So you have a killer website with compelling content to offer. Now how do you get people to see it, fall in love with you, and hire you? The answer is social media marketing. With our social media tips for real estate agents, you can be connecting with potential buyers and sellers before you know it.
Managing your social media accounts
To be a successful real estate agent, being engaged in social media is a must. To maximize efficiency, consider using a service such as Hootsuite to schedule consistent updates. Just don’t make the mistake of completely automating your accounts; that defeats the purpose of social media and can easily backfire.
Facebook and Facebook ads
The average American spends 40 minutes per day on Facebook, making it the most active social platform by a landslide, and the network drives nearly 25 percent of all social referral traffic. Real estate agents who aren’t actively using Facebook are missing the opportunity to connect with an enormous prospect and referral base.
Of course, it’s critical to focus on the social part of social media, which means Facebook shouldn’t become merely a repository for your listings. Instead, it’s a place to engage with prospects, provide useful information (via links to your website) and build credibility. You’ll enjoy more success using Facebook if you invest in ad campaigns. Fortunately, advertising on Facebook is simple, affordable, and effective, and the platform’s business portal offers valuable information and direction. For real estate industry-specific insight, check out Realtor.org’s Field Guide.
Should I use my personal Facebook profile or start a business page?
If you plan to use Facebook as part of your marketing strategy, you will want to set up a business page. You’ll have access to Facebook Insights, you’ll be able to run ads, and you’ll be able to keep your private life private—an important safety consideration. Need help setting up a page? Check out Placester’s Step-by-Step Guide.
Boosting engagement on Facebook
- Post content your followers will enjoy (“like”) and want to pass along (“share”).
- Use photos and videos whenever possible.
- Focus on your followers, not your business.
- Respond to comments. Facebook is a two-way conversation, not a bullhorn.
- Use humor.
- Ask happy clients for reviews.
- Use Facebook Insights to learn more about your followers and their online habits.
- Consider Facebook Live so people get to know you.
As with Facebook, Twitter is a great way to connect with prospects and nurture relationships. As a real estate agent, it’s critical to determine who your audience is and what content they’re most likely to enjoy. As a general rule, your Twitter posts should be:
- 20% links to your blog or website
- 20% links to other people’s content
- 20% about your business
- 40% personal interaction, commenting and networking
People will find you on Twitter based on your hashtags. More importantly, you can search hashtags to learn more about your prospects and your community, which will help you create more meaningful content. Check out Zillow’s definitive list of real estate-related hashtags. (Hashtags are also used extensively on Instagram.)
Real estate is inherently visual, and while Facebook and Twitter have photo functionality, Instagram was built for it. Plus, since Facebook has acquired Instagram, you can seamlessly share photos between the two networks. Use Instagram for behind-the-scenes storytelling, share images on Instagram’s photo map to show your neighborhood-level expertise and shoot short videos of your listings. And be sure to watch for “hearts” and comments on your photos; they’re the only metrics available on this platform.
Snapchat is a photo and video messaging service with more than 100 million monthly users and a value of $19 billion. Massive brands are using it. News agencies are using it. Can real estate professionals use it?
Some are, but at the moment it seems Snapchat is most useful for understanding the mindsets of the people who use it: Millennials. These young homebuyers are primarily concerned with fast and efficient service. They’re used to having everything they need at their fingertips, and if you expect to become their agent, you’ll need to embrace mobile technology, have a robust presence on social media, and establish yourself as an expert.
Pinterest allows you to create and manage multiple online bulletin boards. For real estate agents, Pinterest is a gold mine for visual storytelling. Create boards for each of your listings that include photos of the property and surrounding area, nearby hotspots and local trends. Highlight your expertise by offering collections of kitchen makeover ideas or curb appeal spruce-ups.
LinkedIn is useful for building credibility with prospects—share your resume, your successes, awards and accolades you’ve received and endorsements from happy clients. But don’t miss the other useful aspect of LinkedIn: professional networking.
It’s one thing to capture and share content after-the-fact, but in a world that deeply values authenticity, live streaming has become the next big thing in social content. Particularly among younger homebuyers, platforms such as Facebook Live and Periscope are allowing prospects to get precisely what they want (expertise) exactly when they want it (now) and be a part of the conversation in real time.
People love to talk about themselves, and those who are active on social networks aren’t shy about sharing everything from what they ate for breakfast to the topic of their latest argument with their spouse. Creating meaningful content becomes much easier when you take some time to simply listen to what people are saying all around you. What are their pain points? What problems could you solve for them? What advice could you offer? Ask questions through your accounts. Join groups and comment and listen far more often than you post. Search relevant hashtags. And did we say listen?
There’s almost nothing worse than an inactive social media account. If you launch a Facebook page, use it! If visitors find you on Facebook and discover your most recent post was three months ago, they’ll move on to the next agent. Ditto for Instagram and Twitter. Don’t be tempted to sign up for every social network possible just because you’re “supposed to.” Choose one or two platforms, and put them to work for you.