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Instagram Is Open for Business —Find Out What This Means for Real Estate

Instagram Is Open for Business —Find Out What This Means for Real Estate

Recently Instagram released some major updates that could create a big change in your real estate business strategy. While Instagram was once thought to be a social network that was only for pictures of fancy food and artful lattes, 85 percent of top brands now have profiles, and 60 percent of the 400 million active users log in each day, making it the second most-engaged social network second only to Facebook.

Because social media is constantly changing, it’s important to keep up with the current trends to make sure you’re connecting with your clients in the right way. The first, more business-oriented change is Instagram’s creation of a Business Profile option. The second is a new Instagram “Stories” feed, similar to Snapchat. Want to learn more about how these updates can (and should) change the way you connect with clients through Instagram? Find out more, so you can begin planning your new content.

Create Your Business Profile
Instagram is more than just a way to connect with family and friends. Since it’s known for its visual opportunities, many businesses use Instagram to connect and keep in touch with potential and current customers. In fact, according to Instagram, about half of their users follow a business profile in the app. However, more importantly, engagement with brands on Instagram is higher than any other social platform. If you’re looking for a social channel to connect with clients, Instagram provides a great opportunity.

How can you get a business profile? Before you choose to convert from a personal to a business profile, there are a few things you should know. Initially, Instagram is releasing this feature gradually, so if it isn’t available to you yet, check back in the near future. Next, in order to convert, your Instagram profile must be connected with a Facebook business page. Facebook provides a step-by-step overview of how to do this. Finally, your Instagram business profile must be set to public. Then again, if you want new clients to find you, your profile should be public anyway.

What are the benefits of a business profile? The main advantage of having a business profile is that you’ll be able to access your insights. If you want to increase your visibility or measure your interaction with followers, this can provide a huge advantage. The insights available include the number of unique accounts you reach each day, your impressions for each post and the average time of day your followers access the app. These insights can help you see when your followers use their app so you know the best time to post your content and what your followers are most interested in, which can help you plan future content.

In addition to insights, when you upgrade, you’ll also be able to add more contact information, which users can access through a new “contact” button on your profile. If a user clicks the button, they’ll see some new options, such as directions to your physical location, a phone number to reach you, your email address and your website. In addition to this, you’ll also be able to see how many unique accounts click through to your website, which can help you gauge the traffic you’re receiving from your Instagram profile.

Connect More Often With New “Stories”
The other new update is Instagram’s “Stories.” This feature lets users create a string of pictures and videos that is viewable to their followers for 24 hours. While this is similar to Snapchat, there are some key differences. While you’re able add text and doodle on the picture or video, Instagram lacks the filters and lenses that Snapchat users are used to. In business, though, this is not a key feature. Where Instagram prevails is that you’re able to see which of your followers have viewed each photo or video – just swipe up when looking at your story. Instagram Stories appear at the top of your home feed. To view them, simply click the person’s profile picture. When you’re ready to create your own story, click the (+) option in the upper left corner of the app.

Can Stories really help me as an agent?
It depends on how you plan to use this new feature. Similarly to Snapchat, it’s important to first consider your goal. For instance, Stories would not be the most useful tool for lead generation, because only your current followers can see them. Instead, use them for engagement and retention.

This more personal feature is perfect for visually and emotionally connecting with your current followers. Share pictures of a new listing along with a quick tour of your favorite room, a picture of yourself at your favorite coffee house (Instagram photos with faces get 38 percent more likes), a video referral with a client who just closed on a home, etc. Stories gives you the opportunity to get closer and more personal with your audience. Plus, you can post multiple pictures and videos through Stories without clogging your followers’ feeds.

Instagram can be a powerful tool for your marketing strategy and a great way to connect with potential buyers.

Article written by Patty McNease, Director of Marketing for Homes.com For more information, visit connect.homes.com. Photo from connect.homes.com 

The Best Pinterest Group Boards for Real Estate Agents

The Best Pinterest Group Boards for Real Estate Agents

If you are a real estate agent who has a blog and are not using Pinterest as part of your social media marketing strategy then you are missing the boat! If you ask most real estate bloggers who have adapted Pinterest as one of their social networks, more than likely you’ll hear rave reviews of just how good the traffic can be. One of the unique things about Pinterest is the length of time in which something that is shared can drive traffic. When you share something on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other social site there is usually a good rush of interaction over the first few days and then your exposure quickly dies down. This is not the case with Pinterest – in fact, it’s quite the opposite!

Pinterest is the number one source of social media traffic to my combination blog/real estate site. One of the reasons for this is the “shelf life” of the pins you share. Pinterest sharing is an endless cycle that continues to generate more traffic when the content is exceptional. Outstanding real estate content on Pinterest can be shared for months and months even years.

There are a number of ways to ensure that Pinterest will become an important place for real estate social media exposure. The first piece of advice is to be sure that your mindset is not on your real estate listings. I see this mistake all the time from real estate agents. Very few people are going to share them unless you are marketing a luxurious mansion. Instead, show off your knowledge as an agent.

