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Choosing Social Media Platforms
Social media has entirely changed the world of marketing and sales for the building industry. Gone are the days when office visits were a requirement for potential customers to get to know you and your business. Now, they can simply look you up online. The internet has made having a strong online presence more than just a good idea — it’s an essential part in reaching your potential customers.
While you should consider many facets to build a robust online presence, being active on social media is both the best place to start and easiest to maintain.
But make sure you have a game plan before you begin posting. First, you need to know which social media platforms are the best place for your business to be active.
Influencer Marketing Hub claims there are more than 100 Social Media Sites Worth Watching in 2021. Furthermore, Search Engine Journal says that there are eight major social media platforms for marketing. You have a lot of options to consider when building your online presence, but the good news is that you’ll have some help deciding.
Choosing your social media platforms is a decision you won’t need to make often. Plus, it’s an easy decision if you know who you sell to. Here’s the strategy that our clients use to choose their platforms.
1. Define Your Ideal Customer
The first step in knowing where to be active on social media is knowing who you serve best. If you already know who your ideal client is, then you’re well on your way! But, if that picture isn’t clear yet, you can start by building a buyer persona. There are many great resources about personas available, but our favorite is the Make My Persona Tool from HubSpot.
Taking the time to build an accurate persona will help you define who you serve and also tell you how you can find them on social media.
2. Learn Where Your Ideal Customers Live Online
Once your ideal persona is created, the next step is to learn more about where that person spends their time on the internet.
Demographic data can be very useful for this, as it takes a lot of the guesswork out of determining where you’re most likely to find your ideal customer.
For instance, companies like Sprout Social have published user data for major social media platforms that include descriptive statistics on the demographic user categories. Resources like this can help you determine where you’re most likely to find more people that you can help.
But, often the best method for learning more about the social media habits of your clients is simply to ask them. You could make it a standard question when you’re doing an exploratory call. Or, you could text some of your past favorite clients and ask them what they like to use. The answers may surprise you!
3. Choose the Right Social Media Platforms for Your Building Business
Now that you know who you serve best and where they spend their time online, it’s time to put the pieces together.
The social media platforms should be clear at this point. If you’re still unsure, revisit your persona to get more specific on their details.
The next step is to create a business profile and begin executing your growth strategy!
What does that strategy look like?
Here’s our opinion on the best social media platforms for builders.
- Facebook: It’s hard to beat Facebook for the building industry. Even with Facebook’s push towards paid advertising and growing groups, having an active business page is still an amazing way to generate visibility and create new leads for your business. When you combine both organic and paid facets, you can really dial in your lead generation!
- Instagram: Let’s face it — homes are beautiful, and Instagram is all about beautiful, trendy content. That’s why it’s one of our favorite platforms for the building industry. Effectively utilizing Instagram for your building business is one of the best decisions you can make for new lead generation.
See How My Agency Can Bring You Better Quality Leads
Organic Social – use real conversations to attract your ideal client.
Website Optimization – ensure your website attracts and converts your ideal customer.
Email Marketing – keep in front of your future customers with value-filled emails.
Paid Social – supercharge your growth with targeted paid strategies
Organic Facebook for the Building Industry
The goal is to use Facebook Organically to get the most exposure and growth for your building industry business without paying for ads or boosting posts.
The following 10 steps is a process we’ve proven over and over again for effectively generating organic leads through a Business Facebook Page.
10 Steps to Effectively Generating Organic Leads With Facebook
Facebook is one of the best platforms to use for generating organic leads in the building industry.
Your ideal customers are going to be on Facebook, and with the proper strategy, you will be able to attract them, convert them to raving fans, and delight them with a quality home or renovation.
These 10 steps are a proven process for generating organic leads with your Facebook Page. However, they’re not the only thing you need for long term success. To get that success, you’ll need to follow every part of the Ultimate Guide to Internet Marketing for the Building Industry.
For now, let’s take a closer look at how to generate organic leads on Facebook.
1. Begin With a Complete Business Page
Effectively generating organic leads with Facebook begins with having a well built Business Page.
Some business owners create a “personal” Page for their business, thinking that’s the only option. Unfortunately, this approach looks unprofessional, and doesn’t give you access to any of the wonderful tools that a Business Page does.
Creating a business page is easy. Log into your personal page, click the Pages button on the left or top of the screen, and click Create. From there, follow the instructions, and you’ll have a Business Page in a few short minutes!
Don’t stop there, though. One of the largest benefits of having a business page is that it will provide information that your audience will be asking for.
