Welcome to Instagram. With over a billion active users each month, Instagram is one of the best places for real estate agents to get listings noticed and connect with current and prospective clientele. For real estate attorneys, Instagram is where you’ll find networking opportunities with real estate agent clients and prospects.
While Instagram is owned by Facebook, the two social networks require very unique approaches and strategies to grow your audience and generate meaningful business leads.
There are a lot of benefits to marketing your brand and business on Facebook, but Instagram is where real estate agents and attorneys can currently drum up the most engagement on your posts and stories.
So, what do you need to know before you get your gram on?
Instagram Feed vs. Instagram Stories
There are two different places to post on Instagram: your Instagram feed and your Instagram story. Your Instagram feed is your main Instagram profile page and the photos or videos that you post there. People can see this content if they follow you or if you use any of the hashtags that they follow. Feed posts are the face of your brand on Instagram, so most people curate and plan how they will look.
Instagram stories are vertical photos or videos up to 15-seconds that disappear from your profile after 24 hours unless they are pinned as “highlights.” Because of its fleeting nature, Instagram stories are an ideal place for experimentation and “behind-the-scenes” content. Instagram stories often get more engagement because of the tools Instagram provides to encourage it, including stickers that let you ask questions, set up polls, and more.
Use Instagram Hashtags
Commonly referred to as the “SEO keywords of Instagram,” a hashtag is a group of words or keyword with a # sign in front of it. On Instagram, you can add hashtags to feed posts and story posts, and you can also follow hashtags that are relevant to your business and niche.
Hashtags are not only a great tool for finding content that you like, but they help other people find the content that you post. Use hashtags that fall in the intersection of what people are searching, and where you can rank.
Real estate agents and attorneys whose businesses are hyperlocal should focus on hashtags that contain keywords related to your community, town or city. For example, instead of simply using the keyword “#realestate” which is a very popular hashtag with over 36 million posts, use “#chicagolandrealestate” which has 14,000 posts. There are still plenty of people searching for the term, but not so many that your content will be quickly buried.
To find the right hashtags, write down a list of those community, town or city keywords. Then, hop into Instagram on your desktop and type them into the search bar. The most popular hashtags with those keywords will automatically populate for you.
You can use up to 30 hashtags per post and we like to put ours in the first comment of our posts instead of in the post caption because it looks cleaner and will keep people from accidentally clicking away from our profile.
Engagement is Everything
On Instagram, the most important thing you can do to grow your audience and get more engagement on your own content is to engage, engage, engage.
In order to get followers, likes, and comments, you have to give follows, likes and comments. And you need to give at least 10x what you want to get back.
We like to use our hashtags for engagement: once you pick the local hashtags that are right for you, and place them in your posts, click on that hashtag and like or comment on some of the posts in that hashtag.
When you leave comments, try to make them 4-5 words so the Instagram algorithms will know that you are a real person engaging genuinely, and not a spammer or “bot.”
Another great way to engage is in Instagram stories. When people post polls, questions stickers or invite audience participation, be sure to join in!
Instagram engagement is not only for other people, but it tells those algorithms that your account is more valuable, shows your content to more people and helps you leverage social media to grow your business.
What else would you like to know about instagram? Tell us in the comments or let us know on our Instagram page.