Instagram How-To Guide

Instagram combines photo sharing and social networking into a simple-to-use app that has quickly become a very popular social tool - and it's easy to see why. Not only is this unique platform a consumer favorite, it's also become a winning marketing tool for companies. In fact, the app has built up such a strong following, it's now more popular than Twitter, with over 300 million monthly users.

Unlike other social networks, Instagram is completely photo and video-centric: users can post images and short videos (up to 15 seconds), but no standalone text updates. The highly visual nature of the app makes it a perfect tool to promote your company products and services. You can use it to showcase unique features of your offerings and to build trust with your audience.

How to Sign Up for Instagram

All you need is your mobile phone and an email address.

  • Using your phone, download the app from the Apple App Store, Google Play or the Windows Store.
  • Once it has downloaded, open the app and tap Sign Up.
  • Enter your email address. Please note: you also have the option to sign in with Facebook, but would be better off using your email unless you have a personal Facebook page dedicated to your real estate business.
  • Create a username and password. Try to connect your username to your business if possible. If the name you want is taken, try a few different variations until you find one that works.

You're done! Now it's time to build out your profile. It's very important to add a profile picture, bio and a link to your website so people know who you are and how to contact you. Now let's take a look at what you can do to really wow your prospects.

3 Steps to Success on Instagram:

Have a strategy for the platform:
Decide what you'd like to get out of Instagram; how you want to project your company and what your objective is. Is it to find out more about your prospective clients and what they like? Is it to generate leads, promote your products or services and expertise or to show off some cool things you're up to? Whatever the case, use this strategy to drive your posts.

Build up your Instagram followers:
Add your Instagram profile link to your website, email signature and to other social media sites to start growing followers organically. You can also incorporate #hashtags to better target leads and increase your follower headcount. Hashtags are words preceded with a #symbol (e.g. #rsvp #hotspot, #tbt, etc.) - that help users search for and discover Instagram posts on specific topics.

Be active, engaged and organized:
Once you're up and running on Instagram, stay engaged to build your community. Comment on and "like" other people's posts to raise awareness of your profile and encourage new followers to check it out. Also, create a schedule to help you remember what to post when and to track what is working once you get going.

Instagram is all about sharing beautiful images and connecting with other people's stories; which makes it not only a powerful tool for your business - but also a fun and interesting one. Now it's time to set up your own Instagram account (if you already don't have one) and start experimenting.

What has been your experience with Instagram? Share in the comments below.

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