Facebook will prompt you to fully fill out your business profile, which you should do. This will include your contact information, website address, street address, and more. If your business doesn’t have some of these things, there’s an option to keep those details hidden.
By taking the time to fully set up your Business Page, you’ll be able to enjoy the many benefits it provides. These include:
- Answering many of your audience’s basic questions.
- Providing you with detailed analytics for how your page and posts are performing.
- Opening up communication options that are only available to businesses.
- Positioning your business on Facebook as an authority.
2. Use the Creator Studio to Batch “Schedule” Your Daily Posts
To effectively generate organic leads with Facebook, you must remember that you’re working with an algorithm. The more things you do that the algorithm loves, the more it will put your organic content in front of your followers.
Posting every single day tells the algorithm that you’re serious about reaching your audience. While it’s not the only key to good lead generation, it’s a pivotal part of the puzzle.
However, remembering to post every day can take a lot of effort, even for people who live online like we do at The Coutts Agency.
Here’s a little marketing secret you can take and use right now. Facebook has a free Creator Studio for Business Pages that allows you to schedule your content in advance!
This feature is so powerful. We use it every single week to ensure that all the content for each of our Facebook or Instagram Business Pages is scheduled to post exactly when we need it to.
Another advantage is that you can crosspost your Facebook Posts to Instagram (if the image/video is within the proper size ratio for Instagram). The crossposting feature allows you to produce more high-quality posts with less effort.
Using the Creator Studio provides you with the power to stay in front of your audience on both Facebook and Instagram, without wearing yourself out trying to remember to post daily.
Best practice is to use the Creator Studio once a week and schedule the next seven days’ worth of posts. Begin by scheduling the next seven Facebook posts. Then, crosspost them to Instagram in the opposite daily order.
To get the most from scheduling posts, you’ll want to study the Page & Post insights to learn what’s working well. Then, continue adjusting your strategy based on what the data tells you.
3. Use Stories Every Day
Facebook Stories are short clips that have a 24 hour lifespan. You may be wondering why it’s worth posting these each day. The first reason is, again, that the algorithm likes it!
However, there’s another powerful, yet subtle reason. Story Posts are a wonderful opportunity to reveal a little bit about the inner workings of your business.
For example, a Story showing a 15 second video clip of a humorous incident in the office will add a layer of depth to your brand. Your followers will start to connect with who you are, not just what you do. The benefit of this is that by the time those followers are ready to seriously discuss a project with you, they’ll feel as though they already know you.
Stories also provide a benefit that your business needs — you can build links to websites directly into them! This feature is available for any business page within the Creator Studio. It’s also available within the Stories function on your Facebook page, if your page has over 10,000 followers.
Unfortunately, Stories cannot be prescheduled. They can only be immediately posted. Here’s the benefits of each way to post a story:
- From the Facebook App or online: This gives you fun options like graphics, emojis, and text placement. It’s perfect for providing information or calling attention to details.
- From the Creator Studio: This interface is more limited. However, one massive benefit is that it allows for links to be built in, regardless of your page size. This is exceptionally powerful, especially if you need to increase phone or website traffic.
- From the Instagram App: Posting stories from your connected Instagram account allows you to share them to your Facebook Business Page at the same time. This saves you from either recreating the same story on each app or trying to generate a unique Story on both apps each day.
Check out the Story options in the Creator Studio — there’s more than just “links” available. You can also choose “Call Now” and many other powerful options that may be perfect for your business’s needs.
Properly using Stories can build rapport for your company in a way that seems more personable than when using regular Posts. They can also become powerful drivers of traffic to your website, helping turn your audience into leads and ultimately into happy customers!
4. Actively Participate in Groups
Facebook Groups is one of the hottest features that Facebook is pushing right now. And if Facebook is pushing it, then it’s worth your time to use!
A Group differs from a Business Page in that it’s more of a collaborative community, generally centered around a topic or business.
There’s two ways that Groups can become a huge accelerant for your building business: joining an existing group or creating one of your own for others to join.
Join an Existing Facebook Group
First, you can post into other groups to spread the word about who you are, what you do, and who you do it for. This works best when you target groups that have to do with a specific area, such as “Lake Wallenpaupack Post Anything You Want.”
To be most successful with this strategy, you’ll want to build a list of 10-12 groups that have 1,000+ members and then post into one or two of them a day. Keep cycling through the list once you complete it. Doing this will help your Business Page grow over time and also will build trust and authority for your brand within the local community.
