As Featured in Inman Chicagoland
Remember the days when you had to pay per line or character to most effectively market your listings and business? In the heyday of print advertising, we REALTORS learned how to succinctly create ads that just gave the bare bone basics due to cost (e.g. 3/2, B.O.M., Motv., S.S. Kit., $336k). But the problem is we have brought those habits to Instagram (IG) where you likely stick out like an aggravating, sore thumb.
To grow your network on Instagram (or any social media platform for that matter), be sure to think like a REALTOR but post like a friend. In other words, please put on your consumer hat: if the double-tap worthy posts are funny, sad, thought-provoking, humbling, or eye-candy then you will not win being terse, dry and “salesy”. As a consumer, if you would skip over your own post, then Houston, we have a problem!
Here are 3 ways to grow your reach on Instagram by thinking like a REALTOR but posting like a friend:
When you post about a listing or an upcoming open house, seminar, etc., it cannot be business as usual! As you post, remember the acronym HUTT (Humor, Unique, Thought-provoking, OR Tear-jerking) to ensure the content of your post connects with the human side of the Instagram audience. If it does not capture at least one part of HUTT, then please do your business a favor and go back to the drawing board.
Friends don't let friends not make the most of a widely celebrated holiday. To this point, notice that Sarah Johnston (@adventuresinrealestateyyc) made what could have been a very impersonal open house event on this year's Valentine's Day, instead a fun way for singles to celebrate it along with perusing a listing of hers.
By the way, if you want to make your images for IG snazzy like Sarah, Ripl and Canva are great apps to get out of the doldrums of images that may need some pizazz. It is not about cluttering your photos but about making them double-tap worthy.
Then check out Ryan Griffioen's post - it could have been a stodgy bathroom shot. Instead, he wrote an amusing caption capturing the pain-point of navigating a bathroom sink as a dad with teenage daughters. That connects WHILE also marketing to potential buyers - double bang!
Tag, YOU Are It
Have you ever wished a magical arrow could point certain people on Instagram, like potential clients, to you? That is what tags do for you!
But are you dead-set against getting swept away by Hashtag Mania? Hashtag Mania is what I call it when people add the number sign to any and all random phrase like #IHave3ShowingsTodayAnd1Closing, which has no organic searchable value. Tags are meant to make the search process easier, which Hashtag Mania has perverted. As a result, Hashtag Mania may make you want to disconnect yourself from using hashtags ever. Out with the old, in with the new, right? Wrong!
I know that pop culture has diluted the power of tags by making it cliché - but that is still the best/easiest way to search on IG for now. Skip tags only if you do NOT want to grow your relationships and ultimately business on IG.
Check out my girl Nikki Singh (aka Toronto's Real Estate in Stilettos) below. She tags like crazy and she has clients like crazy!
Tip: When tagging, be sure to use:
1) The areas you are targeting/farming (i.e. #Chicago, #LincolnPark, #GroveParkSubdivision, etc.),
2) Relevant business, organization and people usernames (i.e. #KBHomes/@KBHomes, @JohnWeiland, #YourRealtyFirm/@YourRealtyFirm, #realtor, #homebuying, etc.),
3) And your actual geolocation (just turn on your phone's location settings and select where you are). By using all three types of tags, you will “cover your bases” so that if people are searching for any one of these categories, you will be on their radar.
Ultimately, please remember to put your consumer hat on and think about what people will likely search and use that.
Don’t Steal the Mic
Remember Kanye interrupting Taylor Swift at a music awards ceremony a few years back and stealing the mic. A jerky, anti-social move - who does that? Unfortunately, when we put on our real estate hat on IG, many times we do :-/!
You have two choices:
1) Steal the mic by making an irrelevant comment on someone else's post to ask people to follow you and possibly lose business by irritating prospects,
2) Stay relevant, be social, make friends (instead of being annoyingly "salesy" or anti-social) and you win business!
Check out what Fredick of Million Dollar Listing NY did in the image above. Did he (or possibly his social media assistant) jump on Sarah Johnston's post and try to steal the mic and say watch my show because a new episode airs at this day and time, buy my book, visit my listing, or follow my page? No, he did not become a mic stealer, my friend. He just liked it, which is a critical part of growing your Instagram following (simply letting your desired audience know you are also seeing and enjoying what they are posting - that builds relationships).
Are you investing time just liking and commenting on other people's posts? If not, then that's a deal-killer to making Instagram a successful platform for your business.
In review, just say no to:
- Posting without connecting
- Skipping relevant tags (hash and user)
- Stealing the mic
Over to you! What are you doing to grow your business on Instagram?
I would love to read your triumphs below. Or, give me a shout me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ or at LearnWithLee.Realtor. And, be sure to get a copy of the 5-star rated workbook, Plan to Win, to transform your real estate sales game plan. Here's to your success!