This video produced by Instagram shows the power of visual storytelling for brands and how moments connect businesses and customers. What story do you want to tell?

Most people turn to the Internet to find homes for sale in their area as well as real estate agents to work with. So it makes good business sense for real estate agents to utilize social media platforms to market their listings. Even more so, since pictures drive listings, utilizing social platforms that focus on photography is an excellent strategy for agents.

One popular social platform created specifically for the purpose of photo sharing is Instagram. Instagram is a photo and short video-sharing social network, where posts can be marked with relevant hashtags and shared on a variety of other social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr.

With more than 200 million active monthly users, Instagram has risen to the top of the social media charts. This highly engaging visual marketing platform is a powerful tool for real estate professionals to connect with clients and potential clients.

Getting Started on Instagram

Are you ready to set up your Instagram account and use it to build connections through the power of pictures?

Instagram requires users to set up an account by downloading the mobile app on a phone or tablet – posts cannot be made from a desktop. Instagram can be accessed and viewed from a computer, but posts need to be made from a mobile device or tablet unless users use a service such as Bluestacks.

Once an account is created, users can customize their profile by adding a name, a profile photo, a short bio and a link to their Website.

You can set your account to either public or private. Public means anyone on Instagram can see your posts, and it reaches a broader audience. Private will allow only the people you’ve approved to see your posts.

Profile Tips

  • Use a headshot or personal photo so you are easily identifiable
  • Your bio can only be 150 characters, so utilize catchy bullet points to make a statement
  • Link your business Website address to your profile

Getting Familiar with Instagram

Photo and video sharing on Instagram is done by accessing the photo library on your phone or tablet, or by using the Instagram camera function in the app. When you open the app, you are automatically taken to the feed screen.

The Instagram Feed Screen

Photo Editing Tool Screen

search_icon_Instagram.pngClick the magnifying glass icon to search for photos, videos, people to connect with, and relevant hashtags and locations/places that are trending.

Upload_an_image_to_Instagram.png To upload an image to Instagram, click the blue icon. You will then be prompted to select a photo or video from your camera library or take a photo or video using the app. If you select a photo, you will then see the editing tools screen after you upload or take the picture.

Instagram offers free photo editing tools. To learn more about photo editing tools, read these photo tips and tricks.

my_activity_on_instagram.png Click the heart conversation icon to see your feed activity as well as recent posts by other users you are following. To interact with other users, double tap on any post to “like” it or add a comment at the bottom.

my_instagram_profile.png To get to your profile page where you can review content and make profile edits, click the person icon.

#Awesome Hashtags

Instagram offers the use of hashtags to reach a wider audience and to attract followers to your account. It also offers mapping and tagging to make your message location specific and capitalize on popular hashtags. If your posts are set to public (and they should be for business pages), you can add hashtags. Read this article to learn more about using hashtags on Instagram photos and videos.

Tips for Engaging and Attracting Followers

  • Now that your account is created and you have started posting, here are tips on making the most of your time on Instagram.
  • Comment and like others’ photos and videos. The more you engage with others, the more they will engage with you.
  • Map out a strategy to post a certain amount of photos or videos each week and be consistent.
  • Utilize relevant hashtags and tags to open up a wider audience for your content.
  • Post photos of the unique amenities of a listing such as architectural details, kitchens and master baths get more engagement with the photo.
  • Tell a story using photos and videos, with a focus on clients and the unique attributes of a listing.
  • Be patient; building a social media gathering takes time.

Many consumers and clients are visually driven and active on social media sites. Instagram is a powerful tool that visually displays your real estate business and offers another platform to build your brand. If you are using Instagram in your business, share your tips in the comments section below.

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