Instagram: Promote without “Promoting”
June 2, 2016
Photographs can be a critical tool in your commercial real estate marketing arsenal. They’re an easy way to convey features that don’t translate in text, and they generate strong engagement rates on social media. Twitter posts with pictures receive 150% more re-tweets and photo posts on Facebook account for 87% of a given Facebook page’s engagement.
CRE firms and professionals can capture a tremendous amount of value from B2B marketing on Instagram, but not necessarily by following traditional models. Case in point: CBRE and its dynamic Instagram account.
CBRE uses Instagram to highlight its brand rather than the properties it represents. Paul Suchman, CBRE’s Chief Marketing Officer, noted in a recent Wall Street Journal article that CBRE’s instagram is not intended to be a selling tool. Instead, their strategy is focused on delivering content to connect with stakeholders and new audiences.
After CBRE refocused their Instagram page on storytelling, subsequent posts received an average of three likes and comments for every one of their 10,200 followers, an interaction rate of over 300%. This is no small feat, especially considering that the average interaction rate on Instagram per follower is 2.3%. Their entire follower base appears to connect with the firm’s culture and personality.
On social media platforms, users seek dialogue and engagement. Successful brand campaigns leverage this general interest to stimulate broader conversations. In The New #CREcosystem report, RealMassive’s panel of influencers emphasized that social media supports real-time relationships. This audience-first approach is the key to brand building on social media, especially on Instagram.
If you’re looking to drive direct traffic to property pages or listings, stick to Facebook or Twitter. Hyperlinks in captions and comments in Instagram aren’t clickable, due to a policy which prevents spam and click-bait.
Though it’s more difficult to promote on Instagram, it just requires a bit of creativity. Here are a few ways to leverage Instagram and promote without “promoting”:
Brand before product. Instagram is the perfect place to show off personality and the people behind your brand. Pictures of product are useful, but shouldn’t be the focus.
Go beyond quick pics. Infographics and inspirational typography are popular and can carry a strong message for your brand. Taking the time to make the pictures you take are high quality is also incredibly important.
Share the spotlight. Sharing is key on social media, and people tend to engage and share when they’re featured in posts. Consider adding photos of partners, customers, and other firms to generate engagement.
Don’t forget the caption! Even though the pictures are the star of the show, a good caption will help inspire discussion and comments.
These tips are a starting point for improving brand promotion on Instagram. With simple optimizations to social media channels and posts, it’s likely that engagement rates will improve as followers interact with your brand. For more insight into CRE marketing and the #CREcosystem, follow RealMassive on Instagram!