Who wouldn’t want to grow up on Instagram and become famous? Not because we would like to become Influencers, but rather because we’d want to have followers who appreciate and understand our work, whatever it is.
Of course, there are still many who have no interest in obtaining greater visibility on Instagram. They rightly enjoy the platform in its purest and most intimate essence, sharing moments only with close friends. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Indeed, on a personal level, I think it is still an excellent choice.
However, if you are a company, a freelance architect or an architecture or design studio – being on Instagram, whether you like it or not, can open up a world of possibilities – from getting new clients, making brand awareness or “simply” building new networks.
These are the reasons why I have written a guide dedicated to architects, “Instagram for Architects”. Therefore, my advice is to take advantage of these opportunities and try to grow on Instagram in a healthy, genuine, and satisfying way. On a personal and business level.
Please note that this article originally appeared (in Italian) on our partner site Marketing For Architects. From the same author.
How to grow on Instagram?
To learn how to grow on Instagram as an architect or architecture firm, you have to ask yourself: who is succeeding and why?
Ask yourself why successful accounts (check out some firms that It’s worth following on Instagram) are so popular and understand what makes them so attractive to gain hundreds of new followers every day.
Once you have identified them, study them in detail. By studying, you will find that there is always a well-structured guideline behind every successful account. More precisely, you will understand that, among other things, they post regularly, constantly and with criteria.
This way of acting and looking after your Instagram account leads to increased engagement, and increasing concentration naturally leads to a more favourable position in the Instagram algorithm. As a result, all of this leads to more exposure, which leads to new followers.
A virtuous process that pushes the account to grow exponentially and naturally.
Where to start?
Try this. Just identify/create a small group of loyal people who follow you and interact with you. Your first little community. This can be your circle of friends, blog readers, or even your entire team.
Consolidate through interactions and comments that group of followers who like your brand giving likes, comments and views with each new post; this will be good for Instagram, and step by step, it will lead you to ever greater visibility.
By posting quality content and doing things right, you will be able to feed more and more of that portion of active fans and thus grow faster.
How to grow on Instagram and get more followers?
There are numerous techniques to increase followers and engagement. I’ll explain them all to you in the guide that I have designed specifically for Architects and architectural firms – however, below, I anticipate a great truth.
The best strategy to grow faster on Instagram is to invent ways to talk about your business, your brand or your message that aren’t directly related to it. Therefore, no self-promotion as an end in itself.
Essentially you should lead to “buying” your product/service without asking to “buy your product / hire you to perform that service”. This is what corporate online magazines do, for example, when you promote a brand by telling stories.
Keep your strategy in mind.
In the guide, I dedicate an entire chapter to the question of setting up a strategy. It is essential because it considers the objectives and makes you reflect on which path to take to improve your communication.
Remember that you are selling something, even if you are an architect or an architectural firm: a product, a service or a brand. What matters most is how you talk about it and try to sell it.
You have to ask yourself what you are selling on an emotional level, not on a literal level. This is one of the concepts you could set your strategy on.
For example, suppose you are a studio that designs houses or interiors. In that case, you will be able not to let the roof collapse over your customers’ heads, but this is undoubtedly not your added value. Instead, share images of completed works, life scenes, happy customers and ideas and visions around your reality. The real value is the idea even before the product.
Grow on Instagram in 17+ steps
To make everything even more straightforward and guide you in the best possible way, here are some themes addressed in the guide and which we report here in part to outline what your growth path on Instagram could be.
A path that indeed must lay the foundations on an account that is curated in every detail.
1. Know yourself, be yourself. Be transparent and honest.
Be authentic. We live in a world of fake news and opportunism. Being authentic and showing personality will only make you appreciate.
2. Recognize your target.
Define who you would like to reach out to and ask yourself what these people expect from you and what they might appreciate the most. Identify the values and interests of your target and try to intercept their desires. We are not talking about the masses in general but particular groups more than anything else. They can often also be great ambassadors of your brand if they know you and appreciate what you do.
3. Give (value) before receiving
As in life, give to receive. It is useless to ask to subscribe to the newsletter if we never publish anything interesting. Likewise, it is futile to ask to share or participate in an event if we do not first show the commitment, dedication and work we put into it. The more value you produce, the more you grow.
