More Updates From Instagram? You're Really Going to Love Them

By Holly Utt, Social Expert

Instagram just released new enhancements to their “My Story” feature. Instagram was a content sharing and marketing dream before these updates were launched. Now, Instagram can certifiably say that it is a powerhouse of a social network and can quite literally, do it all. It’s time you learn how to harness that power for yourself and your business!
Hashtags are integral to a social strategy in 2017. One of the top reasons Instagram is a premier social media network for real estate professionals is because of its vast database of hashtags. As part of Instagram’s new feature rollout, searchable hashtags are now part of My Stories. This is a game changer.
Take a photo or video using the camera in the top left of your Instagram feed. Make some magic, and when you’re ready to edit, select the square with the smiley face on the top right corner. This will unlock quite a few options, including hashtags. Once you have it selected, start typing whatever hashtags you want. You can also add multiple hashtags. You can also resize the hashtags and move them around the picture, which allows you to include several. The only drawback is that you cannot change the color scheme of the words, but this may be changing too, as lately Instagram is trying to do everything bigger, better, and more customizable.
Want prospects to know your business with just a single click? Add hashtags directly from “Instagram’s My Stories,” and you have a powerful social tool in the palm of your hands. Use a hashtag for local places, even neighborhoods, to increase listing exposure.
Face Filters
Snapchat’s claim to fame is its face filters that can alter a user’s appearance. Users can add pretty flower crowns, flattering lighting, and essentially make all signs of aging disappear, or even do really silly things like enlarge your eyes or nose. Instagram’s recent addition of eight original face filters is a game changer, and much more user friendly than Snapchat. On Snapchat, the user must flip the camera into selfie mode, and then hold down on the screen over his or her face. Then, a grid appears and it unlocks the filters. Not very user friendly and almost impossible to find without someone telling you how to do it. With Instagram, users tap on the face in the bottom right hand corner and it unlocks the filters. Much easier, and also faster, than Snapchat.

Something else to make note of—with Snapchat, some of the filters are for a single user, while other filters indicate if two people can use them by signaling on the filter that two faces are available. With Instagram, it doesn’t matter what filter you use, everyone in your images can get in on the fun. These can also be used in a photo format, or a 15 second video.

Although the addition of filters may not seem like it’s going to be helping you drive leads and business, it does serve another crucial purpose: humanizing your brand. Use them during light moments at the office; take a picture and add a funny caption about it. It makes a great break in the day and it shows your audience you know how to harness technology, and can use that knowledge to help move their listing.
Instagram has been hard at work unveiling new features over the past few weeks and months. In February they debuted the feature of adding multiple photos and videos to a single post, which helped real estate professionals add entire listings to Instagram, fully share the customer journey from closing to opening the door for the first time, and many other vital aspects of the real estate industry. Now with the updates to My Story, Instagram is proving they are truly a real estate professional's best friend.
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