Today I’m going to share with you some of the biggest mistakes I see agents and brokers making when it comes to Instagram.
Mistake number one is not interacting with others. So it’s one thing to post something and scroll through your newsfeed and comment and interact with some people, but I would encourage you to actively interact with other people that you’re not already following. So how do you do this?
You can do it two ways. You can either go into Instagram and search geolocations, so you can search your local park. You can search your local restaurant. You can search things that are happening locally to you. You can also search local hashtags. So you can search, if you’re in Denver, #DenverRocks or #ILoveDenver, and you can start to search some of these hashtags and see some of the recent photos that people have posted.
Now once you’ve searched your different geolocations, or you’ve searched hashtags, now here’s a great opportunity to like and comment with other people that you may not already be connected with. Now one thing I’m going to mention is as you start to do this, when people see that you like and commented, if they don’t know you, they’re going to go over to your profile and they’re going to want to see who you are.
Make sure you’ve got your bio filled out. Have a couple things about who you are. Have a link to your website. That’s really important to have a profile photo that looks like you. Those are all things that are important. But mistake number one … I see a lot of agents just posting and running, so make sure you take the time to interact with others that you’re not already following on Instagram.
Mistake number two is not using Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories is a game-changer. It is changing things in so many ways, and so if you’re only using Instagram to just post photos in the newsfeed, that’s a great place to start, but Instagram Stories, for a lot of people, is kind of replacing the newsfeed. I know for me, when I go onto Instagram, I typically look at my stories first before I even scroll through the newsfeed.
If you’ve struggled a little bit with Instagram Stories, I would encourage you to think about your Instagram Stories as the story behind the story. So as you’re out and about, and you’re running around, and you’re meeting home inspectors, and you’re meeting with clients, and you’re on your way to the office … I want you to take a moment and maybe capture a little bit of that as you’re in your car. Not driving, but in your car in between appointments. Maybe pull out your phone and you share just a few tidbits of what it takes to do what you do.
Now what’s great about Instagram Stories is they’re here today. They’re gone tomorrow. They only last 24 hours, so they’re not meant to be the most polished. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s that, again, story behind the story. And I’ll give you a quick example. If you have a new listing, you’re probably out meeting the photographer. You’re taking those beautiful photos. Those photos will go up on Facebook. Maybe you’ll run a great Facebook ad, but your Instagram stories is on the way to meet the photographer, on the way to meet your clients, right? So use Instagram Stories. I can tell you right now that agents and brokers that are using Instagram Stories … They are connecting with more people on Instagram. They’re getting more business from Instagram, and they’re connecting with other realtors, as well.
The third mistake I see a lot of agents and brokers making on Instagram is they’re not using hashtags. Hashtags are one of the biggest ways to increase your following, to get your content seen by more people than just people that are following you on Instagram. Now you do have to have a public account on Instagram to use hashtags appropriately, so if you’re just using Instagram for friends and family, you might have a private account, but if you’re using it for business, I would encourage you to have a public account.
And when you have a public account, when you post to Instagram you can use up to 30 hashtags, which can sound like a lot if you are kind of new to the Instagram game, so I want to show you a great free resource, hashtagify.me. Hashtagify.me is a great free resource where you can put in a word or hashtag, and then it will showcase other trending hashtags that might be relevant for you and some of your posts.
So use at least 10-15 hashtags if possible. I like to write them out ahead of time. Have them in a Word document or a Google document or have them saved on your phone, like in the Notes app on your phone. That way you can copy and paste it really, really easily. I know a lot of the folks we work with inside of our #GetSocialSmart Academy use a tool called Later.com. Later.com is awesome. There’s a free version. There’s a paid version that you can do kind of the same thing where you’re searching for hashtags and saving hashtags, and that small thing will really help to get your content, get your posts seen by more and more people.
So those are just a few of the most common mistakes I see agents and brokers using when it comes to Instagram. Ultimately, if you’re not on Instagram yet, I would encourage you to really start thinking about it, because Instagram is growing by leaps and bounds. It’s owned by Facebook, and really it’s a great platform for agents and brokers to connect with prospects and connect with their past clients.
I’d love to hear from you! Are you active on Instagram? Let me know in the comments below. If so, put your handle below. I’d love to connect with you over on Instagram. If you’ve got Instagram questions, let us know in the comments below, as well. And if you’re struggling a little bit with your Instagram strategy, and you’d like to grow your following, you’d like to get more business from Instagram, we’ve got a great guide we invite you to check out.
Go to KatieLance.com/Instaguide to check that out and download for free.