One point worth adding is that you’ll most likely have to join Groups with your personal Facebook Page. While some Groups do allow Business Pages to join, most do not. You may also want to message the Admins of the group to discuss your intentions with them. Many admins will not mind you occasionally sharing your Business Page into the group if they understand your intent.
The best strategy when you’re in a group with your personal page is to share one of your best performing Business Page Posts into the Group. Our clients have experienced exponential page growth with this strategy.
Create Your Own Facebook Group
The second strategy to consider is creating your own Facebook Group. While this method is more challenging and requires more work it can become a concentrated place for your prospects, customers, and team members to collaborate.
When creating a Facebook Group, target it to a specific audience instead of your business. Estemerwalt Log Homes did this well when they created their group “Log Homes of the Northeast.” They clearly identify the what (Log Homes) and the where (Northeast) in the Group name. This helps attract more people who fit their ideal customer persona, which is who the group is for.
As you build your own Group, keep your Customer Persona(s) in front of you to ensure you’re creating something that your customers will actually use and enjoy.
5. Write Posts That Are Compelling, Educational, and Trust-Building
The quality of your copy, or text, will make or break your social media posts.
When your Customer Persona reads your posts, they should connect with what’s written and feel compelled to take the action you’re suggesting, such as clicking the link to your website.
There are three pillars to effective social media copywriting. When you consistently achieve them, your audience will engage more with your content and look forward to seeing your daily posts. Let’s take a closer look at these essential aspects of social media copywriting:
- Social media copy must be compelling: What’s the goal, the desired action, that each post is designed for? You must ask this question with every post you’re creating. You should design every post to compel your audience to take action or feel a certain way. This builds a connection between your audience and your company, which is vital to converting your followers into leads, and eventually, customers.
- Social media copy must be educational: It’s been said that people will buy from whoever they “know, like, and trust” most. When using social media to attract new clients, providing education is one of the key elements to helping your audience know that you’re the best choice for their project when the time comes. Your posts should regularly educate your audience about a facet of building which they may be unfamiliar with. This post below from the Mountain Woodworking Page does a great job of building trust through education.
- Social media posts should build trust with your audience: If people buy from those they “know, like, and trust”, then building trust is one of the most important values that your social media posts can provide. Every post you create is an opportunity to position your business as a trusted expert in your field. You can achieve this through little things like ensuring grammar and spelling are correct and bigger things like providing accurate information to your audience.
6. Incorporate Photos or Videos Into Every Post
People browse through social media with their eyes. So, ask yourself: what’s more attractive, a block of text or a photo with text underneath?
Our testing has consistently shown that posts on Facebook including a photo or video perform significantly better than text-only posts!
We believe there’s a simple psychological reason behind this, especially for the building industry. A house is one of the largest investments most people will ever make, and we all dream of having a picture-perfect home. Therefore, when we see one on social media, we’re drawn to examine it further and see how it fits into what we consider our ideal home!
Use this to your advantage when creating posts, and you’ll see your engagement rising and audience delighted with what you’re sharing!
Unlike 10 years ago, the cost to create quality photo or video content is extremely affordable. Most of us have powerful smartphones in our hands which are perfect for shooting photos and videos to use on social media.
Photo editing apps such as Snapseed provide powerful yet simple interfaces to help turn a decent photograph into a beautiful work of art. The savvy Snapseed user will appreciate that you can create and save custom filters, reducing the amount of manual editing required to get that perfect look.
For editing videos, InShot Video Editor’s Pro Plan is low cost, easy to use, and will help turn your amateur videos into social media-worthy creations! Whether you’re editing video clips or creating a video of a photo collection (ie: 10 Inspiring Bathroom Pics), InShot has what you need to make it look good without being overly complicated.
We often hear the phrase, “Video is the king of social media.” While we do see the highest engagement rate with video posts, they often come with a significantly reduced reach compared to a photo post. For this reason, we limit our video posts to one or two per week. However, the best thing you can do is test this for yourself, as your results may be different.
7. Include but Don’t Overuse Links to Your Website
Every single post you put up needs to include a link to your website, right?
Facebook and most social media platforms want people to stay on their platform instead of surfing to another site, like a company’s website. So, the algorithm tends to demote posts with links, causing fewer people to see them in their News Feeds.
Remember to consider the algorithm in all that you do on social media.
We’ve found the “best” number of links per week almost entirely depends on the specific account we’re posting for at the moment.
