With nearly one billion active users, Instagram is an ideal platform for marketing any type of business. While this number will attract all types of professionals hoping to increase the reach of their businesses, realtors will further benefit from the app’s image-driven format and high user engagement rates.
If you’re still figuring out your social media marketing strategy, here are some of the primary reasons why you should be on Instagram and a few tips for making your profile as successful as possible.
What Benefits Does Instagram Offer?
If you’re more familiar with social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you may be wondering how a photo-sharing app like Instagram can be an equally effective outlet for sharing information. While text-based platforms are great for posting quick updates and promoting articles from your blog, Instagram is designed to help you tell a story through images.
Real estate marketing relies heavily on eye-catching property photos and home decor shots to land clients and secure sales. With the right content and page management, you can gain more (and better) leads, engage with your clients, build your business’s brand, and even earn extra cash on top of your business’s regular sales and services.
Generate More Leads
As mentioned, home aesthetics are what truly drive real estate sales. Posting compelling photos of your listings on Instagram can help you draw in more prospective clients than any other marketing method. In a study conducted by the National Association of Realtors, it was reported that 87% of buyers relied on property photos posted online during their search, while 76% of the surveyed buyers found their next homes on a mobile device. Based on these findings, it’s safe to say that a photo app like Instagram is a resource that most home buyers will naturally gravitate to as they begin the home buying process.
While realtors post photos of their listings across multiple platforms, Instagram is unique because it compiles all of your photos into an easily searchable feed that isn’t crowded with text. As users are browsing the platform, your posts can show up in relevant searches and stick out from the rest of the results. From there, users can trace that image to your profile, browse the rest of your photos, follow your page, and potentially reach out for more information about your services and current listings. Due to the short time that it takes for users to discover new images and land back on the original poster’s profile, Instagram makes lead generation lightning-fast and, in some ways, more reliable than other platforms.
Instagram makes searching for profiles and content simple, so many users will look up real estate-related posts and local realtors during the more serious stages of the home-buying process. While there will be plenty of organic page traffic if you properly tag your posts, you will receive more genuine leads on the platform than you might expect. Instagram isn’t just about interacting with friends and family–it functions much like a sales platform.
On Instagram, most users keep track of businesses and professionals and search for products and services with the intent to complete a purchase. If you post the right content and promote your business well, you’re certain to receive messages from leads who are ready to get to work.
Interact with Your Client Base
Further, Instagram’s format encourages user engagement. Instagram has a significantly higher engagement rate than either Facebook or Twitter, which makes it the ideal platform for learning about your client base. The latter two platforms tend to limit the reach of your posts to encourage business owners to pay for ads. While most social media platforms attempt to push their premium features, Instagram does so to a lesser extent. Thus, you can stretch your marketing budget a bit further on this platform without sacrificing visibility.
When potential clients and other users find your page, there are plenty of ways for them to interact with your posts and help create a community for your business on the platform. Users may like your posts, share them with friends, leave comments, or save them for future reference. With so many people using the app, there is no doubt that you will cultivate an active audience that will engage with you and your content and drive further exposure.
Instagram hosts large communities around every conceivable topic, but you can reach almost anyone if you use the right tags. After interested users discover your posts, you can participate in active discussions with your followers in the comments section. If you pay attention to trends in your commenters’ conversations, you can even start to tailor your content to suit their tastes or answer common questions.
If your followers need to get in touch with you personally, they can message you directly on the platform. This is a great way to extend conversations that were started in your comments and maintain potential clients. If you find that you have a hard time converting social media engagement into concrete leads, an active community like that on Instagram may help you make those solid connections.
Develop Your Brand
While growing your audience and reaching potential leads is your primary goal, social media marketing can also help you establish your business’s brand. Whether you’re new to real estate or you’re simply trying to update your image, your Instagram posts can help you develop a distinct brand voice that potential clients can identify with and remember as they narrow down their realtor search.
