Instagram stole some momentum from Snapchat with its latest update, which allows for self-deleting stories (after 24 hours). This is especially exciting for real estate pros who were just starting to get the hang of Snapchat, as Instagram created, essentially, a carbon copy of Snapchat’s story feature.

  • Start using Instagram Stories to stay at the top of your network's feed.
  • Show listings and the day-to-day behind the scenes of being an agent.
  • Use the natural discovery and Facebook networking that Instagram gives you to increase your digital footprint.

Instagram stole some momentum from Snapchat with its latest update, which allows for self-deleting stories (after 24 hours).

This is especially exciting for real estate pros who were just starting to get the hang of Snapchat, as Instagram created, essentially, a carbon copy of Snapchat’s story feature.

Instagram Stories, similar to Snapchat, show up at the top of your feed, and they are displayed based on who within your network has updated their story last. This promotes consistent use of the platform.

So why are disappearing stories important?

It comes down to the fear of missing out (FOMO), a phenomenon that arose with the social media boom. FOMO is what keeps you coming back to social media to check on your friends’ updates, even if it’s done subconsciously.

Disappearing stories only magnify FOMO as it cues users to check their feeds at least one time every 24 hours to receive content — because they don’t want to miss something great. This has been one of the many features to catapult Snapchat into the mainstream, and Facebook took notice, hence, the creation of Instagram stories.

What’s the difference between the content you put on Instagram normally and your story?

Reserve your Instagram profile for higher quality photos, videos, etc. If you’re a current user and you’re enjoying posting to your profile, I would just continue as is.

Stories, on the other hand, give you a chance to be more raw by capturing and editing in seconds before posting.

Remember, it’s only going to be there for 24 hours, so don’t stress if the lighting isn’t perfect.

It’s also important to note if you create a great photo or video and post it to your story, you can always download it and post it directly to your Instagram feed, so you’re never stuck having to choose.

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Why is this important to real estate professionals?

It’s important because it provides more opportunity to connect with your audience.

Posting 20 photos of a listing on your Instagram profile is going to yield no engagement and cause you to lose followers.

However, doing a walkthrough of your listing and making videos of each room, then adding them to your story is a great way to get people engaged with your listing in a more friendly manner.

Spamming listings on Instagram is annoying; posting them to your story is informing.

Stories also allow for you to show the behind-the-scenes of your day-to-day business. This allows your followers to build more of a rapport with you, as they digest your content daily.

Do Instagram Stories have a marketing edge over Snapchat?

Instagram stories present a better “right now” marketing solution for real estate agents, thanks to a few things:

  • The platform has natural discovery, something Snapchat is missing, which means you can search for people or companies and start following them with little friction.
  • Instagram does a great job of linking in with your personal Facebook network, which allows you to present information to your Facebook network somewhere other than Facebook. Increasing touch points with your network helps keep you top-of-mind, and ultimately, can help drive business.
  • Instagram has also opened up advertising insights for business accounts.

Should I use Instagram or Snapchat?

The short answer: do both.

The slightly longer answer: It takes 15 seconds to make a piece of content and post it to either platform. Don’t be lazy. Take the extra 15 seconds, and create content for both Snapchat and Instagram — you never know where your next lead is going to come from.

Jordan Scheltgen is the founder of Cave Social. You can follow him on Twitter @cavejordans or connect with him on LinkedIn

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