Introducing Instagram Stories
This Tuesday, Instagram released an app update—a new feature called Stories, which allows you to capture and share photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours.
Isn’t That Snapchat?
Well, yes. In a way, this feature is blatantly Snapchat-like, especially considering one of Snapchat’s most-used platform features is also called Stories. For that reason, this update has the social media world up in arms.
The Platforms Have Differences
- Allows you to enhance your photo and video stories in the form of geo-tags, timestamps, slow motion and entertaining filters that turn yours or your subject’s face into a variety of things.
- Was built with the intent to share short-term “disposable” direct messages and later evolved to offer 24-hour stories that are visible to your entire network or the public.
- Stories only support text overlay, drawing and filters, which one can say, the photo-sharing platform pioneered.
- Was built upon permanent and thoughtful, but in-the-moment, photos or “grams.”
What’s interesting is that, while both platforms are intended for storytelling, they started out with separate purposes and are slowly moving towards the other’s, trying to create the all-in-one content-sharing hub that Facebook has been closest to achieving thus far. Snapchat recently added a “memories” feature to their platform that allows you to upload photos that were taken at another time; although these snaps are framed differently than others presumably to avoid disturbing the in-the-moment rule that is at the very core of the platform’s user experience.
Building an Audience on Snapchat Isn’t Easy
As an agent, it can be difficult to focus on social media while you’re in the thick of landing, keeping and selling properties. And, while Snapchat is a fantastic way to give your sphere of influence an interesting look into your life, it can also be difficult to build an audience there. While blind-searching for someone you want to follow, you’re relying wholly on a small profile picture to determine if it’s who you’re searching for. Avid users have undoubtedly followed brands and people only to later find out it wasn’t who they expected.
Which is Why this Update is Ideal for Real Estate Agents
Instagram, on the other hand, makes it simple to search for users by name and to verify that it’s them by looking through their permanent collection of photos. Since users are more likely to find you, you’re more likely to build and maintain an audience on Instagram. Perhaps you already have one.
Take advantage of it. The best way you can leverage Instagram Stories is to give your followers a look into your daily life as a real estate professional. Walk them through a new-to-market property. Capture the ambience of an event. It’s just one more touchpoint that allows you to get in front of clients, prospects and industry partners, adding volumes to your personal brand and staying fresh in everybody’s minds.
How to Use Instagram Stories
- From the home screen, you can add your own Stories by swiping right (like you would to unlock your iPhone) or tap the + in the upper left of the interface.
- View your own or anyone’s Stories by scrolling through the circles at the top of the home page or by tapping their profile photo.
- See who’s viewing your Story by tapping into it and swiping up on each photo or video segment.
- Take more than one photo or video over the course of a day or event to truly tell a story. Plan out your story and commit to it so viewers come back for more.
- Use consistent filters so the story appears to be seamless, like a short film.