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HDC-Instagram-Updates-2540 (1)Social media is constantly changing, and people are always trying to keep up. Recently, some changes were released by Instagram that could create a big boost in your real estate business strategy. A social network that was once thought to be reserved for pictures of coffee and fancy food, Instagram now has 400 million active users, 85% of top brands, and 60% of users logging in daily, making it the second most engaged social network after Facebook.

In the past week, Instagram released two major changes to their platform. The first, more business-oriented change is that they created a Business Profile option. The second is that they created a “Stories” feed, similar to Snapchat. Want to know how these updates can (and should) change the way you use your Instagram page? Here are some tips to help.


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Instagram for Business

Instagram is more than just a way to network with friends. Since Instagram is known for its visual appeal, many users also follow businesses. In fact, according to Instagram, about one-half of users follow a business on the platform. However, what’s more important is that engagement with brands on Instagram is 10 times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter. If you’re looking to connect with clients, this is a great platform to do so.

Before you choose to convert your personal profile to a business one, there are a few things you should know. The first is that Instagram is gradually releasing this feature. If it isn’t available to you yet, it should be in the near future. Next, in order to convert your Instagram profile to a business one, it must be connected with a Facebook business page. Finally, your business profile cannot be set to private. The process to switch over is very simple. You can read more about it here.

What are the benefits of a business profile? The main advantage is that, with a business profile, you’ll have access to insights. If you’re working to boost your visibility or are trying to measure your interaction with followers, this is a huge advantage. The available insights include impressions for each post, the number of unique accounts you’ve reached, and the average time your followers access the app each day. These insights can help you see when your followers are active and what they’re most interested in, which can help you plan future content. (To learn more about what to post on your Instagram profile, check out some of our past blogs on this topic.) In addition to this, when you upgrade, you’ll also be able to add additional contact information, and you’ll see a new “contact” button on your profile. If you have a web address in your profile, you’ll be able to see how many unique accounts clicked through to your website. If you want to learn more about these new insights, check out this explanation.



Instagram Stories

Last week, Instagram released a new feature called “Stories” that lets users create a string of pictures and videos, viewable to their followers for 24 hours. Similar to Snapchat’s stories, users can add text and doodle on the picture or video. Stories will appear at the top of your feed. To view them, simply click the person’s profile picture. To create your own story, click the (+) option in the upper left corner of the app. Another great feature is that you can see how many people have viewed your photo or video. Just swipe up when looking at your story.

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So, how can this be used for real estate? Similarly to Snapchat, it’s important to first consider your goal. For instance, Stories wouldn’t be the most useful tool for lead generation. Instead, its best use is for engagement and retention. Because of this, use your photos and videos to visually and emotionally connect with clients. Share pictures of a new listing along with a quick tour of your favorite room, a picture of yourself at your favorite coffee house (Instagram photos with faces get 38% more likes), a video referral with a client who just closed on a home, etc. Stories can help you get closer and more personal with your audience.

Instagram can be a powerful tool for your marketing strategy and a great way to connect with potential buyers. If you need help managing your other social profiles, check out Homes.com Social to engage with homebuyers and sellers and drive more leads.