This Instagram food reviewer is not your regular food reviewer.
Having social empowerment on her mind, she set out to make a difference in the lives of small businesses, which were greatly impacted by the Covid-19 Pandemic.
“It was a random weekend in December when an idea popped into my head. I would start Giveaway campaigns, a move that would benefit my followers as they would get something for free, as well as businesses, that will gain publicity without forking out money.
“At that time I thought that this was solely my idea and did not realise that this giveaway concept was widely used,” she said with a chuckle.
She used the hashtag #kitasapotkita, for all her Giveaway posts.
View this post on Instagram
I wanted to create organic value through my IG page, she told GoodNews.
“I did not want to be another food blogger on social media, just taking pictures and recommending where to eat. I wanted to be beneficial to others.”
Working off that idea, Ivy started messaging small businesses to propose her idea.
“I reached out to those with less than 1,000 followers and really needed brand exposure. I was surprised with the response and soon realised that there were many people that were interested. At least 4 out of 10 people responded positively to my idea.”
Ivy, whose page has 3,860 followers, said helping the foodie community gave her the sense of achievement.
“I managed to contribute back to society and also change the perception of food bloggers at the same time. The general perception about food bloggers was that they were just after money or the free food, so I wanted to break that stereotype.
“I used my page as a platform to add value to businesses and also educate many on the wide reach of social media marketing,” she said adding that many did not realise how effective marketing their business on IG could be.
The journey also opened her eyes to how powerful social media really was, she admitted.
“Many Malaysian small businesses are still unaware about the potential reach of social media marketing enough to take it seriously.
“They don’t really see the potential in it yet and look at it as just an alternative marketing avenue. However since most of them were new, they could be still exploring their marketing options,” she said.
What caught her off guard through her journey since December was how supportive the foodie community was.
“The community in Malaysia is rather large and I am still new in this community. It grew further after the first MCO which is also when many business pages started. They didn’t really have a choice, they needed that online presence.
When asked if she felt she had made a difference in the life of those she featured, Ivy was hopeful.
“I really do hope I did. I have received some feedback since December, thanking me for my work. Most of them were not aware of this sort of exposure and campaigns and only assumed that Social Media Marketing was all about paying for advertising or boosting posts.
“Some followers have told me because they won something, they also bought some items as well, which goes to show the effectiveness of these campaigns, resulting in indirect sales.”
Ivy is now looking at introducing monthly themes on her IG page, starting with “a business from the foodie community” in April.
View this post on Instagram
Doing this alone and full time, Ivy is now looking to expand the scope of her expertise.
“I want to become the bridge between brands and micro-influencers.
“These influencers are my peers and I am looking at offering my service to them. I have so far connected three brands to these influencers.=
“I will coordinate these campaigns for brands where for example; a micro-influencer will produce one IG post and one IG story. Micro-influencers can bring much more engagement to your brand and most of their followers are organic and highly engaging.”