Letterfolk: A Instagram Marketing Case Study

meghendriks    November 26, 2018

Letterfolk, is a small husband and wife company that has modernized the retro letterboard. Each hand crafted felt letterboard comes with a full set of characters that people can personalize and showcase on their walls, use for milestones and the list goes on.  Early in their business Letterfolk took to social media to help market their products, most notable Instagram. Since their launch in 2015, they currently have 300k followers on Instagram and were recently named 5th on HubSpot’s 17 best brands on Instagram.

Letterfolk follows the 80/20 rule of content marketing; using 20% of the content to promote your brand and dedicate 80% to content that interests your audience and engages in conversation. This isn’t necessarily a new strategy when it comes to social media, however, it is one that reinforces the idea that social media should be a dialogue not a platform for aggressive marketing. In a podcast for Tradeshow Camp, Letterfolk owners Johnny and Joanna Galbraith, talk about how very early they wanted their posts to feel like conversations, as if they were “injecting ourselves in an existing conversation happening between friends on Instagram.”

Letterfolk excels at Instagram and Instagram proves to be an excellent platform to use for marketing your business. According to Later, Instagram users are more engaged than the average social media user. Not only more engaged but they are also more willing to make online purchases. According to a study, 72% of Instagram users report making a purchase decision after seeing something on Instagram. Embracing Instagram should be part of your marketing strategy.

Lets look at other ways Letterfolk is using Instagram to market their products.

Shareable content: Just browsing through Letterfolk’s Instagram page it is easy to recognize their stunning images. Their high-quality images pay attention to detail and create a scene around their letterboard. This predictable aesthetic is recognizable to their customers and predicable. Consumers know what they are going to get when they visit or see a post.  What does change is the sayings that are on the boards. Using humour and wit the clever messages written on the boards makes the posts fun, entertaining and relatable to their target audience. Both the images and humour are highly sharable, making it easy to like and to tag friends.

User Generated Content: User generated content is a great way to market. Consumers value candid posts and conversations.  Regramming not only offer social proof, engagement for both parties, it also offers another way to show off their products.  Johnny mentions in the Tradeshow Camp Podcast, that the content they were producing started being mimicked by a lot of their customers which in turn gave them the content to repost. He says, “This has been one of their biggest drivers, regramming and showing more customers other customers boards.”

Authenticity:  Not only are they regramming their customers letterboards, they are inserting themselves and their stories into the brand. According to Jia Wertz, expert tips for marketing business’ on Instagram, authenticity is key. By authentically inserting themselves and their lives into the brand they are also telling their story. Joanna adds during the Tradeshow Camp Podcast that they are inserting themselves into the brand so that people remember that it is a human brand, people who actually care are behind it. They talk about how they always try to make sure they comment or like the photos that people tag them in.

Letterfolk is a company that has fully embraced the power of Instagram. They are a husband and wife team who genuinely cares about the products they are creating and the way they have impacted and are used in their customers lives. This authenticity can be shown throughout their Instagram account, the stories they share, the regramming and responding to comments. They also have a humour and an amazing design aesthetic that not only is entertaining but invites you to share and come back for more.

Lessons for Others

-Always remember that social media is about engaging and conversations, not aggressive marketing (a simple 80/20 content rule)

-Embrace Instagram and visual content with high quality images and ‘shareable’ content

-Light humour and uplifting posts can be a great asset

-Be authentic and relatable to your audience

-Create a consistent and clear visual style

-Re-gram: share customers stories, images

Organization: Letterfolk
Industry: Online Retail
Name of Organization Contact: Johnny & Joanna Galbraith

Authored by: MHendriks

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.


Carr, Peter. (2018). Marketing and Social Media Content Material. Retrieved from https://learn.uwaterloo.ca/content/enforced/395788-CE-SMBP100_001_cel_1189T1191/lecture-content/weeks/week7/week7.html?ou=395788

Hunt, Katie. (Tradeshow Camp). (n.d). Eposide 069: Johnny & Joanna Galbraith, Letterfolk. Retrieved from http://tradeshowcamp.com/prooftoproduct069/

Kolowich, Lindsay (2018, May 24). 17 of the Best Brands on Instagram Right Now. Retrieved from Hubspot, https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/best-brands-on-instagram

Later. (n.d). Instagram Marketing: The Definite Guide 2018. Retrieved from Later, https://later.com/instagram-marketing/

Letterfolk. (n.d). Retrieved from https://www.letterfolk.com/

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Social Report (2018, April 23). Instagram Spotlight: Letterfolk. Retrieved from Social Report, https://www.socialreport.com/insights/article/360000677843-Instagram-Spotlight-Letterfolk

Wertz, Jia. (2018, October 21). 3 Expert Tips for Marketing Your Business on Instagram. Retrieved from Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/jiawertz/2018/10/21/3-expert-tips-for-marketing-your-business-on-instagram/#66261174b870

Wright, Taylor. (n.d). What Five Brands Taught us about Instagram Marketing. Retrieved from Outbound Engine blog, https://www.outboundengine.com/blog/b2c-brands-instagram-marketing/