In our last blog article, we talked about Facebook and some mistakes you might be making if you are part of the home services industry. It seemed only fitting that we continue in the social media vein for this week and try to answer some questions you may be having about the third most popular social networking platform out there––Instagram.
The question we hear most often about Instagram is just what you would imagine it to be:
Does my Home Services Business Need an Instagram Page?
Great question! And the truth is, the answer is entirely dependent on you and your business. If we were talking about a clothing shop or an online store, we would probably have a more definite answer for you, but when you are selling a service rather than a product, such as in the home services industry, it really does depend.
There are some pros and cons you may want to consider before jumping on Instagram and creating an account with nothing but a username idea and good intentions.
A Few Pros:
Instagram has over 1 billion monthly users
With that many users, you can imagine the potential a well-maintained account can have! (Key word: well-maintained)
Instagram is a heavily visual platform, which is fantastic for showing off recently completed projects or your team’s new group photo
Wider audience reach
This platform’s users are unarguably a majority Millenial and Gen Z, which will be, inevitably, your biggest customer base in the not-so-distant future
A Few Cons:
With Instagram (and other social platforms), you get out what you put in; meaning in order to see results, you have to be willing to put in a good, consistent effort.
This is both a blessing and a curse. Continuously creating visual content is difficult on its own, but it’s also not enough to just have pictures, they need to be good. And strategic.
Instagram users expect appealing and screenshot-worthy content, and, like it or not, they might judge the quality of your business on the quality of your online presence.
Those are, of course, just a handful of pros and cons you might have to think about, but there are several more we didn’t mention that you might want to jot down and ponder.
The question remains: As a home services business, do we need an Instagram?
Well, how did the pros and cons weigh out for your business? Make your decisions based on your honest response.
If you feel that you can maintain your Instagram account well enough to see lead generation, then yes, open an account and go for it! (Just make sure you open a business account, not a personal one!)
If you’re not sure that you have the time to invest in it and you know in the back of your head that it will probably be an afterthought, you might be better off shying away from Instagram for the time being. Revisit the idea later, when you think you can do it well.
For the home services industry, Facebook is a staple, and Instagram is slightly less so.
If you decide that your business would definitely benefit from a presence on Instagram, here are a few quick tips to help you get started (or improve):
3 Quick Instagram Tips
1. Show, Don’t Tell
You’ve all heard this one before, and it’s true in so many contexts. As a highly visual platform, the emphasis is on the picture, so make the picture amazing. Show what you do, what you know, and who you are as a company.
In the words of Neil Patel in one of his articles, “Instagrammers are shoppers.” And it’s true. With the nature of the platform, Instagram users love to shop based on what they see. Sell your message first, then sell your services… all through what you show.
Quality, relevant, and branded photos are key.
2. Have a Plan
If you are going to do Instagram for your business, do it right. It is one thing for a regular user or an influencer to post cute pictures of their dog, etc., but you are there to show your business off to the world. Have a strategy.
For example, if you are going to post that cute picture of your dog, make sure it’s wearing a shirt with your logo on it, and it’s sitting on one of your job sites. You may think we’re joking, but we guarantee it’s been done before!
At Social Media Examiner, they say you should rotate among these three things in your Instagram content:
Provide value. Promote. Connect.
(Find out more about their approach to Instagram strategy here)
3. Be Consistent
We won’t dwell too much on this one. We’ve said it so many times before. Be consistent in your content!
You know there is such a thing as too little when posting; but, believe it or not, there is also such a thing as too much. Find that balance between the two and keep close to it. Use that plan we just talked about.
Bonus tip: Take advantage of all Instagram’s extra features such as stories, tags, IGTV, etc. (because your prospects are looking at those too).
As always, there is a lot more we could say about Instagram, best practices for using it, and social media in general. For now, we just wanted to leave you with an idea of whether or not this social media platform would be useful for you, and, if so, how to get the most out of it starting out.
If your overall digital marketing strategy could use a fresh eye, contact us for a free strategy session. We would love to see what we could do to improve your online presence and grow your business!
In the meantime, check out these businesses in the home services industry that are doing Instagram right!