Why market your business on Instagram?
Using Instagram for business is totally different than using it for personal use. In this blog, I am going to highlight the essential elements to getting started using Instagram for the property industry.
Firstly, Instagram is a massive market to play in – there are 600+million monthly active users and 400+ million active daily users. The average user spends 25 minutes per day on the platform. With Twitter, it is more of an overseas market – more confined to the US and UK.
However, Instagram is big in Australia. The October 2017 statistics from Social Media News show that there are 9 million monthly active social media users. In terms of the Australian population, the latest statistics from Social Media News (statistics from Vivid Social) shows that 1 in 3 Australians uses Instagram so it’s definitely a place where you want to be.
Before you get started on Instagram
Before you get started on Instagram, there are a few important considerations to be made. These include setting up your business profile as well as creating the image of your brand. Once done, and you are ready to create content, there are a few more rules of thumb about how to use the platform effectively.
1. Determine your target market
Identifying your target market is one of the first steps to utilising Instagram effectively. Know who your key audience is. Are they male/female? What is their age? What are they interested in? Where do they live? Are they a couple, family with kids, university students looking for student housing? Of course, you are likely to have more than one target market, but you need to know the key demographics about each of them, their interests etc.
Knowing who you are marketing to then helps you to find them online and interacting with them. There’s no point going all out on Instagram and building your follower base of people who aren’t interested in your brand or who aren’t even in your target geographical area.
2. Create a marketing strategy
So once you are clear on who your audience is, a marketing strategy will help you to determine the different stages of the buying process they are in, and how to provide the content that they need. Remember, digital marketing is about providing relevant and useful content to your audience. A marketing strategy identifies your key objectives – whether it is brand awareness, getting vendors to list their property with you, finding buyers for those listings, getting new rental listings or filling rental properties. Each needs a different approach and with different content and calls to action.
Getting set up on Instagram
3. Set up your Instagram account
Your Instagram account should be set up with a handle – this is your username – that is relevant to your business and where possible, identify it with any other social media handles you have. Your account should also be set up as a business account so that you can undertake paid advertising and link to a Facebook page. This will allow you to get the most benefit from the two platforms.
Your account should also be linked to your website and your website should be linked to your Instagram account so people on your website can visit you on Instagram and vice versa.
4. Create a compelling bio
Your Instagram BIO should give a succinct message about your brand, be relevant and convey your Unique Selling Point (USP). It shouldn’t be a spam of hashtags.
With an Instagram business account, you have the capability to include your website URL too. This gives your followers a one-click option to connect with your off the platform. A business account lets you set up a number of other different contact options such as the email, call or text.
5. Use a consistent messaging and tone of voice
Your message, your written content and your images should be consistent. Consistent look, consistent voice, consistent use of words. You want to connect with your audience, make your brand unique and create a relationship with those online. Consistency is key also in terms of posting – aim for regular posts rather than sporadic posts and posts at times when your audience is not tuned in.
Posting on Instagram
6. Manage your content in line with your strategy
Deciding upon content and how to market to potential customers is where a lot of people get it wrong. Posting the same type of content over and over again doesn’t work. Remember to go back to your marketing strategy. Develop content for your different buyer personas that addresses their main pain points.
A general rule with content is that you need to mix it up and there are a number of ways to do this. Rather than have all your posts created with the aim to showcase a property, add in a graphical testimonial post, something about a team member, a local place of the area you market in. Give value to your audience.
While selling residential property, and renting houses and apartments is your main core principal for your business, give people a reason as to why they should engage your services. Plus keep in mind why they should locate in the area your properties are in. Post content about a local café, sports facility, the local library, beaches, parks, anything that gives your audience a greater insight into why this area is a great place to live in.
Depending on your marketing objects there are a number of different mixes of content that you can apply and there are lots of different ways Instagram marketing is done by property professionals. Some mix in the more personal side of the agents, others provide local area insights plus there are blends of them all.
7. Publish at the right time
People get turned off by accounts that continue to promote themselves all day every day and when you post too much it becomes spam. People want information, they just don’t want to be bombarded with it. When they feel this way they unfollow.
There are a number of optimal times to post on Instagram, with 3-4 pm each day being the worst times. Optimal posting times also largely depends on where your audience is, their timezone and when they are on social media. If you are catering to overseas property investors you will want to target their timezone and the time that they are most likely to be using social media.
A local audience, then who is the audience, where are they and when are they looking at a property? Are they looking for their lunch breaks or at night after dinner or first thing in the morning? Is Sunday night after they’ve missed out on yet another auction a key time when your audience is online?
8. Use hashtags to get more reach
Hashtags help to build a social media account and connect with your ideal audience. When used correctly, you can get more exposure to each of your posts, increase your follower base and get more engagement. The key is using hashtags that are relatable, local and ones that others are using to find services and businesses like yours.
Measurement and analytics are essential to keeping track with your marketing goals, and to ensure you are hitting the sweet spot in driving the conversions you need. Measuring engagement levels, building an engaged follower base, getting more reach with your content and monitoring the content that resonates with your audience is vital. Social media changes all the time. What you are doing now may not work in 3 months time.
If you want to know more about how to use Instagram for your business, contact us today for an obligation free discussion.
Statistics compiled by SocialMediaNews.com.au for October 2017. Source: Vivid Social – Social Media Agency. Figures correct as of 31/10/17.