Instagram Strategy for Architects - Useful Tips & Examples
NJ Media Updates

Instagram Strategy for Architects - Useful Tips & Examples

February 18, 2022


Contents:

- The basics

- Insights - Instagram for architects’ secret weapon

- Your Instagram toolkit

- Instagram strategy for architects

With 1,38 billion users worldwide, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms.  90% of its users follow at least one business and a quarter of them are old enough to buy their first home. This poses an excellent opportunity for architects and interior designers.


Unfortunately, the app is underutilized by professionals in this sector. Most architects publish their work to inspire, not to attract. They don’t leverage the app to educate their audience and grow their clientele. That is… until now!


If you want to attract customers through Instagram, you’re in the right place.


Building an Instagram strategy for architects doesn’t have to be difficult, as long as you understand the basics. Over the next few chapters, you will learn how to set up your business account, organize your efforts, reach thousands of potential customers, and track the success of your strategy.


Start with the basics

basics of instagram for architects

If you haven’t used Instagram in the past don’t feel intimidated. Let’s begin at the very start - setting up your account and making sure it’s optimized for future success.

  • Set up your business account - Instagram has personal and business accounts. To benefit from the functionalities that will lead to more client meetings, it is best to create a business account. To do this, download the app, create an account, and follow the steps, as shown by Instagram.
  • Upload a profile pic - Choose a picture that depicts yourself or the logo of your brand. Make sure its size is larger than 320x320px and keep in mind that Instagram crops its photos in a circle. This guide shows the exact steps you need to follow to upload a profile pic. 
  • Architecture bio for Instagram - Your bio is a one-liner that describes your business. It is the first thing people see when they land on your profile. In other words, it “hooks” people, who then scroll through your work. Structure your bio wisely by describing what you do and adding a relevant CTA. Hootsuite has an excellent Instagram bio guide that you can check out.
  • Add all contact information required - Add your phone number, email address, and physical address. If you have lots of communication methods or other platforms you deem relevant, consider using LinkTree to organize them all in your bio.

Add “Book” button - The top architecture Instagram accounts place buttons that redirect potential customers to a booking page. This way you can set up a free consultation (a.k.a. sales call). To place the button, follow the steps shown here.

Insights - Instagram for architects’ secret weapon

Next, it’s important to get a basic understanding of the metrics you need to track regularly. These will help you navigate and adjust the execution of your strategy. This is what Insights is for.

How to access Insights

  1. Head over to your profile
  2. Tap on the menu icon, on the upper right corner
  3. Tap on Insights and you will see this page:

Instagram Insights


From this point onwards, you can click on each data point to better understand the performance of your profile.


Insights help you track the: 

  • Reach of your content - The number of people who saw your post on their feed while scrolling.
  • Growth of followers - This shows the growth of your number of followers over time, including segments thereof. More specifically, it shows data related to their location as well as their age group.
  • Engagement rate - Useful metric when trying to understand what type of content performs best (more on this later), as well as the quality of your captions and hashtags. In essence, it refers to the number of likes and comments your posts receive after posting. 
  • Referral traffic - The number of people that clicked on links in the bio or stories. When it comes to Instagram marketing for architects, this metric is the most important of them all - It shows how many people convert from “empty scrolling” to the desire for a meeting. In other words, it shows the flow of your lead generation.


These four data points are very important and should be tracked regularly. There are more metrics that you can track when scaling your efforts but, for now, these four will do. Make sure you read this blog post, which dives into each of the metrics mentioned above, and the best way to track them for business success.

Your Instagram toolkit

Instagram enables you to publish content in many different ways. All are important when building an Instagram strategy for architects. Let’s take a quick look at each of the options.

Photos

Instagram photos for architects



The most popular type of content on Instagram is photos. When it comes to architecture accounts, it’s important to illustrate your expertise, style, and brand. To do this, you can upload photos with different themes, while doing your best to keep the quality as high as possible. According to Hootsuite, businesses post between 1 and 2 photos per day, so here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Work in progress - Post photos with sketches, work materials, building in progress.
  • Educational photos - Content that helps your audience improve their knowledge.
  • Before and After - Post a carousel (2 or more photos) of a project before and after your work.
  • Casual photography - Content that says something about you and your hobbies.

Inspirational/art content - Photos with architecture that inspires you.

The type of pictures are only one part of the equation. You will also need to pair them with compelling captions, relevant hashtags, and the proper sizing.

