Everything you need to know, from creating an Instagram account to building a following and getting new cleaning customers for your Maid Service.
I have a confession to make. (Don’t judge me).
I use Instagram a lot. I can’t stay off of it.
I like to see my friends’ new beaus, and what they ate for lunch today. (Fascinating). I follow B-list celebs and get to peek into their personal lives.
I also follow and interact with local businesses. Like my favorite gyms, the cafe that’s walking distance from my house, a local soap store, and more.
And I’m not alone. The majority of Instagram users (70%) have searched for a brand or business on the platform.
Here are some more of my thoughts on using Instagram for your maid service:
Using Instagram to market your maid service can help you connect with your current and potential customers, by showing the ‘human’ behind your business.
Here are some current stats for Instagram for 2020 [source: Hootsuite]
If you’re ready to use Instagram for your cleaning business, this guide will show you how.
Get started with Instagram for your cleaning business
We will start with the basics, for those of you who are new to the platform (or thought Instagram was just something your kids used). Then we will talk about ideas for what to post, how to build a following, how to convert followers into customers, scheduling and paid advertising.
Table of Contents:
- What is Instagram?
- How to Set Up an Instagram Account
- What To Post (10+ Instagram Post Ideas for Maid Services — WITH EXAMPLES)
- What are #Hashtags? And Why Do They Matter?
- How to find relevant hashtags
- Getting Locals to Follow You
- Turning Your Followers Into Customers
- Create a System to Manage Your Instagram is Easily
- A Quick Introduction to Paid Instagram Advertising
So what is this “Instagram” thing anyways?
Started back in 2010, it was originally designed to be a mobile check-in app. But it was later changed into the photo-sharing app we know it as today.
Users can upload photos and short videos, follow other users and geotag images with its location. There are personal and business accounts. Personal accounts can either be public or private (controlling who you allow to ‘follow’ you and your account).
It’s a little different than just posting photos to Facebook, in that while you might post dozens of photos in an album on Facebook, most Instagram users post one image at a time that will show up in their ‘feed’.
Although the vast majority of posts feature a single image and a caption, Instagram does allow other types of posts, such as:
- Posts that have multiple pictures (up to 10).
- Short video clips (up to 60 seconds on your feed).
- “Stories” – which stay up for 24 hours and then disappear.
Here’s what an Instagram feed looks like:
My Instagram feed. The top section features Stories and live videos. These disappear in 24 hours. Below that, my image feed starts. The buttons at the bottom of the screen let me navigate to (1) Home (the current page), (2) Search, (3) Post a photo, (4) Look at posts I or the people I follow have liked, (5) My profile.
How to Set Up an Instagram Account for your Maid Service
Now that you know what Instagram is, let’s get you set up on the platform.
Instagram is meant to be used on a smartphone. While you can technically access Instagram from the computer, you are unable to create posts from a computer.
So you’ll start by installing Instagram on your phone.
Step 1) Download the Instagram app on your smartphone. Go to the Google Play Store or the Apple Store, search for ‘Instagram’ and click ‘Install’.
Step 2) Once the app is installed, open it.
You’ll see the option of creating an account through your Facebook, or creating a new account. If you have a Facebook account that you use solely for your business, then create an account through your Facebook.
Otherwise, click ‘Sign up with email or phone number,’ and create a new account using your business email.
Dashing Maids has their business name as their Instagram name, their logo as their profile picture, and their location clearly stated in their bio. This is exactly how you should set up your profile.
Step 3) Once you’ve created an account, it’s time to fill out your details.
Full Name: Use the name of your business.
Username: Your username is unique to your profile. If your business name is available, use that. If it’s not, and your business name does not include your location, add the location. For example, if SpotlessMaids is taken, you could try SpotlessMaidsDenver.
>> Profile Picture: Use your logo as your profile picture. That way people will realize you are a business, not an individual’s Instagram. It also makes your account seem more professional.
Instagram Bio: Your instagram bio is a short (150 characters) description of your business. If your service area isn’t in your business name, then you need to include your location in your bio. End your bio with a link to your website.
