Engaging effectively on relevant social media platforms continues to grow in importance for Home and Building Product brand plans. And, with more than 1 billion users, Instagram has become one of the most popular social networking sites.

Ninety percent of users follow at least one business page… elevating the platform as a critical destination to reach strategic audiences. It’s vital to keep in mind that — like other social networking sites — Instagram uses algorithms to guide targeted users to specific content. As such, the design of each post must meet pre-determined criteria, leveraging it in a way that best meets marketing goals.

Here are seven tips that home and building product brands can employ on Instagram to drive engagement, increase awareness, and optimize brand relevance.

Set clear and attainable goals

As with any brand promotion initiative, ensure goals are set. And expectations are framed… for your Instagram marketing efforts to best pay dividends. For example, do you wish to increase visibility? Expand awareness? Drive more traffic to your website or campaign-specific landing pages? Direct product sales? Or influence specifications?

Like Facebook and Pinterest, Instagram can be a pivotal platform in achieving goals for a targeted social media marketing strategy.

Focus on quality over quantity

Best practice recommends posting on Instagram daily. While it may seem obvious, the quality of posts is one of the most important factors in achieving success. Consider what audiences want to “see” from a brand experience. Instagram is a highly visual platform, after all.

Making sure some 50 percent of posts feature people, will help to personify a brand. For the balance of efforts, share captivating infographics. Provide tips for using a product or service. And do not fail to deliver helpful product demonstrations. When posting a video, be concise and crisply edit your work. Shorter “how to” videos tend to attract the most engagement. And, of course, don’t forget to maintain high-quality branding… complete with consistent identity and logo marks.

It’s important to test content to analyze which types of user experiences capture the most attention. Colorful, eye-catching graphics will be — in most cases — much more impactful than muted, subtle images.

Create save-worthy content

Never leave content deployment up to chance. Instead, develop a strategic monthly content calendar to align with social media goals. Determine how the focus of each content campaign will influence followers to share, educate, or inspire. Better yet, seek a cadence to accomplish all three.

It’s important to note that the “save” feature on Instagram allows users to archive photos and videos in a folder… for access at a later time. When users save posts, they trigger the platform’s algorithm to boost the visibility of branded experiences to other like-minded users. Similarly, when audiences share a brand’s post via a direct message, this activity also prompts a responsive increase in exposure. These types of community behaviors have a greater impact on Instagram’s algorithms, than do routine “likes” and comments.

After all, the more engaging your content… the more prospects who will experience it.

Post at the optimal time

The most desirable times to post on Instagram tend to be first thing in the morning. Or around lunchtime. And after 5 P.M. These post-time recommendations are, of course, a general rule of thumb. So, the best way to determine the ideal times for home and building product brands to post… is to check the Instagram Insights tab to see when followers engage most. A number of social media analytic programs offer even deeper dives for advanced modeling.

The most efficient way to post on Instagram and other social media platforms — is to utilize scheduling software that facilitates the queueing of posts in advance. Typically, social media accounts are integrated upon a central “dashboard”… making it easy to create, edit and manage social media activities.

Get familiar with the features

For home and building product companies to be successful on Instagram, it’s imperative to understand and leverage its many features. Like YouTube, video is the most engaging content on the site. Instagram provides several different ways to share video footage — for example, sharing it on your feed. And adding it to your “story”. Publishing longer video content on IGTV. Or sharing short-form visual content on Reelz.

How to choose — and determining what to share — depends on the length or type of video. Important announcements and new product launches should be posted to a brand’s feed, as they will maintain equity there permanently. While on the other hand, reminders for upcoming events can be posted as an Instagram story… ultimately, which will disappear after 24 hours.

Utilize your resources

Involving team members from customer service and even product development helps develop innovative Instagram post strategies. And why not? Involvement can help to build stronger internal working relationships while adding authentic human elements to brand posts.

Most important is to recruit voices from sales reps… to help ensure your marketing efforts are fully aligned. Sales teams see potential customers in a different light than marketers, so having their input on what types of content is posted can help to target audiences even more effectively. And aid in overcoming objections.

Follow targeted influencers

While Instagram is growing among all audiences, it is particularly popular among specifiers: both architects and design influencers.

Strategic follows can be an effective way to build social media “relationships” — among the A&D segment — and grow that follower base on Instagram. Recognize architects or designers who have a strong following and engagement. Then, comment on their posts. Simply engage in conversations. And avoid asking for anything in return, from the influencer. It’s like meeting someone at a party or event. Commit to a brand experience for building camaraderie. Rather than to selling.

Next steps? Consider a potential paid social strategy in the form of Instagram ads. Targeted Instagram campaigns can be a highly effective way to generate increased brand awareness and reach.

Review and adjust

Take advantage of the Insights offered to Instagram business accounts and other analytic tools available from social media scheduling software. Reviewing this type of data regularly will allow brands to learn what is resonating best. And what kind of messaging may need to be re-strategized. Social media marketing offers a great deal of flexibility… for nimble marketers, who aren’t afraid to test or experiment.

The growing popularity of Instagram presents home and building product brands with great opportunities to gain more brand exposure. And better connect with customers. Interested in learning more ways to leverage social media to boost brand awareness? Send an email to Steve Kleber at sk@kleberandassociates.com.