Dominate Instagram Marketing: How to Increase Your Brand’s Local Audience

Instagram has held the distinction as the fastest growing social media network for over a year now. For brands like yours, it puts the ability to get close to your targeted local audience in the palm of your hand.

This requires a healthy dose of inspiration be it artsy, humorous, insightful etc… it also requires you to have a solid understanding of the ins and outs of Instagram. That is what this post is about.

1) Follow the most influential local Instagrammers, interact with them.

Start by finding those that have tagged your business in a post, either by mentioning its name, or by geotagging photos at your place of business. These are happy customers who you must follow and interact with. Like their photos and let them know you are fans of them too, that good feeling is the beginning of an amazing instagram relationship.

Look for others in your community who are active on Instagram and follow them, like their content, get to know what they find interesting, finding customers that will sing your praises is a great thing. Remember you are great at what you do, once they give your business a try you will make them wish you had found them on Instagram earlier.

2) Hashtags are key to getting found, here is how to use them.

While I have a post devoted to this topic on its own, I will give you the cliff notes version here. Focus on finding the relevant hashtags for your post, making up a funny word may be entertaining for your followers but it isnt going to get searched for often if at all. Consider a fitness related post that included the hashtag #beeeasstmodelegdaaaaze versus #squats #legday #workout… clearly the latter post would transcend and be found more often. Studies have shown that including three or more hashtags in your post drastically increases how many people find it. In fact up to 7 are acceptable to Instagram users.

As far as local marketing goes, use hashtags that relate to the town/state/university that makes up your target audience. For instance I use the #andover hashtag frequently for my restaurants in downtown andover. It both relates to those who live in town, and to the prominent boarding school Phillips Academy Andover that is in town.

3) Pull back the Curtain, and do it frequently.

Intersperse images of what you are selling with behind the scenes pics of your team, your office, previews of future offerings… let your audience feel privy to your process and in turn they will feel a part of it. For instance showing pictures of our recently launched sunday brunch dishes is a good way to let people know how amazing they are, but showing them pictures of a bar full of people having a blast eating them is another angle. Those ‘product in motion’ or ‘experience’ images are often even more impactful. Try something different and let your audience look forward to finding your next image… be you, be human, share you business story. It may be your everyday, but to a lot of people it is very interesting and your providing a window into the happenings can make them feel much more comfortable taking the plunge and becoming a customer.

I am Spirocks on Twitter.

Writing a Professional Realtor Bio

A Realtor needs to maintain an online bio in several places, here are five tips to help you execute one that works for you, not against you.

1. Its an old journalism saying: Show, don’t Tell.

Explaining what you have done is better than telling them what your title is. You will see a lot of ninjas, enthusiasts, philosophers, and worst of all gurus on people’s social media profiles. Wouldn’t it be better if they told you how they grew sales, orchestrated their teams to produce more ideas, and led change in their organizations?

The “show, don’t tell” rule results in focusing on what things you actually make happen, not who you say you are. Phrasing this way means using words like these:

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These are doing words, action verbs that give a sense of what you get done. That is key, this is the value you bring to those that hire you. Remember that.

 2. Make sure you use keywords that speak to the people you are targeting.

What are you an expert at? Specifically. That should be in your bio using the keywords that describe the skills and expertise that you hold. They will be searched for and increase the likelihood that your bio will help you get found. So how do you come up with these keywords? Think about what the client you are targeting would be looking for, and then how they would type that into Google. Those are your keywords.

3. Don’t get lazy and decide to use the current buzzwords:

Like we mentioned above, there are words we see over and over. I for one do not want to hire a social media guru any more than I want to hire a marketing ninja. Those words say nothing other than the fact that you think you are either smarter or cooler (or both0 than the reader. Trust me this is not a good approach.

Linkedin which is pretty much the greatest authority on professional web profiles presented this slideshow on the most overused words of 2013. If these are in your bio it is time to change it up.

4. Always include what is in it for your prospective client or employer.

Ahhh the Value proposition, you must include this. Accomplishments demonstrate ability but they are the past, your bio is speaking to people who want to know what they get from working with you; in the future. This is essential to answer: what can these readers expect from you? What value do you add to the equation?

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5. Revisit often (More than Every Ten Years)

Stale bios are the old headshots of the digital age, now not only do we get to see your old headshot when bangs were big, but we get to read about where you were in your career in 2001. Let’s go, ge tit up to date. Make a note in your calendar of choice (Google is mine) to remind you to read and edit your bio every three months. That way you can tout your recent developments and expunge things that no longer apply.

I am Spirocks on Twitter.

A Responsive Website’s Time Has Come

What is a responsive website?

It is important to understand the terminology when dealing with technology, in this case a responsive website responds to the screen size and makes the content easy to consume. Think about the sites that make you zoom in desperately to read them on your phone. Those ARE NOT responsive sites.

As Wikipedia puts it:

Responsive Web design (RWD) is a Web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors). — Read More On Wiki



In Real Estate Marketing this is particularly important for two reasons: 

  1. Your clients and prospective clients are likely to find you on their mobile device first, and having a website that works on a mobile device becomes more important everyday for that reason. 
  2. You are not going to maintain two websites, one for computers and one for mobile phones

You don’t have to take my word for it, in the real estate world the momentum is undeniable, just read the headlines:

Ok you get it, this is where we are headed, so why haven’t you made the switch? Its complicated, its work, its not what you do for a living. I get it, there is always something else to do. This is important, this is more important today than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow.

When you are ready to talk about creating a responsive website presence online, I am here to discuss what you need to make it happen.

So that was fast, but in reality you should either plan on converting soon yourself, or you should find someone to help you do it.

I am Spirocks on Twitter.

How to Use Hashtags

Hashtags are now universal, they are recognized by all the major social networks and are a part of our cultural vernacular that has established itself as more than a fad. You see them everywhere and that is a good indication that they are working for those who are using them.

How to Use hashtags

What makes Hashtags Valuable?

A hashtag connects you to people you don’t follow and who don’t follow you, whether a topic or event that dominates the days news like: #superbowl or a more obscure topic like #pollenation, or even something cheesy like #whyIlovecheese will make an informal bond between posts that share the hashtag, and consequently the people/brands that created the posts. When the Hashatag is clicked on, new people/brands are discovered that share a common interest in most cases.

How Much do Hashtags increase engagement for a brand?

Research done by Piqora shows that there is a sweet spot for hashtag use. There is a limit, where too much hashtag use is perceived as spammy.

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This chart from Piqora illustrates their findings on Instagram hashtag use, it clearly shows increased engagement with increasing use of hashtags to a point. After which the effectiveness drops off because it becomes a spammy message. A rule of thumb I like to use is:

Work Hashtags into the normal text of your message, if it reads like a sentence the effectiveness will be magnified.

For Example: Introducing the #Patriots #buffalo #wing #party package, get together for the #game and bring the #heat with 100 wings.

That way it reads like a sentence instead of: #patriots #buffalo #wings #game #heat #party

  • Be Smart About How you Use Hashtags

Like everything else you do for your brand, consider the end user. What are they interested in seeing, what is trending right now, are there current events that I can relate to my brand?

Have any interesting Hashtag stories to share with me? 

I am Spirocks on Twitter.