Instagram really does matter for design and architecture professionals - and it may not be for the reason you think. 

Instagram is more than place to gawk at photos of beautifully composed plates of food. On Instagram, the amount of followers you acquire can translate to real business leads and architecture and design publicity. As a design pro or architect, Instagram has the ability to elevate your brand and your business. Here are 5 reasons why Instagram really matters for you.

1. It's an active community

The majority of engaged audiences are congregating on Instagram. Obviously there are still plenty of other social media outlets like Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, Linkedin and Twitter, but Instagram has over 500 million active users per month. That means you have access to an audience of 500 million people who not only have accounts, but actually use those accounts on a consistent basis. You would have to add snapchat, Twitter and Pinterest together to equal that in active users. In 2015, Twitter even reported its active user base stopped growing entirely, virtually coming to a complete halt

2. It’s how you make a great first impression

Your Instagram gallery may be the first interaction people have with your brand - even before your website. Curating engaging and beautiful visuals in your Instagram gallery is integral for creating a quality first-impression. The photos in your Instagram gallery have the power to establish you as a design expert.  On Instagram, followers come for the gorgeous aesthetics, and they stay for the engaging content you’re sharing.

3. Instagram is a built-in audience of design-lovers.

Forget about wondering where you can reach your audience - they’re waiting for you on Instagram. The platform is built entirely around aesthetics. Its user base is already design-oriented; they are predisposed to like what you, as a designer, are offering. Instagram is a natural fit for your brand.

4. It converts

Instagram generates leads. No, really. It does. I say this from personal experience. Every week I significantly grow my follower base and every week I generate real leads that become phone calls, in-person meetings, and client signings. With consistent growth it’s possible to generate high quality leads without spending big advertising bucks

5. Instagram makes hiring easy

As your business grows you’ll no doubt be looking to add active, engaged employees who love your brand. You’ll likely need to look only as far as your own Instagram following to find the perfect candidate. These potential candidates are  people who are literally following your brand - it doesn’t get any more engaged than that.

This blog post was originally written by STRUKTR Studios for HomeAdvisor.