It’s likely that you’ve heard and (maybe even used) one of the many popular social media platforms available: Instagram. Photo-driven social media is on the rise, making this platform a great tool use. Small business owners and contractors can benefit from using Instagram to help create more brand awareness and connect with more customers.
However, many stay away from Instagram, as it can be confusing for those who have never used it but hear of how often it changes. Luckily, we’re here to clear up any worries you may have. Here are a few frequently asked questions about Instagram, specifically for contractors.
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1) What Is Instagram & How Can It Benefit My Business?
Instagram is a photo-based social media platform that shares your content to followers and beyond. You don’t always have to be following someone to be able to access their content, and vice versa. It has one billion monthly active users, according to Hootsuite. Out of those users, those who are over 25 years old are spending more than 24 minutes day browsing the app. This is a lot of exposure for a business owner!
With those numbers in mind, it’s easy to see that Instagram is a place where small business owners need to be. Showing your work is a great way to gain new business and social media followers, rather than just telling them you can do it. It allows you to engage with your community and can be a great tool in connecting with homeowners who are in need of your service. Instagram is an area where contractors must be spending time if they want to have a successful business.
Aside from potential customers, you will find other contractors on the platform. This will allow you to connect with other professionals in your industry and share helpful information like the latest tools and practices. You may also be able to see what your competition is up to, giving your business an edge.
2) What Photos Should I Post?
This is a frequently asked question asked by many business owners, construction or otherwise. It can seem more difficult than Facebook because it is photo-driven. But, you may find that with practice, it is actually easier than any other platform. Here are some ideas of what photos you can post on Instagram that will help benefit your contractor business:
- Before & After Photos of Your Work
- Behind-The-Scenes of Work in Progress
- Finished Work
- Graphics with Information on Upcoming Sales
- Events or Conferences You’re Attending
- Community or Service Events
- Short Videos Talking to Your Audience
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Once you find what your audience responds to best, you’ll want to continue taking and posting photos that work.
3) What Is An Instagram Story?
An Instagram story is a newer feature than the traditional photo posts. Unlike an actual Instagram post, the story feature allows you to take a photo or video, add effects and text, and more. These only stay live for 24 hours, and new updates show up first on a users feed if they follow you.
4) How Do I Use Hashtags On Instagram?
Hashtags on Instagram are used similarly as you may have used them elsewhere. They group together like photos and content to make it easily searchable for users. Finding the right hashtags to use can be a challenge. While you will want to use hashtags that relate to your trade, it’s also a good idea to do hashtags based on your location as well.
For example, if you’re a roofer in Dallas, Texas, you may tag your pictures using #dallasroofer and #dallasroofing, as well as hashtags specific to your business name. Look up and see what other contractors might be doing to get inspiration.
5) How Often Should I Post A Photo?
This is a question that is asked by many. If you do some research, you’ll see that there’s no right answer to this question. I suggest between 1-2 times a day, or at least four times a week if you can. However, if you post too many times, you risk spamming your audience who will then unfollow you. Staying consistent is key when it comes to your Instagram success.
6) What Do I Do With Filters?
When you go to post a photo, you may notice that you have a bunch of filters to choose from. While these can be fun and help enhance your photo, you’ll want to stay as professional as possible. Try to use natural lighting and other photography skills before turning to a filter to improve the photo. And, stick to the same few filters. Your Instagram photos are a part of your branding, so you’ll want to make sure they all have a similar look and style.
7) How Do I Respond To Customers?
Customers or prospective customers will be contacting you on Instagram in one of two ways: on your posts or though a direct message. You should try and respond to every comment you receive on your photos and direct messages as quickly as possible. This will help engage the customer, and if it’s a potential lead, your response time will be crucial.
You’ll also want to include your website in your Instagram profile. This gives customers another way of reaching you and learning more if they decide they like your work.
Like many other social media apps you can use, Instagram is an important way to share your work with prospective customers. Try to enhance your social media presence by using the tips above to engage with customers and build your brand awareness.
Looking for more social media tips? Check out the CraftJack Toolbox for the latest marketing advice for contractors.