Instagram is an amazing social media platform because of its simplicity. The lack of distractions due to the basic, one-column layout lead to more user attention as they scroll top-down, commenting on and liking pictures. That makes Instagram marketing a must-do for every business.
Some Fun and Relevant Facts About Instagram
These are important statistics because they establish the importance of Instagram as a marketing tool.
Who is Instagram Marketing For?
Instagram is a great for any business that has a visual element to it. This makes it ideal for the real estate and home improvement vertical:
- Mortgage Brokers
- Interior Designers
And many more. The sky is the limit!
What can Instagram do for me?
We know that people like to do business with people they know, like, and trust and Instagram marketing is one way of building this relationship with your clients. It helps you do this in the following ways:
- Know: When you post on Instagram, your posts show up on news feeds and explore sections. People get to know you and your work, which is the first step in building a relationship with your clients.
- Like: Posting high quality images makes your work likeable. People that are actively looking for homes and home décor ideas, for example, see the work you put into your listings and projects and begin to interact with it, either by clicking the "heart" button, commenting, tagging a friend or partner, or all three.
- Trust: Regular postings with a variety of images helps build trust between you and your potential clients. Getting the formula right is critical, however, and too much self-promotion can be detrimental. More on this below.
Should I Invest Time and Effort on Instagram Marketing?
The world is rapidly changing when it comes to consumer behaviours and purchases as small as clothing articles and as large as homes are no different. People take actions in “micro-moments” and in our case, it is critical that we are there at these one-step-at-a-time moments. If you would like to learn more, check out our blog post on micro-moments.
7 Tips on Instagram Marketing Your Business
So now that we know that Instagram is critical to our success and growth, why don’t we take a look at how you can use Instagram to market your business?
1. Post Regularly
The first thing you need to know is that you need posting regularly is critical. This breeds familiarity. Just like you get to know the roads on which you drive on a regular basis, your potential clients get to know you. For your current clients, it helps to keep you on top-of-mind.
You can post three times a day, once a day, or three times a week. Just make sure you’re consistent. Of course, the more you post, the more familiar you will become.
2. Use Hash tags
We see people use as little as one hash tag and as many as thirty. This can be overkill. Using between two and ten hash tags is sufficient, although, the sweet spot is 2-5. You can add a few more if you think that it helps, but ensure that you don’t use so many so as to come across as spammy or to hide the description.
Hashtags are a great way for people to find you when they’re exploring, so use ones that’s are relevant to your industry. Use the Instagram search tool to explore.
3. Post Clean, Simple Images
In recent times, there has been a trend where realtors and interior decorators tend to use HDR or High Dynamic Range photography in an effort to beautify their images. While these are great for an artistic purpose, they can significantly detract from the photographs because they are an illusion. Are those colours you see in photographs really that vivid in real life? Having been formally trained in photography, I can assure you that they’re not. HDR can be powerful if correctly used, but consider hiring a professional if you’re not sure.
You can use built-in Instagram filters to beautify your images or make details stand out by focusing on them, but remember, less is always more.
This builds likability and trust. You are showing your clients how things are in real life and you’re showing them good work!
4. Network with Influencers
There are Instagram influencers for practically every industry from coaching to luxury homes. Explore and network with the relevant accounts to get your posts featured. This gives you a boost in visibility – who knows? Your next client might find you through another page.
This also builds trust and familiarity.
A simple Google search will show you that there are many magic formulas to posting the perfect way on Instagram - or any social media for that matter. However, for our purposes, we’re going with the 80-10-10 rule:
- 80% of your posts should be your work and portfolio. Don’t use these images to sell your services, just demonstrate your skills and expertise.
- 10% of your posts should be about you and behind the scenes. Are you going to install a lawn sign? In the midst of decorating? Showing these images are important in building a relationship with your clientele.
- 10% of your posts, finally, should be promotional. New listings? New products? Discounts? This is where it fits in.
The 80-10-10 rule is only a guideline meant to ensure that you start off right. It isn’t meant to be perfect but it’s a great starting point!
6. Have a Conversation
This is a no-brainer! The best way to get out there is to socialize. Having a conversation by liking and commenting on other pictures and videos is a great way of raising your own profile. It also gives you some great ideas for your own content.
7. Calls to Action
This is less of a tip on it's own, but rather, something that should always be on your mind. Are you calling your audience to action? Are you inviting them to visit a page to learn more? Or to tag their friends? Think about when it is appropriate to have a call to action. After all, you're using Instagram to convert tangential audiences to become clients.
Update - September 22, 2016 - Read how to: 'save draft' on Instagram.
Instagram is a powerful tool in your arsenal, specially since most of your competitors are likely not on it, or are not doing a good job with it. And with 20% of Canadians on Instagram, you can’t afford not to be on there.
Following our five tips will give you a great jumpstart to Instagram marketing. It will allow you to build engagement and find potential clients because people like to do business with people they know, like, and trust, and Instagram can get you there!
We know social media marketing can be difficult, but you can simplify your life if you have a content calendar (see: primer on content marketing calendars). If you’re too busy to build your Instagram, contact us for a free consultation on how we can do it for you, so you can focus on the sales, while we focus on the marketing.