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Instagram 101: How to Successfully Build Your Business in 20 Minutes a Week

August 24 2020

fs instagram 101 20 min weekInstagram. If you have not tried it yet, it is one of the most fun and engaging social media platforms today. It is underutilized by real estate agents and is a great way to grow your business.

The United States is the largest user of Instagram. The current forecast is that by 2023, this photo and video sharing app is projected to reach 126 million active users in the United States alone. There are an estimated 1 billion Instagram monthly active users worldwide.

What Makes Instagram a Driving Force in Today's World?

Instagram launched initially for personal and recreational use and has grown to be a successful social media marketing tool. It is simple and easy to use without all the fuss of other social media apps like Facebook. There are no groups and only one Like button.

Instagram allows you to connect with your audience in a personal way by creating captivating images and videos. It is already a game changer and is only going to become more essential in the days to come.

Using the Top Features of Instagram to Grow Your Real Estate Business

Business or Personal Account on Instagram?

Instagram has both: personal and business accounts. If you are serious about growing your brand, then open a business account. The main reason for having a business account is for the reporting capabilities and analytics. Plus, you can run ads.

Also, once a business account is created, it has a contact button which allows prospective clients to reach you by phone or email and find your location on a map. And, your business Instagram account can be linked to your Facebook Business Page.

If you are interested in posting your personal passions along with your business, then consider using a personal account that reflects both. You just won't have the analytics available to you the same way as the business account does.

Instagram Username

It all begins with your name or "handle" as it is called on Instagram. To make it easy for people to find you, use your first name and last name. If it is already taken, you can use your first name, middle initial and last name. An alternative would be using your tag line (the branding name you use to market yourself) as your handle and using your name on the profile page so people can find you.

Use a Photo That Is Recent and Reflects Who You Are

Forget the arms crossed and formal rigid photos that were a staple of the past. For your profile photo, use a photo in front of a property you love and sold, or with a family. Have a photo that captures who you want people to see you as, so they can relate to you.

No selfies. Get a professional shot done. It is well worth it.

Post WOW Photos of the Homes You Are Selling

Instagram is a visual medium. You have a mere second to have someone pause to look at the photo of the home you are selling. It's all about the angle of the photo. Capture the unique aspects of the rooms of the home that have the highest interest, such as the kitchen, living area, backyard or anything that makes the home stand out. This is where a highly trained photographer can be of great assistance. It will pay off as the sellers, as well as your followers, will love the photos.

Engage with Your Perfect Client and Local Community

Being the best in the real estate business is about finding the perfect client. Everyone in real estate thinks they need to be everything to all people to build a consistent business. Instead, get inside the mind of your perfect client. When you start looking at who is drawn to work with you, many times a pattern emerges.

The perfect client is someone who trusts and likes you. Define that client for yourself and gear your posts towards those clients and neighborhoods that you currently work with or want to become known in.

Insightful Content Builds Your Brand and Generates Leads

Entertain and educate using Instagram Live Video. Here are some examples.

  1. Virtual Tours: Take your audience on a virtual tour of the home. Who doesn't like taking a tour of a beautiful home? Announce the time you plan to go live with an Instagram post. Include a description of the property and price so you attract your perfect audience.
  2. Deal of the Week: Promote a home that is the "Deal of the Week." Showcase the features that are important to the buyers you are looking to reach while doing a virtual tour.
  3. Behind the Scenes in the Life of a Real Estate Agent: Most non-agents don't understand the amount of time it takes from start to finish when working with a client to find them a homeā€”or the amount of effort it takes to sell a home. You can have a lot of fun with this type of video and break it up into segments.

It's all about helping your current and potential clients.

The Importance of Using Hashtags

Using the right hashtags will create more engagement for your posts. A hashtag is created by using the number sign (#) before a word, term, or group of letters that links to social media posts using the same hashtag on that social platform, which for right now is Instagram.

Anyone who clicks on the hashtags or searches you create will be brought to your posts, so use hashtags that are relevant to the content you created.

If you're unsure about how to use hashtags, check out the hashtags your competitors or favorite people on Instagram are using to understand how they are reaching people. Also, check out hashtags that big influencers, such as top coaches in the real estate industry, are using.

Yes, Only 20 Minutes a Week. Here's How:

Put it in your schedule. It may sound crazy to you, yet to be efficient and effective, schedule your upcoming time on Instagram as an appointment on your calendar. If not, you can get lost in time once you begin looking at all the incredible photos.

Aim for posting three times per week. Rather than coming up with new ideas every day and then scrambling to get them done on top of your already busy schedule, look into one of the many social media scheduling platforms available.

Many of these providers offer you content and the ability to schedule the publishing of your posts. By scheduling the publishing of your posts ahead of time, you can ensure they will publish at times that will bring you the most views.

Be patient and give this a little time. Once you begin posting and using a third-party platform for publishing, they can help you analyze the best times that people are viewing your content.

You Are in the Perfect Place: Right Here Now

I know what you are thinking now: Oh no, another thing for me to learn, and there is only so much time in the day.

Start simple. Connect with people that have photos you enjoy. I started by connecting with my favorite local wildlife photographers. When I saw one that had over 8,000 followers, I thought, wow! Then I began researching top real estate agents using the platform, which you can do also, and see what they have done to captivate their audience.

Being yourself and educating through Instagram is a great and profitable way to build a long-term following and business. See if your local board has a class on Instagram. Check out some of the Instagram real estate marketing influencers to learn see what they are doing.

If you had to choose one social media platform to grow this year, choose Instagram. Some of the biggest athletes, real estate agents and stars use it and have a huge following. Start showing your audience who you are and the value that you offer in a fun and uplifting way. Connect, educate, and inspire your audience through Instagram. They are waiting for you!

Janice Zaltman is a Realtor, LEED AP, marketing coach and writer with more than 20 years of experience in the sales, marketing and media fields.

To view the original article, visit the Form Simplicity blog.