Time

Managing and Utilizing Instagram Stories

It may seem like an arbitrary feature, but Instagram Stories are a highly useful tool for those looking to increase engagement and work their way into people’s feed. Instagram is constantly updating and adding new features to their Story section, so we’ll go over a few items that you should test and try out.

GO AHEAD. YOU CAN DO THIS.

First, take your photo or video. Then you’ll find all kinds of options for emojis, stickers, filters, and text to add to the media you’d like to share.

Step 1: Tap the camera icon in the top left corner of the Instagram app to open your Story.

Step 1: Tap the camera icon in the top left corner of the Instagram app to open your Story.

Step 2: Select an image from your gallery or take a new photo or video, then find the sticker options icon (circled in green in this image).

Step 2: Select an image from your gallery or take a new photo or video, then find the sticker options icon (circled in green in this image).

Step 3: Select a sticker option to add to your selected image or video.

Step 3: Select a sticker option to add to your selected image or video.

 
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THE FINAL COUNTDOWN

A more recent addition to the Story stickers is the “countdown.” By adding a countdown clock (that updates in real time!) your followers can turn on reminders and share your countdown to their own Story. Fun ideas for countdowns might be for a product launch, open house, new listing, vacation, birthday, work-related event you’re excited about, the start of summer, etc.

Qs

Another easy sticker option that boosts engagement is the “questions” sticker. This is a more open-ended poll option where you can ask a question and your viewers can answer it; or you can open the floor to your viewers to ask you questions and then you can share your answers. We’ve seen many different uses for this sticker (like caption contests!) and it seems to lead to loads of engagement.


YAY OR NAY?

One of our favorite items to add to an Instagram Story is a “poll.” This is another sticker option that goes over an image and includes a single question and two answers (that you can edit). Once it’s posted to your story, viewers can choose their answer from the ones you’ve supplied. The Instagram algorithm loves to see engaged viewers, so getting your followers to click an answer shows that people are interested in your content.

PASS THE SLIDERS

A more open-ended sticker option for encouraging engagement is the “slider” sticker. This is most frequently accompanied with a question in the title of the slider. You can even change the emoji people use to answer with.

HAVE FUN WITH IT

Whatever items you use in your story, the ultimate goal is to get your viewers to engage by clicking, voting, writing an answer, sending a response, etc. Engagement can also be achieved by adding hashtags, mentioning other users and profiles, and tagging your location. This may feel like it’s creating a busy image but we encourage you to get creative and test the different colors, backgrounds, and extra shapes. Most importantly, have fun!

 

Feel free contact us to help you navigate these features. We would be delighted to assist and answer any questions.

Top 4 Social Media Tools for the Modern Real Estate Agent

HOW DO I LOOK?

As a real estate agent, connecting with your clients is key to your business’s success. Attracting qualified real estate leads through social media is possible when utilizing your social media correctly.

You never know when a potential client may be doing their homework by scrolling through your Instagram or viewing your Facebook reviews. You want to look your best by looking organized, utilizing newest social media trends and close with an invitation to learn more (call to action).

Maintaining your social media profile doesn’t have to be daunting, which is why we curated a list of the most useful social media tools for the modern real estate agent. The following apps are not additional social media outlets, but valuable enhancements to help boost and streamline your current social media process.

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BIT.LY

Sharing relevant information with your followers keeps them up-to-date on real estate trends, your listings, innovative trends or local happenings. A great way to do this is by sharing a website link in your post. It is free tool used to shorten website URLs before sharing them. And not only does Bit.ly reformat URLS into a condensed link, but it can track the amount of times your link was clicked on. Great for traffic reporting and you can create these links quickly on your phone. More than 300 Million BitLy links are created monthly by its users. Here’s a free guide to “37 Ways How Brands Use BitLy”:

Before: https://www.gdisain.com/blog/2019/3/26/top-4-social-media-tools-for-the-modern-real-estate-agent

After: bit.ly/2HSVbpW

 
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FEEDLY

Never miss an important story! If you are spending a significant time locating articles worthy of sharing, this next tool will come in handy. Feedly is a content aggregator that helps you organize and share what matters most to you and your clients. Feedly for mobile and desktop are free for up to 100 sources and up to 3 feeds.

