As social media marketing gains more traction in industries of every kind, even technical manufacturing and construction industries are finding that a solid social media presence can help to build brand awareness. As a commercial construction company, you may wonder what social media can hold for you, and while Facebook Advertising might seem like a no-brainer, benefits of some of the more abstract options like Instagram might be harder to pin down. If you’ve been wondering about the potential of Instagram for construction companies like yours, you must know that nearly any social media presence can help grow awareness of your business, if you’ve invested in making it work.
How to Start Using Instagram Business
If you already have a Facebook Page for your construction company, your job will be easier. Here’s how you can start using the business account on Instagram for construction companies.
1) Log in to your Instagram account and go to settings.
2) Tap “Switch to Business Profile”.
3) Instagram will prompt you to connect to a Facebook business page (note: you need to have Admin access to the Facebook page in order to convert to an Instagram Business Profile).
4) Choose a category for your profile/business.
5) Fill out your contact details (email address, phone number and address). You need to fill out at least one of these.
– Additional features on your Instagram profile such as contact buttons
– Keep your promotions and partnerships compliant
If for some reason you switch from an Instagram Business Profile back to a personal account, that’s simple to do as well.
1) Log in to your Instagram account and go into settings.
2) In the “Business Settings” section, tap “Switch Back to Personal Account”.
3) Instagram will give you a prompt to make sure you want to switch to a personal account. Tap “Switch Back” to confirm.
Keep in mind that you can always switch back to a business profile.
Bio: This refers to the biography section in your profile. You can also use your bio to include a call-to-action for your construction business.
Direct messages (DMs): Users can privately communicate with each other through direct messages. If a customer has a complaint or question, it’s best practice to chat with them via direct message to keep the conversation private. Direct messages are often referred to as DMs.
Filters: You can apply preset filters to your photos to enhance features and colours.
Follow: When you follow a user on Instagram, you’ll see their content in your timeline. You can also view their Instagram Stories at the top of the application.
Followers: Your construction business’s followers are people who will see your pictures in their timelines.
Hashtag (#): Similar to Twitter, a hashtag on Instagram is used to index words or phrases. When you click on a hashtag, you’ll see other posts with the same one.
Home: Tap the home button to land on your home screen, which is also your timeline or feed. Here you’ll see photos from the people you follow.
Instagram handle: Your handle is your username. To mention a user on Instagram, you need to use their handle, which always starts with the @ symbol.
Instagram Stories: Stories is one of the most popular features on the platform. These pictures and videos disappear after 24 hours. Read more about Instagram Stories below.
Tag: There are a few ways to tag people on Instagram, including in a photo’s caption, in Instagram Stories and in photos. Use the @ symbol to tag someone in a caption or an Instagram story. You can tag someone in your photos before you post the picture.
Instagram for Construction Companies Hacks
Familiarize and Experiment
We know that that you can’t wait to get out there and start sharing all your amazing pictures and videos with your clients. But hold back for a moment and try to learn how Instagram works first. You must always start with baby steps. The first thing you must do is familiarize yourself with how Instagram works. So, create a personal profile and experiment with all the different features. In that way, you will have a better understanding of the whole app and you will be in a position to use it in the best possible manner. And then, you can follow people and companies that are related to your construction industry directly or in some other way. You’ll quickly get a feel for how people ‘talk’ on Instagram, as it’s a little different than other social platforms. Be sure to follow accounts similar to what you do, or accounts you think your followers would like. For example, interesting people or cool companies. And be sure to follow your clients back if they follow you. And once you try out all the tools and features of Instagram, you can move ahead to turn your Instagram profile into a business one and then start using all the features in full force.
Complete the Profile
The Bio is what people will look at when they land on your Instagram profile. So make sure that your Bio is perfect and informative at the same time. As a construction company, you probably do a whole lot of things and offer even more solutions. Don’t get too caught up in fitting all of that in 150 characters. Focus on your most important USP or your next big thing – be it an event, promotion of a particular service or announcement of a new equipment that you use. Since the only clickable link is in your Bio section (right under your name), make a habit of updating it frequently. It’s a shame that most brands use it only to link to their website, but it could do so much more. Think, driving event registrations, app downloads or even client query answering. Instagram has also launched its Instagram Business profiles and paid advertising. The Business profile adds a phone number to your bio and gives access to extensive analytics data that wouldn’t be otherwise available unless you’re using a social media tool. Adding a linked hashtag to your Instagram bio directs other users to specific campaigns, even without searching for them. By tapping that hashtag in the bio, you can see the relevant posts about a particular company. You can use hashtags like #ConstructionExperts or #ContructionCompanyinEdmonton to get more traffic from people looking for such information.
Use Your Visual Power
Construction companies have a lot to offer in the world of Instagram. Instagram is highly visual, and Instagram users consume transformation and progress pictures with a voracity you won’t find anywhere else. If your construction company is willing to give Instagram a go, the platform has quite a lot to offer. Working in construction every day, you might not notice how interesting your surroundings are. Scenes like a hammer lying in gravel surrounded by nails, or the arm of an excavator tearing into the ground might seem boring to you, but to the outside world, they are pretty spectacular. Take advantage of Instagram’s built-in filters to make your photos look even more interesting. A construction site could be the perfect place for taking some really exciting photos for your Instagram profile. Start observing your construction surroundings under a different perspective and try to picture how neat would a bulldozer look under the proper insta filters and a bit of sunlight.
