Launched back in 2010, Instagram, the popular photo-sharing service, has been attracting users left and right. Today, there are over 400 million active users, and the number continues to grow!
Since Instagram is about sharing compelling imagery, we decided to ask a few of our social media savvy photographers to chime in with some words of wisdom. After all, who better to offer advice on a photography-focused platform than actual photographers?
Instagram vs. Other Social Platforms
Before we dive in, let’s first consider what sets Instagram apart from other social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter. Here’s what our photographers had to say:
Hilary: “You don’t have to rely heavily on words, the pictures speak for themselves.”
Vince: “Being that it’s solely image based, you see that most successful Instagram users put a good bit of thought into their posts. While you do have text that you can use, it’s really all about the images, and what you can say or do with images.”
Natalia: “Instagram is great for sharing imagery. It’s great for letting other people see what you see with your eyes. Facebook is good for sharing and exchanging interesting websites, life updates and opinions. Twitter is meant for short quips, such as a thought of the moment. Instagram is perfect for sharing visuals that speak for themselves.”
Andrew: “Instagram is a social platform that puts photography first, captions and long narratives are secondary.”
It’s pretty clear Instagram is all about the imagery. Yes, it’s good to include some text, but all in all, the images speak for themselves. If you’ve never used the app before and are anxious to get started, pay close attention to this next section.
Tips for Instagram Beginners
Learning a brand new social platform can feel like a daunting task. That’s why we asked our photographers to share simple tips to help you get started:
Hilary: “You don’t have to post hourly, but be consistent. Maybe post every morning or after the newest set of photos have been uploaded so you can showcase your newest property.”
Vince: “Stay on point. Figure out what your niche is and stick to it. In a fast-paced media environment, where your image is one of hundreds that someone will scroll through, having a tight theme or focus drives success.”
Natalia: “Post frequently. If there’s simply nothing to share, browse other accounts for inspiration. Use hashtags to attract larger and wider audiences. Hashtags are very important. You can also connect your Instagram account with other media (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr) to instantly share on several platforms.”
Andrew: “If you’re new to Instagram, start by posting photos that provide insight to who you are, what you do, and the things you like. Your tastes will evolve over time and it will show in your posts.”
One thing worth emphasizing is Natalia’s tip about hashtags. Hashtags are the quickest and easiest way to get more people to view your posts and interact with them. This is where Instagram is very different from Facebook and Twitter. With those sites, if you use too many hashtags, your post looks busy and it turns people off. However, it’s perfectly acceptable to include 10+ relevant hashtags with your Instagram posts. No joke!
Now that you have a better idea of what to post and when, let’s take it one step further and see which photos stand out the most. We asked our panel of photographers which images have proven to be more appealing and get more engagement.
The Most Appealing Photos to Share are…
Hilary: “Definitely high quality, where there is high contrast, and great detail! Most of the time I find myself gravitating towards simple beautiful imagery. Ex: a beautiful entry way or a unique feature.”
Vince: “Because of how small the images typically are, you have to be conscious of composition, staying away from cluttered or busy images is a good idea. What’s interesting about Instagram is that since its primarily fueled by people shooting with their smart phones — good photography (shot by a professional with a pro camera) tends to stand out the most.”
Natalia: “1. Visually stunning images. 2. Unique moments like significant life events or rare sightings.”
Andrew: “In my experience, the photos that receive the most engagement (likes, comments, follows) are unique city views (either a unique composition, great light, dusk, night), clever street photos, and interior scenes with great views or those that provide a sense of mood, place and time.”
No matter what you decide to share on Instagram, just remember to have fun with it!
Why Should Real Estate Agents Use Instagram?
We asked our photographers to put themselves in your shoes and explain, in their own words, what the benefits are.
Hilary: “To have an online presence that’s on trend and to show off your newest (or prettiest) listing.”
Vince: “It’s another avenue of getting in front of people. Because of the high value of transactions, worldwide interest in lifestyle and interior design, real estate has started to become associated with a certain level of celebrity, so the searching that you see right now is amplified by that.”
David: “The more exposure the better.”
Andrew: “Instagram has the power to attract buyers to new listings.”
Social media is a powerful tool real estate professionals can utilize to grow business. By leveraging these social networks and embracing services like Instagram, you’ll be able to attract more buyers, interact with current clients, and get more eyes on your listings. Remember to follow VHT Studios on all of our social media sites, including Instagram!
Are there any Instagram tips you’d like to add? Share your thoughts in the comments below!