You’ve heard about it, you’ve seen it, and perhaps your property even has it: Instagram, the image-based social network that has quickly grown from being merely an iOS app used by a handful of photographers and teenagers to a dominant social network that has attracted over 300 million users— yes, even multifamily communities. But are you taking full advantage of an Instagram marketing strategy as it pertains to your multifamily property? Here, I’ll offer just a few basic tips that can bring your multifamily Instagram strategy from being awful to awesome in a flash of an iPhone camera.
Focus on Framing
Instagram is a social media platform that is purely image-based where images and short video clips are all presented in the Instagram feed as squares. If you’re having trouble taking and posting pictures of good quality, perhaps it’s time to begin “thinking like a square.” Rather than constantly cropping pictures, focus instead on taking better pictures that are framed properly. As you build your brand, users will come to expect a standard of good, high quality images.
Choose Quality AND Quantity
The only thing worse than an Instagram profile that is not updated on a consistent basis is a profile that is updated with less-than-stellar images. Your multifamily marketing plan already includes digital ads with high-quality images on your website, so why compromise that when it comes to your social media strategy? On top of posting consistently, take the few extra minutes to make sure the image is visually appealing and not a poorly pixelated piece of trash. (Too harsh?)
Showcase Your Community
More and more local businesses are getting on Instagram as they build their brand and social media marketing strategy. Take this as an opportunity to show off what fascinating attractions surround your property. Some examples include:
• Cookies from the local bakery
• Shots from local artists or photographers
• Views from the beautiful overlook down the block
• Architecture or popular, exotic spots
These are just a few of the things you can highlight as you tell your growing number of followers what to expect from the community in which you (and they) live. Bonus: this can be a great way to explore the color palette and make your Instagram feed more vibrant and eye-catching!
“Regram” When You Can
There are a few apps that can help with what Instagram users call the “regram” (or repost, depending on who you ask), but one of the easiest ways to re-share an image that came up on your feed is to take a screenshot and give credit to the user or photographer who originally posted it. This is a fantastic method to build your community and grow your network, which brings us to…
Don’t Forget The “Social” Aspect
If you like an image you’ve seen—and it fits within your community’s brand message—then reach out and ask for permission to repost. Social media is social, after all, so start connecting with your network. Comment on pictures you like, follow the users who follow you, and post images that engage and ask for some response back. A great example would be a caption that reads, “Tag a friend who would love this home,” as you post a beautiful property photo that showcases your amenities and living space. Having a multifamily marketing strategy is imperative as a property manager. Sure, Facebook and Twitter have valuable benefits; however, the Facebook-owned Instagram has far surpassed Twitter’s user base and revenue, and the social network just keeps climbing. Take the time to invest in it, understand it, connect with other users in your community, build your brand, and grow your network as you discover new residents.
They say “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and Instagram is quickly proving itself as a great platform for business and branding. Obviously, multifamily marketing in the Internet age comes with a whole new set of opportunities and challenges that marketers decades ago never had to deal with. Utilizing Instagram as part of your social media marketing strategy with us at GTMA is one big step forward that will help bring your multifamily community into 2015 in visually-appealing style!
Have you set your business up on Instagram yet? Let us know how you’re doing in the comments, or hit us up on Twitter at @GoToMyApartment. Thanks for reading!