With a billion users, half of them checking their accounts daily, Instagram has grown into one of the world’s most influential social platforms.
In general, estate agents haven’t fully-embraced Instagram, yet the popularity of this photo and video sharing app, shouldn’t be ignored – particularly if you want to attract a younger audience. While Facebook’s user profile is ageing – Instagram is an essential part of life for the under-35s. This means it is crucial – not only for lettings, but anyone wanting to tap into the next generation of homebuyers too.
Undoubtedly lockdown saw your business using digital technology to a greater extent than ever before. Now is a good time to capitalise on new ways of working and get to grips with those platforms. So here’s your crash course in Instagram, with ten top tips.
1 Get to know the platform those platforms.
Before you start, get to know your way around Instagram – look at other property accounts and how agents are using ‘the Insta’ to their advantage. You’ll find it’s not just about promoting houses for sale and rent but is full of inspirational ideas – to help your clients stage homes for sale, for example. Make sure you have a business account and that there’s a link to your website in your bio.
Now is a good time to capitalise on new ways of working and get to grips with those platforms.
2 The image is everything
As we’ve said, Instagram is predominantly for sharing photos and videos, so make sure yours are high quality, well composed and inspiring. You don’t want to post every single property that comes on the market – flooding your account with hundreds of listings will be a real turn-off. Only go for the best images, focussing on buildings, interiors, gardens and interesting features. You don’t have to stick at one – carousel posts with a few images are popular too. Just avoid anything blurry, boring or shot in poor light. Think across the platform too; some of the most successful Instagrammers only use images that work well together, so anyone looking at the account sees one stunning portfolio.
3 Hone your hashtags
Hashtags are crucial to helping people find your post. The good news is you can go a bit wild, using more of them than is generally acceptable on Twitter – five to 10 hashtag is good for Instagram. Make sure they are relevant, but go beyond the obvious – #property, #estateagent and the like – to hashtags which will resonate locally and with your audience.
4 Make video your secret weapon
Video is really important on Instagram to bring variety to your feeds and engage people. You’ve probably already been making use of video, during lockdown, for property tours, so keep this going. Conducting an interesting or quirky look around a home can be a good way of attracting views. Think about trying a live event too.
5 Advertise to capitalise
One of the reasons Instagram has become so popular is that its ads are considered less invasive than those on Facebook. Take advantage of this by paying to promote your content in the same way as you would boost a post on Facebook. Choose your strongest images and videos and invest to draw more people in. It will help you get followers and traffic to your website.
6 Have a conversation
As with other forms of social media, always have your audience front of mind and consider how you will engage with them. Don’t just post an image, develop an appealing tone of voice and make sure your captions are interesting, relevant and fun. Ask questions to start conversations and engage with other people’s accounts too.
7 Tell a story
Instagram stories are photos or short videos, which only appear for a day. You can get quite creative with stories, but the real benefit is that they allow viewers to swipe up to your website. This means you can create a story around a property then take people direct to its listing.
8 Commit to posting
Like all social media, you need to be consistent, posting good content regularly enough for people to want to follow you. Think about the times you post too – more people generally view their accounts before 9am and after 5pm.
9 Go behind the scenes
Candid, behind the scenes posts are great for humanising your organisation – people will respond better and remember your agency if they can put faces to names.
10 Location, location
Finally, remember that local audiences are key, so people need to see where you are operating. Use locations tags to help potential customers know you are local.
Nelly Berova is MD of digital marketing specialists, Art Division. Got a question? Go to www.artdivision.co.uk