What distinguishes a great Instagram post from a bad one? At a basic level, every effective IG post delights the eyes, creates intrigue, and engages the viewer. In other words, each post needs a high-quality image or video, should address an exciting or interesting topic, and should be presented with a thoughtful caption so your audience knows how to engage with the content.
If you're stumped on what to say in your caption, put it into a question format. Questions are a great way to spur conversation and interest. Here's an example:
Notice that the above caption not only invites the reader to comment, but it also includes a mention of the patio’s designer, as well as hashtags, all of which expand the post’s reach and visibility. Mentioning industry partners is also a great way to support their business and strengthen your relationship.
Crafting Your Story
Creating beautiful photos and videos with thoughtful, compelling captions is important, but they’re not enough on their own. Truly successful Instagram accounts tell a story. They weave together a central theme with every post to create a narrative that sets that brand or person apart.
Ask yourself: What story do you want to tell? What do you have to offer that no one else does? Remember that, as a service professional, you’re not selling a product. You’re selling yourself. People rely on you to be the expert in your field and, more importantly, in your community. Leverage your social media influence to illustrate the value you bring to customers and businesses in your local market.
Ideas in Practice
Let’s say you’re a real estate agent who specializes in selling historic homes. In addition to posting listings of historic houses, you can educate your followers about all things vintage with a weekly fun fact. This could include tidbits on the history of a long-standing neighborhood or things you need to know about buying and caring for a vintage home (write an article and link to a blog post in your bio!).
Perhaps historic homes aren’t your thing, but you have 20 years of experience selling homes in a specific neighborhood, and as a result, have gleaned a wealth of in-depth neighborhood knowledge. Use that to your benefit by coming up with a creative way to showcase that expertise. For instance, you could create a “Best Kept Secrets” series in which you travel to local shops in your market and post photos and videos of yourself trying their offerings. Highlight the owners, where they’re located, and what to try or buy there, to give prospective buyers a real-life look at their future community!