Can A Metal Shop Grow With Instagram? Lakewood Machine & Tool Proves It’s Possible

image of the Lakewood Machine & Tool instagram page
  • Published
  • September 8, 2014

While some businesses seem like an Instagram no-brainer – bakers, designers, retail shops and so on – Lakewood Machine & Tool proves that whatever you do and whatever your industry, you can use Instagram to grow your business with pictures.

From behind the scenes shots that give customers insight into what kind of business they’re dealing with, to amazing photos of finished pieces that turn browsers into buyers, the photo feed at instagram.com/lakewoodmachine proves they’re a small business doing it right on Instagram!

We asked sales manager Ian Sandusky a few questions to learn more about how Lakewood found success on Instagram.

We’ve gained 1100+ followers in just over a month, as well as gained dozens of opportunities to quote on work that we wouldn’t have previously.

Why did you start using Instagram?
We started using Instagram because as more blue-collar trades get hip again (things like woodworking, handcrafted goods, etc) we discovered the manufacturing industries can also enjoy a bit of that attention. We noticed other shops gaining large followings by getting on board with it, and while Twitter is a difficult medium for a predominantly visual trade to work with, Instagram turned out to be a very interesting platform.

lakewood-products
Lakewood Machine & Tool magic: wheels, forgers and linesman’s tools.

What are the greatest success you’ve had? And what are some of your failures?
We haven’t had any failures, really. We’ve gained 1100+ followers in just over a month, as well as gained dozens of opportunities to quote on work that we wouldn’t have previously. We’ve gained new business contacts, customer relationships, and networking opportunities that simply didn’t exist before we signed on – so this has been beneficial in every aspect of our experience.

What do you love about using Instagram from a small business point of view?
We love using Instagram as a small business because it allows us to show off what we do best, and gain attention that we simply wouldn’t get. It lets people know we’re here in a far better means of delivery than simply advertising and saying ‘look at us.’

shop-personality
Lakewood Machine & Tool shares the personality of their shop.

What are your best tips for other small businesses using Instagram? Why should they use it?
The biggest thing we’ve had to do to be successful with Instagram is realize that simply creating ads and placing them on a social media site doesn’t work. You need to create content that’s either informative, entertaining, or educational – or all three, if you can. People will see through your ploys if you’re just placing thinly veiled advertisements about your products – but teach them something while you show them what you’re capable of, and all of a sudden your product will sell itself.

If you’re a small business owner struggling to keep up with the changing social media marketplace, let Lakewood be an inspiration. Not only do they make their company look good online, they’re seeing actual gains and getting real business as a result.


Content Manager at FS Local


Jesse is a typical class clown. Born and raised just north of the Toronto, he fell in love with the City on school trips to the ROM and the Science Centre. He tried Vancouver for a few years, but the call of home was too strong to resist. Today he lives in the North-East Upper Beaches. (What? It’s a thing!)

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