By: Aimee Cicero, Agency Communications Manager at Brownstein Group
With over 300 million people posting, liking and commenting on pictures, or simply just viewing and following their favorite accounts every month, it’s easy to see why Instagram has become one of the top social media platforms. Due to the visual nature of the architecture and design industry, Instagram is the ideal social platform to share professional project photography, office candids, industry trends, general inspiration and ideas.
Appreciating the value of Instagram’s user base is one thing. Creating an account that is engaging, authentic and relevant is another thing. Here are some quick tips on how to capture a targeted and engaging Instagram audience.
1.What’s Your Profile Personality?
Your profile photo should be a brand identifier. Make sure to complete your profile with your company logo, a short description about your business and your website address. This will allow people to easily contact you or identify you.
As far as photos, people want to see a consistent theme, vibe and voice. After checking out a few photos they will decide if they like what they see and want to see more by following your account. Be sure to stick with whatever theme you choose. All it takes is one bad photo for a fan to decide to unfollow your account.
2. Show Us Your Talents!
What’s the one thing that you or your company is good at or famous for? Did you design that new building that everyone is talking about? Do you use a design or architecture technique that no one else (or few) people use? Do you think that you and your coworkers have more fun at work than anyone else? Well, show that in a picture! It doesn’t have to be flashy or boastful…it just has to be authentic and interesting.
3. Go Behind the Curtain
People love to see how the magic happens so don’t be afraid to show them what you do all day. It could be sketches of the ideation process, a well built model of a current project, a professional photo of a newly completed project or even that the staff took a hard hat tour.
4. Create Captions That Provide Context To the Photo
The caption should add value to the image but not overpower it. Recommended length is about 140 characters. Humor is great but don’t force it…if you can’t think of something funny, just explain what users are looking at. Correct spelling and grammar are a must. And emoji’s are always welcome.
5. Go Easy on the Hashtags
Hashtags are great to connect your photo or your brand with similar photos or a specific event or movement. But they should be relevant and used strategically and sparingly. Two or three hashtags are plenty. Any more than that causes the post to lose its authenticity.
6. Filter It!
A filter is not always needed but some filters like Valencia can really enhance the colors of a photo. A black and white filter can give your photo a vintage look or even use a fun border to make the photo stand out. The #nofilter hashtag is best for pictures that are beautiful on their own and really don’t need a filter. The best Instagram accounts consistently use the same couple filters.
7. Use Video to Shake it Up a Bit
In general, videos get fewer likes than images just because people don’t want to dedicate 15 seconds to watching a complete video. But there are times when experiences require more than a static photo. Just completed an amazing project? Use a short video to show the building’s progress from start to finish. Or perhaps you want to show the full scope and beauty of a project that can only be told through a 360 degree hyperlapse view.
8. Don’t Clog People’s Streams
The general rule of thumb is never post more than three photos a day. One exception to that rule would be a special event such as a milestone or annual event (anniversary event, staff outing, etc.)
9. Don’t be Afraid to Take a Look Back
Using the hashtag #TBT (throwback Thursday) or #FBF (flashback Friday) is a great opportunity to post photos from the past and make them relevant. Maybe you have a great photo from an exhibition last summer or a photo of a room you designed last month. Or maybe even a funny picture from an old firm holiday party. Don’t overdo the trend, however. A #TBT or #FBF every once in a while is just fine.
10. Have Fun!
Instagram is supposed to be fun and creative so don’t be afraid to try new things. If something doesn’t work, no need to worry. Just follow up the post with a picture of a puppy or a baby. They are Instagram gold!