I really enjoy Instagram. It’s one of my favorite platforms. To me it’s a daily digital lifestyle photo magazine and I get to be one of the photographers!
Instagram is a community that loves to share photos of location, lifestyle, and community. Sound familiar? These are the 3 oldest axioms of real estate.
One key thing that changed the playing field here for me was the adoption of the platform by local small businesses. They use it to grow their brand awareness, tell their story, and to share their products and services.
Why are small businesses here?
1. Because they don’t have a big marketing or advertising budget. They do it themselves.
2. They want to be discovered and make you aware they’re in the local community.
3. By telling their story they grow their brand awareness and their following.
4. And of course, ultimately, they'd love to earn your business.
This is opportunity!.. Unlike many platforms Instagram is mostly light hearted, fun, creative, takes little time, and there's no big upfront agenda. It’s a continuous stream of emotional touches.
From a real estate marketing point of view Instagram is a great place to:
1. Showcase your community and what makes it interesting and special.
2. Demonstrate your connection to and your expertise of the community.
3. Get your photos in the search engine index.
4. Create an onramp to your blog or website.
5. Create a collection of images that tell your story.
Around these parts you can never take too many pictures of “The Mountain”... Mt. Rainier that is!
Note: My use of hashtags here is a little bit of an advertisement (#mobilecomcamp #socialmedia #firstampierce etc.) but most denote location. The goal here was to get indexed by topic and location in Sumner, Washington.
A favorite breakfast place of mine is Maggie’s on Meeker in old downtown Kent, Washington. I’m a regular and try to give them a shout out when I’m here to share the local love. My stops here (often with foodie pics) have helped me to grow my local spheres.
Never you mind what some people say about food photos! They rock when it comes to getting eyeballs. Did you know images of food hold our attention longer than any other image online? Again, notice the hashtags are about location, topic, and a few subtle hints as to what the ocassion is about.
Also note that at the top I’ve called out the locations for each post. I’m thinking funnel. On all three photos you’ll see the hashtags #pnw #pnwlife etc... These denote the Pacific Northwest (location and lifestyle) and are intended for those looking around my region. Also, I always include the city and try to get an exact location or the neighborhood for those looking for a store, restaurant, park, the library, etc.
I study the cool kids here and have adopted their way of using hashtags. Notice I give a brief description then add a few spaces using two periods then block style my hashtags at the bottom. I don’t use as many hashtags as some of the kids do, but I noticed since I’m doing it this way my audience is growing more rapidly.
This kinda just scratches the surface, but hopefully gives you some ideas. As a real estate professional, if you’re here on Instagram, give those hashtags some thought and remember when people look for homes to buy they’re looking at neighborhoods, local entertainment, and area amenities. My simple strategy is (again like a funnel) to hashtag area (large) city (smaller) neighborhood (smaller smaller) if not the exact location.
I do suggest that if you're using Instagram to market a listing you don't over do it. That's not why people are here. And, I wouldn't use or hashtag the property address. Hashtag the neighborhood, it has a shelf life of forever and will serve you better.
Being on Instagram isn’t an exact SEO science, but I’ve noticed my efforts here have helped my overall visibility in the community and I see my photos turning up in all kinds of searches by location. Remember, these photos are directly linked to you.
You'll find me on Instagram at: Instagram.com/renefabre