In a competitive market, realtors have to stand out to succeed. Whether you choose to highlight your philosophies on customer service, develop a specialty, or cater to a particular area or demographic, you can express your unique approach to real estate through your social media posts. If you clearly define what you and your business are about, you’ll have an easier time finding a niche in your local market and getting noticed by your target audience.
For instance, you can make sure to tag locations around your city in your Instagram photos to get noticed by local users. If you hope to be viewed as an authority on your area’s real estate market, you can use your posts to prove that you’re an expert on all aspects of your locale.
Similarly, you can share images of homes that fit the aesthetic you are trying to build for your business. If you hope to work with luxury properties, posting lavish homes will get high-paying buyers’ attention, just make sure that your profile reflects your goals. If you prefer to help families find accessible homes in good neighborhoods, you can make posts that appeal to those clients’ needs and preferences to show that you have their best interests at heart.
Ultimately, Instagram allows you to describe your outlook on real estate and your business’s mission in images rather than words. For realtors, sales are dependent on appearances and impressions–so keep that principle in mind to create an Instagram profile that will accurately depict who you are and what your business stands for.
Make Extra Money
While nearly all social media platforms push business owners to spend money on ads, Instagram actually offers users the opportunity to profit from their posts. Influencer marketing exists on almost all social media platforms, but Instagram is one of the most popular online venues for guest/sponsored posts and ad placements. In recent years, more and more successful realtors are becoming real estate influencers on Instagram to boost their profiles and earn a little extra money on the side.
Though your main priority is to promote your business, earning money on Instagram is a real possibility. The platform doesn’t just allow you to get in contact with potential clients and share photos of your listings. It also allows you to network with other realtors and make connections with bigger companies that can help you out with page promotions, shout-outs, and paid sponsorships down the road.
It may take a long time and a high follower count to reach this point, but it certainly isn’t improbable for professionals in a booming business like real estate. Other businesses may request that you plug their products in home-related posts or recommend their services to your followers. As with other relationships, you may develop with local businesses or colleagues, offering to endorse a business has other benefits. Whether their followers migrating to your page or your posts help you diversify your content, your efforts to promote others can improve your own page’s performance as well.
How Do You Create the Perfect Instagram Profile?
If those benefits have you convinced, your next step should be to create an Instagram profile for your business and start creating content. Just like other social media platforms, you’ll be more successful on Instagram if you take the time to make your profile informative and compelling. If you have an eye for design, you may even enjoy crafting a feed that is as attractive as it is functional!
Whether you’re entirely new to the platform or you’re planning to convert your existing profile into a professional account, keep reading for a few tips that will help you make the most of the platform and start out strong.
Turn Your Profile Into a Pitch
After creating an account, you can start customizing your profile and ensure that each aspect represents your business well. Your Instagram page will be many people’s first introduction to you and your business, so make sure that your text and photos match the tone and purpose that you’re aiming for.
First, you should try to choose a memorable handle that conveys what you do and what’s special about your business. Many realtors opt to use their names as handles, which is a good way to ensure that outside contacts can find you across any platform. That said, there may be many other people with your name or a similar name on Instagram, so try to include terms that are unique to you and your business. For instance, you may want to include buzzwords like “luxury realtor” or the nickname of the area you service to make your profile stand out.
Next, you should focus on writing a concise but informative biography. You don’t have a lot of space, so ensure that you can condense your business’s purpose into a few lines. You may also want to come up with a catchy tagline that describes your outlook on real estate and captures your attitude.
One of the benefits of choosing a professional account is that Instagram enables you to include links in your bio. This is a great way to direct traffic from your Instagram page to your primary website or to your listings, which can help you land leads.
Lastly, choosing the right profile picture will help you define your vibe. A reliable choice for most realtors is a classic, professional headshot, but you may want to choose a more casual (but still high quality) image to make yourself appear more approachable.
With all of these features combined, you can create a profile that informs users about your business, reflects your brand, and offers users opportunities to follow up on their interest in your services.
