real estate agents using instagram stories

Is Your Business Staying Front of Mind?

Social Media is a fantastic tool that real estate agents and buyers agents should be utilising to their full advantage. While there have been a number of updates and new features introduced to our favourite social media platforms over the last year, there is none more important than the introduction of Instagram Stories.

Just over a year ago, Instagram made a big change to the model of their feed, switching posts from being shown in chronological order, to now being ranked via an algorithm. Essentially, this algorithm dictates what each individual user will see on their feed, determining what will be of interest to you by analysing previous posts that you have liked or engaged with (much like Facebook does). This change has had a major impact on organic reach for businesses. Now more than ever, it’s important that your followers engage with you regularly, or else your posts will essentially disappear from their feed altogether!

With organic reach becoming harder and harder to achieve, it’s essential that real estate agents and buyer’s agents analyse their marketing strategies and come up with new and unique ways to engage their followers. This is where Instagram Stories comes into play! The concept of Instagram Stories is quite similar to that of Snapchat, placing an emphasis on producing disposable, raw content. The stories feature on Instagram allows you to add a succession of photos or videos to create a ‘story’, which will then disappear after 24 hours.

Benefits of Utilising Instagram Stories

1. They Appear Chronologically

Unlike your regular Instagram feed, stories will appear to the user chronologically. This is where understanding your target market and their online habits becomes key, as you want to ensure you are posting content to your story at the times your audience is online and likely to see it.

2. You Can Customise Your Posts

Unlike normal posting, Instagram Stories allows you to customise your photos/videos to make them more appealing and engaging for your audience. There are a number of different features you can use, including filters, text, icons and stickers. You can also tag other users – simply put an @ symbol and start typing their username!

3. You Can Add Hashtags

The latest update to Instagram Stories now allows you to add the coveted hashtag to your photos/videos. This is a fantastic addition, as each tag now hasitss own story that you can feature on. For example, if you post an image to your story with #realestate on it, that post will also appear on the global story for #realestate, helping you to reach a larger audience who may not be following you!

4. You Can Geotag

Much like the hashtags feature, you can also tag your location. It works in a similar fashion, with different areas/locations having their own story. Tagging your location in your story will allow that piece of content to feature in the collaborative story for the location, again helping you to reach a larger audience!

5. It’s Real and Authentic

Instagram Stories provides you with a unique opportunity to connect with your audience on a more real and personal level. When it comes to posting photos on your Instagram feed, there has always been an emphasis on creating perfectly styled images that look beautiful. When it comes to your Instagram Story, you have a lot more freedom to share ‘behind the scenes’ content that’s real, raw and live (aka taken on the go). This is your chance to get personal in your business and let your followers connect with you! It’s also a chance for you to have a bit more fun with your posts, as there is less emphasis on creating that one ‘perfect’ image. Allowing your followers to get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes will help them build a rapport with you.

6. Stay Relevant Without Being Spammy

We all know that frequent posting will help you stay relevant, but posting too frequently can also have the opposite effect, with your page losing engagement and followers! Posting 10 photos to your Instagram feed in one day would be considered incredibly spammy, whereas posting to your story that many times helps you stay connected and provide value to your followers. Instead of just posting 1 perfectly curated ‘wow’ post, you can now post more frequently with average, everyday content, ensuring your name is always at the top of your audience’s mind.

7. Real Time Marketing

One of the biggest trends of 2017 is real-time marketing (the act of reaching your audience at exactly the right time). For example, posting live during an event can encourage more people to attend, increase excitement/engagement and will also help the people who are not able to experience it themselves still feel connected.

8. Expand On Your Content

When you post an image to your Instagram feed, there is only so much you can show or tell your followers. For example, if you have a new listing, you can’t post 20 shots showing all of the intricate details, otherwise, you’d be considered spammy! However, if you use your stories, you can dive deeper into the details. You can put up a series of images showing the different features of the property, and you can add in video content of you walking them through the house and explaining desirable aspects. Remember – your content should be all about creating value!

Remember - your content should be about creating value! Click To Tweet

9. Go Live

Just like you can live stream on Facebook, you can go live on your Instagram profile! Again this is a perfect opportunity for you to do real-time marketing by live streaming events or doing in the moment recaps or training videos. The best part about live videos is that Instagram will send a notification to your followers, encouraging them to join the stream! You can also save your live so your followers can replay it later. Live videos will always appear first in the stories section, so it’s a great way to get your followers viewing your content before anyone else’s!

How Real Estate Agents Can Build Their Brand Using Instagram Stories

Not sure what to put up on your story? There are endless types of content you could be sharing, including:

Document Your Day

Give your followers a glimpse into life as an agent. Show them the behind the scenes of what you get up to, including meetings, inspections etc. Remember, your profession might seem ordinary to you, but to others, it’s a whole new (interesting) world!

Sneak Peeks

Do you have a new property listing coming up? Give your followers an exclusive sneak peek!

Behind The Scenes 

Give your followers a walkthrough of that new property you’ve listed, show them through an open home, capture the styling process or even live stream an auction.

Cross Promote Your Content

Have you just posted a video on your Facebook page? Shared a new listing on your Instagram feed? Uploaded a new blog post to your website? Sent out an email blast? Direct people to view/engage with that content by posting about it on your story!

Theme Days 

Theme days are incredibly popular on Instagram and they are a good way to keep your audience checking in with you. Think about things such as daily motivation prompts, weekly recaps, top tips etc!

Q&A

Do you get asked the same question a lot? Why not answer it in a short video on your story!

Regular Check-Ins

Let your audience get to know you personally by updating them regularly about what’s going on with your business. You can jump on and talk about anything from your new listings, team members, properties you have sold, the local market, developments in your local area etc!

Shout Out To Your Vendors

Do you work with amazing professionals in the industry? Think photographers, property stylers, mortgage brokers, financial planners… Take a photo with them and add it to your story, so your followers can see you have those important connections!

Need guidance on how you can integrate Instagram Stories into your marketing strategy? Contact the team at Little Spark Digital today and let us help!

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