Social media is an important chapter in every advertiser’s playbook. And while some platforms tend to carry more weight than others, it’s also important to stay consistent in your usage. This is easy to do with sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, but with other platforms, consistency (especially when it comes to what you post) can be boring. With social platforms like Instagram, it’s important to be innovative with the content you produce.

Instagram is a visual marketing platform that may be difficult to navigate at times. With over 76 million users in the US and over 600 million worldwide, it’s a force to be reckoned with. Instagram can be a helpful marketing tool that lets prospective renters see your property in a new way. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

#Culture

It may seem counter intuitive to leave a trail of messy small print at the end of a post, but they are an important part of a post. There are 3 types of hashtags you should use to maximize your visibility.

  1. Instagram hashtags
  2. General hashtags
  3. Branded hashtags

Instagram hashtags are universal among the user base. These include day-specific posts like #tbt and subject-specific posts like #catsofinstagram. These allow users with similar interests to find one another.

General hashtags allow users to find your product quickly. These include things like location, products, hobbies, and even colors. If they are looking for a new apartment, they’re going to search hashtags in the neighborhood they are looking in. It can also help to throw in whether there is #nofilter.

Branded hashtags are specific tags for your company. These are good to help users find posts that are about the community in your property. Find a tag that doesn’t have a lot of posts to it. This can either be the name of your company (like #onsitedotcom), or something that references it. Branded tags also work for special events (like #onsiteretreat) that you would like to highlight.

Post and Repost

Show off your property in creative ways that will highlight different features. As amazing as your landscaping might be, you don’t want every post to be of flowers and shrubs. It’s important to keep in mind that when a potential renter comes to your Instagram page, the pictures show up in a grid; you don’t want them to see a block of green or brown. You’ll want to mix it up as you post so that grid is just as picture perfect as your posts are.

While you post pictures, be sure to find interesting angles or use eye-catching lighting to appeal to the visual nature of Instagram.

Reposting is also something you can do to both draw in new residents and work on resident retention. Reposting doesn’t mean posting a picture that you already have posted, but rather reposting a picture that a resident has posted of the property. There currently is no feature on Instagram that allows you to repost other people’s pictures, but there are plenty of partner apps that will get the job done. By acknowledging your residents’ post, you are building a relationship with them, showing potential renters that you notice your current residents’ input, and you get a little bit of free publicity. But make sure you have that branded hashtag to keep track of these!

Embrace Trends

Instagram makes one or two big changes every year to keep its interface interesting. The most recent big changes have been Stories and Albums. These features made huge waves at first as people were learning how to best utilize them. By keeping up with these new features, you are showing renters that your property is able to keep with the times. If you’re not particularly tech savvy, don’t worry, after every major update there are sure to be how-to’s popping up everywhere like this one.

And Instagram isn’t only about pictures, be sure to include some video elements every once in a while. Whether it’s a traditional video clip, Boomerang,or Hyperlapse, a small change from the status quo can keep your followers on their toes.

Event Coverage

When it comes to event coverage on Instagram, there are 3 types of post to keep in mind:

  1. Advertising
  2. Day Of
  3. Post-Party

Before you can post about a party, you have to have people show up first, which is why advertising your event is important. Make a fun graphic or post a picture of a flyer that will grab your resident’s attention.

On the day of the event, you can post several pictures, or use Stories to show your resident’s how the setup is going. But more importantly, post pictures during the actual event. You’ll want to showcase your residents. It’s also a good idea to encourage them to post pictures of the event with your branded hashtag.

The post-party part of the equation can be a day after, a week after, even a month or more. It’s a good idea to post a picture the next day to thank everyone for coming. You can also save some pictures for later and use an Instagram hashtag like #tbt for a broader audience.