I don’t think that it’s up for debate anymore, Instagram should be the cornerstone of any successful social media strategy. The app allows real estate agents to both showcase ourselves and the beautiful homes that we sell, every day. Through the FEED we can present polished (often filtered) versions of whatever we want to show off, and in the STORIES we can get a little bit more raw and behind the scenes. There is a time & place for both sides of Instagram, which The Broke Agent covers in depth in the Course. For now, I’m going to dive into two of my favorite features of Instagram, and how I use them to grow my real estate business.

1. Quick Replies

I make it a point to send a reply to every new follower. Not just for the engagement boost (which I’ll cover in a sec), but it’s also a genuine attempt to get to know everyone that is following me. Let’s be real, one of the biggest advantages to having a robust Instagram account is to foster relationships with people. 

Aside from that, the Instagram algorithm works hard to show you content from people that you are the most engaged with. They take every like, comment, save, & share that you make and show you more content from those accounts, and accounts similar to those. One of the heaviest weighted inputs is DIRECT MESSAGES back and forth between accounts. Instagram knows that if you have conversations in the direct messages, you probably WANT to see the rest of their content as well. Therefore, replying to every new follower and starting real conversations with them almost guarantees that they will also get shown your content (feed posts, stories) later on.

I am adamantly against using bots to facilitate your social media interactions. It’s impersonal. We’ve all followed a brand before and gotten a quick DM directing you to their website, or some other sales pitch. You know immediately that you’re not talking with a real human. BUT, depending on how many new followers you get each day, just the process of typing out the initial DM can even be a bit much. That’s why I love IG Quick Replies. You’re still manually sending these to people who you want to have conversations with, and often at a much later time, so it’s not instant and doesn’t seem like an auto-responder.

Tactic: When you get a new follower, go to their profile and click MESSAGE. From there, go to the text field and you will see a speech bubble with three dots inside. You can click that and open up the Quick Reply menu, and begin to save a few custom ones of your own. For example, I use the shortcut “LLL” to quickly reply “Thanks for following, nice to meet you.” I always begin the message with a separate message of “Hi <insert name>”, and then follow with 1 or 2 of my saved quick replies.

If you’re getting 10+ new followers each day, and properly interacting with them as they come in, having quick replies set up can really save time. Also, you can use quick replies for existing interactions as well. How about having a quick reply like this set up and randomly reaching out to past clients:

“Hey, I was randomly thinking about you today. How is everything with the house?”

2) Following / Favorites

Did you know that there are two separate feed options on Instagram? If you press the Instagram logo on the top left of your home page, you’ll see options for “following” and “favorites.”

Like most anyone, I’ve followed a lot of pages throughout the years. I’ve followed brands that I like, meme pages that I laughed at, and even random people who maybe caught my eye at some point along the way. While I don’t want to unfollow those accounts quite yet, it CAN make the viewing experience pretty cluttered. So, I recently went and added all of my clients and sphere of influence into my FAVORITES category and will begin my Instagram time by filtering to the “favorites” view. This allows me to not miss anything posted by my clients and favorite people. Then, once I’m caught up, I can head back to the “following” view for my mindless scroll time.

Remind people to add you to their favorites

If I’m adding people to my favorites, other users certainly are as well. So, you should give a call to action to your followers in your story or in the caption of a feed post asking your followers to add YOU to their favorites. That way your content can appear at the top of their feeds. You can say something subtle like:

“If you are enjoying my content, click the three dots at the top of this post and make sure to add me to your favorites so you don’t miss my posts!”

This can really help boost your engagement if users start really utilizing this feature like I do.

So I’m going to go with my own advice here…

If you’re following me on Instagram make sure you add me to your favorites.