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First, there was MySpace.
Facebook destroyed MySpace.
Then there was Instagram.
Facebook didn’t want to get “MySpaced” and bought the 18-month-old social media platform for $1B.
It was a wise move, as Instagram has become a major social media platform. Most of your buyers and sellers are probably using today.
Just like businesses eventually moved to Facebook and YouTube, so are they wisely moving to Instagram.
If you are a millennial (or your target audience is) and have a passion for great photos, graphics, video, and personality, Instagram might be worthy of your consideration as a lead generation tool for your real estate business.
Here’s what to weigh before deciding on Instagram as your lead generation strategy of choice.
Below is a how-to video getting into the weeds of actually setting up your account from Santrel Media, a digital marketing agency in Philadelphia. Their channel includes a lot of industry-agnostic digital marketing tips and is worth checking out.
If you already have a personal Instagram profile, you can switch that one easily into a business profile (though you may or may not want to).
Next you’ll want to optimize your account.
Now you’re ready to post photos or videos and get in front of your target audience!
Instagram has great analytics to track your audience. Below is a Hootsuite video explaining how to get the most of your Instagram analytics.
You should be setting SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely). Therefore, what are the specific and measurable results you should be looking for, or key performance indicators?
Follower count on Instagram is a poor KPI. In fact, there are numerous ways to juice your follower count quite easily on Instagram (especially if you are willing to pay).
Instead, you should try to grow your Instagram following naturally and authentically.
Instead, the engagement rate is probably your best indicator of whether you are posting meaningful content. That is the number of interactions on a post divided by your total follower count.
Instagram’s average engagement rate is about 3% (which is much higher than other platforms like Twitter or Facebook).
Seth O’Byrne is a luxury agent in San Diego who moonlights as an HGTV star. His social media game is on point, his Instagram not excepted.
Paige has a successful and active Instagram following. She’s been invited to podcasts like Keeping it Real (below) to talk about her Instagram and marketing techniques and tactics.
Joyce Rey is a luxury agent who had done a few billion in transaction volume and has an equally modest Instagram follower count of just 81,000. Have you not heard of her? Well, maybe you should check out her Wikipedia page. Needless to say, she is a great one to follow for a few tips and tricks.
Ok, so Chad has some help being part of a Bravo TV show that would be tough for most agents to duplicate, but Instagram is still where the bulk of his social media activity and interaction seems to live.
Robert’s Instagram feed is just a giant stock gallery of beautiful vintage homes. This is an example of the kind of quality and interest you must bring to your photos to make them stand out and earn followers based on your visual appeal.
McKenzie Ryan has taken Instagram and gone all-in on becoming an influencer herself. In fact, the photo her is a sponsored photo with Jeep! Her content is all about her and her brand.
Loida has everything you would want in a real estate Instagram. There are houses, her, and happy clients. She is a budding entrepreneur who works with Bryan Casella.
Most Instagram gurus recommend 5-10 hashtags per post at most, though I see a lot of agents with a lot more tags than that. A lot of the hashtags look like throwing spaghetti against the wall.
Your photo captions are not searchable, but hashtags are. Including at least a few is the best way to get found when users look up topics in the search bar.
Consider using a branded hashtag specific to you, e.g. #TeamBC (Bryan Casella’s Team). Being a local influencer, focus on local hashtags that will catch the attention of your target buying or selling audience.
Don’t use irrelevant hashtags. Hashtag spamming can reportedly get your account “shadow-banned” where you are posting but no one is seeing your content. In fact, there is a list of “banned” hashtags that have been used to spam the Instagram ecosystem and could draw unwanted attention to your account. The list includes surprising hashtags like “#Beyonce” or “#TGIF”. Keep your hashtags germane to your content.
Remember, here at Hooquest, I believe in spending as little money as possible. I don’t recommend purchasing coaching, training, or advertising until your business is already working. Especially with Instagram, there is enough free content to get started first and see if this lead generation strategy is right for you before you sink money into it.
The following are some podcast episodes featuring Realtors talking about their Instagram tips and tricks in our industry.
Gogo Bethke is a successful Instagram user with over 43,000 Instagram followers as of this writing.
She sells a training program that covers not only Instagram but social media as a whole and building your personal brand.
Adobe Spark is the little brother to Photoshop. It allows you to create social graphics, web stories, and even videos. It has both a desktop and app versions called Spark Post, Spark Page, and Spark Video.
FREE+. Buffer is an easy DIY way to schedule posts across all the major social media platforms. A starter account is free. Consider Buffer if you want to be more hands-on and curate content yourself, and just an easy way to synchronize it across several platforms.
FREE+/mo. Hootsuite is similar to Buffer as a DIY multi-channel scheduling system, but with more reporting features. It’s a little more complex but a powerful and customizable way to populate all your social media channels in a single place. Consider Hootsuite if you are a team or are a more sophisticated social media master.
$99+/mo. Sprout Social is a powerful dashboard with great analytics, including a smart-scheduler. It even includes a CRM feature for managing and engaging your social network. Consider Sprout Social if you have the budget for an all-in-one DIY platform that is both easy-to-use and comprehensive.
Last but hardly least is the omnipresent Canva, the quintessential social graphics editing tool. It also has a mobile app and is perfect for sprucing up your Instagram game.
“You only get one link; make it count”.
That is the motto of Linktree.
Indeed, you only get one link in Instagram. You can send people to your website. Or you can send them to a custom Linktree landing page.
Here you can put all the relevant links you think potential clients need to see, including your website, other social media sites, and even affiliate links.
If you are an enterprise looking for a managed social media presence, there are social media management companies that can take this all off your plate.
That can be especially tricky with Instagram, a platform that rewards authenticity and engagement, but we’ve seen already several that succeed just with truly beautiful and stunning pictures. Below are a few industry-agnostic companies who can manage social media for you.
Instagram is still the “newbie” among the social media platforms, and yet already the second largest. It is a natural ecosystem to build a real estate business if you are a high I on the DISC profile, have a passion for life, your community, for beauty, and, possibly, being the center of attention