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Rules of [Instagram] Engagement: Instagram for Real Estate Agents

Though it doesn’t have as many users as Twitter and Facebook, Instagram offers companies a rate of return for branding products and services on the platform almost 60 times that of Facebook. And compared to Twitter, it provides 120 percent more user interactions. Instagram for real estate agents is the cash cow of digital marketing and lead generation platforms.

But achieving customer interactions isn’t simply a matter of posting the right photos or videos, ones that prompt a response. In fact, identity and community management are more important than the click rate of photos and videos! Even a popular photo or video cannot generate enough customer interactions to qualify as a successful lead generation strategy.

However, a moderately high number of clicks from new and would-be customers on a large quantity of photos is a sign of a building brand on Instagram.

These are the four Instagram Rules of Engagement for your social media battle:

1. What Do You Want From Instagram?

Determining your objectives and deciding what it is you want to accomplish with Instagram are the first steps toward building an Instagram campaign. In part, your overall business model will apply. Questions like “Who is the target audience?” and “How many people and at what conversion rate do I need for success?” are important.

However, it’s more important – at least with respect to the specifics of Instagram – to ask two questions with much more concrete and predictable answers:

  1. What can Instagram do for you, and what can it do for you that other social media platforms cannot?
  2. How well does Instagram integrate with the other social media platforms you are using to brand your product?

Those are two questions you should be asking with respect to all your social media platforms. Once you’ve answered those two questions for each, you have the information you need to develop your social media business plan.

2. What Do You Want Instagram to Say About You?

Once you develop a content strategy, you can begin to understand what is required for you to get what you want out of Instagram. A content strategy includes concepts like:

  • Content themes: What you want to showcase about your company and its products and services
  • Types of content and ratios: The types of content you will use to develop your content theme, and in what proportions
  • Content calendar: How you will schedule content releases to keep it fresh without losing the value of content by over inundating your community

3. How Will You Give Your Community the Lead?

The value of community (user) generated content cannot be overemphasized. There isn’t a more surefire means of prompting a greater and wider community than user-generated content. You must allow the community to determine what it wants you to post on Instagram.

Using user-generated content takes the guesswork out of marketing. Rather than posting content in the form of an experiment to see whether it appeals or not, use your customers’ responses as a baseline to determine what content you will post next.

4. Never Forget the Hashtag

It’s the hashtag that helps people discover content they want to follow, so develop a hashtag strategy. For example, hashtag people and companies that hashtag you. By rewarding them, they will reward you in return. Hashtag content that is similar to yours, but not the content of competitors. Use the hashtag to expand your community and strengthen your brand.

Instagram is a very simple concept. By using these four Instagram Rules of Engagement, you can expand your brand and maximize the return on your time investment.

Make sure to read our introductory guide on Social Media Marketing for Real Estate Agents, and be sure to check out the last installment of this series on The Rules of Facebook Engagement.