Instagram is one of the best social media platforms for Real Estate Investors to use if you want to build an audience. Today I’m going to go over some of the reasons that make Instagram such a strong player among the social media platforms. If you’ve never used Instagram, this is going to be a great primer for you.
Facebook’s Platform VS Instagram’s Platform
There are big differences between these two platforms. The most outstanding difference to me is how much they differ when it comes to sharing your content, and fostering an engaging environment.
Most investors start out on Facebook because it’s a popular platform for connecting with friends and family. Because of that, you may already be very familiar with how Facebook works and how to use it. When you set up your business you’ll need to set up a social media account to help you establish credibility. It’s going to be natural for you to gravitate to Facebook and begin posting on that platform in hopes of attracting motivated sellers.
The content you share on Facebook is actually not sent out to everybody who follows and likes your page. In fact, Facebook shows your content to about 1% (sometimes less) of your followers. This is very important to know and understand because if you’re depending on Facebook to grow a massive audience, you are going to be disappointed. Facebook is a pay-to-play business, which really means in order to show your content to more people, Facebook wants you to boost your posts and invest in their advertising platform.
Facebook is incredibly great for your credibility because consumers are comfortable using Facebook to check up businesses to find out if they’re legitimate and to look at reviews. By all means, you absolutely need to have a Facebook business page. The most important takeaway here is you don’t want to rely on your Facebook Business Page for a ton of engagement and you also should not be too disappointed if you don’t end up building a massive following — it’s hard to do without paying for it.
The most important thing to note is that Instagram shows 100% of your content to all of your followers. Of course, they may have to scroll past all the other posts in their feed, but they will see everything you’ve posted eventually. Anytime you post on Instagram, it’s going to be visible.
Another great thing about Instagram, besides the fact that all your posts are shown, is that the content is actually very easily consumed on your account page. What I love is that your account page acts as an index of content. So if you go to an Instagram account page, you’ll see the images of all of the posts that you’ve ever put up. So as long as those images or the words on the post are engaging, people will click on them to read the caption on that post. This makes it very easy for someone to look at your account and quickly know if you are putting out information they find valuable and allows them to immediately select the posts that resonate with them the most.
This is an incredibly powerful feature because you may have many great posts to educate your potential motivated sellers, agents, contractors and others, but if they’re not able to see that content without scrolling through your account feed then likely those posts won’t be seen. Now, hashtags are a definite benefit. They help your audience find you.
Hashtags: Get Found in Your Real Estate Market
Use Hashtags on your Instagram posts to help you get found by your local market.
If your posts have a hashtag that matches what a user types in, then it’s very likely that your post or posts will come up. The most incredible thing about hashtags is their ability to help you localize your market. I talk about localizing yourself a lot inside my posts. You need to be hyper-local in your market. Real estate is all about location.
Building Credibility on Instagram
Instagram is outstanding for building credibility, even more so than Facebook because of that “open platform” concept. Whether they’re your friend or not, and whether they follow your page or not. As long as you’re putting in a hashtag and your posts come up your content can be seen by anyone.
Instagram has a very sizeable market share with 133.8 million US users.
So the likelihood of you being able to find thousands of users on Instagram in your local market is very, very good. As long as you’re using the right hashtags and you’re creating engaging post content.
Instagram’s Five Native Publishing Tools
People like to consume their information in different ways. Instagram gives five different publishing tools to help you serve up video and static images to your audience.
1. Standard Post
Instagram’s post size is 1080×1080 pixels. It’s a square format, and you can actually post videos or photos within that format.
2. Carousel Post
I really like carousel posts because they’re not any harder to do than a regular photo post. You won’t be able to post videos inside a carousel, just static images.
What makes Carousels powerful is that Instagram will show the first image to people in their feed. If they don’t actually view the other images in the carousel, then Instagram will show the next image. Again, if they don’t engage with the carousel, Instagram will serve up the third image next time that person is cruising around on Instagram.
This gives you multiple opportunities to engage and get in front of your audience using basically what amounts to be a single post. You can use Facebook’s business tools to create and schedule these posts.
Reels is a format for videos between 15 and 60 seconds long. Reels are the shiny new toy right now for Instagram. One thing to note is that every time Instagram puts out a new tool, they favor it. They really want people to adopt and engage with the new tools they build. Many people are using Reels very successfully to grow their audience. The Instagram algorithm is still favoring Reels over other post types, but some users are reporting diminished results. While the Reels fever may be cooling, it is still a great tool for creating engaging content that will be pushed further by the algorithm than a static post.
4. IG TV
IG TV is purely for video publishing. It’s best used for long-form video, you can do up to an hour. Another way to leverage IG TV is to use for posting teaser videos to the full-length videos you may have on YouTube.
Stories can be photos or videos. Videos can only be 15 seconds.
Stories have a lot of features that make them fun and engaging. If you are able, posting a new story daily is a good way to build up your audience. Stories are only visible for 24 hours unless you save them to your featured items.
Leveraging Your Content
Because people like to consume content in many different ways, it’s important to vary the way that you’re publishing content to make sure you’re catering to the way people like to get their information. This will help your content get seen by the widest audience possible.
Luckily, Instagram makes it easy to publish one piece of content in many different formats. For example, you could make a post, then create a Reel out of it, and then share that Reel as a Story.
Using Instagram in Your Real Estate Investing Business
Adding Instagram to your marketing efforts has the potential to put your business in front of thousands of new sellers in your market. The best part? You can use the same posts you’re already creating for Facebook. With the ability to target locally, and the flexibility of five publishing tools, Instagram is a powerful marketing tool to add to your arsenal.
Listen to the Livestream
This post was adapted from the Livestream I produce weekly. If you’re interested in finding out more about how to get started with Instagram, check out the recorded Livestream, “Demystifying Instagram” inside our Facebook Group! I dive into ways to create a powerful bio as well as expand on the ideas in this post.