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Homes.com also used the opportunity to offer contestants links to tips on enhancing their backyard barbecues through blogs, and Facebook and Twitter posts.

Brokers can host photo contests on Instagram using hashtags to organize submissions and an RSS feed to follow along with new photos as they’re added.

With any contest on Instagram, of chief importance are #hashtags, which make it easy for you to collect photos from your followers around a certain theme. Hashtags are critical in Instagram. Without them, you are missing the opportunity to have your photos go viral. To use hashtags, simply add a number sign (#) before a relevant keyword (e.g. “#homeforsale”) to your photo’s caption, and the photo will be tagged with “homeforsale.” Then, users will be able to click on the hashtag as part of your caption and see the most recent photos tagged with “homeforsale.” Add a local term and/or area code to target your area.

Instagram is not only one of the easiest and most user-friendly social media sites—all you really need to do is snap away and upload your photos—it may be the most important in improving the visual storytelling experience and engagement with your current customers and creating potential leads.

Remember, aesthetics help deliver content to the public in a way that is quick and memorable. Visuals allow the brain to take shortcuts and helps satisfy the appetite of immediacy. That’s why Instagram is so valuable. For more Instagram and social marketing best practices, attend Erica Campbell Byrum’s live presentations at NAR next week covering visual social media and marketing to millennials! Visit the Homes.com blog and learning resources for eBooks, editable guides and more!

For more info visit connect.homes.com/blog.

Erica Campbell Byrum is the Director of Social Media for Homes.com and ForRent.com.


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