Why use Instagram to help Market & Sell Property:
I would suggest that many estate agents would agree that a photo is one of the most powerful tools when it comes to marketing a property, especially online. A picture can paint a thousand words as we all know and even though the rise of video online is a trend showing no slowdown, images still lead the way online and act as one of the best attention grabbers. With all this positive about images / photos / pictures then it surely must be worth the time of any estate agency to explore Instagram which is a photo sharing social media platform that has over 400 million users worldwide (approx 15 million in the UK).
Of course, we start off by mentioning a photo and then we must proceed to discuss the quality of that photo and I know that recently House Network carried out a small survey re should we enhance photos or leave them as original with preference being towards keeping them as they are… But we must make sure that when we use Instagram and any other social media platform for that matter, that our images are:
- Of good quality both in what the image holds and also the size so it is clear and sharp.
- That it captures an important message or an important moment. We will compensate on quality of the image if it contains something amazing, ie you have spotted a unicorn in your back garden, but remember that those old images capturing yeti’s or UFO’s were always nearly all blurred or shaky which makes us nowadays disbelieve them – You want people to believe in your images!
- That any which you share you actually own and ideally you or your team took with their own camera. Sharing someone else images may sound innocent, but there are penalties to pay if, even if you accidently share an image that isn’t yours. getty images are one of the few companies out there that target businesses and fines them heavily for anyone using their images, no mercy sparred – read more here.
What is great about social media and of course Instagram, is that it is very likely that anything you share on them will be seen, though of course to get quality viewers to the photos you post you need to think about some do’s and do not’s:
- Do not buy followers that are offered cheaply all over the internet and instead can be found by way of spam accounts on instagram. These will not add value to your business. It is far better to have less numbers following if they are quality over having millions of followers is they are all dummy accounts.
- Do create a professional looking profile, ideally with a username as close to your business name as possible. Describe your account well and use the URL link to display your estate agency website.
- Do take time to see what other estate agents are doing on instagram and take notes on both good ideas and those which are bad. Use what you see as good ideas to get your account underway and sharing great content.
- Do use hashtags on Instagram and these are highly popular and many people use them to search through topics of interest. If you are listing a property and it is a photo of the garden, then think of listing hashtags for the location of the property, the type of plants the garden holds, has it a #swimmingpool #greenhouse or has it #planningpermission for #newbuild etc… Hopefully you get the picture!
- Do not simply post property for sale as followers, if you gain any, will switch off as no one really like advertising thrown at them… mix it up, think of the 80 educational / entertaining content and only 20% sales.
- Do know who your audience is and what type of people are using Instagram. It is reported that 90% of Instagram users are 35 and younger so what does this audience appreciate with photos? How can you entertain them and pull them over to your account and engaging with your photos.
- Do not go mad on hashtags, use them in your descriptions and only for the real keywords #rather #than #use #them #for nearly #every #word.
- Do look to enhance your photos with the filter options that Instagram gives you, once you get a feel for the likes of ‘warmth’ or ‘contrast’ then you will get a style of photo which you feel showcases your photos in the best possible way.
- Do not forget that you can ad short videos too so look in to mini video tours of properties to showcase your latest and best listings.
- Do study your followers. You will find that some engage better with certain photos over others. Use the tag people feature to include your followers in some photos which you think they will appreciate – Though do list only on rare occasions when you have that really special photo.
- Do not forget to let people know you are on Instagram. Many people only place the Twitter and Facebook icons on their website, make sure if you use Instagram include that on your website too.
- Do respond to comments and take time to engage with the photos that your followers share also to show them you are active and you may even find you actually do like some photos that other people have taken. I suggest you search on Instagram a topic, person, location etc that you really like and view the many results you will see and start liking the photos and if needed, comment also.
- Do not be robotic. Ie do not just comment on all and any photos to try and get people to notice you, they may find this irritating.
- Do not, though this is a person preference, post images with text on or say flyers. If you do then keep it very minimal. Though this may work for some types of businesses, ie night clubs sharing flyers on two for one drinks evening etc, people go to Instagram to view lovely images – Give them what they want!
- Do think about using Social Media Management Software to automate posts on to Instagram. So that you have an account which has regular content shared, especially if you are very busy, schedule images to go out at regular intervals – This will show people that you update regular and are worth a follow.
We carried out a 4 hour survey on Twitter to get an idea of usage of Instagram within Estate Agency, here are the results on the 28 votes which showed that most say they do not currently use Instagram – An opportunity to get leads and brand awareness for Estate Agents that do then!