4 Ways Instagram Changes Will Impact Real Estate Agents
Last week Instagram announced that it will change how it’s feed will show your posts. It will be more like it’s big brother (Facebook) using an algorithm based feed.
Who cares? First brands will care along with all of the real estate agents and brokers will care…or at least they should care.
What does that mean? That means that instead of seeing posts as they happen, Instagram will start showing you what you care most for. Just like Facebook, Instagram will now start knowing what you like and who you mostly follow and will show you those first and maybe never show you the least.
It seems like a logical step to deal with the Instagram’s growth, but as a marketer, you shouldn’t be happy. There are already almost 200,000 signatures on Change.org petition to “Keep Instagram Chronological.” Check out Change.org petition Why? People know this will mean that small businesses and artists will be effected by the change.
How do you keep it from effecting you? Now, more than ever you, will need a social media manager to help you pick your posts, gain followers, engage your customers, and create leads for you. No more just sticking pictures up on Instagram and hoping for the best. It will need to be targeted, engaging, and, yes, cost money. You will need to advertise just like on Facebook.
1. You could gain followers
Instagram is trying to make everyone’s experience better (see their blog post about it) and grow at the same time. With the old way, it makes it hard to follow too many people before it becomes hard to see everything you want or need to. Instagram says that people only see 30% of the posts from the people they follow. They are just trying to make the best of that 30% for the end user.
“On average, people miss about 70 percent of the posts in their Instagram feed,” says Kevin Systrom, the co-founder and CEO of Instagram. “What this is about is making sure that the 30 percent you see is the best 30 percent possible.”
How does this make you gain followers? Users can follow more people/places without worry of clutter and they might actually follow you now. We have seen this with Facebook and there isn’t any reason why this won’t happen on Instagram.
2. The number of followers will be less relevant
What? Did I trip you up on this one? You might gain followers, but the number won’t really mean anything! If you have 1,000 followers on the old version, you would reach 1,000 feeds. Now it will be more like Facebook! You might have 1,000 people but only a fraction will see it until people start reacting to it or you pay them to show it to your followers.
Algorithm’s can be awesome, especially for a marketer! Only time will tell on just how tough Instagram’s algorithm is going to be. Most likely it will start small and scale up (again, very similar to Facebook). I would rather have an engaged 2,000 people in my key demo area than to have 15,000 random people that I now have to pay to get in front of.
3. Engagement will be key (it should already had been)
I keep on saying Facebook, but you don’t have to look too far to see how engagement will be key going forward on Instagram! Facebook expands your post reach with every share and like. If people are interested in your content, the more important it becomes.
You, as a brand, must now make it a priority to create engaging content. I shouldn’t have to be telling you this because you should have been doing so before.
Generic content or boring posts will be drowned out by your competition. Instagram is now like Facebook…quality over quantity. You will need to invest in Instagram just like you should be doing on Facebook.
4. Paid Instagram ads more than ever
Let’s get real for a moment. Instagram’s new algorithm is about the posts but mostly about monetization. They have to make money to keep growing and providing a service. I enjoy free rides but I knew it wouldn’t last forever. Don’t know how you feel about it? Too bad! It’s happening. I don’t complain about how I feel that my local monthly magazine costs $4,500 for a full page ad (actually I do just because I don’t want to spend that on the ROI that I get).
Last year Instagram opened up their ads to anyone on the Facebook ad platform. You can target users just like on Facebook. You will need to get that set up if you haven’t yet. Their targeting is amazing if you use it correctly!
So, what does this all mean to you? Just like on Facebook, you will need a mixture of organic and paid advertising to get the best results. You will need help from people or companies who do this for a living to get the best results. This is an opportunity to become a leader in your area and get in front of users, because most real estate agents and brokers will not pay for ads or post relevant content.
This is the time to start thinking about your strategy! Instagram isn’t just fun and games anymore. Instagram just got real!
Are you ready? If not, your competition will most likely be. Not ready to really invest the time and energy into Instagram? Then stop and wait by your pager for a lead or better yet, pay Zillow more money for more worthless leads. Just saying!