If you use Instagram to market your real estate business, then you’re probably already familiar with recent changes made to the app. Earlier this year, the photo- and video-sharing social platform changed its algorithm and, in the process, made a lot of Instagrammers very unhappy.
Why? Because the update meant that users would “see the moments you care about first.” Translation: the more likes and comments a post receives, the more people it will be shown to.
Conversely, the less likes and comments it receives, the less people will see it. That can be worrisome for anyone trying to market a business; who knows if your followers will scroll enough to see the photos and videos you post?
To avoid falling victim to the new Instagram algorithm, you’ll need to ‘Gram strategically in order to boost engagement and make sure your content gets noticed.
Here are five tips to ensure your Instagram posts are at the tops of feeds — and minds.
1. Review Past Hits and Misses
Take a look at your Instagram profile and take note of the posts that attracted the most views, likes and comments, and the ones that received very little action. Look for the commonalities — day posted, time of day, subject matter, length of caption, number of hashtags, etcetera — and make note of what seems to work. Let these be guiding principles for future posts.
2. Be Consistent
You can’t drive engagement without offering content to engage with. You need to post frequently and consistently, in order for your material to get noticed and for Instagram to take notice, and place it higher in your followers’ feeds.
Word of warning: “frequently and consistently” could mean once, maybe twice, a day. Avoid “bleeding the feed” — posting back to back to back — at all costs. You’ll annoy (and lose) your followers.
3. Define Your Account
The less wishy-washy you are with your messaging, the better.
Does your business target first-time homebuyers in San Diego? Then so should your Instagram account. Use your handle, your profile’s bio and your daily posts to speak directly to your target audience. That way, when they land on your profile, they know exactly what you’re offering and whether you’re for them (or not).
Quality followers that are likely to become clients are much more valuable than a ton of unengaged followers who aren’t interested in real estate.
4. Engage With Others
Cheesy as it sounds, you need to “give back” to the community. Like and comment on other users’ posts — especially those in your target audience. Find new Instagrammers to follow by searching for relevant hashtags to your account’s focus. Share content with your friends through direct messaging or mentions (by commenting with @ and their username).
5. Use Video and Instagram Stories
Static photos are so 2014. If you’re not doing so already, mix your feed up by posting video content (Instagram allows for videos between three seconds and one minute long).
And experiment with the Instagram Stories feature. Similar to Snapchat, Instagram Stories allows you to post multiple photos and videos that then get published in a slideshow format, then disappear after 24 hours. The intention is for users to be more off-the-cuff, and share casually. Read: show your personality so that potential clients can get a feel for who you are.
5. Above All, Post Great Content
None of the above tips matter if you’re posting mediocre (or worse!) content. Pause before your post and ask yourself: “Will someone who’s not my mom, my best friend, or my partner find this photo or video interesting?”
With the number of photo editors on the market (we recommend Afterlight and VSCO), there are few excuses for a too dark, poorly framed photo. Make sure the photo is well-lit, with balanced colours and proper framing. Proofread your captions. When you add hashtags, do so in the first comment. This keeps your caption tidy and readable.
And if you’re not following myRealPage already, join us in the Instagram world at @myRealPagecom. What’s your handle?