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May 31 2019

Instagram: It’s Not Just a Photo—It’s Your Image

It’s not news to anyone that Instagram is a revolutionary tool for sharing your work with the world. Over the last nine years, the platform has made sharing images lightning-fast and free. Big and small brands alike have leveraged the platform to connect with audiences in new and interesting ways. Yet most architecture firms still think of Instagram as a simple digital portfolio.

The strategy most architecture firms use goes like this: Back from the job site? Post a progress photo. Final photography is in?  Put one or two up on the ‘gram. Repeat.

What most firms are missing is a comprehensive strategy that focuses on quality content. Think of Instagram as not just a series of posts of your work, but as a platform to distinguish yourself as an expert, provide useful content, and to create a visual profile that highlights your value.

Below are seven tips you can use to up your Instagram game:

Think of your account as a content-rich platform

With an estimated 500 million active daily users, Instagram puts a wide audience at your fingertips. The goal of your effort is to draw users to your account with compelling posts and then present an authentic visual narrative of who you are, what you do, and how you provide value. Beyond project photos, use the platform to consistently present your leaders and staff, illustrate your design approach, share value and recognition, and offer behind-the-scenes views of your office culture.

Plan ahead

The most effective way to make sure you achieve your Instagram goals is to plan ahead. Map out your posts on a monthly basis to get a birds-eye-view of your content. Ask yourself: Are we speaking to all of our audiences? Are we hitting all of our key messages? Are our images visually cohesive? This level of preparation will ensure continuity across your posts and avoid off-the-cuff content that is off-message.

Develop an authentic voice

People like to connect with people – not companies. An authentic voice is necessary to maintain the attention of your audience. As a rule, you should not look to your marketing team to develop the voice and tone of the account. As a firm leader, your expertise and point of view is vital to driving the narrative. If your company is looking to fully utilize Instagram, take time to develop original content and review content prepared by others in the firm.

Embrace video

Video is the new frontier of social media. It has never been cheaper or easier to create video content. Look for unique ways to create content: Interview your colleagues, introduce your summer interns, or tour a finished project. Video creates an opportunity to present a deeper connection with your audience that flat images cannot achieve.

Use Stories

By and large, Instagram is a numbers game; those who post the most attract the largest following. But should all content live forever? With the integration of Instagram Stories, there are two levels of content you can create: content that lives on your profile, and content that disappears within 24 hours of posting. Instagram Stories allows you to drive quantity without diluting the message you curate on your profile.

Don’t be afraid to microblog

It’s generally assumed that people only want images, but well-crafted written content offers insights that visuals leave behind. By pairing a longer narrative with compelling images, you are demonstrating your knowledge, experience, and a serious commitment to the topic at hand.

Give advice away

The best content is useful. Have you figured something out that will help others in the industry? Have you done research on a topic? Don’t be afraid to give away good advice. It will make you look like an expert and reinforce your position as an industry leader.