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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.