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Marketing Your Real Estate Business on Instagram

October 10, 2014

instagram logoAs one of the fastest growing social media networks, Instagram is an instrumental marketing platform for real estate agents, as it provides another free outlet for branding, exposing listings, generating leads, and engaging your audience. In addition, its function as a photo and video-sharing social networking service enables Instagram to establish a more personal and emotional connection with followers since consumers tend to be visually driven. In fact, statistics show that Instagram delivers 58 more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter. Plus, with 200 million active monthly users, it is an effective and significant channel to reach potential clients, impress your current clients, and stay relevant to your past clients.

Whether new to the industry or an industry veteran, Instagram is a beneficial tool that will aid in virtually every aspect of branding, marketing, and prospecting.   Therefore, it is imperative that agents take advantage of this platform and incorporate the tips, various apps and capabilities below into their daily marketing regimen in order to stay competitive and build their business.

 

  1. Set Up Your Account:
  • Instagram does not offer the ability to create a separate business identity like Facebook does, so users are able to integrate their work related images and videos with their personal photos.
  • Current Instagram users should make necessary adjustments to their account to ensure that the username, picture, bio, and website represent their business and brand. To do this, login to your account through your smart phone, tablet, or computer, and select “Edit Profile”. Once you make the necessary changes, hit “Submit”.
  • New users will have to establish an Instagram account by downloading the app on their smart phone. Then, you can login with your Facebook username and password or create a separate username and password. Again, choose a username that represents your brand (i.e. RealtorJohnDoe).
  • Add your real estate headshot or a photo of one of your listings as your main image, upload your real estate biography to your account bio and your agent website to your website in order to send backlinks to your website and improve rankings!
  • Once the account has been updated or created, sync it to your Facebook account so that you can easily find your friends on Instagram.
  • Download a badge and paste it on your website, blog, email signature, email marketing, and other social media sites from your computer by logging in to your account, clicking on your username from your home page, and selecting “Badges” from the drop down menu.

 

  1. Interact with Other Users:
  • Consistently engaging not only those that follow you, but also those that you follow is crucial!
  • If your Instagram is synced to your Facebook account, you will be able to follow your Facebook friends immediately after creating your account.
  • Find other users to follow by searching for hashtags that interest you in the search bar, such as real estate, home décor, luxury listings, etc.
  • Spend time daily interacting with users by liking and providing thoughtful commentary on their posts as well as responding to comments from other users on your posts.
  • Add your Instagram badge with a link to your profile to your social media, email signature, blog, website, and email marketing campaigns as mentioned earlier, and include a call to action to encourage others to follow you.

 

  1. Brand Your Business in Every Post:
  • Instagram is a fast, simple and fun way to share your life with family and friends through photos and videos, so it is essential to post both personal and business related pictures throughout the day to relate to a broader scope of followers. However, even your personal posts present branding opportunities.
  • Let your personal posts illustrate your connection with and knowledge of the local neighborhoods and surrounding communities; thus, branding you as an area expert. Capture and share images while at local hot spots, a new restaurant in the area, neighborhood or community events, fundraisers, school functions, etc.
  • Integrate real estate oriented posts while on the job to remind your audience that you are a real estate agent. Share pictures of your happy clients, your personal listings, new listings or featured listings in the area, behind the scenes glances of the life of a real estate agent, new construction sites, homes you are showing to a buyer, vendors you work with, a successful closing, decorating or home staging ideas, gardens, etc.
  • Include captions to each post with information about the photo or video, such as details about an event, thanking a vendor or agent who helped you with a closing, the final score of a local sporting event, a restaurant review, a local business recommendation, remodeling or decoration advice, etc.

 

  1. Utilize Tools to Expand Your Reach:
  • Tag clients, colleagues, family and friends who are pictured in your images and videos or relate to them in some way. This will give you the opportunity to interact with them and their followers and broaden your scope.
  • Incorporate hashtags into the captions of your posts. Hashtags are essential and necessary to boost engagement and attract followers, as users can search for hashtags to find posts. Therefore, your hashtags should be relevant to your post and generic so that it is easier to find. For example, if you post an image of a listing, you could use #realestate, #realestateagent, #houstonhomesforsale, #pricereduced, #luxuryhome, #waterfrontproperty, as well as other property descriptions or the name of the neighborhood. If you are posting a picture of a football game at a local school, you might hashtag the school name, the opposing team’s name, football, the school district, other information about the school, like #awardwinning, #exemplary, #statechampions, etc. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags for each post, so the more the merrier!
  • Enable photo maps when you post a video or picture to pin your location on a map. Not only does this demonstrate your familiarity and knowledge with your community and neighborhood, allow users to find your photos on the map, and mark the exact location of different listing or showings, but it also builds your credibility as an expert in that area and creates relevance in your community.
  • Maximize exposure with social media integration to automatically share your posts to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. This not only saves you time, but it also ensures your branding is consistent on all social media platforms. To manually share your posts, click on the dots at the bottom of the image or video you want to share. Then, elect to “Share” or “Copy URL” and paste it to your desired destination.

 

  1. Capture Your Audience:
  • Enhance your images by using clear, focused pictures with natural light, and apply digital filters to edit brightness, saturation, contrast, etc.
  • Showcase your media marketing skills by posting videos of your listings, parks or amenities in the community, a certain neighborhood, a client testimonial, etc. to boost traction and response on your Instagram. In addition, surveys prove that current, past, and potential clients are more impressed and likely to hire agents who incorporate video into their marketing.
  • Download third party apps with the ability to modify or develop intriguing content. Flipagram is a free tool that allows users to create a short video of previously taken photos, complete with music and captions. You can also post beautiful collages that capture more followers through Pic Stitch or a similar app. Transform images into powerful marketing tools with Over, which allows users to add text to images, whether marketing an upcoming open house, your website, listing highlights, or adding inspirational messages to your photos. Take extended videos of your listings, a neighborhood, community events, etc. with Hyperlapse, a time-lapse video app that enables users to control the speed at which the finished video will play; thus, eliminating time restraints.
  • Stunning images, enticing videos, and third party modifications will help you construct appealing posts, but timing is equally important when capturing followers. Ensure you post during the most active times of day to increase engagement and reach more followers. Typically, social media usage is most active in the evenings, but you can analyze your follower’s peak usage hours on Instagram with Icono Square.

 

With new apps and capabilities consistently introduced, Instagram’s popularity among internet users continues to rise. Although all social media platforms are dominant sources for effective marketing and branding, Instagram caters to visually driven consumers, which accounts for an overwhelming majority of internet users and attributes to its status as the fastest growing social media network. Plus, it maximizes efficiency by allowing users to share the same visually stimulating posts with their fans and followers on other networks. Not to mention, with real estate agents devoting roughly 40% of their time daily to marketing related activities, the ability to market yourself on the go, whether in the car, at an event, or at a local hot spot with friends, family or clients, is a constructive use of that time. As new Instagram features continue to emerge, the opportunities to market your business, generate leads, attract clients, and deliver your message will be more profound, as will the need to embrace it in your daily marketing.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 21, 2014 8:26 pm

    Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to produce a really good article… but what can I
    say… I hesitate a whole lot and don’t seem to get anything done.

    Like

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