How Real Estate Agents Can Use Instagram's New Local Business Profile Pages

Written by Posted On Thursday, 02 May 2019 07:27

Instagram has introduced a new way for businesses to engage with its platform. The social media network is rolling out new profile pages for local businesses.

What is Instagram’s newest business profile feature and what does it mean for real estate agents? Similar to Google’s local knowledge panels, Instagram’s local business profile pages display company information such as the address, business category, hours, price range, URL, and phone number. The Instagram handle for the business’ account appears at the top of the profile page along with the profile image. The three most recent posts appear on the profile as well.

As an agent, you can “claim” an Instagram business profile page if you manage a Facebook account for that same business. Once you claim a profile, you can then correct any inaccurate information.

Instagram is still testing this new feature, so you may not be able to claim your local business profile page just yet. But you can prepare yourself for when the rollout becomes official. Here’s everything agents need to know about Instagram’s new local business profile pages.

Review your Facebook business page to ensure all information is consistent

Since Instagram requires users to have access to their Facebook business page to claim an Instagram business profile page, one can only assume that Instagram is extracting its information from Facebook business pages. Therefore, start with Facebook first. You probably have an existing Facebook business page, so visit your Facebook business page and check to make sure all of your information is relevant and correct. You don’t want any outdated information to transfer to your new Instagram business profile page. You’ll be able to make changes in Instagram still, but it’s a good idea to make sure both pages are accurate and up-to-date.

Check your Instagram profile to make sure it’s a business account

The new Instagram local business profile page is a separate page from the Instagram page you probably already set up for your business. Your Instagram local business profile page will feature a link to your business page that you already have created at the top of the page. Agents will need to make sure they have an active business profile on Instagram before even claiming the new local business profile page.

Here’s how to check and make sure your profile is set up as a business and how to convert a personal account into a business profile.

1. Go to your Instagram profile.

2. Tap on the three lines located in the top right-hand corner.

3. Tap “Settings” at the bottom.

4. Tap “Account.”

5. “Switch to Business Profile” appears at the bottom if you do not have a business account. If you see “Switch Back to Personal Account,” you have an existing business account and won’t need to proceed further.

Claim your Instagram local business profile page

After completing the steps above, you can now claim an Instagram local business profile page.

To claim your real estate local business profile, first sign onto Instagram. Go to the “Places” tab and search for your local business. You cannot simply go to your already-created Instagram page. Instead click “Places” and search for your local business from there. Tap on your real estate business name, and a large “View Information” button will appear at the top. Once you tap this button, the business profile page appears with an option to “Claim” it on the top right of the page. You must own the equivalent Facebook business page to claim a business profile page. Check to be sure all of your details are correct on Instagram and edit any information as needed.

Be mindful of images you post

The new local profile page will display the last three pictures you post on your business account. It’s uncertain whether Instagram will provide the option to pin specific images in these three spots, so it’s important to make sure your pictures are an accurate reflection of your real estate business.

Do the images you post appeal to current and potential clients? Did you post the same image three times in a row? Start thinking about how you can use the three images on your local profile page to attract new clients. For example, if you don’t already, geotag your Instagram posts. You can do this by tapping “Add Location” before you share photos. Geotags help users find and visit your local business or a neighborhood you may be targeting. Post pictures that clearly show your job is in real estate. You can share congratulatory photos with clients after their closing, before and after home remodeling shots, open house visuals, your video business card, and real estate tips.

Use Instagram Stories regularly

When users find a business’s local profile page, they’re able to see whether or not the business has posted any recent Instagram stories. Since the profile page displays basic information, you’ll need to draw in visitors with fresh content using the stories feature. Users like Instagram Stories since they can immediately return to the content they were viewing once the story is over or they've finished watching.

According to the social network, more than 500 million user accounts watch an Instagram story every day. There are many opportunities for agents to share educational or behind-the-scenes content. You can post a live Q&A about buying or selling a home or a picture of your meal at a restaurant in a neighborhood you’re targeting. Engage your audience with a poll asking which color you should paint a door or another part of the house.

Although Instagram has not announced an official rollout date for its local business profile pages, it’s best to prepare yourself on how you can use this tool to attract potential clients. Start implementing these tips in your Instagram strategy and you’ll be well ahead of the game when it’s time to claim your business profile page.    

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Adrian Fisher

Adrian Fisher is the founder of PropertySimple, a social real estate platform.

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