Are You on Instagram Yet?

You’re focusing more on your Facebook page. You think you might have a better understanding of Twitter. The email newsletter is coming along, and you add new content to your blog at least once a week. This online marketing and social media thing may not be so bad. Now that you’re starting to get comfortable, let me throw you a curveball. Are you on Instagram yet? I’m not one to tell you that you need to be on every social media site out there. If you’re a single broker or an agent in a small office, you probably don’t have time for everything you want to do. Instagram, however, may be a place you want to set your sights to attract a new audience regardless of how big or little your company is. Before you download the app and sign up for an account, there are a few things you should know first.

Images are King

Unlike your blog where it’s all about the written word or your YouTube channel which requires getting in front of a camera, Instagram uses something you know all too well – pictures you take on the go with your phone. Not just any old image will do on Instagram. It needs to be a good quality image – meaning no blurriness, no strange shadows, and no thumbs over the lens. What kind of image you post depends on the story you want to tell.
  • Share unique features in the homes you list or show.
  • Show off the beautiful views around you.
  • Focus on the things that make your area fun and unique.
Think about the story you want to tell – are you selling homes, the area, or a lifestyle – and let that be your guide.

You Still Need to Write a Little

When you post an image, you have space to add a caption. Don’t neglect this area. Say something about the image or the view. Let the image tell a story and then use the caption to add more details. Be liberal with your hashtags. Unlike Twitter or Facebook where too many hashtags look like spam, they are your friends on Instagram. When you type in a hashtag from your phone, you’ll see how popular it is. The more used a hashtag, the more likely people are to see your image. Make sure your hashtags are relevant to the image, the caption, and your business.

Upload on the Go

You’re in real estate, so I know your phone is practically attached to your hand. Stopping to take a picture of something that you can’t wait to share – the unique staircase, the sunset over the water from the back deck, the beautiful wildlife in rural areas – is second nature. Other than the minute or two to write a caption and hashtag it, Instagram can fit into your day without a lot of hassle. Best of all, you can integrate Instagram with Facebook so whatever you upload will show in your Facebook profile, too. You’ll touch two audiences with one quick image.

Remember These Things About Instagram

If you’re ready to jump in, here’s a quick guide to help you:
  • You only get one link in your bio. Make it the website you most want people to go to or change it out when you have a can’t-miss listing or a specific blog post or video you want people to see. Let people know to click the link in your bio.
  • Videos are part of the latest update to Instagram. They can only be 60 seconds long so make them good. Either edit an existing video or shoot a quick video instead of an image (but make sure it looks good).
  • Instagram is growing fast, with over 400 million users and counting and billions of image likes per day. If you use hashtags wisely and take great pictures, you’ll find an audience.
  • Business accounts are now available which gives you extra business analytics and access to creating ads.
Now that you’ve got the basics of Instagram, try it out. You may be surprised at how easy it is to do and the amount of engagement you’ll have with just a few pictures and hashtags.