Instagram 101 for Home Builders – How to Reach Potential Clients
If you’ve heard the buzz about Instagram, but are unsure of how to use it to promote your home building, construction or general contracting business, read on.
Set up a Separate Instagram Account for Your Home Building Business
If you use Instagram personally, make sure you set up a separate account for your home building business. Mixing business with your personal page is a bad idea. Personal pages are limited in how you can promote yourself and can make your business look less professional.
In your business bio, be sure to include your business’ website. Keep your name and profile image consistent, recognizable, and professional. Spend the time necessary and don’t skimp when setting up your bio. This needs to be informative and interesting because it will be what hooks your followers. It should include who you are, what you do, and a bit of personality.
Instagram is a Long Term Marketing Tool
Instagram works best as a slow, long term brand-building tool for home builders. You want to subtly get beautiful images in front of potential clients so that your name becomes synonymous with desirable new homes in your market area. Your goal is to convert passive browsers into happy clients. This is a long term play. You’ll need to post regularly for an extended period of time before you’ll start seeing any measurable results.
Overt Advertising Will Turn Off Prospective Clients
The typical Instagram user doesn’t want to see in-your-face ads for your homes, but rather inspirational photos of your home designs and projects. You don’t want to come across as the used-car salesman. You want to let your pictures speak for themselves by sharing ones that are attention-grabbing and full of personality.
Use Warm, Inviting Quality Photos of Your Homes
Be sure to use quality pictures to reflect the professionalism of your business. Instagram has some editing tools available to help enhance the colors and moods of your photos, but be careful and consistent in editing them. If your photos are dark, cluttered or distorted consider using a home builder photo editing service to make the photos look professional before posting. You want to be true to the brand you have created. Lifestyle photos are key to appealing to the Instagram audience. Warm looking photos with people enjoying aspects of their home will capture the interest of the users.
Don’t Forget the Instagram Caption
Be sure to include active and inviting captions. Don’t just describe the image, but accentuate it. Tell a story that emotionally connects the viewer to the photo and makes them want to see more, but be careful not to make the caption too long. The purpose is to be direct and interesting enough to capture their attention, make them think, and then to take action.
Give Incentives for Users to Follow You
Offer promotions, exclusive announcements, and promote events to your followers. Give them an incentive to keep in touch with your page and see what is going on with your business. Tell them where they can find you at the next builder show or home showcase. Offer them something special if they attend an event as a result of your post. Special offers help you earn more followers and solidify engagement with them.
Multiply Your Reach with Hashtags
One of Instagram’s most powerful features is the use of “hashtags.” A hashtag is a word or string of words (no spaces) that follow a “#” symbol, and typically appear at the end of the text on your post. Hashtags enable people who don’t explicitly follow your account to still find you. You can think of them as a keyword for searches. For example, if someone searches for #granitecountertops and you have a kitchen image tagged with that hashtag, your image will come up. If the user likes your photo, they may decide to ‘follow’ you, and you will be able to continue marketing to them with future posts.
Your posts should have at least one hashtag, but no more than five. If you are worried about the clutter within the caption of your photo, one way to avoid this is by posting the hashtags within the comment section.
A few hashtag tips:
1) Use keywords and phrases relevant to your business. Examples include tags such as #builders #construction #builder #architecture #interiordesign #realestate #homedecor #design #building #contractors #architects #renovations #contractor #home #renovation #homeimprovement #dreamhome #house #custombuilder #plastering #developers #build #newhome #roofing #remodeling
2) Research popular and trending hashtags in your industry as trends change in popular designs of home design. Examples could include: #modernhome, #cottagestyle, #smallspacesquad
3) Use a mix of generic and specialization tags. Generic tags of the overall house could include: #housetour, #currentdesignsituation or any of those listed above. While specialization tags could focus on specific rooms of the house, such as #dreamkitchen, #outdoorliving, or #officegoals or they could be focused on building material types such as #quartzstone, #customcountertops, or #concretedesign.
4) Create your own hashtag for your business (#yourbusinesname) and use it consistently with every post.
Engage with Clients through Reviews and Comments
Encourage previous clients who are Instagram users to post photos and reviews on both their personal page and your business page. If they post photos on their personal page of the completed home project, you can share their tagged photos on your business page. Be sure to give credit and a shout out to the person in the caption. Be sure to respond to notifications and thank followers for their tags. You don’t want to leave the conversation one-sided.
Analyzing the Success of Your Posts
Don’t let your Instagram account plateau! Remember, Instagram promotion is a long term game. You need to keep attracting new potential clients and in order to do so you need to know what is working. You need to analyze your successes, know your audience, and repeat those things that are working. You can track and see what times you should post to gain more engagement from your followers. You should also try and post content consistently, on average one image per day. Find similarities between your most liked posts and this will help to guide you on what type of posts to share in the future.
If you have more marketing questions regarding other social media platforms, join our Home Builder Marketing Group on Facebook as we discuss ways to promote your business in the always-changing market. Feel free to contact us at (574) 400-6267 or schedule a free consultation and we’d be happy to answer your questions.