More people are using Instagram for their businesses. It is one of the fastest growing social media platforms with over 800 million active users world wide. Businesses will thrive utilizing Instagram with only one post of content per day but why limit your business opportunities there?
To begin an Instagram business account, build your profile. Your profile picture should be your company logo. Your company profile should also include your business name and your “username” should reflect as close as you can to your business name.
The “username” will identify your account. In the Bio section give a brief explanation of service, the business address and a link to the company’s website.
Your company should develop an Instagram social media strategy that is agreed on. Develop the strategy with a “tribe mentality”.
I like to develop content that reads, “Welcome to Our Tribe”. This can be used to welcome a new real estate agent onto the team, a new home buyer or a new home listing. Decide on your target audience and any niches within your community.
The goal is to create interesting content within your target audience to generate followers onto your Instagram account.
The more followers you have, the more opportunity your business will be visible and on a stage larger than your existing community.
Identify Instagram accounts that are similar to your business. A real estate agency may want to follow mortgage companies, title companies, appraisers, surveyors and new home builders in or around the area. This will generate “followers” to your Instagram page.
To develop content for Instagram there are many Instagram friendly apps that you can use to create photo posts, collages, videos and Instagram stories. You may use “Sprout Social” to schedule your content in advance.
When developing ideas for content, don’t forget to include “behind the scenes” content from inside the office. Celebrate a real estate agent’s birthday, acknowledge a professional milestone or share a company photo from a holiday party. Have a little fun once in awhile. Acknowledge a National Pizza Day or a National Coffee Day. This will assist in creating that “tribe mentality”.
#Hashtags are the key to the success of your Instagram business account. You can download apps that are meant to identify the most popular and used #hashtags.
You will want to use #hashtags with over 1 million posts to attract more traffic to your page. You can try the “Hashme” app to identify #hashtags best used to match your content.
Instagram will allow up to 26 #hashtags per post. Do not use the same 26 #hashtags each time. This is frowned upon by Instagram and is located in the Instagram community guidelines.
There are companies out there that will guarantee you “1,000” followers in one day. These are not organic Followers that are target Followers for your business. Many are fake accounts and will drop off suddenly.
Develop your site organically with “followers” that are strategically identified for your business. This will be determined by who your business chooses to “follow” as well.
Identify Instagram “influencers”.
These are typically Instagram accounts that have 10,000 followers or higher. Identify “influencers” that can relate to your real estate business. Follow them and engage with them on their posts and tag them in posts that you believe will capture their attention. Reach out to an influencer and offer them a payment, a service or products for them to give your company a “shout out” on their Instagram page.
The more “followers” they have, the more expensive it can be. Maybe you have a hometown celebrity that you see at the local coffee shop that is also an Instagram influencer.
Mail them a trendy hat with the company’s name and/or logo. Ask them to take a photo wearing the hat, have them post it on their Instagram page and give your company a “shout out” by tagging your username.
When developing daily content for your page, you may want to download Instagram apps such as “Canva” or “BeFunky” for photo content. Take a photo of a featured listing with all the typical angles and details you would highlight for a magazine ad but remember this is Instagram and Instagram tells stories through pictures.
Select a robust object like a “red barn” or a “flower garden” and create boisterous photos. Photos that will capture an audience beyond your target audience. Remember to use active #hashtags to match your content and your business.
Don’t be afraid to create “staging”.
Maybe a home has a cute breakfast nook with a large picturesque window. Set the table with coffee for two with pastries. Snap the perfect picture with your Smartphone and boom you now have interesting content. Give potential buyers visuals they can relate to. Your real estate agents will become amateur photographers.
Instagram has a slide feature that will allow for more than one photo. This is perfect for home listings. You may also download the app “Layout” that can assist with building collages for your listings.
You can create videos for your home listings.
Narrate a featured home by entering the front door and doing a “walk through”.
Instagram also has a “live” feature if you’d like to broadcast from a scheduled Open House.
You can download the app “Boomerang” for fun, bite size videos. Maybe a child bouncing on the trampoline in the backyard of a family home for sale.
Instagram is truly about “story telling”.
You can create stories on Instagram by swiping left to right on your profile page. Be creative here. You can add text, icons, #hashtags and give a “shout out” to your own username or another “like business”. You can give a “shout out” back to one of the Instagram influencers that featured your business.
You can pay for inexpensive ads on Instagram by featuring either a photo or photos, a story or a video. You can select your target audience by states, cities, countries, demographics, interests or behaviors. Ads are relatively inexpensive and it’ll give you a quote before you to commit to the ad.
The key to the success of your Instagram account is to grow your Followers through a targeted social media strategy.
Start by inviting folks from your business contact list, look for “like minded” businesses, develop ads, be creative with content and smart with #hashtags. Develop daily content and be “engaged” with your captive audience. Make sure you reply to followers comments. Add your location to your content. This will add “Followers”.
You may also set up instant replies in your Direct Message box. You could use a service such as “Instazood” to set them up for a small fee. Make sure your Direct Message reply is professional and respectful to “Followers” privacy. There are some unfortunate Instagram “creepers” and they typically show themselves in your Direct Message inbox.
And finally Instagram offers “Insights” on their Instagram business accounts.
Insights is a tool for measuring the success of all your efforts based on your creative content. It’ll give you data on your profile visits including which days were your “peak days” of content success. You’ll be able to see which content receives the highest impressions. You’ll want to make some adjustments based on the results of your content.
You will quickly see which content is being received better and which ones are not. You will also see the demographics of your captured audience here. It will give you age ranges, locations, gender and your peak time for engagement. You may want to schedule some of your automated content based on those peak hours to garner additional visibility. All of this will bring “Followers” to your profile page.
Don’t forget your other accounts!
To increase organic Followers to your Instagram page don’t hesitate to copy your Instagram link, handle and Instagram icon onto Facebook or other social media pages. You may also join an “Instagram Influencer” page on Facebook to increase Followers but be specific about your target audience.
Instagram is truly fun, easy and an exciting business tool that can increase your business visibility which will generate a surge in your business revenue.
If the goal is to be the premiere real estate agency in your town, than Instagram can assist in the success to that happening. Just remember, Instagram means “instant success”.