Whether you are an Electrician, a Plumber, a gas engineer or a carpenter, Instagram can work for you.
This guide has been written specifically with the trades in mind by Logic4training’s digital marketing expert, Jonny Lawrence.
We hope you find it useful.
How to be an Instagram master
Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform and learning to master it can give your business a nice lift.
For those of you wondering what it’s all about, it really couldn’t be simpler. The platform is all about visual content.
Users share photos on their own “feed” which can then be seen by their followers.
Browsing Instagram has long been seen as a young person’s past-time but over the last year or two, this has changed.
Everyone loves a photo and this is why Instagram is so popular – It’s replaced the photo album, it’s a visual diary and it’s a really good marketing tool.
Follow Logic4training on Instagram
Why the trades should be on Instagram
It might surprise you to find out that the trades are well represented on Instagram.
Plumbers, gas engineers and electricians post their work, unusual situations, tips for their mates and advertise their businesses on Instagram.
The main advantages of being on the platform are as follows:
- Free advertising – Through clever strategies (we’ll go into that later) you can get your business out there with no expense.
- Quality Control – If you take pride in your work and you know you’re good at what you do then you’ll want to keep that standard and share pictures of your latest jobs. If the whole world can see your work it had better be done right, if your peers are going to see it and there are mistakes, you can guarantee they’ll let you know!
- Endorsements from peers – A beautiful bit of pipe work? A perfectly wired up board? When you do share something that is expertly put together expect the trades to give you your dues.
- Customer Relationships – Last but not least is the ability to communicate with your customers. If they see hard work and quality on a regular basis from you, you will be the first person on their mind when they need that new boiler fitting.
Tips for trades people on Instagram
First of all I would advise having separate accounts for your personal life and your business.
Your customers probably don’t want to see your drunken nights out, even if they might enjoy your dog or cat pictures from time to time.
Having two Instagram accounts is easy to setup. To get a business account all you need is a Facebook page (the two platforms are linked). You can then switch accounts from the Instagram app.
It’s up to you
Have a clear idea of what you want to show your customers and other tradesmen and women.
It might evolve over time but it could reflect your personality, what you want to say about your business or just show the way you work.
Try not to sell too much. The best feeds mix it up, showing products and services in “real life” but not forcing it down people’s throats.
Finding a balance is the key.
The Logic4training Instagram feed has quite a lot of information on our courses but also a lot of day to day activities in our centres.
We have a link to our website in the about section as well as call and email buttons. They are easy to setup but are only available if you have a business page rather than a personal one.
Make sure your information is visible and if you have a website put the link up there. If you don’t then your phone number should be front and centre.
Build your feed
Start taking photos straight away. If you have a new smart phone (something from the last 2 years) the photo quality will be good enough.
Here are a few ideas to get your creativity flowing
- Make sure you take good quality, well-lit pictures.
- Try theming your feed
- Tell stories
- Be consistent with any filters you use (so all your pictures have a similar look and feel to them)
- Don’t over-do the editing
- Try using text in images
Last year, Instagram introduced “Stories”. This gives people the ability to publish live video, record short 10 second clips or publish photos which disappear after a little while.
Stories are great for work in progress. This is useful for tradesmen sharing work process, maybe the odd bit of advice or a chance to be a bit silly.
On-site videos with proper hashtags will help generate new followers and possibly new business but it’s up to you to find the sweet spot.
If you’ve ever used Twitter you will be familiar with the concept of hashtags. If you’re not they are a way of making your post easier to find.
For example if I use the hashtag #Logic4training, when people search for Logic4training anything with that hashtag will pop up.
The rules for hashtags on Instagram are different to Twitter. With Twitter you should use one strong hashtag, with Instagram you want to use at least 11 relevant tags.
This is the best way to keep people finding your posts over time. With the right #, people will keep finding your posts even months later.
How to get more followers
Quantity isn’t everything, although it does help. What you want are followers who are potential customers, people local to you and fellow professionals.
The best way to increase your followers is to follow other accounts.
Pick 5 accounts with reasonable amounts of followers that fall within your catchment area. For example if you live in Luton you could target local Luton businesses or council related accounts and follow their followers.
This is really effective free advertising as it puts your business in front of people for free. You just have to spend a little time on it.
To get the most out of this strategy you need to have a good feed going, so make sure you have a few photos and all the relevant information and calls to action on your account before you start.
Make sure you then like and comment on other people’s feeds, it will help cement your relationship on the platform.
You then need to unfollow accounts that don’t follow you back over time (keeping any accounts you like to follow regardless).
There are a number of apps that you can download to help you unfollow people, I use Followers+ which also has some good insights into how your Instagram profile is performing.
Give it a go!
It’s so easy to get started with Instagram if you’re not already on there. Spending as little as 15 minutes per day on and off can have real results.
We have gone from 200 to over 1000 followers in 2 months since spending more time taking photos, creating stories and following more people.
Try it and see if it benefits your business.
If you want more tips check out Social Media Examiner. They have a great article on Instagram for business as well as lots of other useful online marketing advice.
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