Social Media Marketing for Realtors: Instagram

This article originally appeared in the May issue of Real Producers Fort Wayne.

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~ This is the first in a series taking a look at the best use/tips for social media in the real estate realm. ~

Instagram — one of the hottest and fastest-growing social media platforms currently available — but how can you, as a realtor, make it work for you and your brand?

The company revealed last September that it has 800 million users, and 500 million daily active users, making it one of the most popular social networks worldwide. Best known for its photo sharing, it is also a popular marketing channel for brands — especially brands that play well visually — making it an ideal platform for realtors.

While beautiful photos of houses are useful, Instagram lets users geotag and hashtag photos linking them to specific locations, making it especially beneficial for the localized business of real estate. If an image is worth a thousand words, a video is worth even more, and with 10x more engagement than Facebook, Instagram is one of the best platforms for real estate lead generation.

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Why Instagram?

You have the ability to generate leads from local homeowners looking to sell or buy, out of town realtors looking for referral agents in the area, out-of-town buyers looking for homes, past clients who keep up with you, new clients who discover you, and referral clients who are tagged by a mutual connection.

What are the benefits?

Branding! You are not just a “Realtor,” you are a person with unique character, telling an impactful, visual story through your Instagram account. A tailored, professional account allows potential clients to immediately see that you are a local expert and know your stuff. By providing value and information related to real estate, you will become their go-to person the next time they move.

Let’s take a quick look at a few of the top do’s and don’ts for realtor-based Instagram accounts:

Do:

Always, always, always! Tag the location.

When you first upload a photo, you will be given the option to “Add Location” right underneath “Tag People” — Don’t skip this step! Specific neighborhoods can be tagged, but even tagging “Fort Wayne” is enough to ensure your listing is seen by the right people in the right area. Instagram stories can also be both tagged and geotagged, which makes them show up in the local discover area.

Keep it professional.

To really get the full advantage of using Instagram for business, you need a business Facebook account, which you will then link to your business Instagram. Be sure to include which real estate company you work for in your bio, a link to your website or listings, and once again, your location. A business Instagram account lets you view statistics on audience, profile visits, discovery, reach, impressions, demographics, and more. It also lets you create promotions. Be sure to keep posts theme related, professional, and consider these questions before you post: “Would I want my boss to see this? Would this inspire someone to choose me as a realtor?” If not, don’t post it.

Use clear, crisp images.

This should go without saying, but no blurry photos, please! Ideally, your profile photo is a professional headshot, and all posted pics are bright and in focus. Poor-quality photos can make or break your brand because it reflects on your attention to detail as a realtor, level of professionalism, and of course, it’s important to show off the houses in the best light. Same rules apply for video.

Write captions and use hashtags.

Who doesn’t like free advertising? Captions are a chance to highlight listing details and provide information. A maximum of 30 hashtags can be used per photo, and these are 30 different chances for your photo to be found by potential clients. We recommend using one or two in the caption (#FortWayne!), and put the rest in a comment. Don’t skip these steps! They’re just as important as clear photos/video.

Share to Facebook and Twitter too.

Connect your Instagram with your Twitter and business Facebook account, and share to all three when you post.

Don’t:

Make your account private.

This should go without saying, but you’ll find a surprising about of private realtor accounts on Instagram. Keep it public, unless you’re not looking for more clients.

Use stock photography.

The quickest way to kill your validity is to use stock images. Don’t pull images from Pinterest or the internet — most phones have excellent cameras these days, take your own or call a professional.

Be repetitive.

Mix it up! No one wants to see seven selfies in a row, or anything multiple times in a row. Highlight different elements of houses, aerial views, and mix in a little bit of Fort Wayne — become a digital mayor, or at least a knowledgeable rep of the area.

Post images with text, or screenshots of web pages.

Instagram is a highly visual platform, users are looking for beautiful images, not images with text overlay. Save inspirational quotes, stock images, or cartoons for your personal account or a different platform.

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Give up.

It takes time to build an audience and figure out what gets the best results. Mix up your posting strategy/style if you’re not seeing the results you’re looking for.

 

As a media marketer, I can’t tell you how many times I see business Instagram accounts that make me cringe and my eyes start to bleed. If you want to turn a view into a client, it’s important that you follow these rules of thumb, and always put your best photo (or video) forward. Instagram is the perfect ground from which to nurture solid leads, but you need to do more than just post stellar content. Be sure to engage with other users, like photos, and always reply to comments.

Still not sure how to get started? Check out a successful real estate agent account on Instagram and try an emulate their style, while making it your own. For example, @RealEstateKirby is an Indiana-based account with almost 34k followers. He combines carefully curated shots of his personal life with high quality real estate photography — take note of how he does his hashtags (in a comment).

From featuring beautiful interior and exterior shots that show off your listing, to focusing on networking, open houses, and local lifestyle, Instagram offers a unique — and popular —  platform on which you can market your business. Once you master the basics, you can get creative, tailoring your posts to attract the type of clientele you’re looking for, and establishing your name as a local real estate go-to agent.

Keep it fresh, keep it original, provide information and remember — consistency is key.

Does the idea of linking your Facebook business page and your business Instagram account together, targeting ads, and using hashtags correctly make you break out in a cold sweat? Breathe easy! For more tips, tricks, and how to’s, DasFort Media offers one-on-one social media tutoring, and group class options. More info here.

Keep reading:

The Maximum Reach: Harness The Power of Video Marketing

Follow along on Instagram: @DasFort