As a home designer, you need people to see your work. Instagram is a very visual medium, and great for showing off your decorating and design skills. However, it takes time to build an audience, and there are many other designers on the platform.
Additionally, Instagram’s algorithms are programmed to push content that already has the most hearts, so it can be difficult to get your content seen. It can take at least 25 likes, so sometimes it makes sense to buy real Instagram likes, just to get your picture in a few more feeds. Doing this periodically can help boost your stats, but in the meantime, here are some tips to help you improve your content and make a lifelong fan of every new viewer you get:
Start By Optimizing Your Profile
Your profile is the first stop for branding. First, you should upgrade to a business account, and set your profile to public. Here’s how to find the best username and optimize your profile:
· Make sure your IG username matches up with your business name – if it’s already taken, you can try adding underscores between words.
· If those are also taken, you may need to add a word to the username – some people use “official,” “the real,” or their style of design, or their city (the city is particularly useful for local businesses).
· For example, you could be, “@janedoedesignsofficial,” “@jane_doe_designs_portland,” “@janedoedesignsbohemian,” etc.
· Then choose a profile photo – you may want to use your brand logo, but some designers also use a picture of a model home or room they designed.
Make Use Of Your Business Account
An IG business account gives you several more options for promoting your content and tracking your profile growth. You can offer viewers the option to contact you by phone or email straight from your profile – this only takes a few seconds to set up and is a great way to drive business. Have a post you’re especially proud of? Business users can pay to promote any post you choose.
Lastly, look at your analytics (under Insights) at least once a week:
· These stats help you track your follower growth, identify which posts are doing the best, and make adjustments to your strategy to maximize engagement.
· When you find a picture or video that does especially well, think about why – which hashtags you used (more on that later), what elements were in the post, what the caption said, etc.
· These can give you ideas for A/B testing future posts to learn more about what your audience wants.
Keep Your Content On-Brand
First, you want to come up with a theme or three. Maybe you focus on specific colors, styles, or even a particular shot taken different ways or with different design elements. You don’t necessarily have to use the same theme in every post, but using it often helps make your content easily identifiable.
Whether it fits a theme or not, each post you make should be in line with your branding. While it’s okay to occasionally post something more personal, the vast majority of your content should appeal to people who wanted to follow a design account.
Use a separate account if you just want to post pictures of your kids, your significant other, your night out at a restaurant, etc. (IG allows you to easily switch between accounts. Just make sure to confirm you’re on the right one before you post!)
However, it is a good idea to post the occasional selfie – even viewers who are mostly interested in design like to see the real person behind the account. But try to keep these photos professional and in line with your brand.
You can take candid shots of yourself at a work-in-progress location, picking out materials, or posing with a finished design. But being professional doesn’t have to mean being serious all the time – have fun with these pictures and let the audience know how much you enjoy your work.
Consider A Photo Series
A series is a great way to get repeat viewers, especially if you can create your own hashtag or tie it in with a popular hashtag. You can go through a progression of a new work or renovation, or share a series of pictures focusing on one design element, like a color or trend.
Make Use Of Popular Decorating Hashtags, With Or Without A Series
Some trends last longer than others, but it’s a good idea to do a few posts a week that tap into the demand for specific design content. For example, #houseplants currently has more than 8.4 million posts – clearly a hot topic. Did you design any rooms with plants? Probably. It’s likely you already have photos of your work that include plants, so pull a few photos and see how many viewers you can reel in.
Look at some of the pictures you hope to post. What styles do you see? Try typing in #stylename and see which are the most popular. You might want to use as many of these as possible. For example, #bohemian currently has more than 11.5 million posts. These aren’t limited to home design, of course, so you’ll want to use additional hashtags to draw in more viewers. And that leads us to our next tip…
Use More Hashtags
Although Insta often recommends using fewer hashtags, this is mostly an effort to reduce hashtag spamming (using irrelevant but popular hashtags to get views). In reality, pictures with 20 hashtags get the most views, followed closely by those with 30 hashtags. Guess what else increases with the number of hashtags? Engagement. More views=more hearts.
However, you should take Insta’s advice about one thing – don’t use hashtags that have nothing to do with your post just to get likes.
This will result in a low engagement rate and won’t improve your follower count. Instead, do hashtag research by typing words related to your post into the site’s search bar to see which are the most popular related hashtags. Don’t limit yourself to just one topic, either.
Look at the photo and think about different design elements. Your picture may contain houseplants, and the room may be decorated in a bohemian style, but what else is going on? Is there a stained glass window? A tie-dyed throw? How about a gallery wall of photography or art?
Maybe there’s a sculpture that offers a strong focal point for the photo or wind chimes visible through a window. What about the mermaid wall hanging? All of these things could be possible sources of hashtags. Meanwhile, you can make a list of generic hashtags about design to use in most of your posts – #homedesign, #homedesignideas, #homedecor, etc.
These tips should help you expand your account reach and gain more likes every day. However, it’s important to remember that IG is a very busy, crowded space, and even with the best quality content, many designers struggle to carve out a niche for their brand. When this happens, it can be helpful to quickly gain likes, buy real Instagram hearts. Doing this regularly, in concert with a targeted content marketing strategy for your ideal audience, can help you progress past some of the competition and get more eyes on your design work. You can also use other social networks as helpers and leave links to your Instagram there and that will help you too
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