For example, our strategy for one of our Log Home industry clients includes six links per week. Log homes are so trendy that posts about them perform very well. This encourages the algorithm to show that post to more people, even though it also contains a link.
When we’re posting for a plumbing page which is much smaller, things change. Too many posts with links per week dramatically reduces the reach of all posts and the page as a whole. Hardly anyone sees them. But if we remove the links, the reach rises once again.
Applying this to your situation, the best thing you can do is start with one or two links per week and test adding more as your page grows. While it’s not an exact science, we’ve seen that the larger or more trendy your page is, the more the algorithm grants you flexibility.
One last tip on links — pay attention to your Facebook post insights for ones that are doing exceptionally well. If you have a post that performs well above the average (3-10x the reach, for instance), your page will likely see increased reach over the next week or two. When this happens with our pages, we put an emphasis on including links in the next week’s posts. It’s highly likely that Facebook is going to show them to a lot more people than normal.
8. Use the “Invite” Button Every Day
One benefit of having a Facebook Business Page is that you can Invite people to like your page who interacted with a post but haven’t liked your page yet.
This powerful tactic is extremely effective and so simple to use.
Go to any post and click or tap on the reactions:
Then, look for the Invite button to be visible:
Repeating this simple task every day will ensure that you’re taking advantage of the full reach of your page. It sends a little reminder into people’s notifications that they recently interacted with a post of yours, and you are now inviting them to like your page too. And, unless they hit “decline,” they’ll see your posts for the next 30 days regadless if they accept the invite.
Be warned, though — it is possible to “overuse” this feature. Facebook may prevent you from making use of it from time to time. However, we’ve not seen any long term “discipline” from Facebook regarding it, simply short-term disabling of the function.
9. Have a Timely Response to Every Comment and Message
If you’re looking to build a following of raving fans, taking the time to respond to their comments and messages is one of the best things you can do.
Responding to comments and messages within 24 hours is a fantastic way to turn a comment on Facebook into a lead in your CRM Database. While not every commenter will become a customer, you should treat every interaction as if that will be the outcome.
People will be forming an opinion about your business by watching your social media. If you’re not being timely and respectful — even to those annoying comments — your audience will have a lower perception of working with you. Their minds will be thinking, “Wow, they can’t even respond to serious questions online. Are they going to meet my communication expectations if we hire them?”
If you take the time once a day to provide helpful responses to messages and comments, you’ll be taking the steps toward building an engaged audience of future happy customers!
10. Study Insights and Look for the Golden Ratio
So, you’re almost to the end of the Organic Facebook Strategy. By now, you’re likely thinking, “How do I know I’m doing the right things?”
Have no fear. Data is here.
This is the nerdy side of Social Media Marketing, but it is worth paying attention to so all the effort you’re putting in will pay off.
There are two main things which will help you know if you’re on the right track.
Aim for the Golden Ratio
Remember the litmus test in science class? This is the Facebook version. Study the screenshot below. Do you see a pattern to the numbers?
Noticing a pattern?
Each of these numbers is around 10% of the next larger number. We call this the 10% ratio, and it’s a good test to see if a post is performing well.
Instead of just focusing on reach or engagement, this ratio takes a holistic look at each facet of a post’s performance. Plus, it’s super easy to see and use.
Study Facebook Insights
This is the final piece of the puzzle, pulling this entire Organic Facebook Strategy together.
The best way to organically grow your Facebook Page is to do more of what’s already working well.
To truly know what’s working well, you need more than “gut feelings.” You have to use data. Thankfully, there’s plenty available for your Facebook Business Page via the Insights tab.
Simply navigate to your business page and select Insights on the left column.
Here’s what you’ll see:
On the left side you’ll see a menu with further insight filters. On the right side is a set of blocks which shows you key metrics from the last 7 or 28 days.
You want to know how your posts affect the Page Views, Post Reach, Post Engagement, and Page Followers. That’s where the key to long-term success comes from.
Every page and audience is different. Start studying these insights weekly and work to connect the dots between what you did that week and how the insights adjusted because of it.
At The Coutts Agency, we use Buffer’s Analyze software for our social media analytics. It provides deeper insights into what matters most to us. It also features a helpful reporting function where we can view the same key metrics week over week.
While Buffer is a paid solution, we’ve found it to be a worthwhile investment. Your results may vary, especially if you’re only running one or two accounts for your own business.
Ultimately, the better you understand your insights, the better your page will perform. This will turn your Facebook audience into raving fans and transform them into happy customers!
