The latest figures reveal that Instagram now has over 1billion monthly users, making it the fastest growing social media platform by a considerable margin. If you’re thinking that the vast majority of Instagram users are uploading their holiday shots, then think again. A growing number of businesses are using the platform to raise awareness of their services and promote their brand. In 2018 the amount of UK Contractors on Instagram rose to 48%, compared to just 18% back in 2015. Contracting Wise looks at how Instagram’s dynamic marketing capabilities can give contractors the edge.
Tell your story – in pictures
Many businesses are now turning to storytelling to promote their brand. Knowing how a business started out, its basic values and the face(s) behind the brand helps customers to feel more connected to a brand. Research shows that people are drawn towards brands that represent their own values, which in turn increases brand loyalty. It’s often said that contractors are hired on the basis of their skills alone, but as the contracting market grows, the need for contractors to distinguish themselves on more personal terms is inevitable. While it’s not necessary for contractors to post their life story, photographs that feature their latest work, their clients, industry events and things that inspire them offer the client an instant insight into the contractor’s world. Projects work particularly well as visual stories on Instagram, with the ability to capture something as it unfolds, such as a building under construction, or a design in its various stages of completion.
Grow your brand with a professional Instagram profile
Social media data gathered by Forrester concluded that user interactions with brands are higher on Instagram than any other social network. This spells major opportunities for contractors. Whether its recruitment agency scouts or organisations looking to hire you directly, your profile can optimise your chances of getting noticed with the following tips.
- Choose the business profile option when you set up your Instagram account. This lets you share your location as well as providing you with more insights into how your account is doing with its reach.
- Location tags and network connections mean that you can utilise Instagram to target a niche audience in your region.
- If you’re a contractor and you want your work to be seen, make sure your account is set to public. This way, anyone can see your photos.
- Use a professional looking headshot as your profile picture. If you operate through a limited company, you could use a good quality image of your logo.
- In the space provided, write a concise description of your services that gives a clear call-to-action, including your contact information.
- Instagram gives you the opportunity to link to your website in your profile. If you have website or online portfolio, use social media to direct users back to your main website. If you’ve posted a new blog, you can post a picture on Instagram related to that blog and update your profile link.
- Renewing the content of your profile regularly gives you a better opportunity to build a solid connection with your followers. It also gives the impression that you’re an active contractor whose skills are in demand.
- Instagram has a range of brand assets to help create a professional looking profile, including icons, screenshots, filters and templates.
- It’s important to build a reciprocal connection with other users and businesses. Instagram allows your followers to like and comment on your photos, and contractors can ask their clients to post photos of completed projects using the same hashtags, increasing the potential for exposure.
It’s all about image
Although well-crafted words remain a powerful marketing tool, not everyone has the time or verbal skill to write articles, and not everyone has the inclination to read them. Pictures can be a more direct and self-explanatory form of communication, with research showing that user engagement is 58% higher on Instagram than any other social media, so make such your pictures keep your audience coming back for more. Think of your business Instagram account as your digital portfolio and try to post good quality pictures that show your work to its best advantage. Be creative and try out interesting, eye-catching angles that give a different perspective. Although Instagram is more straightforward for contractors who produce something tangible, photos of events or posts related to your working day offer good insight into your processes and values. Lastly, with video about to account for more than 80% of all internet traffic in the coming years, a 30 second video can put you ahead of the curve and bring your Instagram to life.
Use Hashtags to build your network
Instagram users use hashtags frequently and research shows that using a minimum of one hashtag per post can boost user engagement by up to 12.6%. Hashtags allow users to track trending stories and what’s going on in popular culture. A good tip is to watch out for popular trends and find a way to link your services to breaking news. After you tag your post with a hashtag, you’ll be able to tap the hashtag to see a page that shows all the photos and videos people have uploaded with that hashtag, which means that your post is now searchable by millions of Instagram users. Although hashtags can take a little practice, they offer a powerful marketing tool for reaching a wider audience than just your regular followers. Over time, you’ll see relationships between certain hashtags and your most popular posts, and this can help you decide which hashtags work best for your brand.
To speak to a member of our team about all your contracting options, call us on 0203 642 8679