Curate Your Feed with a Theme
When you are ready to start filling out your profile with original content, you should think ahead and determine whether or not you’d like to follow a theme with your posts. Many Instagram users choose to stage, edit, and organize their photos strategically so that when other users view their page, all of the images appear cohesive. While you may worry that sticking to a theme will limit the content that you can post, it’s much simpler and more versatile than you might think.
If you would like your profile to have a defined and consistent aesthetic, you can edit your photos with Instagram’s in-app tools before posting. To create and follow a theme, all you have to do is use the same filters, borders, and effects on each photo or video you post. This is a simple and smart way to make your content appear like it was carefully curated, which can give potential clients a positive impression. If they see your profile and appreciate your attention to detail and dedication to design, they will assume that you follow those same principles in your work!
That said, you certainly don’t have to use a theme to have an organized and attractive Instagram feed. If you’d prefer to leave your photos unfiltered, you can make sure that your photos are clear and high-quality. If you’re primarily posting photos of exteriors and interiors, try to make sure that the photos you post are consistent in scale to make your feed look more polished.
While the content of your posts is most important, part of Instagram’s marketing strength is its focus on artistic layouts and eye-catching images. No matter which direction you choose to take with your profile’s style, don’t neglect to factor these qualities into your plan.
Create a Posting Strategy
Finally, it’s wise to develop a posting strategy to help you maintain a consistent schedule, create a buzz around new posts, and keep your content fresh. Style may be important to attract new followers, but substance will keep them around and keep them talking about your business.
First, you should create a posting schedule and stick to it. To succeed on a fast-paced platform like Instagram, you will have to post frequently enough that your photos aren’t buried beneath others on your followers’ feeds. It’s recommended to post around 2-3 times a day for maximum visibility and engagement, so you may even want to plan out a few post ideas at a time so you always have content prepared. As you get more familiar with the platform, you may even notice that your followers are more active at certain times of the day. If possible, try to coordinate your posts with those periods and you’ll notice an uptick in likes and comments.
It’s important to note that your Instagram content should be a bit different from what you post on other platforms. Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn are ideal for long-form text posts and blog links, but Instagram requires an intriguing image to catch users’ attention. Further, crowding your photo’s description with a wall of text may be off-putting to followers who are simply scrolling through.
To convert your content into a more easily digestible format, try creating infographics that reflect the main points of longer blog posts and articles. Instagram users enjoy quick bites of information, so you can include a few points per image and direct interested users to check out your blog for the full text.
If you follow these tips, you can get your followers talking about your content each time you post and urge some of the heavier readers to make their way to your website as well.
How Can You Maximize Your Marketing Potential on Instagram?
While spending time on your profile will certainly help you start out on the right foot, there are other tips and tricks that every realtor should know to help get the most out of their marketing efforts on Instagram. The platform has a few unique features that will help you promote your page and your posts while monitoring how each one performs.
If you’ve been using Instagram for a while but you haven’t seen much in the way of user engagement or lead generation, take these tips into account and see if your results improve.
Utilize Relevant Hashtags
It may be true that most users prefer not to sift through a lot of excess text beneath your posts, you should make use of relevant hashtags to make your posts visible in searches about your topic. While tagging keywords and phrases may seem simple enough, a rich platform like Instagram has innumerable tags related to the same subjects. Knowing which ones to use and how to use them will make sure that your posts reach the right people.
For instance, you may assume that tagging your post with the name of your city will be enough to reach local residents. In some cases, Instagram users will opt for less intuitive hashtags to refer to common places, events, and topics. Before you post, do a little digging and see which hashtags are most commonly used in relation to your subject. Sometimes, small differences like spelling, punctuation, and colloquial terms can keep your posts from being included in larger conversations or showing up in searches.
To reach a wider variety of users, you may also want to use less popular tags so that your post can reach the top of the search with fewer likes. This way, any user who searches for that tag is sure to see your post and potentially lead to more followers, likes, and leads. Since your posts are typically only broadcast to your existing followers, this is the best way to grow your audience and expand your range.
With these tips in mind, note that the best practice is to use as many hashtags as the platform allows for maximum exposure. Currently, Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags on a regular post. Ideally, you should place a few within the body of your post’s description and post a comment that includes the remainder.
