainbows and Unicorns for my children it would make no sense to add Gifs to my stories!
  2. Mix Videos and photographs for a more interactive storytelling.
  3. Use apps, don’t be afraid to try apps to help you with fonts and layouts.
  4. Mention others – by supporting other brands it builds your community.
  5. Never get personal – sorry but rarely do people following your brand want to know about any personal life problems.
  6. Talk every now and again. Even if you are too shy to be in front of the camera, talk to your customer base about what you are showing them. Its personal and will be well received.

Which social media platforms do you use?

I only use Instagram and I don’t use IGTV. Until I am able to hire more help I won’t. IGTV sounds awfully exhausting? Another full time job.

How have you used Instagram to build your brand story? 

At the beginning, when we first opened the shop Instagram didn’t offer the story option and it was purely image based per wall post. This was a lot easier to keep up with as admittedly it is very time consuming constantly coming up with content, but I see its as free marketing with a true personal and authentic touch to your brand. Plus it works!  I am a little embarrassed to say that followers ask to see more of me and the interior of my home and shop. I think my customers like that I am relatable and tell a story about each product. 

How  do you use Instagram to drive sales?

When I announce a sale on stories compared to wall posts, as I did last year, the sales have tripled. They are generally flash sales (meaning the purchases happen in the time span the video remains on our page) the more I post on stories about the sale with swipe up feature, the more a product sells. Obviously the more followers I have the more people are viewing which translates into sales. 

How often do you share behind the scenes versus Vivi et Margot products?

It was really only earlier this year that I decided to share more of myself, my home and my team. Because my store is inspired by my life in France I realized that it was important to show people my home and how our products are styled and used at home. Obviously it adds the authenticity that I have my renovated home.

I was reluctant at first for both privacy reasons and also because  I didn’t want to appear obnoxious  “ oh look at me with my international life” (plus I am shy) but honestly the reaction was the exact opposite. I think I became real / relatable and my followers see me more as a friend they can ask design questions to. Instead of just sharing images of my home, I started posting stories of me going to brocantes, merchandising in the store / interacting with customers / at home styling etc and talking to the camera. Honestly that’s when my following really started to increase. It was definitely hard at first but now I enjoy it. In fact I enjoy it so much I work privately for other brands and manage their Instagram.

Instagram Post versus Instagram Story? 

Beautiful still visuals still captivate people, and obviously a pretty image will garner more likes and followers, but the engagement definitely comes from the stories. I have started to occasionally go live if I am hosting a pop up event so I can be seen and heard and answer people’s questions. I really enjoy interacting with my customers and follower base.

Smart phone or camera?

I use an iphone 7 – ( I thinks it time for an upgrade if my husband is reading  this)! I take all my  photographs myself for the most part, including product photography (except our baskets), using my iphone. I do have a proper camera but honestly I prefer my iphone.

Which apps do you use?

For wallposts – Snapseed – this is how I edit all my photographs – its incredible simple to use.

For Stories, Over, I use this for many of my stories – its great for adding fonts as well and really easy to use.

For Stories  & creating artwork etc – I use  Designlab – this app was created by the owners of @roomporn and its also great for story telling/ layouts. They give great tutorials for easy use.

Instagram has many of its own great features on stories such as the “ask me a question” / Poll (I use this one often) and links.

Do you set a calendar and specific time for posting? 

I don’t think I am big enough for all that yet. I just post when I can! There’s something about being organic and nothing forced. I try not to go more than two days with any content but I think we can all agree, sometimes you need to just put the phone down and business will still be business without you for that short period of time. You come back more creative anyway!

How much of your personal life do you share? 

I only include my personal life when its relevant. My business is named after my children Vivi and Margot so I think sometimes people like to see the girls and know a little about the background of the brand, but honestly I am a French homewares and lifestyle brand so I keep it to those topics for the most part. I share my children and personal life on my personal account @charlotte_reiss . I do stay on brand also, I don’t post food/ restaurants etc.

It really is a balance – Instagram is a little voyeuristic (on stories) and I do understand that so I try to give glimpse into my life and behind the scenes of the brand and my life in France.

I am currently building a new house and I have been sharing a few small stories of the progress to gauge peoples interest and the feedback is 100% positive that my followers want to see behind the scenes of that too and the design process, which I will be excited to share. I think it will be fun for me to collaborate with other brands.

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