Reels - Short-form video content

While only 16,3% of all business account posts are short-form videos, Reels are known to be more engaging than your typical longer-form videos. That said, TikTok is still the primary platform that focuses on this type of content, which is why engagement rates of Reels are not as high as images and carousels.

Instagram Insights for architects


Reels certainly fit in your content strategy, but make sure to keep it professional, and match it to the needs and wishes of your target audience - so no dancing TikTok-like videos (duh!).

Stories

Stories are photos, videos, and pictures you make in real-time with your phone to further increase engagement. These do not show in the normal, vertical feed of Instagram, but rather horizontally on the top of the app.


Stories are a great way to keep top-of-mind awareness with your followers, and also make you more approachable. Sure, you have a business, but why not let your audience take a peek in your personal “day-to-day” activities as well?


An Instagram strategy for architects can benefit from daily stories, covering more casual content. Make photos and videos of your days at work, your thoughts on industry-related topics, let your audience ask you open-ended questions, or host a poll. All of these methods can kickstart personal communication with those interested in your work.

Story highlights

Normal stories are automatically deleted after 24 hours unless you store them as Story highlights. By doing so, the stories become visible indefenitely, on your profile, grouped in different categories.

Instagram story highlights for architects


Each category can have a name, emoji, or anything that sparks your interest, and you can attach a small logo or image to its cover. There are many free images you can use for this purpose, but make sure you choose options that match your brand image.

IGTV & Instagram Live

Instagram TV is a functionality meant for longer videos, and users will have to click on them to watch. For now, this may not be necessary as we are working on setting up a basic strategy. However, if you wish to learn more about this, you can check this guide.


Note: If you wish to upload podcast appearances or other forms of long video/audio content as an IGTV, you might want to reconsider, as the attention span of the average follower is quite low. You can instead crop the highlights of your interviews in smaller clips and upload them as videos over a longer period. This is the essence of content redistribution.


Instagram Live is a function that enables you to go Live by recording yourself in real-time. It helps you get priority in the queue of Instagram stories, which in turn increases engagement. 


But there is more. Many users that want to increase their follower count use the Live feature to host Live discussions with industry-relevant personalities. This way, followers of both accounts join the discussion and a large portion ends up following both users. This is a great tactic that you can implement when you start to work with influencers.


Additional growth tactics

The following tips will help you scale your business’s reach and increase engagement even further. We describe them here briefly but make sure you learn more about them by doing some additional research. 


  • Use hashtags - Industry-relevant hashtags in the caption of your posts help you gain more traction from users that don’t currently follow you. Make sure you research the best tags in your industry and use the ones most relevant.
  • Answer to comments - You don’t need to answer all comments, but try to be helpful to people with real questions. Even a short answer shows that you are genuinely interested and that you want the best for your followers.
  • Collaborate with other accounts and influencers - Whether collaborations are on a paid or unpaid basis, this tactic helps you scale your account’s followers faster than anything else. Make a list of the most relevant influencers (location-wise or industry-wise) and start sending DMs.
  • Promote your Instagram on other channels - Larger pages can be used for the promotion of your channel. Consider popular architecture channels and other big accounts in your location. These are not necessarily personas (influencers) but rather branded accounts.
  • Explore Instagram ads - As mentioned previously, running some ads can help you get your account off the ground. And when it comes to architecture, the price per lead is rather small considering the potential upside. Make sure your research this option and test it out as you see fit.

Instagram strategy for architects

It’s now time to build our strategy. Start by defining what exactly you want to achieve. It might be an additional 5 meetings per month, increased authority in your location, or a specific increase of revenue. Whatever it might be, make sure you formulate it in a S.M.A.R.T. way before you proceed. 


With a goal in mind, it is now time to organize all the activities that will eventually lead you to this point. It might be useful to set a timeframe within which you want to achieve your goal. This will further help you to reverse engineer the steps that will take you there.

Step 1: Reverse engineer your goal into attainable milestones

Let’s assume that you want to increase your authority as an architect in your city. A respectable goal. This naturally leads to more meetings and revenue. So how would you reverse engineer a goal like this specifically for Instagram? The thought process should look like this:


Q: What is my end goal?

A: Increase my authority as an architect in X city


Q: How is this goal formulated in a S.M.A.R.T way, specifically for Instagram?

A: Gain 50.000 organic followers that match my target audience within 1 year.


The next step requires you to go back to the previous chapter (Instagram Toolkit) and try to understand what methods could lead to the attainment. It is also important to perform some preliminary research by looking at the best architecture Instagram accounts. What are they doing to grow their audience? What is their posting frequency? What types of posts have the highest engagement? Try to break down the Instagram strategy for architects that have already achieved what you want. Write down your findings.

