Optimizing Instagram Hashtags for Contractors
Instagram’s hashtag feature is an easy way to promote your contracting business within IG, increase views on your posts, and create an online community.
Posting high quality photos of your finished work on Instagram is just the first step towards making the app work for you and your business. Using Instagram’s hashtag feature is an easy way to promote your contracting business within the app, increase views on your posts, and create an online community.
Instagram hashtags work within the app both as a search engine and a catalogue. Searching for specific hashtags within Instagram is the easiest way to find a localized and/or specific post. Searching for a hashtag on Instagram will show you all the posts on the app that contain that keyword.
Hashtags look like this:
#contracting #marketing #homeremodel #hashtag
Generally, hashtags are placed in the caption or description of a photo; you can use up to 30 hashtags in one post.
Why should I use hashtags?
Imagine a homeowner living downtown in Seattle, Washington. They’re looking for a contractor to do their kitchen remodel, or redesign their mudroom, or put a pool in their backyard. They open Instagram and search #kitchenremodel, #mudroom, and #backyardpool.
Instagram shows them all the pictures that have been hashtagged with those keywords.
You can have the most gorgeous, high-quality photo of a backyard pool posted on your timeline, but if you don’t tag your pictures with the proper hash tags, Instagram will not know to provide your relevant photo to the homeowner.
It’s been proven that Instagram posts with hashtags get much more interaction within the app than posts without hashtags. Without hashtags, it’s easy for your posts to be seen once and then lost in the algorithm.
Here are #five tips for optimizing hashtags on your contracting Instagram account.
Following these tips will help you get your posts into more Instagram users’ view so you can provide value to more people.
1. Choose Relevant Hashtags
Each time you post a photo, think about what hashtags correctly represent your post. For instance, if you did a kitchen remodel in Scottsdale, Arizona, here’s a list of hashtags that would be applicable to your post highlighting your work.
#generalcontractor #kitchen #kitchenremodel #remodel #kitchendesign #indoordesign
You should also include location tags so that local Instagram users can find your post when searching for a kitchen remodel.
#Scottsdale #Arizona #Arizonaremodel #Scottsdaleremodel
Remember you can use up to 30 hashtags per post! Use those tags to tell Instagram who you are, what you do, and where you are from. Local users can find you if they’re looking for someone to hire, and non-local users can view your photos as inspiration within the hashtag searched.
2. Diversify Your Hashtags
Instagram also tells you how many people have used each hash tag. When you enter in a hash tag such as #kitchen remodel, Instagram will show you how many times that hashtag has been used. It’s difficult for your post to be found in the tags that have millions of posts, so use a mixture of hash tags.
Choose some that have less posts and a few more popular ones. Use hashtags like #design, #remodel with tons of posts, but also include specific tags such as #Seattlehomeremodel, or #Seattlelandscapingdesign. This helps boost your post both in the most popular search results and the more niche results.
3. Create a Custom Hashtag
Instagram’s hashtags can easily be used to create a portfolio of your own work, by making a hashtag unique to your company. This could be just #yourcompanyname, or something else that’s clever—any hashtag not taken by another company. Use this hashtag on all your posts. If homeowners and satisfied customers want to post pictures of your work, ask them to tag it as well.
Use your custom hashtag to develop a community centered around your work, providing value to anyone who searches your hashtag. People will begin to recognize and identify it with your company, and Instagram users can search your custom hashtag to see the complete collection of your work within the app.
A perfect example of this, is what Fine Homebuilding has done for the “Keep Craft Alive” initiative. They have successfully created a movement on social media, by centering their initiative around the custom hashtag #keepcraftalive.
4. Tag Team
You should also use hashtags as an opportunity to collaborate with strategic partners. A strategic partner is someone you work with in your local area that doesn’t directly compete with what you do. For instance, if you’re a custom builder, maybe it’s a local designer. Or if you’re a general contractor—a plumber or landscaper.
Determine those people who are your strategic partners, the ones who all target the same community, work with your same residential contracting market, but are not directly competing for the same job. Help them out by tagging them in your posts (by typing @theirusername) or use their custom hashtag.
They will see that and most will reciprocate for you! You can help each other build a strong online collection of supportive services.
5. Follow Hashtags
Instagram recently released a new feature where you can follow individual hashtags. If you choose to follow a hashtag such as #bathroomremodel, each time a photo is posted with that hashtag it will appear in your feed.
Following relevant hashtags is a good way to stay up-to-date with what’s happening real time in the contracting world. You can also encourage your followers on Instagram to not only follow your account, but also to follow your custom hashtag to see other photos of your finished projects.
The photos that you choose to post on your company’s Instagram account are important—there is no question about it. High quality photos of your finished work are the foundation of your Instagram marketing efforts; what could be more inspiring to a potential customer than a job well done?
However, getting these photos into the eyes of Instagram users in your locality without using hashtags is difficult. Using hashtags adds additional value to your posts by making them searchable, relevant, and ultimately easy-to-find for your potential customers.
Thank you for joining me today. If you have any further questions or comments, please join the conversation in the comments below.
If you would like to read how to get started with Instagram for Contractors, check out this recent blog post.