4. Take sides, give your opinion
Let people know what vision your brand has about the world and the current events in your sector. This can be a great way to network with like-minded ones too. Also, giving your opinion could quickly generate a conversation. Even if different, exchanging ideas is always right.
5. Use a nice profile photo
The profile photo should be clear and of high quality (even but not only at the pixel level we mean). Better if there are not too many subjects or graphic elements in the composition. Better if what is represented can be distinguished even in the miniature version. The profile photo is one of the first things that users observe, so choosing something that truly represents us and already communicates something about us is crucial.
6. Choose a Username (@) that is easy to remember
The username is what identifies you on Instagram. That is what people write to tag you or what comes out next to your thumbnail in your feed posts or comments. It is unique, so you will have to choose one that is not already used by anyone else. It can change over time, but it is still not advisable to do it too often. A best practice in these cases is to say something about your story. It is helpful to think long-term and choose a username that can also be good for the future, which is easy to remember. In the case of a personal account, your real first and last name is probably the best choice.
7. Choose a clear and comprehensive profile name
The name is what appears publicly on your profile. So it’s only visible to those who visit your profile. It should be your real name and surname in the case of a personal account, perhaps followed by your specialization or a word that emphasizes something that interests you (e.g., Aldo Rossi Architect). In any case, it should be the official name of your business. In this case, you have to be recognized, and unlike the username, you have complete freedom over the words you can use.
8. Make the settings your own
You can access the setting section through the drop-down menu at the top right of the profile page. You can manage notifications, passwords, privacy, and check some activity statistics as in all apps. Obviously, to grow and let you know, my advice is to make your profile public, not private.
9. Make the most of your account bio
In your bio, you will have to explain who you are and should impress the reader and be remembered simultaneously. Obviously, the bio is a personal thing and varies from case to case, but what you should ask yourself is what you want to communicate and to whom. You will have to explain who you are – what you do – what the visitor will find in the feed-in those few words. This section may help provide information on how to be contacted or if there are any partner accounts to report.
10. Use the URL field in a smart way
You can statically use a link in the URL section, insert it, and leave it there regardless of your publications. Or, you can change it from time to time, directing your followers to a specific web address that perhaps talks about what you have just published on your profile.
11. Design your feed
The feed represents the set of photos. It is a 3-column grid that lists the publications in chronological order. To create compositions that can be read as a whole, it is necessary to plan the outputs. You always have to consider that the photos will always appear individually to your followers in these cases. They will only see your composition if they decide to visit your profile. Here you can find some inspiration.
12. Engage your followers with all types of publications
Don’t limit yourself to single images. Take advantage of all the possibilities of Instagram. In addition to publishing photos/images/graphics, both single and one after the other as a gallery (for a maximum of 10), post videos, Instagram Stories, IGTV, Guide, and Reels and combine them!
13. Share Instagram Stories
Instagram stories are publications that remain visible for only 24 hours and that can be viewed by clicking on your profile photo or in the dedicated section at the top of your followers’ homes. Instagram stories leave users much more freedom. Photographs, videos (maximum 15 seconds), written etc. etc., can be published. Instagram also offers a series of stickers and gifs to be superimposed on your publications. A follower can visualize it by clicking on the icons at the top right when in story mode.
14. Tag other users in your photos
If the photo is relevant, if we want to let people know about our post or want to attract the attention of another account, then a good option is to tag other users (up to a maximum of 20) in our publications—an innocuous and “sociable” way to try to network.
15. Consider reposting photos from other accounts
There are apps to do it directly on Instagram in a few simple clicks. For example, just search for “Repost” on the Apple store/Google Play store, and several will come out. In both cases, either by using one of these apps or by downloading from the internet and then publishing it on your account, a good practice is to mention the photograph’s author. You should enter the author’s username preceded by @ in the caption to do this. In addition, you could also add a # with his name. But if a notification to the author arrives in the first case, there will be no notification in the second case.
16. Write post captions
In addition to mentioning the possible author of the photograph, it is also highly recommended to include a brief description, or even just a thought, related to our publication. Statistically, photos with captions have more interactions than photos without captions. This is because people love to read stories and thoughts.
17. Improve your photographs with apps
Check out the best Instagram tools, including some image (and video) editing apps.
I hope I have given you a general idea of building and growing on Instagram. However, if you are interested in the subject and want to learn more, I strongly recommend you the Instagram guide for architects.