Organic Instagram for the Building Industry
You’ve done the research and decided that Instagram is one of the platforms you’re going to use to grow your building industry business. But with approximately 1 Billion users, it can feel a bit overwhelming to find your target audience in a user base of that size.
Have no fear. We do great work on Instagram every day and are sharing our strategies here to help you achieve your goals! First, let’s answer a couple foundational questions:
- What is Instagram? Instagram is a social media platform that strictly makes use of photos and videos, with captions. There’s no text-only option on Instagram — every post has to have a piece of content with it.
- How does Instagram differ from Facebook? Aside from requiring photo or video content with every post, Instagram also has more distinct features such as Reels and IGTV. Instagram offers a more streamlined experience with a simple, easy-to-navigate interface.
Additionally, Instagram users skew towards young-to-middle-aged, which is an important detail to remember as you consider using it to attract new clients.
By the end of this guide, you should be confident in how to use Instagram to generate leads and understand how to nurture them into future raving fans!
But remember, long-term success requires more than social media leads. To get that success, you’ll need to follow every part of the Ultimate Guide to Online Marketing for the Building Industry – download it here!
Turn Instagram Into a Growth Catalyst in 11 Steps
Ready to use Instagram as a tool to expand the reach of your building industry business? Use the following 11 steps to make it happen.
1. Begin With a Complete Professional Account
Effectively generating organic leads with Instagram begins with having a well-built professional account.
Some business owners create a “personal” page for their business, thinking that’s the only option. Unfortunately, this approach doesn’t give you access to any of the wonderful tools that a professional account does!
Thankfully, creating a professional account is easy:
- Start by going to the Instagram app and creating a new account.
- Make sure the profile name is as close to your business name as is available.
- From there, go into your Settings, tap Account, and select Switch to Professional Account.
- Select the details that apply to your business, and make sure you connect it to your Facebook Business Page for the same company.
Now that you’ve set up your professional account, it’s time to fill in all your contact information. This is vital, as it helps your profile appear professional while answering basic questions that people otherwise will message you to ask about.
2. Optimize Your Bio
Instagram gives you a small area to share more about your products or services. This is your bio, and it’s important to make the most of the space.
Because Instagram incorporates a search feature, a best practice is to optimize your bio to include keywords related to the problems you solve or products you provide.
Consider the bio of this rustic lumber company from Honesdale, Pennsylvania. They’re very specific about what they produce and who it’s for:
They also incorporate a LinkTree (covered in the next section), and a physical address that people can tap to find them on Google Maps.
While your Bio may not look exactly like this, here are a few key things to keep in mind:
- Use keywords that people would be searching for that are relevant to your business.
- Include a link to your website, or a LinkTree. More on that soon.
- If you have a location that’s open to visitors, make sure you include it..
- Make sure your profile pic is attractive. A great idea is to make this your business logo.
Now that you’ve optimized your profile, let’s make sure you’re providing the links people will be looking for!
3. Make Proper Use of Links
Before you even begin posting, it’s important to understand that any links you include in individual Instagram posts do not actually link to anything. The text will show, but users are unable to use it as a hyperlink to surf to the site.
The reason for this is that Instagram wants people to stay on their platform and view more content, so they make it difficult to click a link and leave. This is unfortunate, because you want people to leave Instagram and visit your website.
Thankfully, Instagram provides a good way for viewers to find your website — a very prominently featured link right at the top of your bio.
Instagram only allows one link in this location. That’s perfect if you only have one webpage you want to steer people toward. But in reality, most businesses want to direct their target audience toward multiple web pages.
The good news is that you can solve the issue with LinkTree, a powerful way to put multiple links within a single tree!
LinkTree is free, easy to use, and allows you to highlight the most important destinations that people viewing your page may want to go to.
We like to use LinkTrees to promote the following:
- Newsletter landing pages
- Product/service consultation landing pages
- The homepage of your website
- Related Facebook Groups
- Open job postings
- Any other pages that are worth highlighting
Even if you choose not to use a LinkTree, make sure your Instagram bio includes a link to the most important page that you want people to land on.
Whether you choose to use a LinkTree or not, you’ll need to do a bit more work to generate leads on Instagram. One of the best ways to do this is by using a post’s copy to encourage people to view the link in your bio.
Companies do this all the time. Here’s an example:
Log Homes are best enjoyed year round. To begin turning your dreams into reality, tap the “Schedule a Consultation” link in our bio!
