Market your signs with Instagram
By Kim Schmehl
Posted on Thursday, October 24th, 2019
How to set up an Instagram Business Account
To use Instagram, Android users can go to the Google Play Store and iPhone users to the App Store to download the app. You can set up a new Instagram account using either your phone number or email address, then create your username and password. (If you’re a Facebook user, you can choose Log in with Facebook to get started quickly.)
If you plan to use Instagram primarily for your business, use your business phone number and email address, then create a username that relates to your business name. Once your account is set up, tap the person icon in the bottom right of the screen. At the screen that opens, tap the menu icon (three horizontal lines) in the top right and choose Settings at the bottom of the list.
When the Settings window opens, tap Account on the list of options. Scroll down to the bottom of the list that opens and choose to Switch to Business Account. Add your business information, such as business address and phone number. You’re up and running on Instagram.
Although Instagram is designed for use on a smartphone, you can also use Instagram from your computer. Simply go to Instagram.com on any browser to create your account.
You can link your Instagram Business Account to your Facebook Business page, so that your Instagram posts also appear on your shop’s Facebook page. Simply go to your profile screen in Instagram and tap on Edit Profile. Scroll down and tap on Page. Select your required page there.
Be sure to tap the Search icon (the magnifying glass) at the bottom of the screen and enter @signcraftmagazine
to visit SignCraft’s Instagram. Once there, tap the blue Follow button to follow SignCraft
and see an idea-packed sign design every single day. —Editors
Promoting your sign business on social media might seem overwhelming, too time consuming or just plain confusing. But if you can set aside about 15 to 20 minutes every day, you can successfully manage an Instagram account. (Even if you’re not under 30!)
Instagram is a free online social media platform and a great place to dip your toes into the social media marketing world without investing too much of your time. Simply take a picture with your phone and post directly to the platform. That’s it.
Instagram has 1 billion active monthly users—1 billion! I would venture a guess that many of your clients are scrolling through Instagram at least once a day, and you want to get in front of them as often as possible.
As a sign company, you have an excellent advantage over most Instagram business users—the work you do every day is automatically suited to the platform, as it was specifically designed to be visually appealing. Your Instagram account can serve as an online portfolio of your work.
If you’re not already using Instagram, simply download the app on your smartphone. Follow the simple steps to create your account. [See left to learn how to make your account an Instagram Business Account.] Here are five tips to get you started:
Complete your bio:
This is a simple step, but it is often overlooked. Don’t forget to completely fill out your bio so that customers know how to contact you. Try to keep your business description engaging and include your contact information and website address.
You don’t need to be a professional to take great photos and videos. Using your smartphone and being mindful of lighting is all you need. Installing a sign with a boom truck? That’s not a view most people get to enjoy. Take a picture or a short video while you’re up there—your followers will love it.
Engage your audience:
Check your account for comments. If someone takes time to comment on your post, make sure you reply or return the favor. Engaging with your audience makes them feel appreciated and builds customer loyalty.
Start following existing clients, as well as clients you would like to service, and leave a comment. The comment section is not the place to promote your company, but to build a relationship. This creates visibility for your company within another network. It also helps you build a larger following on your own account.
People want to get to know you and your team. This personal connection is what builds your brand and keeps you in the forefront of your clients’ minds. If you bring your dog to work, post a picture. Take some candid shots of your team while they are working and share them with your audience. These glimpses into your everyday life resonate with your audience.
Keep it entertaining:
The main purpose of social media is entertainment, not advertising. Your clients are scrolling through their Instagram feed at the end of a long day and don’t want to look through sales pitches. So 80% of your posts should add value (a funny sign post, tips for designing a logo) and 20% should be sales related.
Social media is a “slow burn” growth tactic. It can take up to six months to really start to see results from online marketing strategies, so stay patient and keep going. Learn to use Instagram Insights to analyze your strategy regularly and make adjustments accordingly.
As a sign designer, the work you do every day is perfect for Instagram. Your eye for appealing layouts and design will go a long way to attract followers and build your brand online.