Instagram is one of the largest social media platforms in the world. About six in ten Instagram users log in at least once daily, making it the second most active social media network behind Facebook. The average Instagram user browses the site for 53 minutes per day. What makes Instagram engaging? It’s unique content! Users are constantly posting pictures and videos to the platform to win the attention of other users. As a realtor, Instagram is a platform you have to take advantage of. However, it’s easy for your content to get lost at sea if you aren’t optimizing it. Below are crucial tips to increase Instagram engagement from your followers.
What Should Your Instagram Page Do?
Before posting any content to your Instagram, you should define your target market. Ask yourself, who do you want your content to reach?
1. Review Your Database
Looking into your current client-base is a great way to research what content you should be posting to your Instagram page. Most of your Instagram following will be clients you’ve worked or connected with. Demographic information is important here. Focus on the age of your clients and build your content around this.
For example, if your client base is made up of young first time home buyers it will be beneficial to provide more content in relation to the buying and selling process. This means posting a lot of “Documenting Content,” which we will discuss further. If you deal exclusively with veteran home-buyers, more posts in relation to sold homes will appeal to them because this content lets buyers know you can get the job done.
2. Analyze Your Followers
Check out what they post on their pages. View the content they’ve liked from you. If you’re looking to attract new buyers, great! Assess what content they like and how they interact with your competition. This is a great way to generate unexplored content ideas for your page.
This research and analysis will not only help you understand your database and followers, but it will allow you to set achievable goals.
To Increase Instagram Engagement: Get Smart
Once you’ve researched a target market, you need to establish a clear mission statement for your page. How will you differ from your competitors? What will you offer your followers to keep them engaged? What is your call to action? To do this you need to set a SMART goal for your entire Instagram page. A SMART goal is:
When starting their Instagram page, most realtors focus on “vanity” based goals such as likes and followers. These goals are good to have, but they should always be anchored to your overall business objectives.
If you want to increase Instagram engagement, remember it’s an on-going process, where you are interacting with potential clients or referral sources. The higher your engagement is the more emotionally invested your followers become in your brand and content. Instagram engagement is measured through metrics such as likes and comments. However, you want to see your followers fulfilling your calls to action as this is another way your audience can engage with your content, even if it didn’t involve liking, commenting, or sharing the post.
If you want to calculate the engagement rate of a post, take the number of likes and comments and divide it by your number of followers.
Your recent post received 20 comments and 20 likes. You have 100 followers. These numbers would give you a 40% engagement rate (20+20= 40/100 = 40%). Many social media platforms already calculate this for you in the analytics section of your profile’s backend.
Setting Your Smart Goal
Here is an example of a SMART goal related to engagement to get you started:
“I want my new post to receive 10 comments and 3 likes by the end of the day”
This goal is specific because you want your post to reach at least ten comments and three likes. It’s also timely because this needs to happen by the end of the day. The numbers are achievable and measurable since Instagram keeps track of likes and shares. And finally, the goal is relevant and ties into your overall goal to increase Instagram engagement.
Setting SMART goals for all your content is a great way to keep your Instagram page focused on engaging with your target audience.
What Should You Post?
Think about the Instagram accounts you follow. Maybe you’re a fitness-oriented agent so you follow a lot of fitness accounts? If they were only posting content about how to work out your arms, while neglecting ab, leg, and chest exercises, in addition to dieting information, you would probably stop following that account. That’s not to say there aren’t successful Instagram pages dedicated to arm exercises, but they certainly aren’t posting the same routine daily.
When creating content for your Instagram page remember to keep things fresh. Your followers want to see more than pictures of homes you’re selling. They want a variety of content to keep them engaged and entertained. You need to strike a balance between business-related posts, feel-good posts, and fun posts. The more engaging a post is, the more likely your followers will read captions and complete calls to action. Below are examples of potential Instagram posts for realtors:
Show your followers that you are out there hustling! Let them know you are the right person for the job. Sold homes work as visual testimonials to your followers that you can close deals and leave clients happy.
When you find a perfect home for your client it’s a great time to take a picture of them happily standing in front of it (with their permission of course). These posts indicate you are reliable and trustworthy. This is a way of supporting your work through social proof, where other buyers are able to validate the excellent service you provided.
A lot of your followers, especially from the Millennial generation, might be wondering what the home buying or selling process entails. Why not show them your process?
Walk them through a detailed report of how you conduct real estate deals. An edited video would be the perfect tool to explore this process. For example, most new buyers would like to know more about how to put an offer in on a home that interests them and how they eventually secure their purchase. A video outlining this process for your clients would be both educational and beneficial to them.
Feel Good Posts
This is where your posts can step away from real estate and put your personality on display. As long as the content is wholesomely entertaining, your followers will be engaged.
It’s good to keep your followers updated on any events you will be hosting or attending in the future. Talks, seminars, retreats, and training programs are all potential events you should let your followers know about so they can see you in action.