Due to how hard Instagram works to keep people from leaving the platform, this technique will not be a major contributor to your website traffic unless you’re running a very large page. However, we’ve seen that some of the best leads come through Instagram. Our philosophy is that, since it’s harder for people to view your website or opt into a newsletter from Instagram, if someone goes through all the steps to do so then they must be pretty interested.
4. Use the Creator Studio to Batch “Schedule” Your Daily Posts
One of the keys to effectively generating organic leads with Instagram is to remember that you’re working with an algorithm. The more things you do that the algorithm loves, the more it will put your organic content in front of your followers.
Posting every single day tells the algorithm that you’re serious about reaching your audience. However, remembering to post every day can be tasking, even for people who live online like we do at The Coutts Agency.
Here’s a little marketing secret you can take and use right now. Facebook has a free Creator Studio for business pages that allows you to schedule your Instagram content in advance! This feature is so powerful, and we use it every single week to ensure that all the content for each of our Facebook or Instagram business pages is scheduled to post exactly when we need it to.
Another advantage is that you can crosspost your Facebook Posts to Instagram. One item to note is that this will only work with photo/video posts which are within the proper ratio for Instagram content (1:1, 4:5, or 5:4; this helpful guide from Tailwind will provide further clarity).
The crossposting feature allows you to produce more high-quality posts with less effort!
Using the Creator Studio gives you the power to stay in front of your audience on both Facebook and Instagram without wearing yourself out trying to remember to post daily.
Consider using the Creator Studio once a week and schedule the next seven days’ worth of posts. Begin by scheduling the next seven Facebook posts. Then crosspost them to Instagram in the opposite daily order.
When cross posting to Instagram, remember to paste in 30 hashtags related to the topic of the post. We’ll get into that a bit more later.
To get the most from scheduling posts, you’ll want to study the Page & Post insights to learn what’s working well. Continue adjusting your strategy based on what the data tells you!
5. Hit All the Fundamentals With Every Post
Now that you know how to schedule your Instagram posts in the Creator Studio, it’s time to make sure you know the fundamentals of a great post.
Hitting all of these details on every post will help your page both appear professional and grow as fast as possible:
- Use visually captivating photos or videos: On Instagram, great visual content is what makes people stop scrolling and look further into your post. Make sure everything you post is attractive to the eye, or people will ignore your content and keep scrolling through their feeds to find something that looks more interesting.
- Write short, compelling copy: Instagram hides part of your caption behind a “read more” link, so make sure the most important part is written first.
- Use relevant hashtags: A good Instagram post will include up to 30 relevant hashtags in either the caption or first comment. Hashtag research will be explained in the next section of this guide.
- Tag a partner or location: When applicable, tag people, companies, or locations that are relevant to the current post.
- Don’t forget to put in alt text: When you’re creating an Instagram post — either in the app or cross-posting from Facebook in Creator Studio — you’ll have the option to add alt text. This feature helps people with screen readers understand what’s on the screen. But, a well-written description of what the photo contains will also help your post perform better, because that’s what the algorithm looks for.
6. Relevant Hashtags Will Attract New Followers
If you’re already an Instagram user, you’ll know that hashtags are a great way to find posts related to a specific topic.
Hashtags group related posts together, and the algorithm will show you posts related to hashtags you’ve interacted with.
While this works well for personalizing your Instagram experience, it also can be powerful for helping your business grow.
When you use relevant hashtags and follow the strategy below, people far beyond your followers list will see and interact with your posts!
As you fine-tune your hashtag strategy, you’ll be able to target the people you best serve, including ones within a small geographic area.
To begin, you’ll need to have your Ideal Customer Persona in mind.
Then, you’re going to use the Instagram search feature to look for hashtags relevant to:
- Location: Where your persona lives, works, or spends recreational time
- Industry: Specific industry tags your persona may follow, such as #loghomeliving (a tag associated with a media company in the log homes industry)
- Interests: Things that your persona specifically likes, such as #logcabins
When choosing tags, try to avoid attracting your competitors. Some tags will do this by default, but the goal here is to build a tag list that attracts your ideal customers.
Now that you know where to find tags, you’ll need to build a list for use on each post.
Instagram’s maximum is 30 tags per post, which you can insert in the post text or in the first comment on the post.
We’ve found this mix of 30 to be the most effective for attracting new, engaged followers:
- Find 15 hashtags in the range of 1,000-99,999 uses.
- Find 10 hashtags in the range of 100,000-999,999 uses.
- Find 5 hashtags with over a million uses.
