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instagramThere’s a certain thrill people get when offered a chance to win a prize. Whether it’s the excitement of scratching off a lottery ticket, the anticipation of waiting for that last Bingo number to be called or the hope that your raffle ticket will be picked as the winner—people love contests.

That’s why photo contests are a great way for brokers to use visual storytelling and increase visibility of your real estate brand on Instagram.

Instagram is a free photo-sharing platform that allows users to upload pictures; edit them with filters, soft focuses, or light-enhancing options; caption them; and share them on any major social network like Twitter and Facebook, as well as within Instagram itself. With over 100 million registered users, this social network’s star is clearly rising.

The appeal of Instagram is that it’s image-based, which offers a different way to communicate with readers than other social networks that are text or comment-based. The filters the tool provides make every photo look special, meaning you don’t have to be a professional photographer to have your pictures look like you are. That makes it easy for anyone with a mobile device to take an award-winning photo and win a photo contest.

Last December, Homes.com teamed with ForRent.com on the launch of their first ever Instagram contest—the Home for the Holiday Photo a Day Instagram Challenge. The contest was simple enough, each day throughout the month of December, people were invited to upload photos to reflect that particular day’s theme, allowing others to see the holiday season through their eyes.

For example, on day one, the photo needed to show what people were thankful for. Day four was of your favorite holiday pet photo and day 14 wanted shots of a tacky sweater. Other photos included a cozy spot by the fire, a favorite family holiday activity, holiday light displays and even a slice of holiday pie.

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