At the time of this post, Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform, increasing its users by over 23% in the last 6 months. Instagram can be an integral part of the forward thinking real estate professionals marketing plan IF you know how to use it.
Facebook, once the end all be all for millennials has been eclipsed by Instagram. In fact, many millennials (AKA first time home buyers) have stopped using Facebook to communicate now that mom, dad, grandma and grandpa have taken up the largest social networking platform. But as their kids have kids and other life events it’s only natural to assume mom, dad, grandma and grandpa will naturally migrate to Instagram as well.
So how can you, a savvy real estate pro leverage Instagram in your business? Here are 8 ways.
Set up your profile. This is no place to be vague. Post your elevator speech, unique selling proposition and most importantly (I think) value proposition for how you can help your ideal client buy, sell, save time and money. Make sure you add your website to your profile where consumers can easily click to learn more about you. One of the things I noticed about my ideal client is they liked that I was a “family man”. So I made a conscious decision to post pictures, videos, events, milestones of my family. One thing about social media is it’s not all social and it’s not all business. Too much of one or the other and you could turn your ideal client off – so post away.
Showing an awesome house? Insta it. Just closed on a new build for your buyer? Insta it. Want to show what goes on in your day to day of being a real estate pro? Insta it. Showing homes in your favorite community? INSTA IT! Posting any and all of these gives your target audience an inside glimpse into your world. They can see what goes on and at the same time see you as an authority in your space. Much like Facebook and Twitter, in fact, more so, Instagram relies on good, relevant hashtags to get your content found. Showing in DC Ranch? #DCRanch Showing in your favorite community? #Ocotillo. Selling a new build? #FultonHomes. You get the drift. Make sure to add a hashtag for you, your team, company or any and all to help your ideal client find your content. Encourage the consumer to visit your website to learn more about you and what you do and most importantly – how you can HELP them.
Instagram, was purchased by Facebook for over $1 BILLION in April of 2012. That’s a lot of loot and Facebook LOVES Instagram. I’ve noticed images I post to Facebook disappear rather quickly from the newsfeed but those same images posted on Instagram and syndicated to Facebook last a lot longer. So don’t just post your images on Instagram and neglect Facebook, it’s easy to click the button when you share your images to share them on Facebook as well. Double bonus.
When you upload your images to Instagram you have the option to syndicate your images to other social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr and Swarm. Which ones should you syndicate to? ALL OF THEM. Real estate has gone digital and by syndicating your images you are not only leaving evidence of success, you are leaving digital breadcrumbs to help your ideal client find you.
Photo Maps Photo Maps allow consumers to browse your photos by geographic location. Clicking “add location” lets people know where you took your photo which will be displayed on your photo map. You’ll also have the ability to choose a specific place name (“Silverleaf, Scottsdale Ranch, Scottsdale, or even your brokerage name, restaurant or event”) to associate with your photo.
Follow strategically. Follow your competitors to see what they are up to. Follow brands and influencers in your space to get the latest news. Follow home builders, lenders, investors and engage with them. When I was a sales exec in the title world I followed the top real estate agents I wanted to do business with and I engaged with them on regular basis. When they posted a picture or comment about something they felt was important in their lives I was there to give it a like or comment. By doing this I was immediately inserted into their world. “Stephen likes your comment, your picture, your video”, who’s Stephen? Oh yeah that’s the guy with XYZ title. This can lead directly to increased brand awareness which is the first step to doing more business. Follow your past clients and engage with them regularly. By liking an image or a comment you are telling them, rather showing them you care. Remember – people to business with those they LIKE and TRUST.
Instagram was all about pictures but following facebook’s lead they are all in with video too. The default profile for Instagram allowed us to upload 15 second short videos. But recently Instagram began rolling out videos up to 1 minute. So post videos that will help the consumer learn more about you and the markets you serve.
It’s been said, when you meet someone you aren’t really meeting them but their representative – who they want you to think they are. One thing about me, I’m authentic, And you should be too. Be real. Be vulnerable. Ask for help, suggestions, engage with your audience. This will help them see you as a person instead of the dreaded SALES-person.
Instagram is a powerful platform to help consumers learn more about you and your brand. Start leveraging it today and it will pay dividends tomorrow. Follow us at instagram.com/hubmediacompany to come along on our shoots, lifestyle and community videos and so much more. So how are you using Instagram?