Instagram offers an opportunity to easily create content that is straightforward, easy to digest and likely to garner engagement. Simply put, it means that, if you haven’t already, you should be integrating Instagram into your social media strategy. Here’s what you should be doing to maximize the platform.

September is Marketing and Branding Month at Inman. That means we’re talking to the chief marketing officers at major brokerages about how the pandemic is changing their jobs and what it means for agents. We’re publishing a suite of tactical Inman Handbooks for marketing on digital portals. And we’re looking at what pages of the traditional marketing playbook still work. Join us all month long.

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social networks and one of the best networks to connect with others to build your brand and tell your story. 

Photos and videos connect us to each other in a way that just doesn’t happen with words or text. With its simplicity, Instagram has won over millions of loyal fans, and it’s an awesome place for real estate pros to build their brand and attract business.

Here’s a look at Instagram, by the numbers, according to Omnicore:

  • 1 billion active monthly users
  • 500-plus million daily active users
  • 500-plus million daily active Instagram Stories users
  • 25-plus million businesses on Instagram
  • 4.2 billion Instagram likes per day

What does this mean for you, the real estate professional? Data shows us that Instagram is one of the best social media platforms to connect with the millennial, Gen Y and Gen X demographics — who also happen to make up a large percentage of homebuyers and sellers. 

Another reason Instagram makes a whole lot of sense for the real estate professional is it’s a relatively simple platform to use. There’s a huge value, especially in social media, in keeping things simple.

Instagram offers an opportunity to easily create content that is straightforward, easy to digest and likely to garner engagement. Simply put, it means that, if you haven’t already, you should be integrating Instagram into your social media strategy. Not only that, you should be intentionally using the platform to best leverage this key social media tool. So let’s get started! 

As a social media consultant who has worked with hundreds of real estate brands both large and small, here are a few important tips to maximizing the platform:

1. Photo

Have a detailed photo and a detailed description including emojis. You have limited real estate in your bio, so make it count! 

2. Account

Make sure you have a public business account. You can make this change or update to your account in your settings. This will allow your content to be seen by the public, your followers will easily be able to contact you via phone or email with one push of a button, and you can place Instagram advertising.

3. Hashtags

Use 15-30 hashtags per post. Use a free tool like hashtagify.me to find relevant hashtags. Hashtags help extend your reach of every post in the news feed. Use hashtags that have a smaller following of a few thousand or tens of thousands to get a bigger impact on your reach.

Hashtags that have millions of users aren’t as effective. Use hashtags that are relevant to your brand, the industry and your geolocation. For example, if you are an agent in Denver, you might consider hashtags like: #denverhomesforsale #movingtodenver #iheartdenver

4. Comments

Respond to comments daily. Be proactive to engage with others — especially those who have commented on your posts. 

5. Links

Use a tool to post multiple links in your bio such as LinkTr.ee. Link your listings, community info, other social channels and more. When you are creating Instagram content, point to the link in your bio for people to get more info.

6. Content creation

Stuck on content? Use Repost or Regram app to repost content from your broker or from a local source (your local chamber of commerce or downtown association). Using these apps will credit the source and allow you to share valuable content with your followers.

7. Going live

Search local businesses, and be proactive in engaging with their content. Consider reaching out to them to do a joint Instagram Live interview so you can help them promote your business. After your IG Live is done, you can automatically upload it to IGTV for longer shelf life. Promote that IG Live with your email database for further reach and engagement.

8. Engagement

Search current and past clients — set up notifications for your top A-plus clients. Like and comment once a week. Be intentional with your engagement.

9. Tags

Tag appropriately. Geotag photos in your office and your listings. Tag photos and videos — bring people into the conversation as needed. When you post a photo, ask people to tag their friends in the comments. Tag businesses or people you feature in your photos. 

10. DMs

Use the direct message feature to reach out to someone privately. This is one of the best features of Instagram Stories; when people respond to your stories, it’s a DM. This is where relationships and trust are built. Respond in a timely manner. Good news: You can now respond to Instagram DMs on your desktop, not just via mobile.

11. Posting

Post to your news feed three to five times a week and to your Instagram Story daily. Get creative and use all the tools Instagram has to offer: IG Stories, IGTV, IG Live, IG Reels and more. Within Instagram, there are so many great tools to help you be creative — use tools like Superzoom, Boomerang and IG Stickers.

12. Scheduling

Use a tool like Later.com, Hootsuite or Facebook Creator Studio to schedule some of your Instagram posts for later as needed. 

Looking for some Instagram inspiration in real estate? Here are a few of my favorite accounts I love to follow:

At the end of the day, consistent, relevant content is key to making the most out of Instagram. 

Katie Lance is the author of #GetSocialSmart and founder and CEO of Katie Lance Consulting, a social media strategy firm and founder of the #GetSocialSmart Academy. She’s been recognized by Inman News as one of the 100 most influential people in real estate and is a featured keynote speaker at many industry events. Katie is also is the author of the best-selling book, #GetSocialSmart

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