If you’re not yet using Instagram in your real estate marketing, it’s time to start! This visually appealing social media platform is ideal for property marketing. Let’s take a look at how your real estate business can get the most out of visual media and increase your Instagram following.
The growing power of Instagram
Instagram is now one of the most popular social networks on the planet, and it’s growing at a phenomenal rate. It now has approximately 800 million monthly active users, and 50 percent of these people follow brands on the platform.
So, what is Instagram? We’ve talked about Instagram before, but let’s have a recap.
It’s an entirely visual social network, designed for sharing photographs rather than text. The aim of it is to provide visual inspiration, a lot like browsing through a magazine. Unlike Facebook, you can’t click out of individual posts to other websites, so you’re a captive audience.
The best thing about Instagram for real estate agents is that organic posts still cut through and reach your followers more easily than on some other social platforms – so, now is the time to make the most of this algorithmic love, while this still lasts!
Here are some top techniques for making your visual media as appealing as possible to your Instagram following.
1. Tell your story
Instagram is designed purely for visual media, making it the ideal social channel to tell your story. That could be your work-life as a real estate agent, or the sales and marketing process you go through with the properties you sell.
You can illustrate the home selling or buying journey through the images you share, and you can offer insights into your brand. It doesn’t all have to be about showcasing your properties – you can feature your team, offer interior styling tips and post lifestyle shots, anything relevant to property or that will interest your audience.
A mix of content is the best way to engage your Instagram following – remember, this is a social network, so you don’t want your content to appear too “sales-y”. As well as your photos, try throwing in a few quotes and memes, to add to the story of your real estate business.
When you’re showcasing your properties, you should only use pictures of properties that you’ve already sold. There’s a good reason for this, which is that you can then plan ahead by scheduling your posts in advance. If you post an image of a current property that then doesn’t sell, you might have to delete either past or future posts, which can waste a lot of your time and mess with the overall look and feel of your feed.
It’s important to make sure your Instagram posts are always of high quality. Don’t use amateur images from your phone – have them taken by a professional photographer, so your content stands out. Ideally, your posts should look arty, as if they belong in a magazine. Curated professional photos will make your page look really impressive when people see your posts laid out together.
As you read on you’ll see a few snapshots of real estate agency Instagram feeds that my team and I manage, alongside my own Instagram page telling the story of the Hoole.co brand and the property clientele we specialise in helping.
Visit Melanie Hoole on Instagram.
2. Post regularly and be consistent
Be active on Instagram yourself. Follow and like other peoples posts to help boost your own Instagram page engagement and gain more followers. It’s believed that Instagram favours content from active accounts!
Also, the more relevant hashtags you include per post, the more people will discover your content on Instagram, which in turn increases your likes and comments. Overall, the more people that gain exposure to your real estate brand on Instagram, the better your brand message will sink in with them.
Ideally, on Instagram, you should be posting once or twice every day. You can schedule your posts in advance to save you time and to also ensure that you post at the times when your Instagram followers are most active.
If you have an Instagram business account, you can use the Insights feature to find out when your followers are most likely to be using the platform. Scheduling your posts for these times gives you the best chance of appearing at the top of their feeds.
Visit Belle Property Parramatta on Instagram.
3. Get your hashtags right
Just like on Twitter, using the right hashtags helps to boost the visibility of your Instagram posts. The purpose of hashtags is to categorise your posts so that they’re easier for your target audience to find. For example, effective hashtags for real estate agency content could include #realestate, #propertysales, or the name of your suburb.
Try not to be too generic, as a hashtag like #weekend will put your post into competition with thousands of others and have too broad a reach. Think about what your target audience will be interested in and words they are most likely searching with.
I’ve covered the topic of hashtags in a previous article called How to be a #hashtag hero. It was a popular blog and well worth the read. It delves into how to use the right hashtags, not only to be found but to enhance your brand message.
It’s also important not to overload your Instagram posts with hashtags. Having too many makes your content look untargeted – sticking to seven or less in the message will gain you better engagement. You can always post additional hashtags in the first comment field, and my team and I use our social media scheduling tool to do this.
Visit Stone Hills District on Instagram.
This client account is interesting, as this real estate office recently changed brands, so you can see the change in the feed timeline if you scroll down.
4. Learn how to use Boomerang
Boomerang is a great Instagram feature that enables you to create and share your own animated GIFs. Available either as a separate app or as a feature on the camera in Instagram Stories, it lets you photograph a quick series of still images which are then stitched together into a constant loop. Boomerang images add more visual interest to your Instagram page with a touch of animation!
Be careful not to overdo animated GIFs, though – too much movement will look confusing and messy for users viewing your page. Instead, it’s a good idea to stick to using Boomerang in Instagram Stories, as the content you post here disappears after 24 hours. According to Instagram, the reason stories disappear is to create a sense of exclusivity and urgency, making people want to view the content more immediately.
5. Get a reaction with emojis
Emojis are a way of adding more visual emotion to your Instagram posts, and they also help you stand out more with your target audience. Like hashtags, emojis on Instagram are searchable. Users can even look for posts containing certain emojis to help them find more relevant content. Try it for yourself! Head to the Instagram mobile app and choose a house emoji and see what pops up.
The world of emojis can be confusing, though, especially if you didn’t grow up with them. There are now over 2,600 emojis available – and they don’t all have obvious or innocent meanings! So, it’s important to do your research before using them. This way you avoid accidentally making inappropriate posts.
Learning the meanings of different emojis also helps you to understand what your Instagram following thinks of your content, as many users include emojis in their comments.
There are a number of emojis which are ideal for real estate marketing – the House, House with Garden, and City Building are obvious examples. It’s all about choosing the right emojis to suit your brand and the type of posts you’re adding.
Instagram overall is an excellent way for your real estate business to connect with home buyers and sellers, particularly younger generations taking their first step on the property ladder. Learning how to use Instagram properly gives you an ideal opportunity to increase audience engagement and boost the appeal of your brand.