Social media has become one of the most important tools that a company can use to heighten brand awareness and attract new customers. It provides a way to engage with a larger audience and project a positive image of your business, with some of the most successful posts reaching thousands - if not millions - of people.
In this series, we'll show you how to get the most out of each of the social media platforms and how to reach as many people as possible. In this instalment, we'll be looking at Instagram.
What Is Instagram?
Instagram is an image-sharing platform where users share aesthetically-pleasing photos and videos with their followers. As engineering is a very visual industry with lots to show off - think machine tools and components - it can lend itself really well to the use of Instagram.
Instagram also allows its users to edit photos before sending by applying a range of filters. It also has a 'Stories' feature where users can submit posts that last for 24 hours - perfect for advertising spare capacity or sharing company news.
Who Uses Instagram?
It's a great platform to get your content in front of younger buyers.
Instagram is used by a varied audience, which means that you can use it to reach pretty much anyone! People from all demographics and walks of life have an Instagram account which they use to view posts based on subjects that they're interested in - this means that if used correctly, you have a high chance of reaching people who are actively involved within engineering and manufacturing.
However, it's worth noting that Instagram, like Youtube, is especially favoured by younger people, so it's a great platform to get your content in front of younger buyers who are starting to progress their purchasing authority.
What Should I Post?
Instagram is all about the aesthetics, which means that it's particularly important that you post quality photos and videos with great composition. Blurry shots of a messy workshop are unlikely to do well on Instagram, nor portray your company in the best possible light. Luckily, Instagram's range of photo enhancing tools, including filters, make it much easier to ensure that your posts look as good as they possibly can prior to publishing, so it's important to utilise these tools with every post.
Anything that will catch the eye of your audience will work wonders.
It's also crucial that you use the correct hashtags with your posts, as this is how your audience will find you. A quick search of '#engineering' returns 7.9million posts, which goes to show that there is definitely an active engineering community on Instagram; however, without using hashtags, your posts will not reach the wider sphere.
When it comes to the subject matter of your posts, anything that will catch the eye of your audience will work wonders. Some possible examples of great Instagram posts include:
- Components and projects: If you're working on an interesting project for a client, then why not take some photos (as long as you're not breaching confidentiality) to post on Instagram? Photos of completed components may also provide visually-appealing content - bonus points if the parts are unusual or complicated!
- Machine tools in action: Videos of machine tools in action make great content for those who have an active interest in engineering. However, it may be best to use a tripod when filming such videos, so as to prevent any accidental shaking of the camera and to make them look as professional as possible.
- Your workshop: By using photos of your premises, you can help to provide potential customers with an insight into your business setup and capabilities. Just make sure that you tidy up beforehand!
- Your staff: As long as your staff are not camera-shy, then posting about them will help your audience to get to know the faces behind the company name. Remember, professionalism is still absolutely key, so don't include the bleary-eyed photos from the Christmas party!
When Should I Post?
Generally speaking, Instagram is used on more of a personal level than a professional one, so try to schedule your posts for when most people are not working. This includes mornings, lunchtimes, evenings and weekends, when people are more likely to check their Instagram feeds.
Consistency is crucial when building a following on any social media platform.
Although consistency is crucial when building a following on any social media platform, it is particularly important when it comes to Instagram. Instagram is quite a fast-paced tool that is continually updated; therefore, in order to ensure that you remain at the forefront, you should post regularly. If you can post every day, then do it - if not, then aim for a minimum of 3-4 times per week.
Further Tips for Instagram Success:
- The importance of hashtags really cannot be understated - without them, your posts probably will not reach anyone who doesn't already follow your account. In order to get an idea of the hashtags you should be using, take a look at the most popular engineering posts on Instagram. Pay attention to the hashtags they've used to reach such a wide audience.
- Always make sure you post good quality photos and videos that have great composition. Use Instagram's built-in filters and editing tools to ensure that your posts are the best that they can be before hitting publish. Good quality posts will help to build a positive representation of your company and are far more likely to be liked and shared.
- Make sure to follow other engineering accounts, as well as the accounts of your customers and prospects (if they have one). This will assist in building your own audience, especially if they follow you back.
- Include links to your Instagram account within your email signature and website. Likewise, make sure that your Instagram account also has a link to your website so that potential customers can get in touch and find out more about your business.
- Remember to engage with your followers. This means liking and replying to their comments on your posts, as well as interacting with their posts. By taking the time to engage with your followers, you'll make them feel valued - this will increase your chances of receiving more interaction in future.
If you would like any further information on how to use Instagram to grow your engineering business, we’re more than happy to help! Simply call Qimtek on 01256 394 500, or email email@example.com