Instagram, What Is It?
Instagram is a social network that allows users to take or upload photos and videos, and share content with followers on mobile devices. Having a strong Instagram strategy is a lot like planning a Thanksgiving meal. First off, you have to have a turkey, which is your images. This is the core of the content strategy and the traditional meal. Then you have your stuffing, which compliments the main dish–these are your words that accompany the image. Next, you have your sides that round out the meal–your hashtags. Don’t forget about desserts! Desserts polish off the meal, just like polishing off your professional profile rounds out your posts. And finally, don’t forget to give “thanks”!
Just like a plump bird is the centerpiece of most Thanksgiving dinners, images are the foundation of your Instagram content strategy! You can either build two separate Instagram accounts, one for you and one for your business, or find a way to the mesh the two together. Make sure you have fun with your images! Showing off your listing with professional photography is a great way to increase your business awareness! Create a collage of your listing photos to show off multiple beautiful facets of the house! Or, spice things up a little and take a selfie with the home behind you! (Instant face recognition!)
Be creative- and find ways to feature neighborhood amenities in your content strategy that compliment your beautiful listing images. If the home you have an open house at also has a really cool coffee shop nearby, stop in for a pick-me-up and snap a pic of that amazing latte!
Now you have a picture of the beautiful latte, but what do you say about it to get your viewers’ attention? The stuffing of your Instagram strategy are the words you use to compliment your images. Stuffing is part of the turkey, together they represent the foundation of a Thanksgiving meal Your photos need to have captions for things to make sense. Sure you can just put up an image, but your following won’t know what to do with it. Is that picture of a house for sale? Is this a renovation gone wrong? Why are you posting a picture of just coffee? TELL ME MORE. Same concept with Thanksgiving–you know your loved ones will riot if there is no stuffing. Give the people what they want.
Back to the picture of the latte above. Anyone can take a picture of coffee and put it on Instagram, but it’s what you say about it as a real estate professional that sets you apart from the pack. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. Talk to your audience as if you are speaking with friends!
Thanksgiving is a magical meal because it is a cornucopia of food drenched in butter (at least at my house). We all have various Thanksgiving staples: mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberries, the list goes on. The sides are just as important as the turkey and the stuffing! In this case, the “sides” to your Instagram strategy are hashtags(#).
Hashtags on Instagram help make your post searchable within the network and help bring more eyes and non-followers to your page. Without hashtags, only your followers will see your content. When incorporating hashtags (#) into your content strategy, find ways to blend them into your sentences.
For example instead of saying :
- “Just listed, beautiful home for sale in Norfolk, VA. Newly renovated from top to bottom, must see! Listed at $449,995”
you could do this instead
- “#JustListed, beautiful home #ForSale in #Norfolk, VA. Newly renovated from top to bottom, must see! Listed at $449,995!” #RealEstate #HomesbyHollyUtt #HRVA #Larchmont #Renovation
Using the keywords in the sentence and adding appropriate hashtags helps make the post more searchable. If a potential client searches for photos related to #Norfolk or #ForSale, that person would see your post. I also added in a few locally used hashtags to help get local eyes on the listing. For example, the #HomesbyHollyUtt can be used for any post I create that has listings. If someone wanted to see my past listings, they could search #HomesbyHollyUtt to see what else I do. The #HRVA and #Larchmont are local tags. #HRVA is a common nickname for our area, Hampton Roads Virginia. The #Larchmont is the name is of the neighborhood/area the home is for sale in.
After a proper Thanksgiving feast, everyone usually feels just a “bit” overstuffed. Yet as soon as someone mentions dessert, there’s magically enough room for a sliver or 3 of pie. What are the desserts to your content strategy? Topping off your profile and ensuring it is consistent with your branding? Making sure your profile picture (as tiny as it is) has a clear image of you or your logo? You’re given an area for a mini biography–make the most of it! Add in your phone number, your coverage areas, and a little bit about yourself so it’s more personal! Lastly, don’t forget to add your website! This can help drive traffic to your listings!
The most important part about Thanksgiving is giving thanks, the same goes with Instagram. When your followers comment on images, comment back! If someone asks a question, be sure to answer it in a timely manner. When you hit milestones in the number of followers you have, create a special post just for that. And finally, be sure to thank your fans for engaging with your content!
Instagram can be a powerful tool in your marketing strategy and a great way to connect with millennial buyers. So start slow and build your confidence up! As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact your friendly Social Media Account Manager at 866-23-0313 so we can talk about how you can get social with Homes.com too! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!