Social Media Marketing for Real Estate Agents
Searching for a home online is now the norm, not the exception.
Social media marketing is a cost-effective, high-impact strategy for real estate agents to connect with current and potential clients, boost their online profile and amplify their marketing efforts.
Millennials think of social media as an indispensable tool and want nothing more than the apps that make life easier, more productive, and more fun. That’s the trajectory ahead, and real estate companies that can harness the power of social media to manage and market property will gain enormous advantage over laggards in this arena.
You have a LinkedIn profile (for professionals, managing your personal brand and online reputation is easy with LinkedIn). Real estate agents need to use the power of social media to build their clientele and market their properties. Social media is where your clients will be:
- looking for homes
- researching interest rates and home buying guidelines
- virtually visiting new neighborhoods
Social media looks easy: but there are lots of rules and practices unique to each network. Many social media tools and apps are free: but there's a real cost in time to create and manage your social media sites strategically. Here are five tips to maximize your social media efforts, optimize your social media management time, and to get results!
5 Social Media Tips for Realtors
1. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:
Facebook is a great platform to post news and photos about your properties: but is your page generating leads? (Tip: every realtor should have a professional Facebook page, not just a personal profile.) Facebook is a powerful tool for inbound marketing that can drive potential clients to your page:
- Don't just invite all your friends and colleagues to Like your page: run a targeted Facebook ad for your zip code, ideal customer or personal interests matching your property's features and give them a reason to join your mailing list. Lead magnets are free but valuable resources you provide in exchange for an email address:
- webinar on how to find a mortgage broker
- 1st Time Home Buyer's Guide
- Relocation Guide for Newcomers
- eBook on Top 5 DIYs to Sell Your House Fast
- Provide value to your Facebook followers. You don't want them to visit your Page once and Like you, you want your followers to keep coming back because you provide information that addresses their needs. If your clientele is mostly young families, share information that's important for parents and children.
Twitter has been around for a while - and is very popular with home buyers to learn about new neighborhoods and look for blogs, websites and communities talking about their target community. Just posting links to your new listings won't build a following and repins: you need to attract your audience and engage them with quality content to keep them coming back.
- Live Streaming: New engagement tools like Blab and Periscope and Meerkat allow you to broadcast live video broadcasts using simple tools like your smartphone! Periscope is owned by Twitter, and integrates into your Twitter feed. Scopes stay live for 24 hours: but you have the option to save and download them so they're a permanent part of your marketing content.
- Broadcast an open house live using strategic hastags to attract viewers.
- Give neighborhood walking tours to showcase the area and demonstrate your knowledge.
- Take your audience to local events and attractions so they can see 1st hand why they want to live there.
Instagram is relatively new, but quickly becoming the top visual social media marketing tool. Realtors can take advantage of Grammer's fascination with behind the scenes photos, and showcase their properties. An Instagram bonus is that you can have long posts using lots of words and hashtags for every photo or video you post.
The most important social media tools for most agents are probably Facebook and Instagram
~ Guy Kawasaki, social media evangelist
- Hashtag Strategy: Hashtags are essential for both Twitter and Instagram to help your audience find you and to easily promote your posts. A little research will help you decide the best hashtags for your audience. Don't forget to create your own unique hashtags for a specific property, for your personal brand, or for a neighborhood you specialize in.
2. Think Local
Social media broadcasts everywhere, all the time. But most realtors are selling properties in a very defined geographic area. Your buyers can come from anywhere, but they're looking to purchase homes in a specific community: your community.
- Social Profiles: Use your social media profiles to identify where you are and what your specialty is. Don't just say 20 million dollar realtor, instead say 20 million dollar realtor in Delray Beach, Florida.
- Use Location Services: Many social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow you to identify the location you're posting from. Instagram posts tagged with a location get 79% higher engagement!
Posts tagged with a location get 79% higher engagement
3. Be Useful
One of the commandments for being successful on social is it's not about you: it's about your audience. You may be a real estate marketing machine: but your audience is looking for useful information, not a sales pitch. The social media 80/20 rule says 80% of your posts should be useful and relevant information to assist your audience, 20% is about you and what you're offering.
Follow the 80/20 rule
Instead of only posting your listings and open houses, share information that is useful to your potential clients:
- neighborhood news and events
- local interest rates
- checklists for planning a move
- recipes from local produce vendors
- insider's guides to your community
Providing useful information that is important to your audience demonstrates your knowledge and relevance, and keeps your followers coming back to your site.
4. Schedule Don't Automate
One of the rules for social media success is be authentic. That means the real you interacting with your audience in real time. But let's be really real: who has time for that? Sure, you can post a photo or video using your iPhone in real time, but what about all those social media posts? You have a busy career, a family and a life!
Social media scheduling tools are the secret key to success for many social media marketing pros. These tools allow you to plan and schedule your posts in advance: 1 days, 1 week and even 1 month!
Tip: Don't just turn your social media postings on automatic and forget about them. Canned welcomes to new followers, using bots to post content that has the right keyword but is really a false lead, or direct messaging sales pitches all demonstrate that you're not engaging, just selling!
Social media is about engaging with your audience
Social media is about engaging with your audience: it's OK to schedule, but automating is for robots.
5. Blog Regularly
A blog on your personal website is the strongest way to share news about your listings, neighborhood events, mortgage rates and other industry information to your current and future clients. Once you post a blog about your property or neighborhood event, you can share that blog on all your social media channels.
Don't have a personal website? Personal branding is a vital strategy to differentiate yourself from the competition. A personal website and blog along with your social media profiles are your arsenal online reputation management necessary to succeed in the highly competitive real estate industry.
Get Strategically Social!
Social Media Marketing for Real Estate Agents