Choose the Right Time
Although each firm is different, most businesses aim to build as much engagement as possible on their Instagram account. Traditional Instagram engagement includes likes and comments. More recently, people have begun to add views, shares, and direct messages as well. Then you can further add the above types of engagement of Instagram spin-offs, such as Instagram Stories and IGTV.
To ensure that you get maximum engagement on your Instagram posts for your construction business, take a brief look at the infographic below by SproutSocial.
Looking at their aggregate customer data for Instagram, you can see that the following days and times, in Central Daylight Time (CDT), are ideal for generating the most engagement on the social network:
– Sunday: 10 AM – 2 PM CDT
– Monday: 11 AM – 5 PM CDT
– Tuesday: 5 AM, 9 AM – 6 PM CDT
– Wednesday: 5 AM, 11 AM, *3 PM CDT
– Thursday: *5 AM, *11 AM, *3 – 4 PM CDT
– Friday: *5 AM, 9 AM – 4 PM CDT
– Saturday: 11 AM CDT
Bring Your Portfolio Together
It’s very crucial for a construction company to be in a position to present its work to potential new customers. Instagram for construction companies offers a unique opportunity to accomplish that. All you have to do is gather the best samples of your work and showcase them to your followers, by creating a well-organized photo album. Now there are two ways to do this. You can either start putting all the posts up together in a single post using the multiple photo/video feature. You can add up to 10 photos, videos, or both in a post. This way, all the images and videos from a particular past project will be showcased together. Another way of putting your past work out there on Instagram is by adding stories. The stories can be standard photos or videos. These stories will expire in 24 hours. But you have to make the most of another feature that is the Highlights. You will have to make a highlight of each project where you can add and save all the stories from that project. This way, the stories will last till whenever you want them to. Plus, highlights are placed just below the bio, which means your potential and existing customers will be able to view them and it will be impossible for them to overlook your past work.
Stream Live Videos
In addition to Instagram Stories, you can take and stream live videos that disappear, something like a cross between Facebook Live and Snapchat. You can give customers a live look behind the scenes of interesting aspects of your business or answer live questions through the comments. When new construction work is going on, you can always live stream it for your clients and followers to see. You can demonstrate the kind of process you follow. You can show the machinery you use. All this will help you get your clients in the real-time feel of a construction project. Looking into all this, there are very high chances of you getting new leads. Once the video ends, it lives in your Instagram Stories for 24 hours. If you want a video to remain on your Instagram feed, you can upload a video you’ve taken on IGTV or shoot video directly through the app to post. If you choose to shoot or upload video, you can still add filters and change the cover. Also, you can add them to the Highlights.
Instagram is one of the strongest social media channels for highlighting collaborators and sharing customer success stories. Even if you don’t officially partner with a non-profit organization, you can give to charity or do a fundraiser a couple of times a year. It’s all good as long as the cause aligns with your brand values and mission. You can be a part of a charity construction event where companies come together to erect public or religious buildings. You can post pictures of these events and mention other participants too. And if people repost content on Instagram, your profile will be exposed to a larger circle of mass. Take into account that not everyone is monitoring hashtags on social media, so tagging an account is usually a better choice if you want to get noticed.
Another way to use the feature of mention is to mention your clients. Whenever you work on a particular project, mention the project name or company (for example, a hotel’s name that you built) in your Instagram posts. This will notify your clients as well and there is a chance that they may repost the post. If they repost your updates, you will get more exposure to a new set of audience.
Use Several Hashtags
If you have even the slightest of knowledge of social media marketing, you might be knowing how blooming the hashtags are these days. Hashtags have a lot of potential that can help you connect with new people looking for something similar like your construction business. Hashtags operate as links that help people find the types of photos and accounts they like, and they are most useful when companies create unique hashtags to help brand themselves. If done correctly, hashtags can provide great help in promoting your work. Simply Measured conducted a very interesting study recently, which showed that by using minimum one hashtag per post you can boost user engagement up to 12.6%. Try to establish some characteristic hashtags (for example, #constructionincalgary or #buildingbeautifuledmonton) when you post something on your account. Thanks to this, you can start building a brand for yourself and putting together an online portfolio. What makes hashtags even more interesting is the fact that you can urge your clients to post photos of the work that you did for them under the same hashtags. In that way, you can extend the size of your digital portfolio even more.
The whole point of social media platforms is to build connections and network. If you don’t use this motive at all, you won’t be successful in Instagram, or for that matter on any other social media channel. So make sure you are up for following people and companies, and engage with them. Be sure to follow accounts similar to what you do, or accounts you think your followers would like. For example, interesting people or cool companies. It’s important to build a backward and forward connection with other users and businesses. Look for construction companies that are having a strong social media presence and follow them. And be sure to follow your clients back if they follow you. It goes without saying that you have to follow your customers back when they also decide to follow you.
So what do you need now? You need a quality smartphone that you can use for Instagram marketing and promotion. Make sure that it supports the latest version of Instagram so that you never miss out on any latest feature or trend. Next, you’ll need a right plan to kickstart on Instagram. Think what you wish to achieve. Just like any other marketing process, make sure you identify your goals and work towards them. And lastly, if you think Instagram is too much to handle simultaneously with your construction business, you can hire professionals. Hire Rapid Boost Marketing for all your social media marketing brainstorming and strategies. Along with Instagram, we cater to all the latest social media marketing requirements. And we will put your business on the right track after making an awesome start.
Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing - Canada's fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500's and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company's customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches.
Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they're most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.