[Optional] Step 4) If you have a Facebook business page, switch your Instagram to a business account. A business account gives you access to analysis tools and a few additional features. You’ll also be able to run paid advertising campaigns. (Promoting your posts to your target market).
To create a business account on instagram
- Go to your profile (click the person icon on the bottom right).
- Then go to your settings (the three dots on the top right).
- Scroll down until you see ‘Switch to Business Profile.’
- The app will direct you to login to Facebook, and select the Facebook business page you would like to connect to.
What To Post: 10+ Instagram Post Ideas for Maid Services with examples
Alright, you’re all setup with an Instagram account. It’s time for you to start posting.
You might be feeling a little lost, or shy. What are you supposed to post?!
Don’t worry, friend, I’ve got your back. This section covers a bunch of maid service post ideas (with examples).
The 3 types of posts that work well on Instagram are:
- Posts that give people an inside peek into your cleaning business.
- Posts that show people the great work that you and your team do.
- Posts that are educational or ‘how-to’.
In this picture is the Molly Maid team at their monthly birthday celebration. Little gatherings like this are a great opportunity to take a group photo and post it to Instagram.
If you’re a one-man show, don’t be afraid to post a selfie. Seriously, just posting a photo of yourself makes your followers feel like they’re getting to know you. (And new cleaning customers will feel more open to reaching out for an appointment because you’ll seem like a person, not a faceless business).
Give your customers a peek behind the scenes of your cleaning business!
Something they wouldn’t usually see, such as administrative or organizational tasks. This may seem like a boring post to you, but for your followers it’s interesting to see what it takes to run a successful maid service business.
Throwback Thursday Posts
There are a number of weekly hashtag themes – we’ll discuss these more in the hashtags section.
One of the most popular is #ThrowbackThursday, where you post an old photo. Use Thursdays as an opportunity to post an old business photo.
Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be vintage – even a photo you took a few months ago counts.
For example, if you attended a conference before you had an Instagram, you can post a conference photo and tag it as #ThrowbackThursday.
#ThrowbackThursday is meant to be nostalgic, so re-post good memories. And write a little bit about the photo – where were you, what were you doing, and why are you feeling nostalgic towards it?
If you’re extroverted and don’t mind being in front of the camera, you may want to consider taking a video of yourself. You can share a story, give cleaning tips, say something inspiring…really whatever you want to say.
Video is becoming a more and more popular medium because it allows viewers to get to know you (in a way that’s impossible through just text or images).
A Brighter Carpet Cleaning posts videos where the owner advertises his services, talks about his day, or says something motivational.
Show Off Your Awesomeness
The whole point of having Instagram is to market yourself and get more customers. So sometimes you’ll want to create posts to show just how awesome you are.
The type of posts that make followers wish you would come clean their house.
Here are several post ideas to show the value and quality of your business.
Before & After Posts
Before & After posts can be powerful visuals.
Your cleaning client followers will imagine the dirtiest part of their homes, and dream about how shiny and beautiful it would look if it were properly cleaned.
This Before & After post promotes a lesser known service that Victoria’s Cleaning offers: patio cleaning.
This is a great way to get current cleaning customers who follow you to try a new service.
Praise and Testimonials
Testimonials allow your followers to see that other cleaning clients have had a good experience with your maid service business, and trust you.
These types of posts don’t need to be fancy – the customer’s words matter more than the look of the post. You can post screenshots of testimonials, like this:
If screenshots are too casual for your branding, you can make a fancier post that looks more like a traditional ad.
Does your company support charitable causes? That’s awesome – so post about it!
Superb Housekeeping participates in Cleaning for a Reason. We love the picture and hashtags in this post (we’ll discuss hashtags soon). But one thing that’s missing is a description!
A description would help make this post feel more personal.
For example, Superb Housekeeping could talk about one of the patients whose home they have cleaned, or why this cause is important to them.
Blog Posts, Other Content
If you’re putting out content on your website or elsewhere, advertise it on Instagram.