Gathering information on niche and broad publications, blogs, social media posts, RSS feeds, YouTube channels and everything that matter to you, Feedly is a one-stop shop for content and will save you the time and hassle of searching multiple sites for relevant topics.

 
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LINKTREE

With your newfound access to a multitude of articles, the next step is finding a way to share them all.

Insert LinkTree —the FREE tool to optimize your Instagram traffic and send followers to multiple destinations (links) from your Instagram bio link. Easy to use and colors can be customized.

This app aims to “let your content live longer than the feed” by allowing one link where you can house all the content you would like to share. The app also keeps statistics on the clicked links, letting you know what your followers are interested in.

 
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STORIESADS

Instagram Stories has quickly changed online advertising with reports expecting it to surpass traditional feed sharing. With 400 million people use Instagram Stories every day, it’s time to starting using your Stories!

Creating stunning Instagram Stories ads for your open house events or new listings, all made easy though StoriesAds. Their user-friendly program walks you through step-by-step creation on adding color, font, and graphics to your images to bring them to life.

For more on how to use your Instagram Stories, visit our blog.
Feel free contact us to help you navigate these platforms. We would be delighted to assist and answer any questions.

Why We Choose, Like and Commit To Squarespace Website Platform

Whether you are in a business startup phase or the “need to up upgrade the look” stage of your website, the Squarespace platform is the right fit for any type or size of business, in any stage. I speak from lengthy experience of working within the Squarespace platform on a daily basis to help my clients reach their business goals.

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WHY SQUARESPACE? 

Designers love it. Clients love it. The more I use Squarespace, the more I realize that the benefits for both designers and clients are very much aligned. Each template is highly flexible, from design elements to functionality - explore the Feature Index HERE and the Marketing Tools HERE. I recommend the platform to all of my clients not only because I love working with Squarespace templates, but because Squarespace is user-friendly enough that my clients feel comfortable navigating the site on their own--client control and flexibility is imperative.

AFFORDABILITY + FLEXIBILITY

I also think Squarespace makes sense from a financial perspective: you get a ton of functionality for the price and hosting costs are extremely reasonable, too. A basic "Personal" website account is $16/month, "Business" is $18/month, and e-commerce shopping cart accounts start at $26/month. About 70% of my clients use the basic website account because it offers all of the necessary features to showcase a modern look and contains easy-to-use strategic functionality. Plus, Squarespace offers the option to stop and start your monthly hosting service at any time.

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WHY USE A DESIGNER?

Though Sqaurespace is user-friendly enough to DIY, I highly recommend hiring a designer who knows the ins and outs of the platform so you can focus on what you do best--growing your business! A designer will be able to match you with specific tools and features and look after your project scope interview. Squarespace offers various video tutorials, which are helpful for anyone interested in building a website themselves, but this takes time. So, think about your business and website goals and assess how much time you have to dedicate to your website--you may find that the cost of a designer is well worth it to allow you extra time and brain space to dedicate to working on your business.

ANALYTICS + SEO

One of my favorite Squarespace features is the Analytics tool. It is included in every site and allows users to track website traffic by number or visits, page popularity, and view website visitors by geography. Additionally, Squarespace offers built-in SEO with options for maximizing search performance, as well as tracking your site's performance via its own analytics dashboard. They encourage and educate you on how to be more visible! Read more HERE

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WEBSITE REDESIGN 

Already have a Squarespace website but need a facelift? Request an overview or proposal from a website designer and if you agree with the scope of work and like their design aesthetic, a designer can easily update the template, look or content. A new or updated website doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg--Squarespace is so designer-friendly that it won't take a good designer long to revamp your website (this depends on client feedback, of course).

In many cases, clients come to me because they've seen a website design they love and want to use aspects or inspiration from that site and incorporate it into their own. I love working with clients at this stage. Finding just the right template within Squarespace allows designers to cater to your vision and business goals on a collaborative level--it’s one of my favorite aspects of being a designer. The creativity should be original to you, your identity, and your brand so it stands out, but a designer can help guide your ideas into effective marketing and design.

 
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IN A NUTSHELL

Squarespace is a user-friendly, self-contained website platform that combines smartly-designed templates with modern features. Using Squarespace (and the right designer!), your website vision can easily become a reality. Feel free to browse our portfolio and contact us at gerda@gdisain.com for a complimentary website consultation.