Try Out the Platform’s Unique Features
If you’re new to the platform, you may not know that traditional posts aren’t the only way for you to share information and connect with your followers. Instagram has a few special features that enable you to post more content, share videos, and chat with your followers live. If you are trying to add some variety and interest to your profile, features like Instagram Stories, Reels, IGTV, and Live might be right up your alley.
Instagram Stories are posts that are only visible for a short time. While typical posts remain on your page until you remove them, Stories only stay up for 24 hours. If you intend to share information about your personal life on your professional profile, Stories are a great way to let your personality shine, give your followers a glimpse of your day-to-day tasks as a realtor, or even post polls to gauge your audience’s opinions. Further, Stories allow you to see who has viewed them. If you made a post about your business, you may be able to follow up with these viewers to catch them while their interest is at its peak.
If you’re interested in branching out into video content, Reels and IGTV offer two different types for different purposes. Reels are short, 15-second bursts of video that can serve to grab users’ attention and lead them back to your profile from their Explore Pages. IGTV is Instagram’s long-form video feature, which allows you to post longer clips packed with more information. If you’re hoping to hook new followers with quick tips, Reels might be your best bet. If you’re hoping to post an educational video or a home tour, IGTV might come in handy instead.
Finally, Instagram Live offers you the opportunity to live video chat with your followers and read their messages in real-time. This is a great option if you’d like to do an impromptu Q&A or a virtual open house. If you’re looking for more ways to interact with your existing followers and draw out more leads, this is a quick and easy way to communicate with the masses and get a sense of your audience’s interest.
Take Advantage of Milestone Bonuses
While these features are accessible to any user, Instagram rewards successful accounts with even more enhancements called milestone bonuses. These advanced features are unlocked at certain milestones, which helps booming accounts function even more smoothly and incentivizes new users to master the platform.
For example, going Live consistently and for certain amounts of time can help you earn badges. Once you accumulate badges and continue your Live schedule, you can earn cash bonuses. These milestones are directly related to your number of followers and their contributions to your Live streams, so it may be worthwhile to try these features out and accumulate all of the available benefits.
More significant milestone bonuses come after your page gains more followers. For instance, reaching 500 followers allows you to include hashtags in your Instagram Stories. This is a great way to get new people to see your posts and potentially follow your page. If you work hard to increase your follower count, you can eventually unlock the ability to add links to your Instagram Stories to promote your website to even more users.
While these goals may seem difficult to achieve, you will gain followers more rapidly as your page gains traction. Keep putting in the work to build your page and you will be rewarded with new opportunities to promote your business!
Check Out Analytics Reports
If you’re spending a significant amount of time creating content for your profile and engaging with followers on the platform, you will want to stay up-to-date on your page’s performance to ensure that you’re using your resources wisely and getting the most out of your Instagram marketing efforts. To monitor how your page and your posts are performing, you can check out your analytics report via Instagram Insights.
Another milestone bonus, Instagram Insights is unlocked after your business account reaches 100 followers. This function allows you to track useful metrics that display the numbers behind content performance, page activity, and audience behaviors. When you check your Insights, you can see the number of people your page has reached, fluctuations in your follower count, and a breakdown of your followers’ demographic information.
Insights don’t just show you how your page is currently performing. It also provides graphs and charts that illustrate your page’s growth or reveal areas that need work. If you pay close attention to trends behind these metrics, you can make smarter decisions with your content and be more aware of how your followers are responding to your page.
If you take these tips into account, you can create a strong business profile, post compelling content that performs well, and track your marketing reach by studying your metrics. Instagram’s format and features make it easy to market your services and expand your business’s reach, but its unique benefits–like the ability to earn extra money as an influencer or unlock bonus features–push this platform above the rest.
Instagram is an invaluable resource for realtors at any stage in their business’s development, so make sure to set aside ample time and energy to take full advantage of what the platform has to offer. If you’re looking for daily social media content, learn more about our services at Social Espresso today!