Marketing

Social Media Strategy: Instagram

July 11, 2018

To continue our conversation about social media strategy, we will move on to talking about the millennial stronghold… Instagram!

Who Is On Instagram?

I referred to Instagram previously as a millenial stronghold for a reason. About 60 percent of 18-29 year olds are on Instagram according to Sprout Social. 60 percent. That’s a big deal, meaning how you engage your audience on this platform can really affect how you reach the generation of new and upcoming homebuyers. Instagram engagement decreases as we look at increasing age groups, with only 8 percent of 65+ year olds on Instagram. There are slightly more women than men on Instagram and urban users are the majority, followed by suburban then rural users.


Perks Of An Instagram Business Account

Yes, just like Facebook, Instagram also has the option of having a “Business Account.”  According to Sprout Social, 80 percent of Instagram users follow a business account. You can set it up through your Facebook business account if you do not have an already existing Instagram account. Because Facebook acquired Instagram, there are a number of features that are the same. So if you can master the features of one platform, you can master the other pretty easily. Just like Facebook, there are also a number of features that go along with an Instagram business account that you are going to want.

  • Contact Button: Much like Facebook, having an Instagram business profile allows you to create a contact button that will appear next to your “Follow” button which will give users a direct way to contact you, whether that be by email or phone number.
  • Insights: This works virtually the same way that Facebook Insights works. You can use this feature to see who is following and liking your posts, the demographics of those followers and likers, and which kinds of posts and times of posting resonate best with your audience.
  • Promote: The “Promote” feature is a new one. You can take an already existing post, you should likely choose one of your best performing ones, and then you can add a button for people to take action. That can be a “Call Now” button that is linked directly to your phone number or it could be a “View Now” button that is linked directly to the website featuring your latest listing.


Anatomy of Your Page:

Because your instagram profile gives your followers a comprehensive way to view your brand (you), it is a good idea to be mindful of the overall look of your page.

  • Your Profile Picture: If your Facebook profile picture is important, then your Instagram profile picture is very important. It will just be a small picture that people cannot click on to enlarge, so it needs to be a clear and close up picture of your face.
  • Bio: Your bio should be short and to the point. Something like “Atlanta Realtor with extensive experience in the Brookhaven area” so that visitors to your page can quickly identify who you are and what you’re about. If you have a website, it would also be good to put that link in your bio.
  • Overall Look: If you want to go above and beyond and you care about your aesthetic, you can coordinate your content. Since visitors to your page can look at your content comprehensively, it is not a bad idea to have a cohesive feel to your Instagram page. This is where having an Instagram strategy would be very helpful. By this I mean knowing what kinds of content you want to post in advance so your page does not end up being a modge podge of pictures that have no cohesiveness.


Instagram With Purpose

Just like you don’t want to post things just for the sake of posting, you don’t want to join Instagram just for the sake of joining. You should have some goals to accomplish in joining the platform. Instagram should always be used as a means to an end. Think of big picture goals you have, and then think of how Instagram can help you accomplish those goals. Do you want more brand awareness? Great! Instagram is perfect for that! Do you want to be more aware of happenings in Atlanta? Plenty of in-the-know Atlantans are on Instagram!


Understanding Instagram’s Algorithm

The word “algorithm” is a scary one but this explanation will be quick and painless- I promise. Here’s what you need to know: Instagram posts used to appear chronologically and now they don’t. So what happens? Who sees your posts is all about who is engaging with your posts. So if someone follows your account but never likes or comments on your pictures and never views your stories, it is likely that your posts will no longer appear on their feed or will exist very far down on their feed. Because of this new algorithm, it is so important to have engaging content. Post photos and pose questions in the captions to get comments. Put polls on your stories. Pay attention to Insights so that you know what kinds of content are most engaging for your followers. Pay attention to the next section of this blog post.


Posting Well

Like I said, NEVER post just for the sake of posting. Post regularly, a few times a week is great, and always with purpose. However, I wouldn’t recommend posting multiple times a day (when I say “posting here, I am specifically referring to “Posts”). Post while keeping in mind the big picture goals that you are using Instagram to accomplish. Post while keeping in mind the importance of engagement. If your goal is to engage more with your community, posting user generated content is a great idea. For example, if one of your clients posts with their newly purchased home, repost that to your own page! Celebrate your clients and engage well with them!

Stories can be posted more regularly than posts, since they disappear after 24 hours, but do not spam your followers with endless stories that have no point. You will end up losing more followers than you gain and people will stop clicking on your stories if they are too long.


Types of Content

Like Facebook, Instagram also has a number of different kinds of content that you can post to the platform that will each help you to accomplish different goals and help you set yourself apart.

  • Posts: This is the main medium of communication for Instagram. Where you could get away with not posting a story for a while, you need to keep up a consistent stream of posts. Posts are good for longer and higher quality content. If you have great insight on up and coming neighborhoods or new developments in popular neighborhoods, it would be great to make a post about. Posts are permanent and will exist on your profile indefinitely unless you delete them.
  • Stories: Much like Facebook stories, Instagram Stories are great for reminding followers about events like open houses. Instagram Stories disappear in 24 hours, so they are only good for posting about current happenings. Stories are also really a place to have fun. There are multiple features like stickers and GIFs that you can add to your story to make it more eye catching for the users who are quickly clicking through stories.
  • Instagram Live: This works the same way that Facebook Live works, so if you master that then you will also be able to master this with no problem! Use Instagram Live to engage your Insta audience in real time! Instagram Live is a great way to get personal with your followers. You can either use this as an outlet for your extensive expertise in all things real estate or you can use this to have a Q&A in order to connect with your audience in a new way.


Other Engaging Features

  • Hashtags: No, this feature is not exclusive to Instagram, but it is very important on Instagram as users can follow hashtags. So if all of your posts about listings have the hashtag “#AtlantaHomes” then you could appear on the feed of a new homebuyer who is constantly seeking the latest listings and great neighborhoods around Atlanta.
  • Polls: As much as people love to be given insight, they love even more to give their own insight. The Instagram Polls feature, which is can be added exclusively to Instagram Stories, allows you to create a poll in which you pose a question and your followers answer. You can then view the results and see which followers picked which answer. This is a great feature as it helps followers to feel more invested in you and your endeavors.
  • Questions: Most recently, Instagram added a feature in which you can either ask or answer questions in your story. It works the same way that you add a poll to your story. This goes a step beyond polls in encouraging engagement among your followers because it actually lets your followers direct the conversation. Like Instagram Live, this is a great feature to do a Q&A either about your expertise or just about yourself.

The Instagram Business Website

No joke this is one of THE best things about Instagram. They have a whole website and blog dedicated to helping you set up and manage your business account well (we have covered some of the information in this blog). There are also creative tips for posts and stories as well as information about the latest features and developments on Instagram. You can visit the website here to start your extensive education of all things Instagram.


After this long post, let’s do a quick recap to make sure you got all the important stuff!

  • If you want to engage millennials, you have to be on Instagram.
  • An Instagram Business account has perks that are essential for you to do well on the platform.
  • Profile pictures on Instagram are tiny. Yours should be a clear, up close picture of your face.
  • Have Instagram goals.
  • Once you have goals, post with purpose.
  • Engage with your followers or get left behind!
  • Take advantage of all of the creative features on Instagram that can show off your own personal flair.
  • Utilize the Instagram Business Blog.

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