The economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused many businesses a great deal of difficulty, but a small Calgary cleaning service company has managed to expand its brand with the help of viral videos on social media demonstrating cleaning tips and how-tos.
By October, Go Clean Co. will have been operating in Calgary for two years. During that time, they’ve been posting videos to their Instagram account demonstrating ways to clean shoes, clothes, ovens, windows, walls and even reusable face masks.
Last February, before the COVID-19 lockdown, the company had approximately 10,000 followers on Instagram — but they now boast over 1 million, in large part due to the success of their viral cleaning videos.
Gaining celebrity on social media through posting cleaning techniques isn’t new, with so-called cleanfluencers like Marie Kondo and Sophie Hinchcliffe gaining popularity online over the past few years.
So why have cleaning tutorial videos become so popular this year specifically?
Director of Go Clean Co, Sarah McAllister, suggests it has a lot to with people looking to learn something new and pass the time while in lockdown.
“When everyone was staying in, it gave them something to do and to focus on,” McAllister said. “It made them feel calm and it gave them something to have control of in 2020.”
One of the account’s most-watched Instagram stories is to do with laundry stripping– an hours-long process of letting your clothes or linens sit in a bathtub full of hot water and detergent products that can help remove dirt and grime that have built up over time.
McAllister says that new homeowners or younger generations that may not have been taught proper cleaning techniques from their parents are another reason why the videos have resonated.
“The cleaning aisle is also very overwhelming,” McAllister said. “I think that when you can show someone a product and say ‘this really works’ and show them … it makes a big, big difference.”
Since the company’s newfound popularity, McAlister says the workload has definitely increased, both in terms of video production for social media and bookings for their at-home services, but that she’s very thankful at the same time.
“We closed down during COVID. It was a scary time as an entrepreneur to think ‘what are we going to do?’ I have staff and everyone to take care of. But it’s been honestly a huge dream.”