Sophie Miller is a ray of Adelaidian sunshine. And when she started using Instagram 3 years ago, she just wanted to spread a little bit of that sunshine by sharing photos of all the great places in Adelaide that she visits. From these humble beginnings, she has grown a following of nearly 30,000 people on Instagram. Her The Streets of Adelaide community, which is made up of an Instagram page, blog and a Facebook page is all about spreading positive vibes about the South Aussie capital. Posting sometimes up to 20 photos a day, it’s rare to have fewer than 100 likes on any picture.

In today’s episode of Be The Drop, Sophie talks about turning strangers into friends, about the importance of integrity, and reveals what channels work best for engaging with her community and why…

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Positivity is powerful.

The Streets of Adelaide is all aboout good experiences. In fact, Sophie says she doesn’t post any bad reviews at all. If she has a negative experience, she just doesn’t write about it because her community is united by positivity and spreading the word about all the great things Adelaide has to offer.

This positivity has turned complete strangers into friends. The Streets of Adelaide is somewhere where friends tag other friends on a post about a bar, so they can head there that weekend, or where friends discuss their favourite dish at a restaurant reviewed by Sophie; everyone’s connected, regardless of whether they know each other or not. “I don’t know these people but I feel like they’re my friends,” says Sophie. Engagement is high because her community is interested in the same things and united by positive experiences. Her community are connecting and engaging, organically; it’s not being forced by Sophie.

Listen to Sophie’s Be The Drop podcast episode here:

Transparency leads to trust.

Sophie has found her biggest challenge to be product placement. She gets a lot of opportunities and is always up front with her community: “If I get a free meal, I state it clearly,” she says. She doesn’t get regularly get paid to write posts but if she receives something for free, it’s hugely important to her that she’s completely transparent about that in order to build trust with her community. She has declined offers from brands she’s deemed not to be the right fit and experienced criticism by members of her community for accepting others. It’s a difficult balance but, at the end of the day, she follows her conscience to do what she feels is right.

Integrity is really important. I’m always 100% honest and I decline any brands that aren’t the right fit.

Consider your channels.

Sophie connects with her community using Instagram, Facebook and her blog. Each channel has its strengths and weaknesses, and Sophie is very clear about what works best for which aim. Facebook has seen slower growth than Instagram with 11,000 fans. However, it’s a lot easier to share things on Facebook than Instagram, she says, so she can enjoy bigger reach. But the Facebook algorithm is constantly changing the way posts are being shown to people in their newsfeeds; there’s no guarantee even your most engaged fan will see a particular photo she posts. Her followers are predominatly females on Instagram, with a higher mix of males on Facebook and more tagging of friends with perhaps less conversation, on Facebook in comparison to Instagram.

What the blog provides is that extra level of detail beyond the 150-260 characters she uses on Instagram. It’s ideal for anyone who wants to know a bit more, for example, what other dishes are on offer besides the one photographed. Sophie doesn’t use click bait calls to action to get people to her blog, she just gives them the information she believes they’re looking for and that’s sufficient to bring them in.

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Thank you again for tuning in and listening to the BTD podcast, I can’t wait for the next installment to bring you more inspiring people talking about their strategies for connecting with and building a positive community.

Amelia xx

JOIN ME – LET’S CHANGE THE WORLD!

Let’s Be The Drop and create a waterfall! This year,  for Vinnies with hundreds of other CEOs and business owners. Community action like this really embodies the spirit of Be The Drop for me. United, we can make a difference; individually, we’re just single drops, but if we work together, we can create a waterfall. I believe passionately in this philosophy and want to live it wholeheartedly, not just talk about it in my podcast.

So, join me in supporting Vinnies and we can change the lives of hundreds of thousands of homeless Aussies. Homelessness is not a choice, but I’m choosing to experience it for just one uncomfortable winter night to raise money to help those people that desperately need it. You don’t need to join me on the soggy cardboard, but you can support my fundraising efforts >> just follow this link to my fundraising page. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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