Posted on in Marketing

The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Instagram for Your Business

The Internet is flooded with social media sites that businesses can use to try and further their reach. Instagram, a photo- and video-sharing site, is one of the most popular right now. Like Facebook, Twitter and other sites, Instagram has a tremendous capacity to make your photos and videos go viral, giving your brand exposure and your business some major word-of-mouth power.

But Instagram can be a huge time waster if you don’t know how to best utilize the site in order to get the attention of potential clients, which means you need to learn some of the dos and don’ts before you start using it. See also how Pinterest for contractors is a huge help as well.

Do this:

  • Do post interesting, relevant pictures. If you want to entice clients to make changes around their homes, then post before and after pictures of homes your company has worked on. You can also post pictures of homes designed according to current trends.
  • Do be creative. Instagram is a site devoted to images and filters. Its users appreciate creativity in a way that Facebook or Twitter users might not. If you aren’t posting creative, visually appealing shots, you’re going to get lost in the crowd.
  • Do be subtle. No one wants to come across a hard sell on Instagram. In fact, a lot of the larger companies using Instagram make their product placement in pictures look totally accidental. It’s an almost subliminal way of appealing to site users.
  • Do use hashtags. It’s easier to be found by potential clients if you use hashtags, which are searchable words or phrases linked to your photos and videos using a pound sign (#). Hashtags you might wants to use as a contractor: #architecture, #beforeandafter, #home, #remodel.
  • Do monitor your return on investment. If you spent time on Instagram, but you never get a legit lead from the site, you may want to allocate your time to something that proves more successful. Track your leads, inquiries and sales so you can assess the site’s effectiveness.

Don’t do this:

  • Don’t be average. People can go to Pinterest for home decorating ideas. Instagram is about being creative and artistic—stepping outside the box and then crushing it and taking an arty picture of it.
  • Don’t forget a caption. Captions help to make your pictures engaging, and hashtags in the caption help make it searchable. Use these to your advantage but don’t go too far—limit yourself to one or two hashtags per photo.
  • Don’t be a loner. When you get comments on your photos and videos, make sure you interact with the commenters. Instagram is meant to be a social site, so be social!
  • Don’t overpost. When you post too many times in one day (or one hour) you become noisy and create resentment toward your brand. Instead, choose just a few shots to post each day and space them out.

Instagram can be a huge help to your business, but you have to use the tool in a way that users respond to. Watch what other successful brands do and emulate those that seem to have positive engagement with their followers.