Did you know that Instagram users grew by 23% in just the past six months? It has 700 million total users today.
Of course, not every one of those 700 million users is buying or selling a home, but you can bet plenty of them are. So if you don’t already have an Instagram profile, now would be a good time to set one up. Why? Read on. . .
- People want the backstory. Instagram is a great place to put the real you on display. People across the country or around the globe may be looking for an agent. They want to “know” you, even if you’ve never met. A selfie of you cheering on your kid at a soccer game lets them know you have another dimension besides real estate. It makes you real and likable. People want to do business with people they like.
- Instagram is share-friendly. We don’t pretend to understand the inner workings, but we do know that when you use the Instagram app, you have the option of also sharing your photos to your Facebook pages, both personal and business. Direct sharing through the Facebook network means your post will stay at the top of your news feed longer than if you share from some other site or app.
- You can use Instagram to promote your web profile. Attracting prospective buyers and sellers to your Instagram profile is one thing, but once they are there, be sure you have a link to your main website in your Instagram bio. This can be one more channel to show clients the big picture of your business. It’s simple: just two or three lines about you (baseball fan, caffeine addict, rescue dog mom), and then your web address. There are even cute little emojis to jazz up your narrative.
- Instagram pinpoints your location. There’s a handy photo map function you can use to show your location. So if you’re having lunch at a local bistro or attending a Chamber of Commerce meeting, let your fans know exactly where you are. It’s also handy for plugging your latest sale or listing.
- Create a mini-tour. We used to think the average viewer’s attention span was about 30 seconds. But as information speeds up, so does our attention, so now you can probably count on about 6 seconds. That’s not enough time for a 360 video tour, of course. But it’s plenty of time to create a quick look at a dramatic front entry or show kids splashing in the pool. And it’s great for posting a client testimonial too. These quick shots tantalize the viewers and make them want to know more.
Before you dive deep into the possibilities Instagram offers, here are a few caveats:
- First of all, be real. Don’t use stock photos–take your own. And don’t Photoshop or otherwise enhance and edit your photos until they look fake, or people will assume they are.
- Don’t overemphasize the personality factor. Little snippets of the “real” you, as we discussed above, are great for adding sparkle, but the real point is to market your business and your product.
- Minimize the hashtags. If you share a link to your website or one of your real estate blog posts and then follow it up with five hashtags, your link will get lost and you won’t get as many clicks as you would have without the hashtags.
- Respond carefully. Of course people will comment on your posts. It’s not necessary to answer every comment. That just slows down the conversation. But do keep a sharp eye out for questions and be sure to respond to those promptly. Look for potential opportunities to provide more detail about specific properties too.
Instagram makes it easy for people to follow you. Broaden your reach by following those who follow you–people you would want as clients, your support team (mortgage lenders, inspectors, etc.) and even fellow realtors. The more you share and interact with others, the more attention you’ll get for your Instagram feed and your business!