Depending on your product or service, you may need to build more than one list. For example, if you’re a plumber, you may have a list of hashtags about plumbing repairs and another about new plumbing installations.
There are a variety of ways to store your hashtag lists, but we simply use a Google Keep note for the tags. That way we can access the lists on our phones, tablets, or computers, whether we’re in the office or on the go.
While this can be a labor-intensive process, it yields impressive results when done right, as you can see in this screenshot:
Once you implement this strategy, your list will remain viable for quite some time. We generally check each list every 90 days to see if it needs improvement or if it’s performance is still high.
7. Use Stories Every Day
Instagram Stories are short clips that only have a 24 hour lifespan. One of the main reasons to use them is because the algorithm loves them. However, there’s another powerful yet subtle reason. Story posts are a great opportunity to reveal a little bit about the inner workings of your business.
For example, a Story showing a 15-second video clip of roof trusses being craned onto your newest project can be really exciting to your ideal persona. They’ll connect to the video and begin to think in detail about the day when their own roof trusses will be installed! This benefits you, because you’re showing your expertise and getting a future customer more excited about their project.
Stories also provide another benefit that your business needs — you can build links to websites directly into them!
This feature is available for any business page within the Creator Studio. It’s also available within the Stories function on your Facebook page, if your page has over 10,000 followers.
You won’t be able to pre-schedule your Stories, unlike regular Facebook and Instagram posts. Here’s the benefits of each way to post a story:
- From the Instagram app: This gives you more fun options like graphics, emojis, and text placement. It’s perfect for information or calling attention to details.
- From the Creator Studio: This interface has more limitations. However, one massive benefit is that it lets you build links right in, regardless of your page size! This is exceptionally powerful, especially if you need to increase phone or website traffic.
Check out the Story options in the Creator Studio — there’s more than just “links” available. You can also choose “Call Now” and many other powerful options that may be perfect for your business’s needs.
If you’re using the Instagram app to schedule your stories, there’s another powerful advantage. Instagram allows you to “hide” up to 10 hashtags in a story. This enables your stories to reach far beyond your followers list!
Here’s how to do this:
- Copy 10 relevant hashtags from your group of 15 tags in the 100,000-999,999 uses.
- Create a text box on the story and paste the 10 hashtags inside it.
- Go to the font color picker, select the color dropper, and match a uniform color that takes up a large area of the story.
- Shrink the text, and hide it in the colored section that you just matched to watch it disappear!
Simply adding 10 hashtags to every Story post can have dramatic effects over time.
Since you’re unable to schedule Stories in advance, we create each account’s daily Story in Instagram and then select the option to also share to the associated Facebook Page. This allows us to efficiently use our time and promote the same concept on both platforms each day.
Properly using Stories will build rapport for your company in a way that seems more personable then when using posts alone. In addition, they can become powerful drivers of traffic to your website, helping turn your audience into leads and ultimately into happy customers!
8. Accelerate your Growth with Reels and IGTV
It seems like every social media company is coming up with new features almost every day. While it can be overwhelming to move “beyond the basics” of daily posts and stories, the best growth actually comes from making use of the newest features.
Right now, two things that Instagram is promoting are their Reels and Instagram TV (IGTV) functions.
Reels are videos less than 30 seconds long. They’re intended to highlight a specific thing — we often use them for short, engaging clips of home tours. Best practice is to put your hashtags in the first comment after posting the Reel.
IGTV videos are longer than 1 minute. This is Instagram’s version of YouTube, essentially. We use it for more in-depth walkthroughs of homes or properties!
So why are Reels and IGTV vidoes critical to implement into your strategy?
The algorithm prefers these pieces of content over posts or stories, so it will automatically help them perform better. Plus, Reels and IGTV are prominently positioned in the Instagram app right now, so it’s easy for people to find them.
We use the Inshot Pro Video Editing app to quickly and easily produce Reels and IGTV videos. It’s very user friendly while still allowing us to change all the features we feel are necessary.
Best practice says to post a Reel or IGTV every day, but that can quickly become overwhelming. Unless you have a video creation team, you also won’t have enough video content to create new video-based posts every day.
The good news is that any video content is better than none. If the content is available, we incorporate one Reel or IGTV video per week in each account that we manage. It’s a good compromise to get the extra growth these features bring without starting a full-scale Reel or IGTV video campaign.
9. Write Posts That Are Compelling, Educational, and Trust-Building
The quality of your copy will make or break your social media posts.
