- 1 billion users are now on Instagram and 80% of them follow a business, making it a top social media channel for flexible workspace operators.
- As a visual platform, it’s essential to strike a balance between art and strategy to show off your space and encourage engagement.
- Allwork.Space caught up with Karina Patel, marketing director at Pacific Workplaces, to discover the basics of Instagram marketing.
Last year, Facebook reported that 1 billion users were on Instagram. Of these 1 billion, 75% take some sort of action after seeing a post. While the golden days of Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat are gone, the opposite is true of Instagram. Instagram has become the #1 social media channel.
On May 29th, Cat Johnson, Content Marketing Expert, and Karina Patel, Director of Marketing at CloudVO and Pacific Workplaces, will co-host a training session on Instagram Marketing for Coworking Spaces.
Ahead of the session, Allwork.Space spoke with Patel to find out the basics of how coworking spaces can leverage Instagram for their business.
Other than the 1 billion users? According to statistics, 59% of Instagram users are under 30 and around 80% of users follow a business on the platform. Patel mentioned that “as users, we are liking over 4.2 billion posts per day.” Which is why she believes Instagram is the best platform for coworking operators that want to expand their reach with their target audience, or reach a new audience.
“If you want to reach a new audience and show what services you offer and what capabilities you provide, this is the platform you need to be using. You can use Instagram to tell your brand story through images and videos.”
Instagram is a visual platform, which requires each post to strike a balance between art and strategy. “People will only like and engage with your post if they actually like the photograph itself; it has to be visually appealing,” Patel states.
7 Things Coworking Spaces Need to Know about Instagram Marketing
First and foremost, coworking spaces need to make sure that they have an Instagram business profile. If you’re using a regular profile, you don’t have access to the platform’s business analytics, which provide insights on engagement, shares, likes, clicks, and impressions. Business profiles also allow you to add a phone number, address, and other important contact information for potential leads.
Patel recommends that all coworking spaces track their number of followers and their engagement on a week by week or month by month basis. Doing this will allow you to pinpoint the type of content that performs best, especially if you keep track of likes and comments.
Types of Content
There are different types of post a coworking space can publish on Instagram: community posts, brand posts, member posts, team posts, space posts, event posts, and so on. It’s important to create a strategy around the type of content you will publish and how often you will be publishing it.
“You want to always have a good mix of posts, but you need to be aware of which content type is doing better. I’ve found that the companies I work with experience higher Instagram engagement with space and community posts, as well as event programming.”
Social media platforms should serve as a channel by which you can move people from them and into your own platform (your website). However, don’t make the common mistake of promoting your products and services in all of your posts; this doesn’t add value to your audience and it can come across as spammy.
“Instagram is not just about posting photos, you have to have purpose and strategy. There are 3 key things that all Instagram strategies should include: what do you (as a coworking space) value, what does your audience value, and what is your unique selling proposition?”
Pro tip: Limit promotional posts to 1 every 10 posts.
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How Often to Post
Instagram’s algorithm controls what content people see in their feed. If you want to appear on your follower’s feed, you need to post regularly.
“I recommend posting more than once a week. I think twice a week should be the minimum. I also recommend planning in advance so that you’re sharing a mix of content.” Also, Patel emphasizes the importance of being consistent in the days in which you will be posting (Mondays and Wednesdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, etc.).
If you don’t post regularly and are not consistent, Instagram’s algorithm will see that you’re not active and that you don’t have enough engagement, which means that it won’t show your content to your followers.
Pro tip: “It’s OK not to post in real time, so if you have an important event that’s provided you with a lot of valuable content, space it out!”
Instagram is a social platform, which means that you need to be social and engage with others. Patel cautions against spamming posts with comments that don’t add value. “Make your comments meaningful and make sure they have at least 4 words, otherwise the algorithm won’t pick the comment up.”
Another way to build relationships is to mention and tag people or other businesses in your posts. If you, for example, have an expert or community leader coming into your space, make a post about it and make sure you tag and mention them in the post.
One of the biggest mistakes companies make when posting on Instagram is not using their own brand hashtag. “You need to have your own hashtag and make sure you are using it in all of your posts.”
As for hashtags in general, Patel recommends using a minimum of three to five hashtags per post. “Hashtags are one the best ways to get in front of new audiences, so take advantage of as many hashtags as you can. A sweet spot is between 10 and 15 hashtags per post.”
Use the search feature in order to discover local and relevant hashtags. Use the ones that have the highest search volume. “The key is to mix your hashtags; you should use hashtags that are popular and hashtags that are commonly used by people in your own industry, like #coworking, #coworkinglife, #digitalnomad, etc.
Pro tip: don’t mix your caption with your hashtags. If your caption is full of hashtags, people won’t stop to read it. You can also use scheduling tools to hide hashtags or do it manually by inserting a lot of spaces after your caption. Another way to hide hashtags is to publish a post without hashtags and instead posting them as the first comment.
“Post a story every day, even if it’s just a good morning post.” Stories are temporary but they help keep you in front of your followers. Stories are also great to share updates, like say for example if you’re opening late due to weather or if you have a construction announcement.
If you’re going to post a video, make sure you add subtitles to it. “People check their Instagram feeds at all times — when they’re at work, in meetings, with other people — and sometimes they won’t be able to hear your video audio, so make sure you add subtitles to your videos.”
The same goes for video stories; though you can’t add subtitles to these, make sure you add a caption to your story that says what the post is about. Videos make for great stories, as “people like to see what’s happening in your space. Using the story feature is a great way to showcase your space and how people behave in it.”
3 Things to Avoid
- Don’t post a picture of a flyer or printed announcement. Instead, create a graphic for your Instagram post.
- Don’t post pictures of your space without people in it.
- Don’t use the same pictures you have posted on your website.
Learn more about how to use Instagram to market your coworking space by tuning into the Instagram Marketing Training Session on Wednesday May 29th.