Instagram is an important social media platform for anyone looking to market their services, plumbers included. However, it works a little differently from many of the other popular social sites out there: all posts must be visual. You can caption each one, but those short snippets are the only text you will be able to use.
This means that creating Instagram content that draws in an audience can be tricky at first; what works on other platforms usually won’t work on this one. Luckily, there are some tried-and-true tricks you can use to get the job done.
We’ve come up with 5 things you can do to engage plumbing customers on Instagram. In ways that are sure to grab your audience’s attention.
1. Use Instagram’s Local Tools
As a plumber, you already know how important it is to market to your local audience – after all, you can’t reasonably do work for someone in Perth if you’re located in Melbourne.
Instagram can help you market specifically to people near you if you use their geotagging feature. To do this, you’ll need to give Instagram permission to access your location data through your WiFi signal or your phone’s GPS. Once you’ve done that, the platform will automatically know where you’re posting from.
After that, you’ll be able to click the ‘Add Location’ button on the ‘New Post’ screen and set the tags you want to use. Once you’ve done this, it will be easier for users in locations around your tag to find your content. Geotags exist for:
- Individual businesses.
- States and territories.
- Cities and towns.
The last two will generally be the most useful for plumbing businesses, but you might get some use out of the state and territory tags depending on how far you’re willing to go if someone gives you a call. Experiment with a few of them and review your insights afterwards to find out which ones produce the best results for you.
2. Repurpose Stories into Highlights
Instagram Stories are a popular feature of this platform that allows you to make collection-style posts that will disappear after 24 hours. What’s great about this is that it gives you a great place to post more casual and laid-back content that might not fit in well on your main feed. Many companies use Instagram Stories to show their followers what day-to-day life is like at their company.
Ideally, though, you’d want to get the marketing benefits of your Story content for longer than a single day. That’s where the highlights feature comes in.
Highlights are old Instagram posts that you have named as some of your best. You can tag any of your old content as a highlight and have it appear on your profile page right underneath your name. If you do this with an old Story of yours, visitors will still be able to see it even after the 24-hour period is up.
Tagging these simple everyday images as highlights not only lets you get more use out of your existing content, but also brings a lot of individual charm and personality to your profile. When your followers get to know you and your commitment to your craft, they will feel even more comfortable hiring you.
3. Start Using Stickers
Instagram’s sticker feature is good for more than just adding hearts and smiley faces to your photos. You can also use it to get your followers to interact with you and your content, bringing them closer to your business.
You’ll find stickers under the smiley face icon in the Stories menu once you’ve added at least one picture. Some of the most useful ones for plumbers are:
- Question stickers, which pose a question to your followers and asks them to answer it.
- Poll stickers, which ask users to choose between two different responses and can display results once they’ve answered.
- Quiz stickers, which allow you to test your followers’ knowledge with a short multiple-choice test. You can also use them similarly to poll stickers for questions that need more than two responses.
You don’t want to overuse these tools, so don’t attach them to every post you make. Think about which images you think will get your viewers talking, then use a sticker to give those people a way to communicate with you. Keep an eye on how many people actually respond to your stickers each time you use them and you’ll get a better sense of where to include them in the future
4. Post More Videos
While Instagram is mostly meant for static images, you can also post videos to it as well. Video posts receive 38% more engagement than photo posts do, and those are just the kind of results you’re looking for.
Don’t worry about coming up with content if you haven’t worked much with video before. You can post videos that run for up to an hour on certain parts of the site, but most fall between 15 and 60 seconds. These short clips are much easier to produce and can do just as good a job at pulling in followers as the longer ones.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas for plumbing video content:
- Show your followers what you can do with a short demonstration of one aspect of your work.
- Use any sewer or drain cameras you have to capture and post footage that a layperson would never have access to otherwise.
- Show what the subject of an existing photo (pipes, valves, fittings etc.) looks like from different angles or in motion.
5. Aim for Instagram Saves
Content that gets your followers interested initially is good, but content that gets their attention multiple times is excellent. Instagram allows users to save their favourite posts so they can return to those images or videos as many times as they want.
You can see real-time insights with an Instagram business profile. You how your stories and promoted posts go. Further, you get information about how followers are interacting with your content.
Getting a post saved is a mark of high engagement of your plumbing customers on Instagram, and it helps you get your posts in front of a wider audience. You should be doing your best to make this happen as often as possible. Here are some save-worthy ideas you could try out:
- Take some photos that show off the beauty of plumbing (a collection of interestingly arranged pipes, perhaps, or a shot involving flowing water) and touch them up with a photo editing app to make them look as striking as possible.
- Create some informational posts that your followers might want to refer back to later on (think about content like an infographic showing different ways to unclog a drain).
- Use the carousel feature: the bathroom renovation images mentioned earlier could also be posted in a group like this, letting users scroll through the whole set and show the photos to others when they’re planning a renovation of their own.
Figuring out how to make a plumbing business shine on Instagram doesn’t have to be a struggle. Putting these 5 tips to work will help you to create posts that get people excited and might just convince them to hire you the next time they need a plumber’s services.
My last tip is if you can’t keep it up, don’t start. Too many business owners – plumbers included – start with a hiss and a roar in social media. Three months later they get bored because it’s not driving the traffic and leads they expected. Six months later the profile looks like a ghost town and is doing more damage to your business than good.
Don’t be one of those plumbers. On the other hand, if you want a flow of social media posts, get in touch.