If you think the photo-focused app Instagram is only for hipster brands and food bloggers, think again. Even for lawn care companies, landscape contractors and HVAC professionals, this network offers great potential. Want convincing? If you’re a service business curious about how Instagram can work for you, here’s a look at some of the key benefits of this network!
- A way to position yourself as an authority. Do you know the ins and outs of landscaping better than anybody? Demonstrate your skill by sharing tips, hacks
andresources in attractive photos on social media. Your potential customers are, most likely, already on Instagram. When they find your account filled with valuable content, they’ll be much more likely to trust you for service. Key takeaway: Plan Instagram content that showcases your knowledge about your industry, educates followers with useful information and looks attractive in order to communicate authority.
- A place to showcase your work. Inspire your audience with success stories that act as an online portfolio of your work. Show “before” and “after” photos of clients’ yards, for example, or create mini case studies about roofing dilemmas you’ve solved for customers. Pictures speak louder than words and act as a powerful testimonial to your expertise. And,
ina visual platform such as Instagram, the better your photos, the better your potential reach. Key takeaway: Use Instagram as a place to feature photos (professionally shot, if possible) of the work you’re proudest of and jobs that demonstrate your skills.
- An outlet for connecting with customers. If you are even a little interested in building better relationships with both your current and future customers, Instagram is a great resource. Why? It has an engaged audience that’s active regularly. By posting helpful content consistently, you can connect with users and give followers a way to learn about your brand. By sharing behind-the-scenes content in your Instagram Stories, you can give customers a more personal look at your business. Likewise, by engaging with your followers’ content, you have an opportunity to build relationships. Key takeaway: Find a schedule you can maintain and post regularly, whether that means every morning or a few times a week. Likewise, interact with followers as often as possible, ideally every day.
- A tool for promoting your site and other social channels. Integrate your Instagram profile with your business website, and you can use it to draw more traffic. Connect it with other social channels such as Facebook, and you can cross-promote content to multiple locations. Key takeaway: Put a link to your website in your Instagram profile and promote it often with a “learn more at the link in our bio.” Likewise, connect your social platforms for integrated posting.
- A place for creating promotions. Generate new business through special promotional offers on Instagram. How? Create a discount code that you share in a specific photo, unique to Instagram followers, and offer 10 percent off service or a free bonus with purchase. Key takeaway: Once you’ve developed some sort of following, thank your audience for following by offering them a discount with a special Instagram code.
- Automatic analytics for business accounts. When you set up a free business account on Instagram, you enjoy built-in analytics reports on the back end. These reports show you what types of posts work best, who’s following you, data on views and clicks, and more. Key takeaway: Don’t ignore your analytics. Check in regularly to learn about your audience.
- An education in your target clients. If you want to reach a certain audience — such as new homebuyers in a given town or homeowners in a certain age bracket — you must understand them. Instagram offers a place to study your audience and learn what appeals to them. Which photos get the most engagement? What are clients saying about your service online? Using Instagram as a tool for market research makes it a powerful education. Key takeaway: Make it a habit to pay attention to who’s following you, what people are saying about your brand, what content is performing well, etc. Use this data to inform future posts.
- A place to advertise. Just like Facebook, Instagram offers the option to create advertisements to draw new customers. What’s great about the opportunity is you can cater your ads to your choice of demographic(s). Choose
location, age, gender, interests, etc., and market your service. Key takeaway: Think about your target customer and design advertising catered to him or her, then monitor results from campaigns to keep improving outcomes.
Whether you are a new contractor or an established service company, Instagram could be a useful tool for growing your business. Consider the benefits listed above and set up an account today! With a consistent posting schedule of content that resonates with your target audience, you can make the most of the network and see how it expands your brand’s reach.
Shanna Mallon is a senior copywriter for Straight North, an HVAC SEO company in Chicago that also provides PPC, website design and other online marketing services. Shanna has been writing professionally online since 2007.