Putting Instagram to Work for Your Community

The image sharing social network Instagram has been around for a few years. Chances are good, you’re already sharing cute photos of your kids and delicious pictures of your weekly Sunday brunch. But could your favorite way to share photos also be the key to attracting new tenants?

Cal Bay Property Management’s Scott Safadi says yes. We live in a visual world and more emphasis is placed on images than ever before. Platforms like Twitter can be a great way to share news and engage with potential tenants, Instagram requires you to put your money where your mouth is — metaphorically speaking, of course!

If you don’t have great content to share, your Instagram won’t be very successful. With pretty photos of your community, though, the platform can be the lead generation tool you’ve been looking for!
So what’s the secret? Resist the urge to only photograph your community. While photos of your units and amenities are helpful, expand out your content to local attractions and restaurants. Since location is so critical in determining whether a person wants to live in your community, you’ve got to sell your neighborhood on top of your apartments.
Also consider the role video plays on Instagram. Where else can you get an autoplaying stream of your finest features? Showcase the very best action shots you can get of your apartment. Perhaps you’ll hone in on the jacuzzi action happening at your hot tub, or even film the breeze blowing through pretty trees in the area. Not everything needs to be a direct commercial for your community! Your videos don’t have to be long, either. Anything between 3 and 60 seconds is the perfect length for a video on Instagram.
Resist the urge to make your Instagram presence too perfect. While professionalism is always necessary, layering on heavy filters can set off alarm bells for savvy viewers. After all, nothing screams phony like a heavily-filtered image trying to sell you something. Post images like that and you’re on the fast track to being unfollowed.
Whatever your Instagram strategy, remember your hashtags! They help attract Instagram users to your page and give your brand some flavor. Embrace #flashbackfridays by posting early images of your property. Not sure how to create your very own marketing hashtag? Check out one of the many hashtag generators online for guidance.
– Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management