Instagram for construction contractors? Isn’t that the platform my teenager uses for what the kids call ‘selfies’?
Nope, not anymore. Instagram is quickly gaining on more widely known social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and many small businesses are starting to realize the platform’s potential for marketing their companies. If you’re a contractor not using this free resource to market your business, then here are some simple tips for getting started.
What is Instagram?
Instagram is a photo/video sharing platform, and similar to Facebook you can post a photo or video and include a caption. Followers can like and comment on the photo/video if they want, and commenters can tag other Instagram users in the comments.
Instagram is mobile-only, meaning you can only interact on Instagram using a smartphone or tablet. You can view accounts on the Web, but you cannot interact or post any media.
If you’re thinking about starting to use Instagram, I’d recommend opening a personal account first and start following people or companies you like (@fieldlens, for example!). You’ll quickly get a feel for how people ‘talk’ on Instagram, as it’s a little different than other social platforms. For example, Instagram users tend to use emojis and tag friends in their captions more often than they would on other platforms. You’ll also notice that photos and videos usually are not perfect – they are just cool things that people think their followers will like. People who work in construction are surrounded by great photo/video options that you probably don’t even realize (more on that below).
6 Tips for Marketing Your Construction Business
Have an interesting profile description
Unlike other social media sites, the only place you can have a live link on Instagram is in your profile. Use the profile to describe what your company does and be sure to include a link to your company’s website.
Posting anything to Instagram takes less than a minute. Take a photo, write a quick description, and post. If you can make it to two or more posts a day then that is ideal.
Post interesting videos and photos
Working in construction every day, you might not notice how interesting your surroundings are. Scenes like a hammer lying in gravel surrounded by nails, or the arm of an excavator tearing into the ground might seem boring to you, but to the outside world they are pretty spectacular. Take advantage of Instagram’s built-in filters to make your photos look even more interesting.
Instagram integrates with Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter to name a few. When you post a photo on Instagram, it automatically gives you the option to share it on other sites as well.
Hashtags operate as links that help people find the types of photos and accounts they like, and they are most useful when companies create unique hashtags to help brand themselves. For example, let’s say you’re a home builder in Miami. You could use #buildingbeautifulmiami, and encourage your clients to use that hashtag when they are posting Instagram photos of their home in progress. Their followers click on the hashtag and get an instant portfolio of homes you’ve built for other people in the area, along with their happy comments. If they are looking for a home builder, you’ll be at the top of their list.
Follow other accounts
Be sure to follow accounts similar to what you do, or accounts you think your followers would like. For example, interesting people or cool companies. And be sure to follow your clients back if they follow you.
If you’re interested in more tips on how to market you construction company, check out this post on the secret marketing technique most construction companies don’t think about.