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9 Reasons Coworking Spaces are Failing at Instagram (and How to Avoid Them)

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Yesterday I wrote about the opportunity for coworking spaces on Instagram, especially in early markets. Here I detail the top 9 mistakes that coworking spaces are making on Instagram, and how to fix them.

#1 Posting visually uninteresting content.

Nobody wants to see a picture of your coffee mug 20 times in a row. Especially if coworking is new in your community, your job is to make your space look interesting. Post pictures with people doing something (they should be smiling). Your picture should look good from a quality perspective. Get a professional photographer friend to give you tips. Look at other top Instagram profiles to see the angles and colors and lighting people use. Edit your photos to make them more interesting.

#2 Not having a theme.

You need to keep your content style consistent. Coworking Insights posts two things, (one is only a variant of the other): pictures of beautiful coworking spaces around the world and pictures of beautiful coworking spaces around the world that plug articles I’ve written. That’s it.

The classic example, HONY, is perfect here.

#3 Not being consistent.

Successful Instagramers follow at least a loose schedule. You don’t need to post every day (in fact I find this wasteful). You don’t need to post exactly X days apart from each other. You do need to post every 2-3 days though. The first thing I do when I look at an account is see when their latest post was. If it’s over “4d ago” and the one before that was “2w ago” that’s a problem. The problem here relates to growth. Posting new content is one of the best ways to grow your account (see the next problem) and doing more often will ensure consistent growth.

#4 Improper tagging.

First things first: don’t make up your own tags. This is silly. Nobody, I repeat, nobody is going to use the tags you invent. Popular tags are popular for a reason: because people use them and search for content with them. The only exception here is having one branded tag, such as #wework. Now, as you grow and become more worth talking about, more people will want to use your branded tag because it makes them look good. This takes a while, and you need to actively encourage people to use the tag in the beginning.

Second, research your tags. Instagram makes it easy to find tags with a lot of posts tied to them. When you use these tags, people are more likely to find your content because clearly more people know about the tag.

#5 Not geo tagging.

Your tags should be as geographically specific as makes sense. For example, if you’re tagging #sanfrancisco, it might make more sense to tag #soma, which is a specific neighborhood, if that’s where your coworking space exists. I like to think of what the commuter base looks like here. What’s the largest geographic region that could or would be willing to commute to my coworking space?

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On the other hand, being too specific means nobody will find your post with said tag. As mentioned before, research your tags. Make sure there’s an audience of at least a few hundred, if not a few thousand, diverse users.

So few spaces geo tag it’s crazy.

#6 Using too few tags.

There’s an argument for using fewer tags out there, which I’ve read, but I disagree. No, don’t use 100 tags, but using between 5 and 10 is perfectly fine. As an Instagram user, I don’t care how many tags you’re using if the content is interesting. Using more tags (only tags that make sense please) will get you more views, period.

#7 Using tags that don’t make sense.

If you’re a coworking space in a city that doesn’t have coworking, I’m not sure it makes sense to use the tag #coworkingredwoodcity. In fact, most major cities don’t have very many popular tags with “coworking” actually in the tag.

The other thing here is you need to think about the psychology of somebody on Instagram. A person on Instagram isn’t there to join a coworking space. They are there to see interesting pictures, read some stories, and maybe connect with a new brand story. In this light #coworkingredwoodcity fails because nobody other than other coworking spaces or somebody like myself is searching that tag.

#8 Not knowing their audience.

What are you trying to build? A community of artists? A cheap office share space for freelancers? A den of sweaty tech entrepreneurs and programmers? This matters a lot because the content you post doesn’t connect with all of these, it can only connect with some of them. This goes back to having a theme. Your theme needs to match your audience.

On this note, does the audience you’re targeting even use Instagram? It’s a good question to ask yourself, and if you can’t answer with a yes and find a dozen examples then you’re probably wasting your time here.

#9 Not engaging with other content.

You have to follow, like, and comment. That’s the best way to get more followers. You should be liking at least 150 to 200 pieces of content per day in relevant categories. Participate in the community. You can do this yourself if you have the time. Otherwise you can hire a professional or employee to do it for you. Alternatively you can try one of the many Instagram bots out there, but be warned here, they do still require research, experience, setup, and constant tweaking/monitoring in order to use them correctly (not to mention prevent you from liking a bunch of pornography).

I do a mix of both and even with the advent of automation, I spend an ungodly amount of time on Instagram.


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  1. Pingback: Coworking Insights | You should be on Instagram (Most Spaces Aren’t)

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