Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, with more than 1 billion users searching and discovering new images, videos, brands, businesses, and content every day. According to Instagram’s User Survey, 60% of people stated they discover new products on Instagram, and more than 200 million Instagrammers stated that they visit at least one Business Profile daily.
It is for this reason that having an Instagram account is vital for building material manufacturers, especially if your target audience is architects, who are constantly seeking inspiring images from conception to construction.
Below, we have provided important tips that can help your company capture the attention of your target audience and stand out from your competitors.
1. Express Your Brand Identity Through Visually-Appealing Content
Instagram owes its speedy expansion to its aesthetic. Being that Instagram is a photo-sharing social media platform, it is fundamental to share visually-appealing content. We highly recommend that you invest in a professional photographer(s) to establish your brand identity and feature your products/projects in the best light.
If you’re interested in publishing both professional and “amateur photos,” balance is key! Your Instagram grid (the image squares that appear when you first visit someone’s profile) is extremely important. If your grid isn’t cohesive, people will not be inclined to follow your account. You don’t ever want to post pixelated, blurry, or random photos that don’t highlight your product. When taking these “amateur” or “on the fly” photographs, make sure you use a camera phone that takes high-quality and clear photos. Once you have your selected photo, consider using the editing tools within Instagram’s platform. There are also some great (and affordable) apps dedicated to transforming your amateur shots into professional-grade photography. Editing your amateur photos will help to establish the visual identity of your grid.
Another important grid tip to focus on is your color palette. You can create a distinct style by selecting a color palette for your photos that relate to your materials and products. You can see a great example of this in Comex’s Instagram account. The paint manufacturer finds beautiful images of colorful buildings and identifies the paint color within their catalog. Their profile is much more than a pamphlet of staged photos, but a useful and unique resource for people to see how to incorporate their paints in everyday life. You can see a similar example in Grupo Cosentino’s grid:
2. Show Who You Are and What You do in a Creative Way
Of course, it’s not only about beautiful images. Remember that the purpose of your Instagram is to introduce customers to your brand and products. So, we recommend highlighting solutions that you can/do provide to architects, rather than simply advertising the products you sell.
Images on your Instagram account don’t have to always come from your brand or factory. You can also highlight the work of your customers by posting images of buildings that have used your products. For other architects, it’s always useful to see how other architects are using products in different applications and contexts.
Lunawood’s Instagram account is a very good example of this. Almost 80% of the content they share on their stream are photos of buildings where their product was featured. They balance these images with others that evoke their message of sustainability: “Love for the Forest,” using pictures of amazing landscapes and animals.
3. Post Videos
It is proven that videos receive twice the amount of comments as other posts. This is very important to note when engaging with your audience. Videos can help show a more human side of your brand, from taking your followers behind-the-scenes to filming your team working in the factory.
Instagram promotes the use of videos, and for that reason, they have created other features to share audiovisual content: Instagram Stories, Live Videos, and Instagram TV. Be sure to take advantage of Instagram Stories to distribute content and generate brand awareness. Stories will help your brand show some personality and apply a narrative to your products. They can also be more intimate, and since you can share more real-time content here, these videos can be less polished than the posts you use for your feed.
You can use videos to generate informative content that your followers will appreciate. Or even better, you can reach potential clients that found your post while they were exploring similar content on instagram. Architects have a natural curiosity about where their materials and construction products come from, and you can use videos to show them their whole lifecycle. DIY videos are also very popular on Instagram. Learn from them and propose creative solutions to construction problems using your products!
In the next example, Terrazzo & Marble Supply Co. uploaded a video that shows the pouring process of their product “Terroxy.” For architects, it is important (either out of curiosity or for the technical information) to be informed about how the material is applied in the building construction process.
4. Engagement Should be Your Most Important Metric
More than 80% of businesses consider engagement the most important metric. Why? Because measuring engagement allows you to know if you’re reaching the right audience with your brand and if your content is relevant to them. To better understand, we can say Engagement is the number of interactions a user has with your content and it usually comes in the form of likes and comments.
Improve your engagement and build a strong community by interacting with your audience. If your follower’s comment on your posts or ask questions, make sure to respond to them. You can also mention other Instagram accounts in your posts to show that you’re part of a wider community.
On Zumtobel’s Instagram account, the experts in lighting solutions highlighted its partnership with an important Art and Light Festival, also mentioning three of the most important artists who work with light as main resource.
