A Realtor’s Guide to Social Media
First things first: success on Instagram (and other social media platforms) is actually NOT about posting content. While posting is an important part of attracting and keeping followers, the real trick to social media success is 1) tagging relevant accounts, 2) engaging with accounts through their posts, and 3) responding to messages and comments. These steps are hands-down the best ways to build your audience and get your posts seen by those who are not yet following you.
While Instagram’s algorithm for how it ranks posts and filters content into our feeds isn’t exactly public knowledge, it’s not rocket science, either. Read on for 3 ways to help you succeed on social media.
“You need to be part of the community, not just pushing out [posts].”
How Can I Increase My Presence On Instagram?
Here is how to make sure that you’re capturing the attention of your audience, increasing their engagement with your content, and convincing Instagram that your posts are high-quality and worth showing to even more people:
- Tag, tag, tag. Tagging accounts is one of the biggest things you can do to increase your engagement score. Check out the Red Oak Realty post below as an example. Red Oak has tagged the agent selling the home, the photographers (us!), and even themselves.
When Red Oak posts this photo, the tagged accounts are notified on Instagram. Those tagged accounts can then like the post, re-post the post to their stories, and engage by commenting. This increases Red Oak’s engagement score, as well as the tagged accounts’ scores.
- Engage often. You can engage with posts in several meaningful ways. Liking a photo is the easiest method and requires very little work on your part. That also means it’s relatively low on the engagement scale. Comments, “saving” a post, and Direct Messages initiated from a post offer the most points on the engagement scale because they require more effort. If your audience does any of these things on your post, this indicates to Instagram that your post is probably high-quality because people are going out of their way to engage with it.
- Respond to DMs and comments. If people are commenting on your posts and even DM-ing you, that’s great! Remember to engage back (thereby driving up everyone’s scores) by responding to comments and messages. This tells Instagram that – according to your audience – not only is your account worth contacting, but you’re an engaged responder.
By following these steps and keeping in mind what Instagram considers to be important in posts, you can get your content in front of the maximum number of viewers – and hopefully get you some followers that turn into clients.
How Does Instagram Rank Posts?
If you’re wondering exactly how Instagram decides to feature which posts, TechCruch has a fantastic article which explains this in even greater depth. Instagram considers six main categories when calculating the quality of your post (and thereby calculating how many people should see it, and in what order).
- Interest: Instagram wants to show people posts that they’ll enjoy. The platform uses what people have liked in the past to show them more of the same in the future. If a user often interacts with a certain account, Instagram will show more posts from that account. This is why you, as an agent, need to post consistently and frequently. Give your audience more of a chance to interact with your content so that you continue to show up in their feed.
- Relationship: Instagram loves showing you posts from people it thinks you know. This could be family, friends, people you search for, or people you Direct Message. This is why you’ll often see prompts when someone you know is new to the platform; Instagram is really hoping you’ll follow each other since you appear to know one another.
- Timeliness: When you post matters nearly as much as what you post. Aim for a time when many of your followers are browsing their feed. Tuesdays from 11:00a.m.–2:00p.m., is the timeframe when most people tend to scroll through their feed. Monday through Friday around 11:00am are also popular times.
- Frequency: Instagram actually tailors its feed in two ways based on how often a user visits the app. Frequent users are shown posts chronologically because the app assumes they are up-to-date on newer posts. Less frequent users are shown what the app considers to be the most important posts; e.g., posts by family, friends, or other high-value accounts.
- Following: You may, at some point, have received a fishy-looking DM offering to help you garner hundreds if not thousands of followers – all for a low, low price! You may be tempted to purchase followers, but you should first consider your goals when it comes to Instagram. You’re likely looking for potential customers and if this is the case, these “ghost followers” will not be helpful. In fact, they may even harm your overall Instagram presence because they won’t engage with your posts at all, which will lower your overall engagement score.
For more information on ghost followers. be sure to check out this Bazaar Voice article.
- Usage: Some people spend more time on Instagram than others. Extreme users may even run out of new content! But never fear; in these cases, Instagram will show content from new accounts that the user is not currently following. If you’re an account that posts high-quality content frequently and consistently, you may even show up as one of those suggested accounts!
Following the 3 steps we mentioned above (and having a better understanding of why Instagram prioritizes some posts) will help drive up your engagement score and hopefully get your content and account in front of brand new people who become followers and perhaps even potential clients.
Have tips of your own to share? Feel free to leave them in the comments below!
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