Here are some quick tips to make Pinterest work for you as a REALTOR®:

  • Like any other social network make sure what you are sharing is quality content.
  • The most shared pins are those that are “tall” and not squares. Pay careful attention to this.
  • Reciprocate with others. Social media is not just about sharing your own content. The best social media marketers readily share other people’s content.
  • Don’t just share real estate content. Make sure your boards are well rounded with other appealing content.
  • Make listings a small part of your focus. Most people couldn’t care less about the 3 bedroom ranch you just listed. Unless the property is a glamorous luxury home it won’t get pinned.
  • Apply for “Rich Pins“. This adds html mark-up to your pins that make them stand out from others.
  • Join the best real estate group boards!

Why Join Group Boards?

Once you have gotten your feet wet on Pinterest it will be time to really ramp up your exposure. There is no better way of doing this than by joining some of the top Pinterest real estate group boards. Group boards allow anyone who has been invited to collaborate together. They typically have rules that must be followed in order to keep the board on topic and focused.

The beauty of group boards is they typically have a massive following, far more than an individual would have. Why does this matter? The keyword here is, again, EXPOSURE. When you share your best content to group boards it gets seen by far more people. The opportunity to have your content shared by a focused group of people, like real estate professionals, goes up exponentially. This creates opportunities for you to grow your following very quickly. If you share something interesting on a group board many of the people looking at it could end up following you.

What Are the Real Estate Groups to Join?

So what are the best Pinterest group board for Realtors® to join? Below are some of the largest and most active real estate boards found on Pinterest.

  • Pinterest Real Estate Group Board – This is one of the largest real estate boards found on Pinterest with just under 12,000 followers and 300 members. This board encompasses a variety of real estate topics from general sales advice, financing, staging, home improvement, marketing, technology and social media. Invited members are highly influential in the real estate industry and often are seen in other social networks. There are some strict rules including not being allowed to pin listings, market reports, news or local information. There are over 7,100 pins!
  • Real Estate/Home Improvement/Realtor® Advice – This board is similar to the above mentioned board and has many of the same rules that need to be followed. There are currently 8,300 followers and 102 members. There are 2,400+ pins.
  • Real Estate/Mortgage/Social Media – This is an up-and-coming board that is just starting to grow in size and stature. There are just under 7,000 followers with only 15 active posting members. Let’s get this one growing people! There are 700+ pins.
  • Buying a Home and Mortgage Advice – This is another excellent group board not only for real estate agents, but mortgage professionals as well. Much of the content focuses on home buying along with finance and mortgage topics. The board is quite large with just under 16,000 followers and 140 members. There are 1,600 pins.

If you have not added Pinterest group boards to your social media arsenal, I would highly recommend you do so. By joining these boards, your content will be exposed to a large, active group of people currently using Pinterest as part of their real estate content marketing strategy. You can join these real estate boards by emailing the respective owners. This information can be found by visiting the boards. Just remember to make sure you are respectful of the group board rules!

Other Pinterest Resources Worth a Look

Use these additional resources to learn how to use Pinterest well as a real estate agent. Once you have some of the ground rules down for Pinterest, you will find it a fantastic place for drawing web visitors back to your blog or website. Best of luck on your Pinterest journey!

 
Written by Bill Gassett – nationally recognized real estate leader who has been helping people move in and out of the Metrowest Massachusetts area for the past 29-plus years. 
This post and picture was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall

Expanding Your Client Base through Social Media

Expanding Your Client Base through Social Media

Today’s buyer will search online at some point during the buying process. When they do, it’s crucial that your business and contact information show up at the top of the search results. Many people think that this can cost thousands of dollars, but you can do a lot of the work yourself through social media. Here are a few tips to get you started on the major social networks.

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Facebook 
Setting up a Facebook page for your business is an excellent way to reach out to clients and their friends and family. To keep them interested, be sure to feature lifestyle content, in addition to your listings. Show your expertise by posting photos and information about the neighborhood schools, new cafes and upcoming events. Ask questions, run local promotions, do all you can to engage readers and build a connection. By reaching out and sharing your knowledge about the community, you can become the go-to real estate professional in the area.
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Twitter
Twitter lets you communicate quickly and keeps you connected. Just like Facebook, your listings should not take up your whole feed. Tweet links to helpful articles about securing a mortgage or renovation tips. Offer incentives for visiting your open houses, encourage others to post pictures, make comments and share your tweets. Use hashtags so your tweets will be found by more than your followers, and make every word count. Remember, you’ve only got 140 characters to engage readers.

YouTuyoutubebe
YouTube videos are a smart way to promote yourself and the properties you represent. Have someone with a steady hand shoot short videos of you showcasing your listings and the neighborhood sites that appeal to potential buyers. Be sure to identify yourself in each video with your name and contact information.

 

Pinterestdownload
As the most visual of the social media sites, Pinterest lets you set up colorful boards with images of the neighborhood, decorating trends, renovation tips, your personal interests and listings. Your clients can engage by saving pins to their own boards, or liking and commenting on the images. With Pinterest, you can draw clients in by using visuals to paint a more complete picture of what you can offer them along with your listings.

 

If you are not already utilizing the power of social media, you should be! Not sure where to start? Contact CLG Marketing for help! We would love to sit down with you and provide an in-depth analysis of your social strategy to determine what is working and what is not. Together we can revamp your marketing efforts and help increase your online presence so you can benefit from the digital marketplace!

Source: HSA Home Warranty written by By Claire Wiese