Ver esta publicación en Instagram
Proud partner of the first edition of @lichtstadtfeldkirch, a festival of light with art | Various international artists transform the historic old town of Feldkirch in Austria into a unique architecture, design and art experience. | @studioolafureliasson @videogeist @davidreumueller
5. Use Hashtags in a Smart Way
Using hashtags can be an effective way to expose your brand to new audiences that care about the niche in which you are involved. For example, if you want your content to reach people who are interested in wooden products and sustainability, you could add the hashtags #Wood and #EcoFriendly to your posts. Through hashtags, you’re helping people find your posts more easily. However, don’t overuse them. Be sure to use a maximum of 5 hashtags that are relevant to your post. If you use too many, your post could look like spam.
We recommend that you create a branded hashtag that’s unique to your business. This could be your company name, the name of one of your products, or the motto that identifies your brand.
In the case of Fritz Hansen, they highlight their branded hashtag (which is the name of the Company) in their profile description and encourage their followers to share images of their own Fritz Hansen products, using the hashtag for a chance to be featured on the company's official Instagram account. This is a great source of user-generated content that you can use on your account to help strengthen your follower’s community. On the plus side, it is free marketing from people that actually love your brand. And when potential clients see other people loving your products, they will be more likely to buy it themselves.
On the other hand, Hunter Douglas promotes their branded hashtag, #ThePerfectShade. You could think that it has nothing to do with their company or products, but it evokes a cool, calm aesthetic that is featured on their stream, as well as one of the most important quality of the products they sell.
6. Tagging and the Figure of the Influencer
Another way to increase engagement, grow your community, and receive more exposure on your posts is by mentioning other Instagram users. You can tag other users to share posts with your community, to credit someone’s photo, to mention a partnership or collaboration, or to get an influencer’s attention. It’s important you do this strategically and not just tag users, at will
An influencer campaign usually involves paying a brand or person with a much larger following to promote your product or service. It's a great way to gain a large number of new followers, quickly. In the case of NeoLith, they worked on the refurbishment of the World's Best Pastry Chef, Cedric Grolet’s Parisian apartment. Just as you could imagine, the results were impressive!
Ver esta publicación en Instagram
Neolith® celebrates being the choice of Chef @cedricgrolet, the World's Best Pastry Chef - @gaultetmillau Pâtissier of the Year 2018. For the reform of his Parisian apartment, Grolet wanted to communicate a ‘closeness to nature’ which visitors to his apartment would sense as soon as they enter. Therefore going for Neolith®, a surface with 100% natural composition and excellent properties for exercising his culinary genius! Watch the full interview through the link in BIO👆🏼. In collaboration with @escape_and_co. . . . #Neolith #SinteredStone #CedricGrolet #50best #WorldsBestPastryChef #Pastry #Kitchen #Design #Durability #Surfaces #BeautifulKitchens #NeolithGourmet #Prestigious #Pride
You can also follow the accounts of those architects who have used your products and materials in their work. Other apps, such as Regram (not approved by Instagram), allow you to re-publish content that is related to your company on your own account. This way, architects names will appear on your feed and this will help you build trust and reach new clients.
On their posts, Vibia Light always tags the lightning or interior designers behind every work they post, as well as the photographer.
Final Considerations from the Experts:
- Commit to a Regular Posting Schedule
Once you start building a following on Instagram, your fans will expect to see posts from you on a regular basis. You want to keep them aware of your brand and engaged with your content.
It’s important to know that there’s no one time that’s best to post for all businesses. Hootsuite and Unmetric analyzed 200,000 Instagram posts in 11 different industries and determined that the best time to post on Instagram varies greatly depending on your industry. However Instagram Insights shows you exactly when your followers are online, broken down by day.
To access this information, go to your Instagram business profile, click the three bar icon in the top right corner, then click Insights. Click on the Audience tab and scroll down to see active times.
Through Instagram’s analytics tool, you can also track the results of individual posts, ads, and stories, as well as your Instagram business account as a whole.
- Advertise on Instagram
Instagram can provide great organic business results, but it’s also worth investing in Instagram Ads to ensure you get your content in front of a wider (but very targeted) audience.
In addition to extending the reach of your content, Instagram Ads include call-to-action buttons that allow users to take action straight from Instagram, reducing the number of steps required to get them to your website or promotion.