How HUM Nutrition Grew its Massive Social Following Without Once Considering the Instagram Algorithm

    May 20 2020  |  Interviews , Behind the Brand

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    For HUM Nutrition, inspiration stems from customer success stories. Sharing science-backed, joyful content has helped their followers achieve their goals. And no wonder. The Los Angeles-based wellness brand is rooted in knowledge, which is ultimately the starting point for a post. 

    That said, HUM Nutrition is known for its standout, colorful packaging. Aesthetically, the brand leans into that playfulness to complement the awareness that they spread.

    Here, HUM’s Creative Director, Barsha Dahal, shares out of the box ways to make content and science digestible, why HUM doesn’t care about the changing algorithm, and how they’re inspiring curiosity by using supplements in unexpected ways.

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    When it comes to Instagram and Pinterest, what is most important to HUM Nutrition?

    Most important for us is fostering community, sharing positivity, and providing the right amount of knowledge so that people can make the best decisions for their bodies.

    How are you addressing social media in light of the Coronavirus?

    We are continuing to share content that aims to inspire, motivate, and help people feel good in their skin and body. In lieu of everything that is going on, we’ve launched a new IGTV program that features free wellness classes by our RD nutritionists as well as leading experts in skin, body, hair, and mood. Our classes range from nutrition tips to cooking to meditation, breathwork, dance, bedroom feng shui, organization, and more. This is to help our followers navigate the current situation, normalize a healthy routine, and ease their minds.

    Your Instagram really pops thanks to your colorful packaging. How do you strategize your feed and stories and decide where to place what? 

    We have an editorial calendar to plan out the year, which we sometimes adapt to topics that may be pressing at that moment. The key is to balance content with conversations that we anticipate and feel strongly about. 

    For example, the launch of Private Party, our latest probiotic formulated to support vaginal and urinary tract health, is often a topic not openly discussed. Yet, so many women are impacted by the imbalance of their vaginal microbiome. We felt strongly about normalizing such concerns and opening the dialogue. On Instagram, we executed this by sharing content that was educational, inspiring, thought-provoking, and relatable

    You use a lot of UGC (user-generated content). How do you decide what you want to post in your feed? What are the parameters?

    We share UGC that we believe will leave people feeling good and inspire them to complete their beauty and wellness routines from within. We love sharing our customers’ success stories and routines. Generally, we like to keep it authentic, informative, and colorful.

     
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    What advice would you give brands that have a lot of SKUs (stock-keeping units)  and want to make sure they share the love when it comes to featuring all their products?

    Prioritize your products based on seasonality and trends, while factoring in new launches. Make sure it aligns with the rest of your marketing calendar, and retail partners if applicable, as it’s super important to have consistency in storytelling throughout the various touchpoints.

    HUM Nutrition takes clean and clinically proven ingredients very seriously. How do you implement that information onto your Instagram, while creating engaging content?

    It’s simple—we make sure that everything we say and do has a balance between knowledge and joy. We work with scientists, experts, and data to bring forth research and facts on a variety of complex topics, and brainstorm as a team to demystify the science behind it through visuals and messaging. We are constantly thinking out of the box and finding new, creative ways to make it digestible for our customers.  

    Nutrition can often be a complex topic, so we typically focus on one product or concern (i.e., clear skin) over a series of posts. As a team, we share inspiration and brainstorm for ways to empower our followers with knowledge, creativity, and humor, as well as ways to story tell visually.

    Your hashtag is #startwithin. How do you tell that story and explain what that means to your followers?

    Our message from day 1 in 2012 has been to empower consumers with knowledge and confidence. We see beauty as something very personal and an expression of oneself that anyone can achieve by starting from within. 

    The algorithm on Instagram can be tricky. How do you tackle that?

    We don’t care about the algorithm, to be honest. We are motivated by inspirational content that helps people feel better about themselves and discover things that can help them in their nutritional journey. 

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    What are your best social photography or editing tips for beauty bloggers using their phones? 

    Keep it real, don’t over-edit, and don’t overthink it. For stories, we like using the Unfold app, as it provides templates that create more room for content on a single story.

    What are the biggest challenges for Hum Nutrition’s Instagram? 

    Sharing in-depth information on a variety of concerns as it relates to skin, hair, body, and mood while keeping it positive is definitely the biggest challenge. 

    We want to normalize the concerns and make it relatable to everyone. We show UGC and celebrate our customers’ journey and success stories, whether it’s their routine, testimonials, before and after photos, or reviews. That brings our community together and creates positive space, no matter the concern.

    What is your average engagement, and how did you initially grow on Instagram?

    When we launched, we were the first to take our vitamins out of the cabinet and show them in new, unexpected ways. We brought them into spaces they were previously not seen: the nightstand, vanity, desk, etc. and showed them as part of an overall routine. This was a thumb-stopping way to get people to engage and inspire curiosity.

    Partnering with like-minded brands and hosting giveaways also helped at the early stages of growth. Since HUM is a great foundation for any beauty and wellness routine, we had the opportunity to partner with really great brands and give our audiences new products to discover.

    We have seen relatively healthy engagement over the past few months, with a significant upswing during the February launch of Private Party; our new supplement formulated to support the vaginal microbiome and urinary tract health.

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