Social media is an incredible tool for building a brand, generating awareness about your business, and attracting and converting leads. In an industry like real estate where listing photos (and videos) can tell a thousand words, Instagram is the perfect platform for highlighting the features of a property and getting eyes on your agents’ listings.
Better still, with more than 165 million active users in the United States, chances are most of your agents (and, most importantly, tons of leads) are already on the platform.
Instagram has two different kinds of profiles: one for casual users, and one for professionals who want to grow their businesses on social media. Professional Instagram accounts have multiple advantages over personal ones for real estate agents. Let’s review the differences between personal and professional Instagram accounts, why your agents should consider switching to a business account (and how to do it), and then how to automate social posting for your entire brokerage.
We’d be willing to bet most of your agents already have a personal Instagram account.
Personal accounts are great for connecting with friends, family members, old acquaintances, and even finding new buddies with shared interests. They’re also great for learning how to do new things or finding personal and professional inspiration. As the name “personal” would suggest, they can be set to private, shielding posts from anyone who doesn’t have permission to see them.
Business accounts, on the other hand, are necessarily public. They have two main features that personal accounts do not:
Let’s discuss why these features are beneficial for agents and why it’s worth switching.
These additional features can make a real difference for agents who want to generate leads with their social media profiles. Instagram business profiles let agents build their personal brands, grow brokerage brand recognition, and keep their funnels full.
For real estate professionals, Instagram is a potential lead goldmine. 65% of leads come from agents’ spheres of influence. If they’re not using Instagram and their other social media platforms to generate leads, they are seriously missing out on a low investment, high return way to get more business.
One of the keys to any great marketing plan is knowing who you’re marketing to. With Instagram Insights, agents get data that tells them who is viewing their content and how their posts are performing. They can view detailed demographics, account and post performance statistics, and more. This can help paint a picture of who is taking an interest in agents’ content. If they aren’t attracting the audience they want (e.g., teenagers in another country, rather than prospective homebuyers and sellers in their own backyards), they can adjust as necessary.
Example of audience insights for a professional account on Instagram
Insights can also tell you when your audience is most active, so you know when the best times to post are.
In addition to insights to help agents refine their social media strategies, Instagram also puts a wealth of lead-generation tools at users’ fingertips, but only if they have professional profiles. Let’s look at some of them.
Business accounts can add a Contact button to the top of their profiles, making it easier for potential leads to get in touch. Agents can pick their preferred method of contact (an email, phone call, or direct message) and the corresponding buttons will appear under their bios.
Agents can proudly display that they work in real estate, right under their photo. These industry listings are tappable, meaning users can tap it to explore other similar businesses. By listing their industry in their profiles, agents make themselves much more discoverable by potential clients.
Personal profiles can only include one tappable link in their bios, which isn’t ideal for agents who are trying to drive traffic to their listings. Thankfully, business accounts can add links in their stories, which coincidentally are a great way to share listing photos and videos, give virtual showings, and more. You can even customize the link text (for example, to the property address) for a more personal feel.
Professional accounts have the added benefit of planning ahead and scheduling content in advance. This can help save time and allow agents to create a bank of content that will go live according to their schedule.
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One of the biggest advantages of social media is that it doesn’t cost anything to set up a business or personal account. The barrier to entry is very low. This means that any agent can get their listings in front of an audience without breaking the bank.
However, some agents may decide they want to pay to get their posts seen by more people. Only business profiles can do that. Business profiles can opt to Create an Ad when they are setting up their post or Boost their post after it’s already published. Instagram offers a wide variety of tools to help you customize your ad and ensure it reaches the right audience.
Real estate agents never want to leave people guessing about how to get in touch. In addition to the very useful contact buttons mentioned above, business accounts can also list additional contact information (usually a business address) and a website address. Agents can list their office address and link to their agent websites (that are hopefully linked to your brokerage site) to drive more organic traffic.
Certain types of entrepreneurs or business owners may decide it makes more sense to have a separate personal account for non-business posting. In our opinion, real estate agents are different. Why?
Real estate agents have always been in the relationship business, and that has never been truer today with the rise of technologies like AI and increased automation of real estate transactions. Agents help homebuyers and sellers with what are arguably the most important (and significant) transactions of their lives. It is therefore all the more important that leads see the person behind the professional and feel a connection with them. The result is more trust, more confidence, and a greater likelihood of referrals, which are some of the most important kinds of leads.
Showing some of their personal side along with their listings is the perfect way for agents to build a personal brand, broaden their spheres of influence, and grow their business in the process.
A lot of individual influencers/creators who do not necessarily run their own businesses treat social media like a business: they are serious about analyzing their followers, creating content, and even trying to monetize that content. Since they are a sort of hybrid between a business and a person, the Business features available to professional accounts are useful to them.
Even still, to maintain their privacy, they might not want to provide a street address or list an industry/business category in their profiles. Creator accounts give them the option to hide this information. Whether your agents decide to leverage Instagram’s professional account tools with a Business or Creator account is up to them, but a Business account may provide more benefits in terms of linking back to your brokerage.
Setting up the right kind of professional account couldn’t be easier, and we covered how to do it in a step-by-step guide in a previous post. In just a few minutes, your team will be able to harness all the benefits of having a professional Instagram account.
Improve your brokerage’s social media game and master the most powerful digital marketing mediums with the best social media tool for real estate: Paradym by Constellation1.
Paradym by Constellation1 lets Business and Creator profiles completely automate their social media on multiple platforms, posting scroll-stopping content at ideal times with Smart Scheduler from a bank of dozens of thousands of carefully curated posts and your own MLS listing data. Engaged agents can post as much or as little as they like, and you can brand everything to your brokerage, giving yourself an edge and helping your business grow.
To learn more about harnessing the power of social media and how to give your brokerage a competitive edge, request a callback below. One of our digital marketing experts will be in touch with you shortly.