Launched in 2010, Instagram is a social network used to share photos and videos. Starting out as more of a virtual photo album for personal use, Instagram evolved into an advertising platform that can reach thousands of potential clients. Instagram has proven to be a platform that can boost your marketing efforts when used advantageously. If you’re looking to promote goods, services, or yourself it’s a great fit.

As a real estate agent, it’s important to promote and advertise your services where your audience is. Because you are essentially your own business, you need to create a brand for yourself. With this in mind, it is crucial to learn how to use Instagram professionally. You can set yourself apart from other similar accounts and find your niche within the wider real estate industry. It’s a no-brainer – why not take advantage of a free platform for advertising that your clients already use?

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How Can Instagram Add to My Marketing Practices?

Instagram is user-friendly and can be an essential tool in advertising yourself and your business. With 112 million users in the USA alone, Instagram provides an opportunity to engage with a range of potential clients. You can grow your brand awareness while connecting with others through real estate. Remember, real estate interests everyone in some way; even if someone isn’t in the market to buy right now, they potentially could be in the future. 

Using Instagram Professionally

To start using Instagram professionally, create a business account. This tells Instagram that you will be using the account for business and marketing, which unlocks features that personal accounts lack. A business account will allow you to boost posts, providing access to your analytics, and enables you to add links to your Stories. You are also able to start running retargeting ads with this type of account, and, because Instagram is owned by Facebook, you’ll have double the reach. 

How to Present Yourself

Presentation is key on an application that is all about photos and videos. Be sure to include a recent professional picture of yourself as the profile picture. Make your username something memorable that conveys an aspect of yourself and your business. Add keywords to your bio that tell people who you are and what it is that you do. Spice it up a bit; don’t be afraid to pull in your hobbies and interests! Once your profile is to your liking, it’s time to start posting content. Instagram’s algorithm focuses on the content that you produce, so your goal should be to create a steady flow of content that is relevant to your business.

People want to be entertained and see what you (and your brand!) are all about. Don’t be afraid to show your personality through memes, personal posts, and a specific trademark. The goal of using Instagram professionally is for clients to be able to distinguish your posts from the others they see, so be sure to stick to a color palette and specific fonts to express your brand. This will help clients recognize your posts. While you want to stay professional, remember that consumers of content need to relate to what you’re posting.

What to Post

Keep your audience in mind and make sure to post content that not only interests them but inspires people to engage with your post. Remember that you’re not only posting for your current clients, but also for previous and potential clients. To determine what to post, start by figuring out your personal brand. Take advantage of the fact that human beings are social creatures who like to know the person behind the content and show some of your day-to-day activities. You can add connectivity checkpoints by posting relatable content, like pictures of your furry friend, your hobbies, or events going on. Don’t go overboard with filters on your photos: The more natural your presentation, the more personal the connection will feel for your audience. 

After you’ve branded yourself, post content regularly to engage potential clients in your brand. This is the time to use Instagram Stories to post tours of new listings, promote open houses, and show sneak peeks of upcoming listings. Do video walk-throughs of listings and their neighborhoods, highlighting interesting or innovative features. Give clients a behind-the-scenes look into what it takes to be a real estate agent by showing them what it’s like to stage a home, make a sale, and the ups and downs you go through day-to-day. Don’t forget to put a location on your posts, as users are able to search by location and could stumble upon your account this way.

Lastly, because Instagram now shows posts by relevance and not chronologically, you should post frequently and experiment with what time of day you post, what hashtags you use, and what type of content you’re putting out to find what posting schedule works best for you. 

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Advertising on Instagram

As you gear up your content-making machine, it’s important to note that advertisements rule Instagram. Figuring out how to run those ads may seem difficult, but it can be quite easy once you learn the basics. Start by going to the Ad Manager to pick your target audience and ad format. Instagram allows you to target an audience by demographic, location, interests, and user behaviors on the app. Depending on your budget, you can decide how long the ad will run. Once you’ve created your ad and decided the length of time it will run, you are ready to publish! You can also promote your previous posts that have done well by navigating to “Promotions” within your business account, and selecting “Create Promotions.” This is an easy way to recycle popular posts and boost your engagement across both Instagram and Facebook without having to create a brand-new advertisement.

Clearly, Instagram is not to be overlooked when it comes to promoting yourself as a real estate agent. As the platform has grown, so have the opportunities for those using it. Instagram is crucial to staying relevant in a world run by advertisements and social media, and it makes creating new connections that much easier. Use these tactics to expand your reach, grow your audience, and to have fun showing off your business.

Disclaimer: This is a guest post written by the real estate experts at The CE Shop. The CE Shop is the leading provider of online real estate education with convenient courses available in all 50 states and D.C. To find out more about The CE Shop and the resources they provide, visit www.theceshop.com.   

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