Firstly, let’s start off with the why – why is Instagram such an important platform for real estate companies? Well, with over two hundred million active monthly users, it’s easy to see the extensive benefits that this image-based social platform can give you!
According to a Forrester study last year, ‘Instagram delivered 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter’.
Even though Facebook is still the most popular social network, agents and brokers are growing tired of the platform as organic reach continues to decline. You have a much higher chance of being visible on a platform like Instagram (which in fact, is owned by Facebook).
Even if you simply share photos on Facebook through Instagram, your image has a better chance of staying at the top of the newsfeed (as opposed to uploading straight to Facebook or through another platform). Plus, Instagram’s filters will make your image look so much more appealing too!
Instagram is proactively trying to work with businesses nowadays, and has even launched ‘The Instagram Handbook for Brands’ which contains advice on how to use the social platform to benefit your company.
Here are some ideas for what you should do when managing your Instagram profile:
1.Show behind-the-scenes. Share your experiences of doing refurbishments or preparing one of your listings before it goes live. People love to know the steps you progressed through to reach the end product!
Konektbuild is an interior refurbishment and maintenance company, and as such they are good at showing the development stages of the properties they refurbish, and even include tips and occasional mishaps!
2.Capture the lifestyle of the local community. Don’t just share pictures of property listings; demonstrate your appreciation and familiarity with the area, by publicising news, the latest events and generally great shots of the area and people.
Colonial Capital have just recently created an Instagram profile to promote their brand and to advertise their refurbished property in Chicago. Their strategy in building an online presence has been to post news on current activities in the Chicago area in addition to great scenic shots and images of their latest listings.
3. Show video tours of properties. This is a great way for your followers to gain a quick insight into the homes and buildings you have on offer. Instagram allows you to film up to 15 seconds, which is enough to intrigue someone without boring them.
Video content is proven to have higher engagement levels than other kinds of content too. If 15 seconds is not enough time for you, you can use other programs to ‘hyperlapse’ your video and speed up its time frame.
This Georgia realtor posts several short video tours of her properties on her page: kirklandpeach.
Coldwellbanker is another good example of how to use videos on Instagram for advertorial purposes.
4. Add photos to your photo map. With Instagram, you can geotag your image location, so that it will be more than just a picture, it will have a map presence. This demonstrates to your customers that you are an expert with a certain neighbourhood.
5.Use original, clear images. People are on the look-out for unique and beautiful images. Don’t just use and alter stock images, as viewers will realise and it will deter from the authenticity of your brand. Also, use filters but don’t over edit the picture beyond recognition, particularly if it’s a property listing.
You can also mark your images with your own stamp to get an even stronger brand presence. Sophie Mehtemetian, an LA-based realtor, does this brilliantly with her Instagram page: Realestate_bySophie, and even uses her own hashtag phrase ‘#keepingitrealestate’.