Last year, Instagram reached one billion monthly users, making it the second most used social media platform in the world. Lagging only YouTube and Facebook.
Said to be used by 90% of fashion brands in the US, its ability to help businesses demonstrate their product narrative in a visual way is clear. Something that’s imperative for those operating in the built environment too.
Targeting an audience that is as highly concerned with aesthetics, as architects and designers are, manufacturers know only too well how their prospective customers operate. But sometimes the ‘doing’ is difficult, especially in a market as saturated as the construction and interiors sectors. With that in mind, here we offer a helping hand in the key things to consider for running a successful Instagram account in the built environment…
1. Be clear, concise and consistent
The messages you convey on Instagram are better received if they are in-line with the rest of the content you’re putting out there. Mixed messages can lead to confusion for potential customers about what it is exactly you do or can do for them.
A clear messaging house should be used as a basis for any brand and subsequent campaign strategy. And this should inform everything from your picture caption to your website copy, ensuring that wherever your content hits your audience, it looks and feels like it’s come from the same company.
2. The key is in the detail
Really show off every aspect of what you do – your target market is obsessed with the quality of the products they specify. If you’re a manufacturer, why not shoot a behind-the-scenes video of your making process? There’s nothing like seeing a product come to full fruition from raw material to finished article. Close up product or detailing shots also work wonders and help get the likes rolling in.
3. Add a splash of colour
According to research by the Pantone Color Institute, the two most popular hues on Instagram are ‘Rose Dawn’ and ‘Ethereal Blue’. In the built environment, catching the audience’s wandering eye is difficult. Therefore, choosing high quality, colourful images that are truly inspirational will provide a better chance of followers standing up and taking notice when scrolling through their feed. Experimenting with your photography is also a good idea, to accentuate pops of colour, or try using filters.
4. Demonstrate good ‘handling’ skills
It might sound obvious, but a concise user handle on Instagram that instantly informs people of your product or service is essential. Following this up with a clear bio, profile image and a link to your website will set you off on the right path.
5. Keep your friends close and your competition closer
Check out what competitors are doing and who is engaging with their posts; this is your target audience too, so giving them a follow and monitoring their content could bear some extra fruit for your business. Do the same with influential journalists and bloggers.
6. Hashtags, hashtags, hashtags…
When you’ve put so much effort into your content, you want to make sure people find it. On Instagram, hashtags can help signal people to your posts. But, don’t overdo it. Using around a maximum of 5-10 hashtags that are relevant to your business is an effective way to ensure your posts are viewed, and hopefully engaged with, by more people.
7. Make sure your content lands
Linking a relevant landing page from your Instagram account is crucial in directing traffic back to your website. Keep the ‘link in bio’ updated and consider using Linktree – a free tool that allows businesses to send visitors to a choice of locations on their website, getting around the ‘one link per profile’ rule.
8. Plan and prepare
Constructing a content calendar for your Instagram activity is likely to yield more positive results than rapidly fired-out posts that lack detail or direction. Perhaps starting with a categorised plan including diverse features such as case studies, new products, behind-the-scenes visuals and user-generated posts could help structure your thoughts while keeping things fresh, yet consistent.
9. Consider boosting your posts
Instagram advertisements can be very effective for making your followers’ journey to a landing page short and sweet. Interestingly, the engagement rate for Instagram is 2.2%, compared to 0.22% on Facebook, so just a small monthly budget could give your content a cost-effective extra push.
10. Use the tools available to you
Instagram provides free insight tools that make it easy to analyse key data. These insights, although fairly topline, can start to show whether your content is hitting the right notes, or if perhaps a change of direction is needed. Google Analytics is also a valuable tool when it comes to tracking referrals to your website, blog and landing pages. Wondering how to put all of this in place? Get in touch.