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When Is Insta­gram Use­ful For Ser­vice Industries?

Sure, the pho­to-cen­tric app works well for the retail, hos­pi­tal­i­ty and restau­rant indus­tries, but what about using Insta­gram for ser­vice busi­ness­es such as HVAC con­trac­tors or clean­ing com­pa­nies? Is there a place for your orga­ni­za­tion on Insta­gram, for exam­ple, when what you sell is win­dow wash­ing, tile grout­ing, shov­el­ing or lawn sup­port? How do you know when Insta­gram is worth­while and when it’s actu­al­ly a waste of time? What would make it work for you as a less flashy business?

To help answer these ques­tions, here’s a look at how to know when Insta­gram could be ben­e­fi­cial for you and your HVAC, plumb­ing, exter­mi­na­tion, land­scap­ing or oth­er ser­vice-focused brands.

A Few Rea­sons Why Insta­gram Can Be Ben­e­fi­cial for Ser­vice Companies

Every­body is talk­ing about the pow­er of Insta­gram today — and no won­der. As an app attract­ing hun­dreds of mil­lions of users, many of whom use it dai­ly, it rep­re­sents great poten­tial in reach­ing a tar­get audi­ence. It’s so pop­u­lar, in fact, it even offers val­ue to brands that might not seem obvi­ous on the net­work. Here are some rea­sons why even your ser­vice com­pa­ny might want to tap into Insta­gram networking.

  • A huge audi­ence. There’s no ignor­ing the fact that Insta­gram is pop­u­lar. As of Sep­tem­ber 2017, the app says it has more than 800 mil­lion active month­ly users. This huge audi­ence includes peo­ple who are inter­est­ed in what you sell, no mat­ter what that is. The only thing you need to fig­ure out is how to reach them.
  • Less com­pe­ti­tion. Because your com­peti­tors may feel the same hes­i­ta­tion about get­ting on Insta­gram that you do, there’s less com­pe­ti­tion in this space. In oth­er words, you have a greater chance of being found on Insta­gram when some­one is inter­est­ed in plumb­ing ser­vices or dump­ster rentals, sim­ply because the mar­ket isn’t sat­u­rat­ed for these topics.
  • Built-in busi­ness fea­tures. When you set up a busi­ness account on Insta­gram, you auto­mat­i­cal­ly get access to help­ful tools such as ana­lyt­ics, phone num­ber place­ment and a way for users to email you direct­ly from the app.
  • Great poten­tial for con­ver­sion. In today’s Inter­net, visu­al con­tent tends to con­vert bet­ter than non-visu­al con­tent. This means, no mat­ter what your indus­try, find­ing a way to work pho­tos and videos into your con­tent mar­ket­ing makes sense.
  • A way to share behind-the-scenes info. Give your brand a lit­tle more per­son­al­i­ty in the minds of your audi­ence by shar­ing behind-the-scenes looks at what’s hap­pen­ing in your com­pa­ny. By mak­ing your busi­ness more per­son­al, it’s eas­i­er to con­nect with customers.

Best Prac­tices for Using Insta­gram As a Ser­vice Business

If you’re new to using Insta­gram as a busi­ness, where do you start? What are some gen­er­al prin­ci­ples that can help you make the most of the net­work? Here are some tips for your ser­vice company.

  1. Cre­ate a strong pro­file. Your Insta­gram account comes with a small bio sec­tion where you can, in a few sen­tences, com­mu­ni­cate why users should fol­low you; take time to write this bio and make it as com­pelling as pos­si­ble. Like­wise, your pro­file includes one link, which you can use to point straight to your site’s home page or to a land­ing page draw­ing prospects to con­tact you. For best results, link to a page with a high con­ver­sion rate, opti­mized for your followers.
  2. Post con­sis­tent­ly. Social media net­works are con­stant­ly updat­ing, so if you only post once in a while, your con­tent eas­i­ly gets lost in the shuf­fle. That’s why it’s bet­ter to post reg­u­lar­ly, con­sis­tent­ly — to stay cur­rent and in the minds of your followers.
  3. Post for your audi­ence. What­ev­er you post on Insta­gram, make it use­ful and/​or inspir­ing to your tar­get cus­tomers. If you’re an HVAC com­pa­ny tar­get­ing home­own­ers in a cer­tain geo­graph­ic loca­tion, for exam­ple, you might post infor­ma­tion about local attrac­tions to become a resource in your area, or home­own­ers’ tips to con­nect with peo­ple who care about their homes. 
  4. Use hash­tags. Hash­tags help you make your con­tent easy to find. Each term is search­able, so when some­one clicks or types in that cer­tain word or phrase, your pho­to comes up.
  5. Respond to com­ments. Social media is all about engage­ment, so when some­one com­ments on a post or sends you a direct mes­sage, always respond. Should your account grow so large that it’s hard to keep up, you could only respond to com­ments for the first hour or so after a post goes live — or what­ev­er rule works for you.
  6. Post new job oppor­tu­ni­ties. Recruit­ing via Insta­gram is becom­ing increas­ing­ly pop­u­lar. When you’ve cul­ti­vat­ed an audi­ence of peo­ple inter­est­ed in your indus­try, it’s only nat­ur­al to let them know when you have new posi­tions available.

Even when your indus­try doesn’t seem obvi­ous on Insta­gram, you can reap ben­e­fits from the net­work when you use it strate­gi­cal­ly. Use the tips above to get start­ed, and start con­nect­ing with prospects today!

Author bio: Shan­na Mal­lon is a senior copy­writer for Straight North, a Chica­go web design firm pro­vid­ing spe­cial­ized SEO, web devel­op­ment and oth­er online mar­ket­ing ser­vices. A free­lance writer, Shan­na has been cre­at­ing online con­tent pro­fes­sion­al­ly since 2007.

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