The next chapter will delve into more of the specific tactics you can follow. For now, remember that growth on social media occurs exponentially, and there is one question you need to answer many times over:


Q: Who do I need to be, and what do I need to do right before I achieve this goal?


The answer to this question comes from the findings of your research, as well as brainstorming. You can say that the answer to this question is the final milestone before achieving your goal. 

Building milestones - Answering the question repeatedly

An example of the answer to the question above should look like this:


A: I need to be the go-to person for [target audience] in X city who are looking to learn as much as they can about regulations, current pricing, and limitations when it comes to the design of their first home. To achieve this I will appear in relevant podcasts, I will co-host weekly Instagram Live sessions with larger accounts, and I will run ads to a free seminar that will help my audience learn all they need to know. In time, and with consistency, this strategy will help me go from (say) 20.000 followers to 50.000 followers.


Q: Ok, so who do I need to be, and what do I need to do right before I have an Instagram channel with 20.000 followers, that is regularly invited to podcasts and co-hosts Instagram Live sessions?


A: I need to expand my network within X city to meet the demands of this milestone. I will research the most relevant podcasts and authority figures that my target audience follows, and I will try to provide them as much value as possible. Then I will ask them to appear on their channels to provide useful information.


By this point, I already have a well-developed brand image, an Instagram feed that reflects my authority in the niche. I also know what captions bring the most engagement and I use the most relevant hashtags in my niche. This has helped me reach 5000 followers over 6 months.

Reaching the first milestone - Action you can take NOW.

Q: Ok, so who do I need to be, and what do I need to do right before I have an Instagram channel with 5000 followers and a well-structured Instagram profile?


A: I need to be well versed in the basics of Instagram for business and A/B test multiple types of posts to see what leads to the highest form of engagement. To reach my first 5000 followers, I will need to raise awareness in cost effective ways. To do this, I can offer free educational seminars weekly, I can run Instagram ads, I can even promote my business (& the Instagram tag) in local publications. I might also need to promote my business with local Instagram influencers.


For my feed, I will need a professional photographer to take photos that I will drip onto my feed daily, while I will use stories and videos to show my work more casually. I will ask my customers to repost my stories (related to their projects) on their Instagram. In this first 6-month period I will publish at least 5 photos or videos per week, all OF which will match my brand voice and image, which in turn will help me reach 5000 followers.


Step 2: Define actions to achieve milestones

At this point, you have defined the different milestones you need to achieve. All that is left now is organizing the executions process - the not-so-fancy part of an Instagram strategy for architects. 


Each of the milestones should now become a separate chapter in the final report of your strategy. The first milestone refers to the steps you can take today, which is why it should be your primary focus. Create separate chapters for each of the action steps you need to take to reach this goal. Then, research and write down the tactics to help you get there. Here’s an example:


Milestone 1: How to attain 5000 followers and a good-looking Instagram profile


Education required:

  • What I need to learn at the earliest stage. This includes how to write good captions, finding hashtags for my industry, researching top architecture Instagram accounts, how to engage with comments, etc.


Action steps to take:

  • Creating an appealing feed -  Hire a professional photographer or videographer to structure my Instagram architecture portfolio. In this chapter, add a list of options for the photographer/videographer. Define brand image and voice.
  • Creating free value - Where, how, and when could I host a free weekly seminar, and what would be the topics covered? How would I promote this? How soon can it start?
  • Stories and short videos - How often will I do this? What topics will I cover? How can I automate this process?
  • Promotional opportunities - Make a list with micro-influencers in your area, local publications, and other promotional methods to raise awareness from the get-go.


The above thought process indicates the different topics you’ll need to cover in each chapter. You might also add notes on the budget, potential limitations, and targets related to metrics

Step 3: Take action and stay consistent

You now know what you need to do. From this point onwards it’s all about taking consistent action. If you’re not tech-savvy, don’t feel discouraged. There’s an abundance of information available online to help you take the steps you need. 


Once you get things going, make sure to regularly review your progress and adjust your strategy as you go. This is as much true for the action steps as it is for your milestones.


Wrapping up

You now know the exact steps you need to follow to turn your Instagram architecture portfolio into a lead generation machine. From this point onwards it’s all about taking action and remaining consistent.


In our efforts to keep this blog post as compact as possible, we linked to numerous extensive guides. This means that you will most likely return to this post in the future. Hence, if you wish to remain organized while building an Instagram strategy for architects, it might be a good idea to bookmark this post for future reference.


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