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So you went through all the work of having a 360° Virtual Tour created for your business or property. Congratulations! The number one mistake most new virtual tour owners make is they stop from that point on. Most people think that they have a virtual tour and perhaps that’s all they needed. Yet there is so much more you can do with your new tour to INCREASE VISIBILITY and get MAXIMIZE EXPOSURE. After all, you’ve put the effort, time and money into it. Why not get your full value’s worth, if not more? Let’s get right to it
Note: If you have not yet scheduled a 360 virtual tour for your property or business, click here to get in touch with us.
I know you’re thinking, ‘Wait… How can I put my virtual tour in my email signature?” Well, you can’t physically embed it onto an email, or even if you could, most emails will block it. For this to happen we have to think outside the box.
But first let’s discuss the “why.” Putting a link to your virtual tour in your email signature is free advertising, and just how many times a day are you sending out an email? Exactly. If you’re a Realtor, you could even put up multiple links of all your properties on the market. If you’re a business owner, what better way of letting people explore your place of business every time you send or reply to an email?
So here’s the trick, what we’re doing is using a screenshot of your virtual tour, sizing it down to a thumbnail, and then tagging it so that when someone clicks on it, they will be directed to your virtual tour. Here’s how we do that:
- Take a screenshot of your virtual tour:
- Open up your virtual tour on your desktop computer. It doesn’t really matter where the tour starts. Pick a destination that will grab someone’s attention. You’ll need to keep this window open, so don’t close it out.
- Take a screenshot. Then use your favorite picture program to do 2 things:
- Crop it out so it’s a perfect square while cutting out all the edges so the browser tabs don’t appear
- Size it down to a thumbnail. I recommend something like 30×30 (30 pixels wide by 30 pixels in height). Save the new thumbnail somewhere where you’ll easily retrieve it.
- In your email settings, where you can adjust your email signature, go ahead and import your new thumbnail, making sure it’s placed exactly where you want it.
- Go back to your virtual tour that’s opened up in your browser, click the URL making sure it turns blue. Right click and copy the full URL.
- Go back to your email settings, click once on your thumbnail, then look for the “paper clip” icon above to enter in a URL. This will tell it to go anywhere you choose once clicked on. Paste your copied URL into the URL field and hit save.
- From this point on, anytime someone clicks on the thumbnail, it will take them directly to your virtual tour, in a new tab on their browser.
- If you’re really creative, you could actually make an animated gif, so the tour is actually in movement, and use that as your thumbnail.
- An even easier solution:
- If the above seems too complicated for you, simply create a hyperlink underneath your signature. Have the anchor tag say “Visit our showroom” and hyperlink it to your virtual tour!
Your 360° Virtual Tour on Facebook
Facebook is probably one of the fastest ways of getting exposure. Not only can you post a virtual tour on your business page, but you can “boost” your post, or create an ad out of it, to get maximum exposure. This is ideal for businesses who really want people to see how amazing your business looks from the inside, or for Realtors who want to sell that home real fast. And Facebook advertising is so affordable, that you’re almost sure to make your money back, if not double it.
There are several ways of pulling this off:
- Open up your virtual tour on a browser and take a screenshot. Don’t close the tab out. We’ll need to grab the URL soon.
- Use your favorite photo editing software to crop out the browser tabs and anything that is not your virtual tour. Save the image somewhere where you could easily retrieve it.
- Create your Facebook post by uploading or posting the screenshot. Don’t hit the post button just yet.
- Underneath the photo, drop the URL of your virtual tour. Now you can post your new status update.
- Now when someone clicks on your image, they will see the hyperlink underneath the photo and it will bring them directly to your virtual tour.
An Even Cooler Feature on Facebook: 360 Photos!
As you may be aware by now, Facebook has made a cool thing called Facebook 360 photos. It’s a photo that spins around in 360 and makes your viewers feel like their inside the given room or area. The beauty of this is that you can choose any area of your virtual tour. Pick the coolest rooms or areas in your place of business or in the home. How is this done?
- If you already had your virtual tour photographer create your virtual tour, that photographer has all the panoramas of your tour, in individual rooms or areas. Ask your photographer for ALL of the panoramas of the tour. They will usually put it inside a zip file because the files are pretty big.
- Facebook accepts these panoramic photos and converts them for you into a 360 photo. So you can spin around the room! So easy and such a cool feature!
Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn
Since all other Social Media platforms do not offer 360° compatibility, we have to think outside the box. We get around this by creating an animated GIF of your virtual tour. You’ve seen animated GIF’s before. They are those little short video clips that play over and over again and are used a lot to make funny memes. We will use a number of free apps to make this all possible. Follow along!
- Install a “screen recorder” app for your device. Make sure it’s one that records and can produce “video” and not just still snapshots. I am not an iPhone user so I don’t have any recommendations but for Android, I highly recommend an app called “Az Screen Recorder.”
- Now open up your virtual tour via your phone, whether it be from Google Maps or your mobile browser, making sure to open it up in full screen mode. Navigate to an area that you really want to highlight. Remember, you’ll only have a few seconds of footage so make it count.
- Start screen recording so that the app records your’s screens activity.
- Start navigating around your virtual tour. Go from room to room.
- After you have about 15 seconds of footage, hit stop.
- If you have a great screen recording app, you may already have the option to convert your video into a .GIF format. Perfect, you have what you need to post on other social media platforms!
- If your screen recording app does not provide a way to turn your new video into a GIF, then simply go on to the next step.
- Find another app that converts video into GIFS. Most GIF making apps can do this.
- Import your video into the GIF making app and convert it into a GIF.
- You are all done!
With this newly created GIF, you have a very cool video clip that is accepted by Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and more. Give it a try!