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Instagram_changeInstagram recently announced some big algorithm changes that have created panic in the social media world. According to their blog, rather than displaying in the familiar reverse-chronological order, Instagram will organize users’ feeds “to show the moments [they] believe [followers] will care about the most,” similarly to Facebook’s news feed.

The new algorithm update was rumored to be released to everyone on March 29th, causing Instagram users to flood their feeds with “Turn on Notifications” posts. In response, Instagram has reassured the public that they are still in the testing process and this new algorithm update will only be released to a small audience for now. However, even with this reassurance, many users are concerned that their post will not be seen by their followers.

In the end, the question is, when Instagram does release this update to the general public, what will it do to your feed? Here are three tips to make sure your followers will keep seeing your content.

1. Post Engaging Pictures

Images are the foundation of your Instagram content strategy. Your goal should be to create pictures that your followers will want to engage with. Think about your audience — who you want to reach. Do you work mostly with millennials or first-time homebuyers? Post home-renovation, house-hunting or packing/moving tips. How about retired military personnel? Post pictures of different areas in your neighborhood that offer military discounts. Remember that different groups will be drawn to different images. Here are some great content ideas that can help you get started.

Remember to have fun with your pictures! What’s your favorite coffee shop in your neighborhood? Did you see a great play in your local theater? Do you have an awesome dog park in your area? What’s your favorite fixture in your new listing? Snap some photos and start sharing! When it comes to this new algorithm update, the more your audience engages with your pictures, the more likely they’ll display at the top of your followers’ feeds.

2. Use #Hashtags

Using hashtags is one of the best ways to make sure your content reaches a wider audience. By tagging your post with a keyword (#NewYork, #Chicago, #newhome, #househunting, #openhouse, etc.), your picture will be grouped with images posted by other users who are using the same tag. This is a great way to engage with people who share your interests and encourage them to follow you. Hashtags make your posts searchable both in the app and online, bringing more eyes to your top-notch pictures. Without hashtags, only your followers will see your content.

If you want to maximize the reach of your posts, research the industry-related terms that users are searching for the most. For example, if you’re showing off a photo of your newest listing, instead of saying:

Just listed: beautiful home for sale in Miami, Fla. New hardwood floors, open kitchen, and smart home technology! Listed at $449,995.

You could say:

#JustListed: beautiful home #forsale in #Miami, Fla. New hardwood floors, open kitchen, and #smarthome technology! Listed at $449,995! #realestate #renovation #southfloridalife

Again, the goal is to maximize the number of people who will see your pictures so you can turn those looks into likes and likes into followers.

3. K.I.T.

Our high school yearbooks are filled with this acronym — Keep In Touch. The same goes for your Instagram followers. According to a recent survey, @mentions in captions receive 56 percent more engagement than those without. This can help you foster connections and build your group of followers. Even if these users aren’t looking to buy or sell a home right now, they may plan to in the future or know someone who is. Keeping in contact with your followers helps to keep you top of mind.

If someone leaves a comment on one of your posts, respond to their comment, tagging them with an @mention (ex. @HomesPro, @joesesso, @chris_smth). If they ask a question, try to answer it within the hour. When you reach 100, 500, 1000 followers (or more!), create special posts thanking them for following you. Make an effort to interact with others as well—find users with similar interests and like or comment on their photos. Remember, more engagement means a higher status in your followers’ feeds. Make them feel appreciated so they’ll want to stay in touch and keep seeing your pictures.

Instagram can be a powerful tool for your marketing strategy and a great way to connect with potential buyers. If you’re unsure about the best way to manage your social presence or think you won’t have time to keep up with it, Homes.com’s Social team is here to help! Homes.com Social is a comprehensive social media suite, designed specifically for real estate professionals who are looking to better connect and engage with their audience. Give your real estate brand a social media strategy that is sure to boost your business!

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