In addition to this always share information related to community events to stay in touch with local businesses. For example, your local pizzeria is having a one day sale where a portion of proceeds from every large pepperoni pizza is donated to a local charity. This is a great cause to share with your followers. This will help build your community connections and brand you as a supportive local realtor.
This is what separates you from the competition. Your brand should be seen in all of your Instagram posts. Whether it’s a logo, a color scheme, or font, these signifiers will let your followers know when they are viewing your content without even looking at your username.
How To Caption Posts To Increase Instagram Engagement
Different posts require different captions. The goal is to make all your captions engaging, even when making business-related posts. The more engaging a caption is, the more likely your followers will fulfill calls to action. Below are steps to writing the perfect captions for all your posts:
1. Create Context
Posting a picture of a home you listed is great. What makes it better is backstory and context. Talk about what makes the home unique. Who were the previous owners? Is it located near any schools or parks? Does it have a pool? These are all details and context your followers would love to know. A great call to action would be taking them to your website to learn even more about the listing.
2. Be Concise
Instagram is a visual platform, so keep your captions short and sweet. Don’t just repeat words from your post. For example, if you create a post featuring a picture of the “Golden Arches” and a factual quote saying: “McDonald’s has one of the best real estate portfolios in the world,” don’t repeat that quote in your caption, because your followers have read it already. Instead issue a call to action in your caption: “To learn how they amassed this stellar portfolio, check out the link in my bio,” and take them to your personal blog.
3. Be Consistent
Stick with your branding. Try to write all your captions in the same tone and style. Posting a caption that is not in line with your brand will confuse your followers.
4. Educate Your Followers
Educational captions are similar to documenting process posts. Teach your followers an aspect of the real estate industry. Fun facts and figures can also work and will likely have you increase Instagram engagement on your posts.
5. Be Interactive
Try asking questions within your captions to encourage followers to leave comments and engage with posts. A good question is: “Do you think you will buy/sell a home this year?” You can also include a question in the content of the post itself (i.e image or video).
The Power of Hashtags
Proper hashtags can get your content seen by users outside your following. Although mainstream hashtags like #tbt are good to use to relate to followers, the majority of your hashtags should be real estate and area-specific.
Using hashtags such as #realestatephotography or #realestategoals increases your chances of being noticed by your target market. Using hashtags like #tbt will get you in front of a lot of people, sure. But most of them are outside your target.
Follow In Sam’s Footsteps
If you’re struggling with your Instagram, look to other realtors for inspiration. There is nothing wrong with following in the footsteps of the competition, especially when they are using Instagram properly. Sam McDadi is a Greater Toronto Area real estate agent with a following of 14,300 on Instagram. The first thing you notice on his page is uniformity and brand consistency. His brand is everywhere, and all posts have a similar design and feel. The next thing you notice is the variety of posts.
Sam mixes different posts; everything from feel-good content to listed properties, and contests. His posts not only promote his events but other events and festivities such as Halloween and Christmas. If you read Sam’s captions, especially for his Instagram contests, he’s always asking his followers to complete a call to action, such as commenting, liking, sharing, or following. Lastly, Sam is not afraid to share his milestones to let followers know that he is an elite agent.
Sam’s page is very polished, and you don’t have to reach his level of brand or style to have success on Instagram. If you follow the trend in the variety of Sam’s posts and the way he writes captions, you will reach many of your SMART goals and engage with followers.
Map Out Your Content
Making content for Instagram might be fun at first, but when you’re focusing on creating a variety of posts to engage your followers it can become complex and stressful. Keeping track of posts you’re making and hashtags you’re using is essential for your Instagram page. It will help keep your captions and posts fresh as you visually plan out your week using a content calendar.
There are lots of content calendar software options out there including monday.com and Asana. As long as you are keeping track of the types of posts you’re making, hashtags you’re using, and captions you’re writing, your posts will engage. There are also content calendars designed exclusively for realtors that provide a step-by-step guide to help you generate leads, such as this one from Parkbench.
Mapping out your content fosters consistency, as you try to fill each day with a new piece of content for your followers. Lastly, mapping out your content keeps you focused on your SMART goals and target audience. Each day you can plan out a SMART goal and pair it with a piece of content that achieves it. The more goals you reach the more success you will have.
Content Is King
Interesting, entertaining, and educational content will engage your followers, and all of the post types mentioned above can do this. Once you’ve laid the foundation of finding your target audience and setting SMART goals, you’re already halfway through the battle.
If you need inspiration for your Instagram page or brand, look at the competition and follow what they are doing right. Map out your content and post consistently and you are on your way to a successful Instagram page.
A word of caution: Don’t let your entire brand and business rely on Instagram. Instagram is a tool in your arsenal to help you sell more properties. Networking and doing great work for clients is still the best way to build your brand and business.
Sprout Social Instagram Statistics: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/instagram-stats/
Sam McDadi Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sammcdadi/