You can use canva.com to create a graphic for the image of your post.
One thing to note – You cannot put a clickable link in the description of a post. So if you want people to follow a link, end the description with “Link in bio.” Then update your bio to include a link to the resource or article you are promoting.
Below I’ll tell you about other apps that you can ‘add’ to your Instagram account that will allow you to easily share multiple links at once.
Join the ZenMaid Mastermind on Facebook to connect with thousands of other amazing maid service owners just like you!
Be Helpful, Friendly and Fun
When you’re not giving your followers a peek inside your business or showcasing how awesome your cleaning business is, you want to add value by being helpful, friendly, and fun.
These types of posts make you a likable business, not just a maid service that only cares about sales.
When your followers need cleaning help, they’ll remember your helpful Instagram account and reach out.
The following pages are some ideas of what being helpful, friendly and fun looks like.
Cleaning is your area of expertise. Why not share your knowledge with your followers by posting a cleaning tip?
Notice that the image in this post is bright and pretty – it doesn’t show an excessively dirty area. Instagram users want to scroll through pretty pictures. Even when you’re posting cleaning tips, don’t post pictures that might gross your followers out.
Share posts that are inspirational or wise. Many Instagram users appreciate a little inspirational pick-me-up as they scroll through their feed.
Here’s a fun bit of wisdom from Queen of Clean:
Get into the holiday spirit with a holiday-themed post.
The post can just wish your followers a happy holiday. Or, if you’re running a holiday cleaning promotion, let your followers know about it.
If there is a big event going on, use it as an opportunity for a themed post. Here’s a Super Bowl themed post from Maid in NC:
Posts about local events are especially fruitful. That’s because the majority of people who search for a local event will be locals themselves. (Which means they’re in your target market!)
So make posts based on local sports games or community-wide events.
You can also make local posts that are timeless (not referencing any event).
For example, if you’re based in San Francisco, you can post a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge. (You’ll want to use location-based hashtags so that your post shows up in search results. This is explained in detail in the Hashtag section, later on).
Customer Celebration Posts
If your customer is okay with it, feature them in a post. Post something kind about them, or celebrate their birthday or a recent accomplishment.
The customer will love you for it – and other cleaning customers may also find it touching, and realize that you and your maid service really care about your clients.
In this post, a maid service owner was cleaning at a customer’s business while the customer was being interviewed for TV. She used it as an opportunity to celebrate her client.
So there you have it. Those are some of the most effective, most recommended Instagram posts for maid services.
But don’t feel confined to these types of posts. If you’re feeling creative, try something different and see what gets engagement. Instagram is still a new medium with a lot of untapped potential!
What are #Hashtags? And Why Do They Matter?
When a word begins with a number symbol, it’s called a hashtag. (#So #these #words #are #all #hashtags).
Hashtags allow your post to show up in search results.
If you use the hashtag #maidservice, then your post will show up in the search results for “maid service.”
Let’s take a look at how Instagram search works from the user’s point of view.
Instagram allows you to search in 3 categories:
- people (if you’re searching for a specific user),
- places (if you want to see photos taken in a specific location),
- and tags (if you’re looking for posts with a specific hashtag).
If you’re looking for posts about maid services you can search Tags for ‘maid service’.
Instagram will show you the most popular hashtags that contain the words ‘maid service’.
When you choose the hashtag you’d like to look up, Instagram will show you recent or popular posts with that hashtag.
You can also see the search results of a hashtag by clicking on a hashtag in a post.
So if you use the hashtag #Boston, then a viewer can click ‘#Boston’ and see all posts with that hashtag. By using hashtags, you’re increasing the odds that someone finds you while they are searching Instagram.
It’s kind of like the most basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Instagram.
How to find hashtags for your maid service
There is never a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to marketing your cleaning business on Instagram, but there are some current best practices you can take into consideration.
Best practice #1: Use only relevant hashtags
For each post, you will want to include a group of hashtags, relevant to that post and to your business. Do not use hashtags that are not relevant to your cleaning business or your local area.
