The first blog in this series was "Why Your Construction Company Should Use Social Media"
If you are following any recent trends of online marketing you’ve probably heard of a growing visual medium called Instagram. Instagram is a visual storytelling social media mobile app that has caught the attention of over 130 million active users. This visual social media dominator has on average 1 billion photos are liked daily! There are more than just photos of shoes and food. Brands are diving in to authentically communicate their brand’s story and share an experience with their audience.
You may think Instagram is only for the obvious companies like a clothing store or travel agency. What about a non-sexy industry like a construction company? How can a construction company use Instagram?
Before jumping onto this platform, there are a few key points you should consider.
1.) Your Strategy – Keep it simple… Develop your strategy by thinking of who you’re trying to target (we call your select target audience buyer personas). Who are you trying to reach and what interests them? Use that strategy when you are taking project photos and while writing your post descriptions. Concepts like safety, construction tips, or progression on current projects are great ideas to get you started. Try a Transformation Tuesday style post - highlighting before and after photos of your different projects. That’s a way to show-off your scope of service without coming off “sales-pitchy”. One key point to making this effort successful is sharing your goals with your team. Often a Project or Site Manager isn’t thinking about taking a photo of your progress - their concern is the project itself and the safety of their team. Try asking them weekly or biweekly to take a quick cool or unique photo of the project so you can show off all their hard work. If you would like to build a safety post, ask your Safety Director to share a few photos of your team and the safety measures you have in place on your jobsites. Instagram humanizes a business and by sharing photos of your team and your projects you are inviting your audience into your “work family.” Use Instagram to build your human side by sharing photos of the team members who may be celebrating a birthday.
Photo: Trisco Systems
2.) Using The App - Instagram is a free, easy and quick download from your phone’s app store. You can easily add it to your phone with a click of a button. Once you’ve set-up your account, it’s time to start uploading photos. Since most smartphones take better photos than your camera, take those project photos your team has been sending and start adding them into your account. Once you have a nice selection to showcase your project scope, your team or other messages you’d like to convey, you will want to start building your audience. Hop on your other platforms and ask all your awesome followers to check you out on Instagram! Instagram, allows you to take photos, as well as edit filters to give them a unique look. Prior to posting a photo, you will be asked if you want to share it on other platforms as well - Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr - giving you the opportunity to share your message to a wider audience. What are these #hashtag things? Good question… a hashtag is an easy way for you to sort or categorize your content. Let’s say you posted a photo of a roof replacement and a masonry restoration project… adding a “#NewRoof” or “#Restoration,” to your photo will help you sort those images by those specific notations. Oh, and we all know and love the three magic letters SEO - those hashtags will help with search engine optimization as well. #GoogleLoveshashtags
3.) Analyzing Your Results – How do you know if your efforts are working? Honestly, the more exposure you are giving to your company, the better. While there is not a built in analytics feature inside Instagram itself, there are several third party applications to track analytics. There are also additional ways to track your efforts. The most obvious is your follower base. Are people paying attention to what you’re posting? You’ll be able to know if what you’re posting is worth it by the growing the number of followers on your account. How about interaction? Are your images getting likes or are your followers commenting on your posts? These are easy to see, easy to manage and are immediately accessible to view. *You must also interact with other accounts on Instagram if you yourself are looking for engagement. Remember, Instagram is a social media tool.. don’t forget to be social. For more detailed analytics for Instagram, we’ve found a great tool - iconosquare - it’s free, so that’s a plus, but lets get down to the nuts and bolts of it. Iconosquare allows you to monitor growth - offering daily, monthly and overall statistics, as well as showing you new followers and those you may have lost. This tool will provide an account history detailing comments and likes as well as trends in your account interactions. Iconosquare also monitors the best time to post based on your audience’s interactions! Taking the time to analyze the results of your campaign will allow you to better engage with your audience.
Instagram delivers that behind-the-scenes access people wouldn’t traditionally see from a construction company. People are flocking to Instagram because it allows others to join in and be a part of your authentic visual story. Users will see the power of the machinery, the effort behind your work, and the finished product. Remember, people do business with those they know, like and trust and a photo can speak a thousand words - so let Instagram help build that trust, solidify your relationships and tell your story.