Guide to Instagram Content for Contractors
When you think of Instagram you think an image only social platform. But there is more to Instagram than just images. There are three main areas, the image, the caption and the hashtags. Not including your bio, as this page is just for content.
What you see most of the time on contractors just like you are daily images or selfies, maybe a few job posts or look what I did today posts. That is all fine and well, but not much of a plan to reach a goal.
When I look at a profile, one of the first things I look at is how many followers. Now this is not to say a low follower amount is hurting their business, but what I am thinking is if they have a low number, not many people are interested in them. That is where the problem lies.
NOTE: Do not buy followers ever. They don’t help your business in any way. When I see a business with an abnormally high follower count, I look at their follower list. Most times it is people who couldn’t, wouldn’t or flat out can not use their service for what ever reason. DO NOT BUY FOLLOWERS.
What is the REAL goal of your Instagram?
You have to ask yourself this with everything you do in marketing and Instagram is no different. What I like to tell my clients is this. It is a way to express your business in an open, air media source. It is a way for people to see the quality of your work. It is a way to show people you are a living, breathing person, who owns a business.
The real goal is to gain business and you do this through visual story telling. If an image is worth a thousand words, then make your images speak volumes. Tell your story, who you are, what you do, how you do it, where you do it, when you do it and why you do it.
When you show who you are, this should be one of your first images. Maybe a company group images. People like to see who is going to be coming in or to their home. You can do a “Hello” I am John Doe and I own ABC Builders in Anytown, MO, USA. Tell them who you are as a business owner and family structure. Something you would tell a first-time customer or to a person you are giving an estimate to. No need to get to private, but something you would tell someone on the street about yourself and business. Your elevator pitch. TELL YOUR STORY!
I can not stress enough for my clients to show off the crew. I know Susie Homemaker make look at them like they are the gang from Brave Heart, but dress them up in company t-shirts, hats, whatever and display them. If you are not proud of them to be on your crew, then why would you feel safe sending them to a customers house? For content purposes you can have a new employee post or an employee of the month. Did your employee let the homeowners dog in? Use that in a post, it may go along way with dog owners.
You want to show what you do. This can be done is series or on a scheduled day. You can theme it, like a Saturday SHOW OFF or Friday Follies. If you paint, build, clean or something of that nature show before, during and after images. If you make repairs, show what it looks like before you fix that mess and the clean repair you do. Example: If you are a plumber and you go out to fix a leaking supply line under a kitchen sink, show the to long of a supply line that is wrapped around everything under the sink and the damage the leak causes, then show the nice clean shorter supply line that is going straight up to the faucet connection.
This is also good content to show what you have to go through on a daily basis. Trips to the supply yard, sitting in traffic to get to the estimate, etc. TELL YOUR STORY!
In the “What” content you can show off some of the products you use. Explain why you like this product, but ALWAYS tell how it benefits the customer.
EXAMPLE: You are using #Sherwin-Williams #Emerald paint. It has a life time warranty. Say something in the caption like, “I love using this paint! It covers great and is a one coat applications, but there is a down side. I only get to apply it once, as it lasts a lifetime.”
Here is where you tell where. Maybe in the caption or by using #Hashtags, you tell where. You can really micro in to a development in your town to a larger geographical area. Go big, then go home. By this I mean in your #hashtags and captions. Example: #Pennsylvania #Philadelphia #LibertyBell
Tag or do an @thesuppliers or @thesalesman of your suppliers. This does a few things for you. One it makes you interact with that business, person, etc. On Instagram, but it also helps you get a piece of their network as well.
I really hate explaining it like this but it is simple. Think of that @suchandsuch and #wheretheywork is like a virus. You not only infect them, but everyone they touch. I know a little rough, but it is a good analogy. But, remember just like a virus, it is weakened a bit, the further away from the host (Your post). TELL YOUR STORY! Where is part of that story along with the who is at the where. LOL I don’t even know if that is proper grammar, but you get my point.
When is a place in time. For content purposes it could be the end of the day when you are leaving the job #SuperClean or when you buy the crew #LunchTime. It could be a daily theme like #TBT #ThrowBackThursday when you first started your business. It can be anything you want like a #NoonTimeNugget of a tip. It can be whatever you heart desires. If you use the #Hashtag generator in this post I guarantee you will find some pretty creative #hastags. Plus, you can type in a #hashtag on #Instagram itself and see the volume. NOTE: Don’t settle for the large volume #hashtags, zero in on something micro or originally you. TELL YOUR STORY!