This will only result in two things: a) your account being marked as spam and your posts will be hidden and/or b) you won’t be targeting your actual target market (and what’s the point of people who will never buy from you seeing your posts?).
The goal here is quality over quantity. It only takes a few hundred, engaged followers to have an effective reach on Instagram.
Best practice #2: Use hashtag groups with less than 500K posts
For Instagram, it pays to take a bit of time to explore some relevant hashtags to use on your posts.
Best practice for this is to find hashtags that have less than 500,000 but more than 1000 (this few means no one uses them or is searching them.)
Why? Any group of hashtags with 500K+ posts means that new posts are being added every minute. Which means that even if your post makes it to the top of that hashtag feed, it won’t stay there long.
Posts in groups with hundreds of thousands of other posts, will inevitably be lost in the sea of newly added photos and videos.
So if I’m being honest, hashtag groups with less than 100K are probably your best bet (if you can find them). It doesn’t hurt to include the hashtags for some of these larger groups, but balance it out with some smaller tag groups as well.
Here is a quick trick for finding related hashtags and seeing how many posts they have, follow this quick walk-through to search for hashtags on Instagram: (step-by-step below video)
- Click on the search icon (magnifying glass)
- Tap ‘Tags’
- Type in a generic tag to start (ie. cleaning or cleaningtips)
- Choose a tag that has less than 1 million posts (under 500K is better)
- Click the tag to see the posts
- Look at the ‘related’ hashtags along the top (above the photos/posts)
- Choose another tag from the ‘related tags’ to see how many posts it has
- Keep going until you have several relevant hashtags with under 500K posts
- Create a list of 10-30 (maximum allowed) hashtags to use on your posts
- **don’t forget to search for local hashtags: try your city or neighborhood + cleaning / maidservice / housecleaning
PRO TIP: create 2-3 different, but related, sets of hashtags to use on your posts. Use one set for post 1, second set for photo 2 etc. This way you avoid ‘spamming’ the same hashtags over and over.
Best practice #3: Use local hashtags
Being a service based business, you obviously need to be targeting cleaning clients within a certain area. So as a maid service, you should always include local hashtags.
That’s where you’re most likely to get traction, since most people who search for a location-based hashtag are local to your area.
Posts with a location get 79% higher engagements than posts without them. (You can add the location both through Instagram’s interface, and by adding location-based hashtags).
For hashtags, use a variety of hashtags that all refer to the same place.
For example, if you are a Nashville-based cleaning service you might use hashtags like #Nashville, #NashvilleTN, #MusicCity, #Nash and so on. That way, no matter what search term someone uses, your post will show up.
As a maid service, you’ll also want to use hashtags related to your work.
Here’s a list of common maid service hashtags:
#maidservice#housecleaner#housecleaning#housecleaningservices#housecleaningspecials – when you’re offering a discount or deal#housekeeper#clean#cleaninghouses
You can also create hashtags by combining your location with maid service words, like #NashvilleCleaningService.
Other Relevant Hashtags
There are other hashtags you might consider using that are not necessarily related to the cleaning industry.
If you are posting a Throwback Thursday post, use the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday, or #TBT.
If your post is about the Superbowl, use the hashtag #Superbowl or #SuperbowlSunday or #Superbowl2018.
You can also make up hashtags if they’re relevant.
If you’re attending an event, you can make a hashtag based on the event name. If your post shows your white cat, you can make up the hashtag #whitecat. Anything can be a hashtag.
Getting Locals to Follow You
Of course, none of your creative posts or relevant hashtags matter if you don’t have a following.
And paid followers don’t count. You want a following of people in your area who are open to hiring a maid service or who are already your customers.
Add Family, Friends, and Customers
Once you have a few posts up, you’re ready to get some followers. Start by asking your family and friends to follow you.
Then tell your current customers that you are on Instagram. You can just mention it in an email, and ask them to follow you. You’ll also want to add a link to your Instagram on your website and your other social media pages.
