Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has steadily emerged as a powerful tool in content marketing. User-generated visuals without the need for a timeline structure has elevated the social media platform as a foundational way for businesses to connect and communicate with existing and future clients. The photo-centric medium lends itself perfectly to the visual nature of the design industry; however, many AEC firms are still hesitant to embrace Instagram as a marketing model.
Here are a few reasons AEC firms should consider adding Instagram to their social media arsenal.
1. Promote Project Lifecycles
People love to see what goes on “behind the scenes” of a project, and sometimes, work-in-progress is just as interesting, if not more so, than the final product. Show your followers the steps it takes to get to completion. Sketches, milestone events and day-to-day activity are all great ways to keep viewers engaged and put your project’s progress on display.
2. Highlight Company Culture
It’s easy to get caught up in the beautiful imagery of projects but don’t forget about your employees. Posting personnel photos provide past, current and future clients insight into company culture and values. Photos of meetings can suggest collaborative work efforts and thought processes. Field trips to product suppliers and industry events demonstrate professional development. Team party photos humanize your firm and tell the world that your office is a fun place to work – a recruiting bonus.
3. Engage Followers with Hashtags
Hashtags help users discover content and accounts to follow. The right hashtag, or combination of hashtags, will expose your brand to large and targeted audiences. By becoming more discoverable, there is a better chance of attracting new followers, getting more likes and increasing engagement.
4. Strengthen Relationships
Tagging allows you to elevate the profiles of clients, partners and influencers, while also gaining followers of your own account. With a tag callout, the person or brand will be much more likely to comment or like your post, which increases engagement on both sides. Tagging also means that your photo will show up on the other individual’s or brand’s “Photos of You” section on their profile, expanding your reach to their followers.
You don’t always have to share photos of your own firm’s work. If you find a building or detail interesting, share a photo and let followers now why you like it. Share list of the “must read” articles for the week. Encourage followers to support a cause that’s important to your firm.
Creating and populating an Instagram account can feel daunting or seem like just “one more thing to do,” but failing to do so keeps your pictures – and projects and people – from saying thousands of words. With a little planning and perseverance, Instagram can be a great complement to other content marketing and business development efforts.