Instagram is growing in popularity day-by-day and safely in the top 3 social media platforms to promote your properties and real estate brand. If you’re still using a personal Instagram account, then it’s time to take it up a notch and convert your account to Instagram for Business.
Many powerful features come with Instagram for Business that can benefit real estate agents who find it easiest to post social media updates from a smartphone. Make sure you understand the additional features and how to use them to your advantage.
Part one: Benefits of using Instagram for Business
Instagram officially hit the one billion user mark as of June 2018, and around 200 million of those individuals visit at least one business profile per day. This number is growing daily as more brands better understand how to engage with their audience, and create loyalty amongst their followers.
Instagram for Business is free for accounts that wish to be recognised as a business. An Instagram business profile comes with numerous benefits which we’ve outlined for you below;
1. Instagram insights
Insights help you understand who your followers are, what time of day they are online, alongside performance metrics on individual posts and stories. My favourite feature is the ability to sort visual posts by popularity. You can then see which types of images followers engage with most. After all, Instagram was designed as a photographic app originally, and many people like to thumb through pictures for ideas, as you would a magazine.
Take note of your most popular posts and use this knowledge to adapt and fine-tune the future content you create. One common theme I see across the board is that people love photos of people. Especially if they know that person in real life, so don’t be shy about including a picture of yourself going about your daily real estate activities.
2. Instagram ads
Instagram for Business allows you to create ads and target them to a specific audience. You might already do this on Facebook, which is great because the two platforms are linked (Facebook owns Instagram).
With Instagram for Business, you don’t need to use the complicated interface of Facebook Ads Manager because you can run your ads straight from your phone on Instagram. Simply click the promotions button (next to the Edit Profile button) on your Instagram page and follow the prompts. It’s the only way to lead people out of Instagram to your website. You can also send them a direct message.
3. A Contact button
If potential customers have to click on a link to your website to try and find your contact information, you might lose them altogether. Your Instagram for Business account provides a contact button on your page (with address, phone number and email) making it easier for prospects to get in touch. There is also the Instagram Direct Message, so they don’t even have to leave the platform.
4. Links on Instagram stories
While this tool is currently only available to business accounts with more than 10,000 followers, it is definitely worth growing your following to take advantage of this exciting feature.
Instagram stories themselves are a fantastic way to interact with your audience in a personal way, and we’ve covered the topic of Facebook and Instagram Stories previously. With a clickable link, you can direct your prospects out of Instagram. For example, you could offer a sneak peek a new listing in an Instagram Story and insert a link with ‘take a full virtual tour’ or ‘check out the price guide’ and send them across to your website. Curiosity might have killed the cat, but intrigue is always an excellent tactic for getting an audience to engage further.
5. Using IGTV
There’s no question videos are an integral part of a social media marketing campaign. In fact, it’s crucial, with some predictions estimating that global internet traffic from videos will make up 82% of all consumer traffic by 2021.
If you’re not recording your own video content right now, then get onto it. And if you’re on Instagram for Business you can use IGTV.
Video’s not only a great way to tell your story but is currently favoured by Instagram’s algorithm – so reap the rewards of IGTV while you can.
Part two: Switching your account to Instagram for Business
If Instagram for Business sounds like a smart move for you, go ahead and make the switch.
Before you start, be aware that you will be asked to link a Facebook page to your account. You’ll also need admin access to that page. If you don’t have a Facebook page (yet) then you won’t be able to access Instagram for Business.
1. Go to the Instagram profile page that you want to convert to a Business account and tap the top three horizontal lines (in the top right-hand corner).
2. Press ‘Settings’ (down the bottom)
3. Select ‘Account’.
4. Then press ‘Switch to Business Account’.
5. Add all your details, including your business category, contact information and a short bio about yourself.
If you get stuck, here’s the official Instagram help pages about Instagram for Business.
Here’s a few Instagram for Business tips to help your bio stand out:
- Keep your bio short, specific and impactful (you only have 150 characters). Don’t use one long sentence and check out how other Instagram Business accounts break theirs down into easy-to-digest bullet points.
- Try using an emoji or two if it suits your brand (but don’t go overboard).
- Include several brand-relevant hashtags.
- Make sure your photo image is clear and uncluttered.
- Include a link to your website, latest blog post, newest listing or brand video.
Part three: Keeping your visual strategy on brand
Using social media is an essential part of any real estate agent’s brand marketing ‒ but only if you use it correctly. When it comes to Instagram, visuals are key and keeping them consistent, high quality, as well as relevant and interesting for your target audience.
I’ve covered the topic of Instagram visual social content for real estate previously, and your main focus should be to create content that is visually appealing. You should also provide insights and stories about you, your clients and your business, not just images of properties. Think broader and curate content like a magazine. Consider visuals that your target audience would find of interest beyond your real estate to keep them engaged.
- Young families: Think playgrounds, swimming pools, the beach, family-friendly cafés, pets and at-home entertaining.
- Baby boomers: Think travel, wine, national parks, cruises, mobile homes, gardens and restaurants. Understand what makes this generation tick.
- Downsizers: Think tips for small spaces, and ideas for keeping active in their local community.
The key is knowing your market intimately. Keep your followers interested when they are between transactions. Get them excited about home renovations, home-based parties or local events and activities. Become a source of useful information and beautiful visuals, and you’ll be front of mind when they do decide to move home.
If you have questions about Instagram for Business best practice or would like my team to curate content for your Instagram page, get in touch.