Instagram and your hyper-local digital footprint.

Title Insurance with First American Title

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.

Mt Rainier from SR167 in Sumner, WA.

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.

Sometimes all you need is a billion dollars!

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.

Chicken Enchaladas, Mazatlan, Puyallup.

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:


Posted by

René Fabre

"Where there's conversation, there's opportunity."

Please Note - The views expressed herein reflect only the individual’s personal views and are not the views of the author’s employer.

The Blackberry Chronicles, a blog by Rene Fabre and his travels around the Greater Pacific Northwest and beyond. Connect w/ Rene Fabre on Google+. Rene Fabre on Twitter. Rene Fabre writes reviews on Yelp. Rene Fabre on The Audiorium YouTube Channel by Rene Fabre. Rene Fabre loves digital photography and here are his shares on Flickr. Rene Fabre is a musician and composer and shares some of his orginal music and recordings on Soundcloud. Rene Fabre shares his interests on Pinterest.

Comments (55)

Mick Michaud
Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107 - Granbury, TX
Your Texas Lifestyle is Here!

Thanks Rene for this overview and insight on using Instagram. 

Feb 21, 2017 07:34 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Rene Fabre - interesting use of Instagram - just joined and learning from others. This will surely help me be more active on Instagram.

Feb 21, 2017 08:23 PM
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Thanks Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi ... The hyper-local hashtags make it easy for Google to index... Also helps to have the link to your Instagram account in your Google + Profile (in the links sections)... 

Feb 22, 2017 11:50 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi

Appreciate the tips and insight, Rene Fabre ... I've still got lots ot know and learn ...


Feb 23, 2017 01:34 PM
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Hi Lisa Hicks !! Thanks!

Feb 22, 2017 12:01 PM
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Hi Sam Shueh ... I haven't had direct leads from Instagram. Yet, especially locals have followed my link in my profile, checked me out, and follow me on other platforms including AR... Most important to me is local businesses are seeking me out and now we're developing relationships... Thanks for your comments!

Feb 22, 2017 12:04 PM
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Hi Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, CRS ...  Using Instagram I focus on my surroundings as content. I always consider Google when I post, hence the geo driven hashtags. Thanks!

Feb 22, 2017 12:06 PM
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

You bet Mick Michaud !! 

Feb 22, 2017 12:11 PM
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Hi Praful Thakkar ...  It's an adventure! Have fun!

Feb 22, 2017 12:12 PM
Kevin Vitali
EXIT Realty Beatrice Associates - Middleton, MA
Helping Massachusetts Home Buyers and Home Sellers

Thanks for sharing Rene Fabre I have yet to jump into the instagram arena.... but have been thinking it is time.

Feb 23, 2017 03:33 PM
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

My great neice got me to join the instagram world but I have in no way mastered it... this is great information!  thank you!

Feb 23, 2017 10:55 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Rene how did I miss this awesome post, just on a side note I am here due to a re-blog from our friend Debra Leisek   on a side note loved the cup about the $1 billion... when you get yours there is a 157 acre parcel of land in the coveted 90210 zip code and that is the asking price:))Endre

Feb 23, 2017 11:05 PM
Christopher Pagli
William Raveis Legends Realty Group - Tarrytown, NY
"I Stay Open Until You Close"

Using Instagram for business is becoming more and more important as they roll-out business features.  It is projected that 70.7% of brands will be on Instagram this year, up from almost half the previous year!  Research shows that 50% of Instagram users follow brands and 75% act on offer.  Instagram as a platform isn't difficult to navigate, the strategy is the hard part.  I recommend researching hashtags relevant to your industry and using a mix of popular, not-so-popular, and creating your own.  I could go on and on, that's why I offer social media workshops ;o)

Feb 24, 2017 03:57 AM
Rene Fabre

Ditto! Thanks! Me too!

Feb 25, 2017 10:40 AM
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

I have wanted to be more active on Instagram for a long time.  Whatever social media I use, though, the hashtags bedevil me.  I like the idea of paying attention to the "cool kids," -- if I could just find them!

Feb 24, 2017 10:35 AM
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Hi Kevin Vitali ... I happen to have a passion for iphoneography so once I showed up on Instagram and took a look around, it was a no brainer for me. But it took me a while to figure out how I'd adopt it into a marketing strategy. Thanks!

Feb 25, 2017 10:29 AM
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Hi Debra Leisek ... I can totally relate! :O)

Feb 25, 2017 10:30 AM
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

And when I get that $1 billion Endre Barath, Jr. I'll fly down and we'll take a look at that 157 acres! Or at least Happy Hour and Dinner is on me! :O)

Feb 25, 2017 10:37 AM
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Hi Margaret Goss ... I think the hashtag thingy is one of the things I love about Instagram... There use is so tranparent and right up front. So many wonderful photographers in the world! 

Feb 25, 2017 10:43 AM
sarvs vsashsishta
fightclub - Arden, DE

It would be so so good if we ever have the hack instagram tool.

Sep 08, 2017 09:16 PM
John Mosier
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142

Thanks for your post, Rene Fabre  I went to your instagram profile and admired your pictures and posts there. I need to get my Instagram account set up so I can like your pictures.

I really need to do Instagram in order to promote my listings in a remote area. 

Sep 11, 2017 10:57 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Great post! With over 700 million active monthly users and over 4 billion likes per day, if you have a  business, it is important to share your brand on the IG  platform. 

Apr 23, 2019 12:16 PM

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