- Instagram is one of the most powerful marketing platforms coworking operators can use to showcase their spaces.
- Five Instagram specialists from the flexible workspace industry share their tips on how to use the social media platform to increase engagement, meet goals, and grow your business.
- If you want to increase your reach, you need to start using Instagram Reels.
Running a workspace is a demanding job. At any one time, community managers are being pulled in multiple directions, which makes carving out time for marketing and social media difficult.
But with COVID restrictions easing and potential members once again exploring coworking options, now is a crucial time to get the word out about your space.
There are multiple ways to show off your space and your vibe. As a highly visual platform, Instagram has a lot to offer — and as one of the top five most-downloaded apps last year, it’s a powerful marketing platform with millions of active users and tons of features.
One of the best-loved features of Instagram is a fairly new addition — Reels.
Reels are a big part of Instagram’s growth trajectory. The new 60-second video feature launched around a similar time to TikTok and YouTube Shorts, which goes some way to demonstrating the rocketing demand for social media video content.
Unlike Instagram Stories, Reels don’t disappear after 24 hours, and can include multiple video clips, filters, captions, interactive backgrounds, stickers and more.
It’s easy to see how Reels work well for coworking spaces:
“Reels are short, entertaining videos on Instagram where you can express your creativity and bring your brand to life. People come to Reels to participate in cultural trends, collaborate with the community and discover new ideas.” – Instagram Business
How to Use Instagram to Grow Your Business
So how can you use Instagram to grow your flexible workspace business?
That was the topic of conversation during a recent online discussion hosted by Cat Johnson, a content marketing expert for the coworking industry.
Cat’s latest Coworking Convo invited five Instagram specialists from the flexible workspace industry to share their tips on how to use the social media platform to increase engagement, meet your goals, and grow your business.
Here are the highlights from the discussion.
Lauren Brewer – Union Worx
For Lauren Brewer, Instagram is the ideal platform to show off their personality and give potential members a visual insight into life at Union Worx.
In one example, Lauren used Instagram Reels to show how they make their cold brew coffee. She added the Reel to their grid to give it more exposure and also ran it as a Story. In the process, she tagged the local coffee brand, the brewer, and some members, which generated plenty of engagement.
“It might not get me a new member, but it’s fun content and shows our personality.”
It’s also a great way to ramp up your local marketing efforts. Union Worx regularly runs content that highlights local businesses, which in turn shows potential members some of the great facilities that are within a few minutes of the coworking space’s front door.
“We’re surrounded by local businesses,” said Lauren. “We like to highlight our neighbours and show how great we are. You can walk across the street and get a pizza, a beer, whatever you want – why wouldn’t you want to work here?”
Karina Patel – Pacific Workplaces
Karina Patel kicked off her list of Instagram must-dos with a question: “Think about the last post you shared or saved. What was it about that post that made you want to share it? Did it evoke emotions? Why did it make you engage?”
Thinking about this, she said, will help you to understand how to generate a similar response in your own followers.
First though, it’s important to know your target demographic before you can create content that resonates with them. Creating customer personas is one way to become familiar with your audience and to communicate how your brand offers solutions to their needs and pain points.
As for creating shareable content, Karina recommends getting specific with your hashtags. Aim for 4 or 5 core hashtags, including your brand (such as your #name and #tagline), your niche (like #coworking or #makerspace), your location (such as #bayarea) and something product specific, like #coworkingmembership.
Mix up your hashtags to make them relevant to each piece of content, but always include some core hashtags to tie it back to your brand, your product, and what you offer.
Daniel Lamadrid – Allwork.Space
Coworking spaces are full of “real people and communities”, which means workspace operators have a great opportunity to create the type of content that Instagram was made for, said Allwork.Space’s Daniel Lamadrid.
To get inspired, look at what other businesses are doing and what type of content they’re creating — this will help you to understand what’s trending and what type of content generates the most engagement.
“Everybody on Instagram is learning from each other.”
Daniel’s top tips are to “experiment with new things” and monitor engagement. A great way to keep tabs on how posts are performing is to use Instagram ‘Insights’ — this will give you an idea of which type of posts work well.
He recommends experimenting with Reels, which is “currently the best way to get the most reach”.
Marlies Bloemendaal – Ministry of New
“Now more than ever, people want inspirational content,” said Marlies, who uses Instagram to show off the community vibe at the Ministry of New.
The visual format of Instagram offers a “stage for members and local collaborators”, and after the prolonged isolation of COVID-19, it’s a great way to share content and show people the value of being together. For those who have switched to working from home, Marlies has found that this same content has brought a lot of people back, mainly through ‘FOMO’ — the fear of missing out.
In terms of content, Marlies likes to keep the content professional but friendly and conversational, with a little tongue in cheek humour where appropriate. Use props where you can, and if you’re struggling for inspiration, food is always a winner, she says.
She also recommends asking members for photos and videos of moments they’ve captured around the space. Not only does this “take the pressure off” your community manager, it also encourages members to chip in, share good content, and provide different perspectives.
Taylor Stauffer – The Village Workspace
“My biggest tip is just be you. Be real, be authentic.”
That’s the key piece of advice from Taylor Stauffer, who finds that the best engagement comes from friendly, personable content that resonates. It doesn’t need to be complicated. “It could be a one shot of you talking about coworking. It doesn’t have to be extravagant. Just go for it.”
Taylor has learned a lot about Instagram by “just playing around” and experimenting with Reels and other features. One thing she has found is that Reels work best when there aren’t too many words involved, otherwise it moves too fast. Also, keep the hashtags well spaced out and in the actual post, not in the first comment.
Like Daniel, Taylor recommends using Insights to understand what type of posts work best, and when. Above all, use Instagram as a reflection of your space and your community.
“Showcase your personality,” she said. “That gets people in the door.”
Cat Johnson’s next Coworking Convo, ‘Email Marketing for Coworking Spaces’, takes place on Friday October 29th. Join for free here.