Considering the time when the only way to connect with a real estate agent was finding them in the newspaper, a yard sign or word of mouth, you’d come to believe that the Internet and Social Media provides agents more visibility.
However, all too often real estate agents are failing to understand the true purpose of Social Media and Online Marketing, effectively lose leads because of over saturation, or to real estate agents who do understand the purpose of Social Media.
Now in that last paragraph I mentioned something really important, and that is how to use social media networks correctly. Unfortunately for us time-strapped individuals, it’s not a blanket one size fits all solution. However, you can automate a lot of your process using IFTTT, like I mentioned in a post a little while ago, but it doesn’t solve the problem of what type of content to post and where.
If you’re a real estate agent, or industry professional for that matter who relies on personal branding and marketing for leads, take a moment to read through my simple real estate agent social media tips built for 2016.
Problem: Finding “Purpose” – What are you doing on Social Media?
When it comes to Social Media Marketing, many real estate agents all over the country tend to do one of three things.
- Post a basic link to their latest listing
- talk about their year’s sales accomplishments. (Ex. Broke a million in sales!)
- post a link to their website with no context
These things are good enough, but your customer isn’t as interested in your listings on Facebook as you may think.
You see, many industry professionals (not just real estate agents) forget that Facebook is a “social” platform, where people share stories, ideas, moments of their lives, interact in discussion, and more. It evolves almost on a quarterly basis, and is like any business trying to tweak, improve, and increase revenue. See Facebook’s latest “Business Search Feature” Facebook Services.
But here’s the thing.
Most of them are not there to look at your listings. Why?
Because they can go to 1 of a million websites like Zillow, Apartments.com, Trulia and more to look at listings when they want to.
So by posting your listings on social media platforms constantly and offering nothing else of value, you’re only adding to the noise, and not making a connection with your customer, effectively removing yourself from the true purpose of Social Media Marketing and the discussion itself.
So let’s fix that.
Solution: Connect, Communicate, Customize & Break Through the Noise
What do you do? Well, it depends on the social network you’re on. I’ll break down my recommendations for each social media platform the the cool color tables below.
Facebook – Connect on a personal level
I love using Facebook, but for marketing, its tough. I often find that more personalized, out-of-work content seems to do the best for me and my clients, with a mix of marketing in between, and I recommend you do the same, but really take the personal to the next level. Really express yourself, and your brand values on Facebook, and then sprinkle in a bit of work.
Share things like:
- Personal thoughts on the day
- Stopping by a favorite café or lunch spot
- Something funny you saw while traveling to showings
- Your personal tips, why are you successful and unique?
- Events!! Corporate, Community, National, Sports, TV, Movies, Theatre, anything you personally enjoy (Think Star Wars, Christmas Party…)
What this does is it puts you at a personal level with your customers and community. Whether you’ve sold 20 Million in sales or 10,000 in sales, you’re all on the same personal level, building trust, and opening dialog.
Instagram – Show off those homes!
Instagram I believe, has become the real estate agent’s best friend. The ability to immediately show listings to a global audience, and even further, optimize it for a more specialized audience is exactly what you need right now.
Instagram is populated, which means feeds are full and people scroll quick so you’ll need to make sure your photos are:
- High quality, intriguing shots with a CUSTOM message (Go easy on the filters and hashtags)
- Talk about why you choose your location to serve, use photos from that area you’ve collected
- Who are you? Do you have a new addition to the family you’d like to share? Volunteering?
The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” really works for Instagram. Giving your customers and potential customers a look into your world, and who you are, again builds trust for you and your client’s listings effortlessly.
Pinterest – Be Creative!
Pinterest is a great site I personally use all the time. As a real estate agent, you’re always finding yourself juggling multiple balls like interior decorator, moving company, cleaning company, the list goes on and on sometimes and Pinterest is another tool in your social media swiss army knife that you can connect with your customers and express yourself, but also find really great DIY things to improve listing photos and showings.
- Find and share great DIY pieces for other real estate agents
- Share great ideas / potential ideas for prominent listings
- Have a creative side? Express it here! Show your garden, paintings, book collection…anything you!
Like I said above, Pinterest is a great tool that puts you right on the couch with your potential customer, or with them at the airport while they’re waiting for a flight. Great content can build trust, and give you instant credibility in your marketplace.
LinkedIn – It’s time to Network & Build Credibility!
LinkedIn is where you really connect with other professionals in your industry, and real estate is definitely a part of that. You can immediately establish yourself as a leader and authority in your industry using tools like Pulse and LinkedIn Groups.
Here’s some tips for LinkedIn:
- A Complete profile is a must.
- Connect with every professional in your area you can, not just the same industry either
- Become active in local LinkedIn Groups (find them by “county” first!)
- Write a great piece of content on the industry and your thoughts for Pulse
- Leverage local agent groups for sharing leads / prospects (There isn’t one? Create your own!)
LinkedIn allows for a seamless transition into expert when positioned correctly, promoting valuable content, and staying connected. It can easily bring leads to you as well, as you grow your network and build trust in your community.
Now, you’ll notice I haven’t mentioned Twitter, SnapChat, or Google+. Mainly because those social networks become a bit more complicated, and really require posts individually. In addition, most of them are still trying to flesh out their respective purpose, and for that it can be difficult to make a good use of time and effort on them as a real estate agent.
If you’re having success on these 3 networks listed above, I’d love to hear about it, please let me know via email or in the comments below.
It should be noted that these tips work for pretty much any professional marketing online today, and the point that needs to be made here is that posting the same old stuff on these networks isn’t going to cut it anymore. They have crafted very complex algorithms to combat this kind of content, among other types, and it will only remove you from the discussion.
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