Instagram Checklist for Architects
Develop a system to consistently upload quality photographs to the Instagram feed, grow your reach and engage with your audience.
- How many professional photos do we have available at present?
- How many projects will we shoot in the next twelve months?
- How often should we post each week?
A simple rule of thumb for calculating maximum sustainable posting frequency for your account is to take the number of useable images you have and divide them by 52. That will be the maximum number of posts you can schedule each week. Why 52? It assumes that you’ll want your current pile of images to last you at least one year before you need to add more projects or re-post the same images again.
- What additional image types could we use to supplement our photo rotation?
If your firm is new, and you don’t have that many finished projects, you’ll need to substitute other types of images until you are able to finish and shoot more projects. These are some of the different image categories you could add into your feed:
- Model photos
- Material flat lays
- Site visit photos
- How should we format our captions? Template or pontificate?
Taking the time to write long captions is optional. Plenty of firms have had success with simple templates that cover the name of the project, the location and the photographer.
- What are the major caption categories we should think about combining with our photo types?
Pro-tip: Captions don’t always have to relate to the image. You can treat them as a totally independent place to express your values across a wide range of photo subjects. Caption topics could include things like:
List out somevalues that matter to you and your practice, then pick from the list when creating each caption and see how you can combine it with the subject matter of the photo to convey a fresh take on the chosen value.
- What is an appropriate set of hashtags to use on most of our posts?
Hashtags: Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per image. The best-practices around whether it’s best to use just a few, or many, changes so often it’s hard to keep track. In general, it’s best to use the full 30. Pick hashtags that are widely used, and popular such as #architecture, #archdaily and #architecture_hunter. You can repeat hashtags from post, however I’ve seen that refreshing the list every now and then can lead to a boost in reach & engagement.
- How frequently should we top-up our Later queue to minimize the time involved?
- How could we improve our Instagram bio and profile picture to improve follow-rate?
A handy formula for a bio is what you do plus your mission (to help narrow your audience) within 150 characters.
Example: Breathe is a Melbourne architecture studio. Our mission: design housing with an enduring impact on affordability, accessibility, and sustainability.
Extra tip: If your firm is marketing as a brand, use a logo as your display picture. If it’s a more personal brand, use a nice photo of you.
- Convert Instagram account to business profile.
- Implement bio and profile picture recommendations, if required.
- Setup Later.com account and upgrade your plan.
- Connect Later.com account to Instagram profile, enable auto-posting.
- Organise your photo library then upload to your Later media library.
- Click the settings cog in the top right of your Later Calendar and enable the Best Times To Post.
- Queue one month of posts, captioning using your topics or template.
- Use Later to tag relevant brands, clients, products, collaborators in the image.
- Respond to photo comments and DM’s from Later.
- Schedule a top-up time each week, fortnight or month on your calendar.
- Take time to reciprocate: Use remaining time to search for a relevant hashtag (such as #australianarchitecture), find the top posts, and leave thoughtful, meaningful comments in support of the architect/designer. Contribute to the community, it’ll grow your reach and build goodwill.
Does your Instagram account meet all of these requirements?
- Bio succintly describes firm positioning.
- Bio matches website copy.
- Account has enticing story highlights.
- Story highlights are branded consistently.
- Feed aesthetic is consistent (type and aesthetic)
- Images are high quality.
- Recent posts make business offering clear.
- Content is relevant to firm’s audience.
- Firm is monitoring Insights or using 3rd party analytics.
- Captions are interesting and add value.
- Appropriate hashtags are chosen.
- Maximum hashtags are used.
- A scheduling tool is used.
- New posts are frequent and consistent.
- Direct Messages are responded to quickly.
- Comments are replied to or liked.
- Different formats are used (galleries, video)