More companies, especially small to midsize businesses, are hiring web design firms. That’s led to a lot of opportunities, but also plenty of competition. That competition is coming from all around the world. To stay relevant and marketable, you must be prepared to offer your services on a global scale.
You may already be using social media to reach out to potential customers. That’s a great start. Customers are increasingly using social media to find out about brands offering the services they need. Now it’s time to take the next step, which is to create or renew your focus on Instagram in particular. The platform has well over 700 million users each month, and is one of the fastest growing platforms there is.
To help you get started, check out these ten tips for promoting your web design startup on Instagram.
Tip #1. Use Hashtags
You may find hashtag overuse to be a bit obnoxious, but the truth is hashtags are an important part of the Instagram platform. There’s no reason to be on Instagram if you aren’t going to use these to your advantage. Hashtags can make your page easier to find, create an emotional response, even encourage people to answer your call to action.
Also, Instagram marketing isn’t just what you share about your business. It’s also what other people share about you. Create a branded hashtag, and encourage your followers to use it when they post content that’s relevant to your brand. Not only does this help to strengthen your connection with them, but it’s also another way to get your name out there.
Tip#2. Make the Right Connections
Startups of all types often shy away from influencer marketing. The term influencer is so often used to refer to the famous people who influence what’s popular in music, fashion, and entertainment that we forget about those who can impact our daily lives. These micro influencers may not be celebrities, but people look to them for advice and insights.
Identify the people that your target customers are looking to. These might be:
- Small Business and Marketing Gurus
- Web Design Bloggers
- Other Web Designers
- Your Own Followers
- Leaders in The Industries Your Web Design Firm Serves
To find the right connections look for Instagram accounts that your clients are following. Search Instagram for relevant hashtags, and see which pages come up. Next, start reaching out. Follow their pages and engage with their content. Mention them in your posts when it’s relevant. Finally, make contact with them to see if there’s any potential there for working together.
Tip #3. Set Goals and Measure Them
Once you begin your work on Instagram, it’s important that you identify what works for you, and what needs to be changed. You do this by establishing goals, identifying the metrics you’ll use, and keeping track of your progress. A good analytics tool will help you understand your audience better, identify the content that gets the best results, and that which isn’t earning engagement. Fortunately, there are several for you to choose from.
Here Are Some Metrics That Matter
Engagement Density: This tracks the volume of engagement at any given time. If you can identify the periods of time where your posts are getting the most engagement, you can schedule your posts accordingly. This can help you to get more comments, likes, and shares. Just don’t overdo it. One or two posts during these periods is plenty.
Follower Loyalty: Who are your most loyal fans? It’s important to know who is commenting and liking your posts, and tagging you in their own. These are your potential brand ambassadors. Find out who they are. Respond to their comments, and give them mentions.
Most Successful Posts: These are your posts which receive the most engagement. They are your most successful posts. Examine these to see if you can find any elements in common. Then, try to repeat that success as often as possible going forward.
Tip #4. Share Your Work Process through Instagram Stories
As a designer, people are going to be curious about your work methods and creative process. They’ll also want to see your final products. You can share this with them through Instagram stories. An Instagram story is a collection of videos or images that you can share with your audience. You can add text, emojis, and graphics to make them more impactful.
Here are some ways that you can use stories to boost your web design brand:
- Take users on a walkthrough of a website you’ve recently created, or show off some themes or templates.
- Pitch any specials or sales events you have coming up. Instagram stories are great for time-sensitive content.
- Provide a very brief tutorial on a web design concept.
- Share a video of your insights into a recent web design trend.
- Show an example of your building a web page.
- Share a well-edited video of a Q&A session.
Tip #5. Be Consistent with Your Brand Imaging
Yes, Instagram is more visual than other platforms. It may be your first foray into something like that. The platform also tends to attract a younger audience. Naturally, the content you share is going to reflect that, and it should. On the other hand, you should also be consistent in your branding.
Use the same logo across all social media channels, including Instagram. Stick with the same color palettes, and use the same brand voice regardless of platform. Keep in mind that as a designer, the visuals you use are particularly important. They are, in a sense, your signature and style. Consistency matters.
Tip #6. Don’t Forget about Your Captions
Your pictures and videos are key, but you shouldn’t discount the importance of your Instagram captions. Well-written captions help you to accomplish two things. First, they provide needed context and explanations for your visuals. They also encourage your followers to engage. A good caption serves as a jumping-off point for people to ask questions, or leave comments.
Take the time to write descriptions that hook your readers immediately, and encourage them to respond. Ask questions. Use vivid, descriptive words.
Tip #7. Craft an Amazing Profile
Since you don’t sell a physical product, you only have one place to put your link. That’s in your bio. To drive people to your site, you’ll need to make your profile interesting to your audience. This is another area where consistency is important. Use the same logo, and profile picture that you use on other platforms.
Keywords and hashtags aren’t relevant on your bio. They aren’t searchable there. Instead, focus on showing your personality, highlighting what you can do, and writing something that reflects your brand.
Tip #8. Promote Your Customers
Keep in mind that Instagram is all about engagement. It’s not a broadcast. It’s a conversation. One thing that you can do to promote your startup is to recognize the customers who are engaging with your brand most often, who are tagging you in their posts, and are sharing your posts. When you share posts about the work that you do, use Instagram mentions to give your customers a boost as well. They’ll appreciate the traffic and publicity.
Tip #9. Use Instagram Questions to Promote Engagement
Instagram questions are a recent feature that was added to Instagram stories. With Instagram questions, followers can submit questions when they view one of your stories. Later, you can share your answers in a follow up. The default for the Instagram questions sticker is, ‘Ask me a question’, but you can change that to anything that’s 50 characters or less.
To get the most out of this feature, use it sparingly. Not every story will be a good fit for this, and that’s okay. Save it for content that you know will provoke curiosity, and call for further explanation.
Tip #10. Stay Active and Present
Instagram is a great platform for promoting your web design business. You’ve got a lot of great visual content to share, and your audience would love to engage with that content. As with any other platform, the key to making your efforts a success is focusing on the long term. That means posting regularly, and engaging with your audience.
There are a few things you can do to help this. First, consider using an Instagram post scheduler. Next, stay on top of local and industry news. This will give you additional fodder for content. Finally, get active and engage with others on a regular basis. Share interesting posts. Search for relevant hashtags to find interesting posts, and participate in those conversations. Finally, link to your Instagram account on your website, and other social media profiles.
Use the ten tips listed here as a jumping-off point to create a great Instagram presence for your web design business. Take advantage of the visual nature of this platform, and its engagement potential as a way to reach out to both future customers and influencers.
Estelle Liotard is a seasoned content writer and a blogger, with years of experience in different fields of marketing. She is a content editor at Trust My Paper and loves every second of it. Her passion is teaching people how to overcome digital marketing obstacles and help businesses communicate their messages to their customers.