I’m already on Facebook, you might say to yourself. Why do I need to use Instagram too?
Instagram is an amazing platform for social media outreach, but an underutilized resource for most real estate marketing. That’s a mistake, given that Instagram has one billion active monthly users and 500 million daily users, and that Instagram posts garner 10 times the engagement as Facebook posts do.
As a free and highly visual platform, Instagram is perfect for realtors who want to showcase every aspect of their properties; it’s an online portfolio and a marketing tool all in one.
Interested? Here are a few of our best practices for using Instagram as a real estate agent.
The Basics: Strike a Balance
Instagram is time-sensitive, so you have to find the right balance between posting too much and posting too little. You want to plan out frequent daily content so your posts are always on your followers’ feeds, without overwhelming followers by posting every few minutes.
Instagram’s time-based nature also means moving quickly when followers express interest. One real estate agent makes a point of replying within ten minutes to every comment!
Similarly, the use of hashtags requires a delicate hand. Research the top hashtags for your topic (like #landforsale or #househunting), then select the best handful to attach to your post. Don’t distract from your captions with long strings of too many random hashtags that seem like spam.
More so than any other social media site, Instagram thrives on content that has a personal, organic touch, so don’t post pictures of listings and leave it at that.
Introduce yourself and bios of your team so potential buyers and sellers can put faces and personalities to names. Another effective strategy is to feature user-generated content, like testimonials and quotes from pleased clients. You can even include some posts from your own life that will make you and your profession seem more personable.
However, don’t directly solicit people or (even worse) buy requests and/or followers. These tactics seem pushy, desperate, and disingenuous, and they only work to drive away follower interest. We also recommend minimizing the use of stock photos, which can make your properties seem fake. Followers want to see the land that’s actually for sale.
Sell A Lifestyle
Instagram is perhaps best captured in the phrases aspirational and inspirational.
In other words, Instagram followers—particularly millennials dreaming about home ownership— love content that sells a lifestyle they want to live. If you’re a land real estate agent, for instance, Instagram is an excellent way to depict the positives of the country or ranch lifestyle, not just the property itself.
Showcase relevant amenities and features, yes, but also use Instagram to build a sense of local community and presence. If you’re posting about a listing, you should document a few neighborhood restaurants, popular events, outdoor activities, schools, and more to show potential buyers what it’s like to live there.
You can also tap into followers’ aspirations by highlighting dream properties, even if they aren’t listings your company owns. Pictures of the world’s most luxurious ranches or the country’s top five most beautiful beachfronts will inspire your followers to fantasize about owning similar properties—like the ones you list.
Make the Most of Ads
Instagram for realtors has enormous appeal as an advertising platform, but it takes a little groundwork on your part to make sure you’re maximizing your ads’ potential.
One of the best qualities about Instagram is how quickly you receive follower feedback in the form of “likes” on posts, a transparent metric of what your following want to see more of.
Keep an eye on what types of advertising content and listing photos gain the most likes—panoramas of kitchens? Helpful infographics? Pictures of adorable farm animals? There are plenty of online resources out there to help you develop sophisticated Instagram analytics.
Another authoritative way to increase your ads’ effectiveness is to utilize video. Instagram allows video ads up to 60 seconds long, but note that 15-second videos tend to get watched more without users dropping out. That’s plenty of time to showcase a few high-quality scenes of a property plus overlaid text about its features and amenities.
Let Us Help
If you think creating content for social media sounds exhausting, don’t worry, there are tools that can help develop content (more on this next week!).
If you’re in a pinch for time, however, one of the best tools can be reaching out to a service like Land.US to help take care of your real estate marketing needs. We’ll convert your listing photos into social media posts and highlight videos with options of 5, 15, and 30-second videos. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help you.