Estate agents struggle with Instagram even more than they do with Facebook, which is really saying something! In general, social media is a tool that estate agents would clearly like to adopt, but aren’t sure how to use. Fortunately, the presence of so many bad pages makes it easier for your good one to stand out.
Instagram is basically just a picture gallery. It’s not really where people go for news, or to read detailed information; they just want to look at nice pictures. So the easiest thing to do is give them exactly that. And if it doesn’t look great, don’t post it.
Here are seven suggestions to help you make the most of your Instagram page.
Rule number one: don’t use Instagram simply to advertise property or tell everyone how great you are. The key word here is ‘social’. So post nice pictures with an interesting, useful or snappy comment.
Rule number two: avoid posts with links to blogs or news articles. There are no active links on Instagram posts so it’s a bit of a pointless effort – that’s what Facebook is for! Work with what Instagram is, not what it isn’t.
Rule number three: post quotes, memes or quick tips, but make sure they look pretty. Stick to subjects like home, moving and property. To give them a bit of pizazz, use an online quote maker: I like behappy.me. Adopt a consistent style for extra-savvy professionalism.
Rule number four: raid your back catalogue of listings for great images. Throw back Thursdays (#tbt) are the perfect medium but you don’t have to limit it to Thursdays. Think of interesting hashtags for other days, months, seasons, holidays… Use your Instagram page to illuminate your audience about the type of property in the neighbourhood.
Rule number five: know what a hashtag is. Did you notice I slipped one in? A hashtag is simply a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#) to help users identify posts on a specific topic. There are obvious ones like #property and #homes but they are hugely used and you might get lost in the crowd. Experiment. Get a bit more specific on location or topic. Use your postcode, your town, the style of home, the type of room. Have a play. You can have loads, so don’t limit yourself. Just keep them relevant and don’t lead people up the garden path with misleading hashtags.
Rule number six: post images of your neighbourhood. Parks, the town centre, attractive streets to live in, hidden paths, eye-catching views… Maybe you’ve got some great civic architecture – a cool modern library, a beautiful old town hall, whatever. Think of it as a holiday brochure for your patch. Take a bit of care with the photos – the better they look, the more engagement you’ll get.
Rule number seven: post pics of your team doing the do. On viewings, on valuations, taking pictures, measuring up, writing details, talking to customers in the office, phoning out a property…. Practice a bit with angles and lighting to make sure the photos – and your team – look great.
Finally, keep at it! Social media is a slow burner but, with a consistent effort and interesting imagery, you’ll be delighted at the sort of engagement you can create within your neighbourhood and the subsequent benefits to your business.
So keep it useful, social and beautiful. But most of all, have fun!