If you’re having trouble getting enough current customers to follow you, you can run a contest. For example, you can raffle off a cleaning discount to anyone who follows you before a certain date.
Once you have several followers, you’ll seem more trustworthy to potential cleaning customers.
Follow Your Competitors’ Followers
When you follow someone, they get a notification that you started following them. Sometimes they will take a look at your profile.
So if you find other maid service Instagrams in your area and follow their followers, then their followers might check out your profile.
Their followers might include people who want to hire a maid service soon but haven’t decided which business to go with. Or it might include current customers who are unhappy with the service and might be curious about yours.
There are programs that allow you to auto-follow users who are following a certain user. However, these programs are against Instagram’s policy and can get your account shut down.
Instead, manually follow your competitor’s followers just one time, when you first create your account.
Partner with Influencers in Your Area to Publicize Your Business
Who Are Influencers?
One way to grow your following is to work with influencers. Influencers are people with very popular Instagram accounts with a lot of genuine followers.
As a local business, you’ll want to look for local influencers.
Often times, there are accounts that have the name of your city in their username, and post a variety of pictures of locations and businesses in your city.
Here’s an account called “The Nashville Guide.” It has 73,000 followers. The account reposts pictures from restaurants, gyms, hikes and other places around town.
They often run promotions with local businesses, offering an exclusive discount for their followers.
Other influencers might be popular businesses in your area with active Instagram accounts. A popular restaurant or cafe can have thousands of followers. (I bet some of them need their houses cleaned!).
How Do You Find Influencers?
So where do you find these sorts of goldmine accounts? Here are some ideas:
- Look up all your favorite local businesses on Instagram. Also look up businesses you know are popular.
- Search for your city on Instagram. So if you’re from Denver, search ‘Denver’. Instagram will show you the top accounts with ‘Denver’ in its name. These are almost always business or influencer accounts.
- Ask your friends and family if they follow any local influencer accounts.
How Can Influencer Accounts Help You?
There are a lot of eyes on an influencer account, so simply interacting with the account can help people find you.
For example, if you comment on one of their posts, their followers might see your comment and click to your profile.
You’ll get more people clicking through to your profile if you write a thoughtful or interesting comment, rather than something generic.
For example, never say something ambiguous that could be a comment on any post, like ‘nice pic’. Instead say ‘the pie last week was AMAZING,’ or ‘I’m so glad Fall has finally arrived!’
The holy grail of influencer marketing is for an influencer to make a post about your business.
That way all of their thousands of followers will notice you, and many will check out your profile and business.
Before you ask an influencer if they’d like to partner with you, spend time interacting with them. Continue to follow their account and leave comments on their posts.
After a few weeks of engaging with them, reach out to them and offer an exclusive discount or promotion for their followers or ask if they are interested in a cross-promotion.
An exclusive discount can take whatever form you choose.
For example, you could offer a discount code that their followers can use at checkout for 20% off. Or you might run a promotion where if their followers follow your account, they’ll be entered to win a free cleaning.
A cross-promotion is when you make a post about their business in exchange for them making a post about your business. The posts shouldn’t feel like ads. Instead, you would interact with their business in a genuine way and make a post about it.
House Bliss Cleaning made a post about Tasty Burger. If Tasty Burger has an Instagram account, they can reach out to Tasty Burger and arrange a cross-promotion.
Offer Perks to Your Customers for Publicizing Your Business
While your customers have fewer followers than an influencer account, their followers are usually friends and family who know them in person.
Thus their followers have a lot of trust in their recommendations.
Offer your customers a discount on their next cleaning if they make an Instagram post about why they like your service and tag you in it.
Turning Your Followers Into Customers
So what’s the point of getting hundreds or thousands of followers anyways?
Well, first off, when a follower needs a cleaning service, they’re going to remember your cleaning service more than any other. Chances are, they’ll check out your website, and many will setup a cleaning with you.
However, you probably aren’t putting time and effort into Instagram just to hope that a few followers convert passively.
To actively convert followers, you can post advertisements on your Instagram.
