Effective, innovative marketing is a must for all successful Realtors®, but choosing which strategies are most worth your time can be tricky. This is often why Realtors® put social media marketing on the backburner: the results aren’t always immediate, and building a following specific to your business takes time. But, if done with purpose, developing a social media following can expand your network by thousands!
In this third installment of our Social Media for Realtors® series (check out our posts on Facebook and LinkedIn), we’re going to share tips and tricks for using the current most popular social network: Instagram! Instagram has more than 800 million active users, which makes it ripe for marketing.
But besides that, why bother using it?
Instagram is powerful because it is a visual platform, which allows you to easily share your brand and your properties to a whole new audience. As we humans are visual in nature, it probably comes as no surprise that 83% of prospective buyers make decisions based on the presence of high-quality photos and videos.
It’s also a mobile-first platform, and since 52% of buyers shop for homes on mobile devices, it’s well worth incorporating a mobile-focused effort in your marketing.
In addition to being a popular social network, Instagram is a robust (and free!) photo and video editing app. The user-friendly editing tools make it easy to add a location and hashtags to your posts, so you can hone in on specific groups of users.
According to real estate social platform RESAAS, 80% of Instagram users are age 34 and younger, skewing toward the 25-34 age group. But don’t let this be a deterrent. The platform is rapidly growing to include a consistently wider age range, so even if Millennials aren’t your target audience, you can still connect with those who are.
For Realtors®, Instagram has some useful features to help you gain followers and leverage those potential leads. Here are a few easy steps to get your started.
Build your brand
Create a free Instagram account with your smartphone. Be sure to use a handle that is easy to find, such as your name or the name of your business. Try not to use unrelated numbers in your handle: for example, use “AwesomeAgent” instead of “AwesomeAgent21.” If you’ve already created other social profiles, use the same username to keep your branding consistent and recognizable.
Upload a photo of yourself or your logo to use as your profile picture. Remember that repetition is incredibly important in marketing, so the more frequently visitors can see your name and logo, the better they’ll remember you. (Need some help with your branding? Here’s how to get started.)
You’ll be relieved to know that Instagram integrates with Facebook and Twitter, allowing you to automatically post to multiple networks at once. Not only is this a huge time-saver (if you post to Instagram first), but it is a great way to maintain consistency and continuity among your social media posts.
Create eye-catching photos and videos
Instagram makes it easy to produce beautiful content and offers several ways to share it. Post a singular photo, a collage of photos, a video, or a slideshow of up to ten photos and videos. Slideshows in particular are perfect for sharing properties. There is also a feature called Stories, in which you can post an image or a video which disappears after 24 hours.
Make your Instagram profile appealing by sticking to a consistent style and color scheme; for example, use the same filter on every photo and video to give your content uniformity. Orlando Realtor® Nicole Mickle favors clean, bright images and graphics. Her profile doesn’t look overly curated, so the content feels organic and relatable, while also conveying the aesthetic and lifestyle that accompany her properties.
Not all content in your feed needs to feature photos of the homes you sell. Intersperse your photos and videos with other posts, such as a quote card, which features text — a quote, factoid, or tip for buyers and sellers superimposed onto a colorful or patterned background. Create quote cards with a free online graphics creator such as Canva, which also lets you upload straight to Instagram.
Ultimately, your Instagram profile should tell a story about who you are, what you sell, and what you can offer your clients. We love how Nicole posts collages of recently-sold homes and includes a story about the clients. This gives followers an inside glimpse into the process of selling and what it would be like to have her as an agent. Nicole’s profile has essentially become a portfolio of her work.
Engage with potential clients
Social networking is a two-way street. If you interact with others, people will interact with you. Use hashtags strategically to connect with your desired audience. Create a hashtag for your business (such as #YourBusinessName) and use it alongside more general real estate hashtags (such as #Realtors, #RealEstate, #HomeForSale) and location-specific tags (#OrlandoFlorida, #FloridaHomes, etc.). Then, use the same hashtags to find and follow other profiles. If you see posts that strike your fancy, leave a genuine comment. Instagram rewards this kind of interaction by recommending your profile to those who follow similar accounts.
Instagram Post Ideas
If you’re not sure where to start, try these posts:
- A selfie of you and a short introduction in the caption.
- A video walkthrough of a new property that you post as a Story.
- A collage of a recently-sold property.
- A slideshow of happy former clients (used with their permission, of course).
- A giveaway for a book or gift card, in which people can enter by tagging a friend in the comments. (You can choose a winner randomly.)
- A quote card created with Canva featuring a home-buying or home-selling tip.
Ultimately, social media marketing is intended to leverage the organic sharing that occurs on popular social platforms. Instagram’s popularity makes it easy to connect with thousands of other people. Remember that consistency is key, and if you put in the work to build and nurture your followers, you can earn high-quality leads who will keep you in mind when they’re ready to act.