With the reach of Facebook consistently going down, home remodelers have been turning to Instagram to up their social media game. It’s no surprise, wIth over 800 million daily active users, Instagram has become the go-to photo sharing platform for all ages.
As with any social media network, Instagram is about connecting people. In the case of Instagram, it’s about connecting people with pictures. So how can a home remodeler connect with Instagram users? In short, tell a visual story.
There are several ways you can use Instagram, including the recent addition of IGTV, Instagram’s newest feature aimed at longer length video content. Here are specific ways you can use right now to master Instagram and get more remodeling leads.
What Types of Instagram Content Can I Create
First and foremost, you must post to Instagram, regularly. How often should you post to Instagram? As often as possible. This can be daily, or multiple times per day. Each post has a certain life span. There are over 95 million photos and videos posted per day on Instagram. So, chances are that a photo you post today, will reach its lifespan by the end of the day. Get into a rhythm of posting at least once per day.
Try to keep a consistent look and feel for what you are posting. Feel free to mix up the types of posts as well, but stick to a rhythm. Think like a magazine publisher. If a magazine were to publish different style editorial every month, people wouldn’t read it. People like reading a certain publication because they’ll know what to expect next.
When building a following on Instagram, keep within a particular style. This way, your followers will be in anticipation of your next post. They’ll know what to be expecting.
In August 2016, Instagram released their stories function, taking a stab at the popular Snapchat platform. SInce its inception, over 300 million people are using Instagram Stories every day. 70% of those folks watch with the sound on. Instagram is constantly adding new features to Stories. Back in May 2018 you now can natively take an Instagram post and reshare to your Story.
Normally stories only last for 24 hours and then they disappear. You can, however, setup Highlights which saves the story to your specified highlight for as long as you want it to stay there. You can create as many highlights as you want, and save as many stories to each highlight as you want.
Think of highlights as blog categories. You can create a separate highlight for bathrooms, kitchens, accessories, and perhaps one called showroom. In each of these highlights, you’ll want to save your best Instagram Stories that relate to that highlight, or rather, category.
Highlights are accessible at any time to your followers and potential followers, until you delete them. Between posts and stories and story highlights, you can just about create your entire website from just Instagram. Though for obvious reasons, we don’t recommend it. You get the point of its power though.
You can add to your story one of two ways. One option is to go to your profile and tap your profile picture to add a new story. Note, this only works if you currently have no active stories. So the best way to add any new content to your story is by going to the home screen, then swiping left to open up the story composer. Just snap a pic, record a video, or use existing media on your device to add to the story.
You only get one chance to make a great first impression. Think of your Instagram Bio as your company’s about us page on your website. Except, you have a limited amount of space available to you. Right now, Instagram gives you 150 characters to work with in your bio. That’s less than a twitter post so get crafty.
Here’s a nifty Instagram Bio hack for you, two actually. You can (now) insert #hashtags into your bio. So now, your entire account becomes more discoverable when users are browsing or following their favorite hashtag.
The second hack is in your name. Your name is the only thing that is searchable on Instagram, besides your actual @userrname. Your Instagram display name can have up to 30 symbols, including emojis and punctuation. Consider placing your number keyword in your display name. For instance you might put something like: “Company - Kitchen Remodeling”. That’s a total of 28 characters right there, so if your actual business name is longer than 7-9 characters, you’ll want to consider removing extra spaces or coming up with a different keyword.
New: IGTV aka Instagram TV
On June 20th, Instagram changed the world of online media once again. They released IGTV. IGTV is aimed at content creators who want to upload videos longer than the current 60 second restriction on posts and the current 7 second limit on stories.
Of major importance to know: It’s vertical or bust for IGTV. Instagram is doubling down on vertical oriented video with IGTV. Videos can be anywhere from 10 seconds to 10 minutes in length, but the company is rumored to increase the maximum length in the future.
When a user first “turns on” their IGTV by tapping the IGTV icon in the upper right of their news feed, it starts off with a blank static screen, much like turning on an old television set before it was tuned to a station. As with any new feature, Instagram is going to heavily promote new content uploaded to IGTV. In fact, if an account you follow uploads a new video to IGTV, you’ll get a subtle alert in your news feed.
You can get started with IGTV one of two ways. Instagram has developed a completely separate app for IGTV, which is a free download on your app store. When you open the IGTV app, it will already know who you are based on your login with the Instagram app. From there, you will need to create your “channel”. A channel is simply your TV feed. Each time you upload a new video, it’s like a new episode to your channel.
Creating content for Instagram isn’t hard, it’s barely even time consuming. Considering the fact that you can snap, upload, and go – there’s no excuses. At minimum you should be optimizing your Instagram bio for your keywords and hashtags. If you want to master Instagram for your remodeling business, try working on each of the other three areas week by week. Get into a regular rhythm of posting content daily. Next, work on your stories content. Finally, dive into IGTV and explore the possibilities.
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