How can Instagram benefit you and your business? Well coming from personal experience, a lot. Like a lot of businesses and new users, we weren’t sure if we were utilizing Instagram to its fullest potential, but learning is all about trial and error before succeeding. You have to learn to crawl before you can walk, and you have to learn to walk before you can run right?
If you’re thinking about using Instagram for your real estate business, do it. This series will give you some tips that will help you get started so that you can fully utilize this wonderful platform to your advantage.
If you’re not familiar with Instagram, it’s a free photo app that can be downloaded onto your Android or iPhone. Once you’ve downloaded the app the next thing to do is to create an account (again it’s free and you can cancel your account at any time).
Open up the app and take a look around at different photos so you have a general idea what types of photos other Instagram users are posting. These usually range from nature shots, sunsets and city landscapes, to personal self portrait photos, family events and concerts. You can do a search of photos by clicking on the “explore” icon and typing in the keyword of your interest. To “explore,” tap the second button in the menu ribbon at the bottom of your screen (iPhone/iPad).
After you tapped the explore icon, you can start exploring some of Instagram’s popular photos of the day. The search bar at the top allows you to filter through photos that pertain to your interests. You can even search for other Instagram users here.
You’re probably wondering “What’s a hashtag?” A hashtag defined by instagramers.com as “a ‘symbol’ (or code) that allows web search engines to find and categorize messages, keywords and in the case of Instagram, pictures. For instance, if you type #cat or #cats in one of your pictures, any user anywhere in the world looking for ‘cat’ or ‘cats’ will easily find your picture and others users’ pictures using the same #keyword.”
Huh? Simply put, a hashtag is just a fancy term for “keyword” and it’ll greatly help your photos get noticed by other users. We’ll get into that in more detail in the future.
So let’s take a step back for a minute. If you were to put in the words “real estate” in the search bar, you have the option of searching for any users with the words “real estate” in their name, or for any photos that have used those words as a hashtag (or keyword) in their photos. Go ahead and try it out, you’ll see there are a lot of photos.
Here’s your homework assignment for tonight: explore the app. Look at photos posted by other Instagram that are relevant to your interests. Be sure to keep an eye out for style (interesting angles, colors and lighting), explore other users’ profiles, and if their photos tickle your fancy, add the user. There’s no harm in befriending another Instagram user, especially if you enjoy looking at the photos they take. Oh and of course, since it is a photo app, take some pictures. Have fun with it, but be sure to post appropriate photos. You work in real estate, you are a brand, and this app is an extension of your brand.
Next up: taking the right photos so that your page will get noticed.
Are you just discovering Instagram? So are we and we love exchanging ideas on how to make it work whether for business or personal use. If you have any tips that you’d like to share with us, don’t be shy and let us know.