When your customer persona reads your posts, you want them to connect with what’s written and feel compelled to take the action you’re suggesting.
There are three pillars to effective social media copywriting. When these are consistently achieved, your audience will engage more and look forward to seeing your daily posts. Check them out below:
- Social media copy must be compelling: The key to building a connection between you and your audience is to have a clear goal for every post. Ask yourself, “What is the purpose of this post, and what action or feeling am I hoping my audience will take or have?” By framing your mindset like this, you will be taking the first step toward turning your audience into leads so those leads can one day become customers!
- Social media copy must be educational: An age-old mantra is that people will buy from businesses they “know, like, and trust.” One of the best ways your audience will come to know, like, and trust you is by becoming an authority on social media, which is often done through educational content. Educate your audience about your work which they likely are not deeply familiar with.
- Social media posts should build trust with your audience: If it is true that people buy from those they know, like, and trust, then it is worth putting a lot of effort into building that trust! From small things like accurate grammar, to larger things like being technically accurate with details, every post you create can help you position yourself as that trusted expert.
10. Have a Timely Response to Every Comment and Message
Have you ever commented or messaged a page and not received a response to your question in a timely manner? How did that make you feel?
One of the most overlooked, high-return activities that you can do on Instagram is to simply respond quickly and completely to every comment and message. This shows your audience that you care about the details, which will help them trust you more when it comes time for their project.
Even something as simple as taking 10 minutes a day to respond to everything within the last 24 hours will help your account grow faster and help turn casual viewers into happy customers down the road.
11. Use Daily Engagement to Grow Faster
If your Instagram page is just starting out, or if you feel it needs a consistent boost in growth to help meet your business goals, then daily engagement is the answer!
The logic behind daily engagement is really quite simple — it’s using your Instagram account as an actual account, interacting with other accounts, starting conversations, and providing value.
When you do this properly, your page will grow at an accelerated rate and attract people who may want to purchase your product or service.
Here are the steps for Daily Engagement:
- Spend two or three minutes liking and commenting on the posts that are in your news feed. This keeps your engagement up with the accounts you follow, who often are your “target accounts.”
- Choose a hashtag from your list of 30 and search it in the Instagram Explore tab of the app.
- Go to the Recent tab under that hashtag, select the first picture, open that profile, and simply like the first 3-4 pictures. Comment only if you have a relevant response to something they posted. When selecting profiles to engage with, use discretion regarding whether they fit your target customer. For example, if their location shows Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and you only service Tulsa, Oklahoma, that account won’t be worth your time.
- Go back to the hashtag and repeat this process for about 10 minutes per day.
In addition to hashtags, you can follow this process in the followers list under larger accounts in your niche. Affiliate and company accounts are a great target for this. You can also use this process on location tags that are relevant to your business.
Avoid being spammy — think of it like a light touch to let someone know your business exists. If they choose to follow or engage with you, that’s a win! If not, keep trying to find the people who will.
Consistently investing 10 to 15 minutes a day on this engagement will help you build a strong following that pays dividends in the long run.
Putting Your Instagram Strategy to Work
There you have it — a strong strategy for building your Instagram following and attracting your ideal clients through it!
Devoting time and energy to this will take some effort, but we encourage you to stick with it. Once you start seeing the results, you’ll be glad that you took the time to build it and maintain it.
Combining Facebook and Instagram for Long-Term Growth
You’ve made it through the Facebook and Instagram Growth Guide for the Building Industry.
Now, the ball is in your court. The results from our Facebook and Instagram strategies will come if you commit to sticking with the process.
There may be ups and downs or moments when you’re tempted to think it’s just not worth the time. When you’re in those moments, remind yourself that you’re planting seeds today that will grow into mighty trees down the road. Planting today means you can expect a harvest later on.
Who Will This Guide Help?
This Ultimate Guide to Internet Marketing for the Building Industry will help anyone whose business is related to building, repairing, maintaining, or improving homes and properties.
From one-man plumbing companies to multi-million dollar custom home builders, we’ve used this process to attract these companies’ ideal prospects and help them convert to satisfied customers.
By carefully reading and implementing the processes in this guide, you can build a strong internet marketing strategy to help your business achieve long term-growth!
Who Wrote This Guide?
The Coutts Agency is a family owned online marketing agency focused on helping building-industry business owners use the internet to attract and convert their ideal client. Our background in building industry sales and marketing provides us with unique authority on attracting and converting leads through internet marketing.
We’re your Building Industry Marketing Partner!
Chapters Of This Guide
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