However, don’t post ads too often or your Instagram will seem spammy, and people will unfollow you.
One trick for ads that don’t seem spammy is to create themed promotions. Themed promotions feel like you are celebrating a holiday or event alongside everyone else, rather than feelings salesy or spammy.
Create a System to Manage Your Instagram Easily
On average, brands post six images per week on Instagram, or at least once a day.
But you have a lot of other things to manage – like cleaning houses, and managing employees.
You don’t have to post 6 times a week just because other brands do.
Aim to post at least once or twice a week to make sure you’re top of mind when your followers think of a cleaning company.
That said, posting six times per week doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It just requires a little forethought and a free automation service.
Here are the steps to managing your Instagram with ease:
- Create an editorial calendar.
- Batch post creation so that you create many posts in one sitting.
- Automate posting.
An editorial calendar helps you plan out your content for the month.
Basically, you’ll want to look at a calendar (on paper or online) and fill out what type of posts you will post each day.
It helps to choose a few themes that repeat each week. For example, if you have a lot of pictures from previous years of your business, you can plan to do #ThrowbackThursdays every Thursday.
For this example calendar, every Tuesday is a testimonials post, Thursdays are for #ThrowbackThursday, and Fridays showcase Before & After posts.
Since Father’s Day is June 18th, there are Father’s Day Promotion posts a few times. Then a few other posts were added in at random such as a charity post, an inspirational post, and cleaning tip posts.
All of these posts can be created ahead of time. You can create these posts as drafts, and then publish them when you scheduled to post them.
Tools for automation
These apps allow you to create posts ahead of time, and schedule the posts when you want them to be released.
Of course, there are some types of posts that are better created the day of, not beforehand. For example, if you take a picture of a staff event, you might want to post it right away.
These automation apps can help you batch your content creation and scheduling for Instagram, so you aren’t spending countless hours on IG! And you know we are all about automating here at ZenMaid 🙂
In the most scheduling apps, their systems will help you to determine when the optimum times are for posting.
This will take some trial and error, so don’t get too stuck on ‘rules’. Post at different times over several weeks and see which posts get the most engagement.
Add multiple links
Recently new tools have been introduced that help users bypass the fact that Instagram does not allow you to put clickable links in your captions.
LinkTree is a great option for service based accounts and very easy to manage (even for the not-so-tech-savvy among us 😉 ).
This is a very popular tool you can use to post multiple links at once on your profile. You can create an account for free and it even allows you to do some customization (colors, logo etc.).
This creates a single URL that you will add to your profile on Instagram. When users click this URL, it takes them to your LinkTree ‘page’ where they have the option to click on multiple links that you’ve chosen.
Here is what our LinkTree ‘link page’ looks like for ZenMaid’s Instagram:
It’s very similar to LinkTree in that users follow a customized URL, and can then click a choice of links to a product, blog posts, services page, or website. Setting it up is easy in the Later.com app.
A Quick Introduction to Paid Instagram Advertising
If you are seeing traction from your free Instagram marketing efforts, you may want to consider paying for Instagram advertisements.
Instagram advertisements look just like any other post, except that the post is labeled as ‘Sponsored.’
In addition, the post has a button that says ‘Learn More’ and can be linked to your website or landing page. Ads show up in someone’s news feed between posts from the people they follow.
To get started with paid advertising, you’ll need to change your Instagram account to a business account. (You can find instructions for this here).
Once you setup a business account, there will be a ‘promote’ button next to each of your posts. Choose which post you’d like to promote and Instagram will walk you through the process. You may already be familiar with it, since Instagram’s ad campaigns are setup through Facebook’s ad platform.
You’ve Got This!
Phew, that was a lot to learn!
Are you feeling Instagram-savvy?
Great, cuz it’s time for you to go out and create your own Instagram, charm the world with your posts, and build a following.
But you don’t need to do it alone. Share your progress, ask questions, and cheer others on in ZenMaid’s Facebook Mastermind group.
And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram. (We’ll follow back!).
Learn more about ZenMaid software
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