If you are doing something dangerous #SafetyFirst or something critical #Details. Show off your processes, your systems, your trade secrets. If when you walk into a home to work you put throw tarps or #FloorProtection down, tag it. You never know where that #Hashtag will go. I have built a network of software developers just from them finding me through #hashtags. Which was not my intent, but pretty cool to have some input on developing a piece of software. Still waiting for the royalties, but hey, glad to help and have input.
Get creative with how you show off your “How”. It could be a short video of you sharpening your chainsaw blade, so you have cleaner, faster cuts. It could be how clean you leave a job.
Think of HOW, your how is a benefit to your customer. A clean, safe, happy how speaks volumes to those who see your post. What do you think a customer would think of your company when they see your post with throw blankets covering a stairway, with the proper scaffold and a smiling worker looking down at you as you snap a shot? TELL YOUR STORY!
This is the last thing in and most important word. It is so important books are written about it, Simon Sinek did an impressive video on it and I have it written on a white board in my office in a Sharpie “Why, the most important word!” and I feel it is, in life.
For content purposes, your why can be #HappyCustomers or #FamilyTime or #ManCaveTime. Show off your “WHY”. Remember that image you took of your guys covering that piano? Why did you do that? Because, you care. When you combine you who, what, where, when and how with your why, it has impact. Impact on how your image tells those thousand words. Now not everyone sees and image or post in the same way. But, when you include your why into more posts, put some thought into it, people notice.
Even though if you ask them what they see, they may not mention it. I did a survey on this a few years back. I asked people what an image said to them. Most never mentioned the why, until I said “What do you see as the why?” Then and only then did the emotional response come out. Many peoples why are kept inside them. It is the pain or gain emotion that people guard.
Include as many why’s into your posts as is natural. TELL YOUR STORY! Everyone’s story has a why. Every story from Star Wars, to the Matrix, to the Note Book has a why and so does your story.
Now that that is out of the way. NOTE: THOSE SIX WORDS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT IN ANY MARKETING PLAN OR CAMPAIGN. Let’s move on to a scheduled content topics, for 31 days of content. You can change it up or add your own, but here is 31 topics to use.
There is a ton of 30 day Instagram challenges out there for you to draw ideas from. But, I am a contractor marketing guy, so I lean more toward the content that helps this industry. So, you won’t see me mention any in my opinion not worthy topics.
- Show a testimonial or review
- Tell something about you people don’t know.
- Mention a follower
- Mention a vendor
- Mention a customer
- Show your crew
- Show your favor tool
- Show your daily grind
- Show before and after
- Make an offer
- Introduce a network partner
- Motivational Quote
- Show off a product you use
- Share a tip
- Share a blog post
- Share your why
- Show gratitude (There is something to be thankful for every day, even if it the alarm clock waking you up)
- Show something you learned today
- Mention someone or something in your area (Positive Only)
- Show a hobby or company community activity (Do you make model cars or donate time to a cause)
- Show off your workspace, work place or jobsite
- Show off your fleet or equipment that you use to get the job done.
- Show an interest view or your point of view (Imagine a plumber in a crawlspace or a tree guy high up)
- Show something you look forward too.
- Show off a happy customer (Think of HGTV when they let a homeowner see something for the first time after a remodel)
- Show a problem you solve
- Show the solution you use to solve that problem
- Show how far you have come (Throwback Thursday)
- Share a Free tip
- Show where you buy supplies
- Show your WHY again.
Every month has a theme, November has Thanksgiving, December, Christmas…August is a no holiday month so you are on your own there. LOL Freestyle that one.
There is a ton of things you can share, show, or mention. Get creative, think (Marketing is a thinking mans game) about what your customers want to see. Think about what you post and how it benefits them. Not only in the project you do, but how “You” benefit them.
Set up a day a month to write out what you plans are, what content you will do each day. Make a spreadsheet, follow it and log the results. Write down what your follower count is at the beginning and end, write down who and what is commented, track the persona’s of the followers. These are all important things to note and make improving easier.
Rome, wasn’t built in a day and neither will your Instagram and like life, it is a journey, improving in little steps, baby steps one day, leaps the next, falling on others. But, little and OFTEN are the things that make much.
Remember, people do business with people.