“Social media provides a way to further connect with your local clients and groups and boost your real estate marketing efforts. Social can build trust, and spread your marketing through friends of friends.” ~ Krista Bunskoek @ Wishpond
Real estate businesses and professionals sink or swim depending on their success in three areas:
- Repeat business
- The Internet
More than 90 percent of Realtors use social media for their businesses.
The Power of Social Media
Almost a third of Realtors who use social media say they’re comfortable with it, and one-quarter feel “extremely comfortable.”
About three-quarters are active on Facebook and LinkedIn “for real estate business purposes,” while roughly one-third use Google+ and YouTube. Slightly fewer use Twitter. They cite relationship-building, exposure and marketing, “free advertising,” and promotional opportunities as their major reasons for using social media.
Clearly, many in real estate have done their homework. They aren’t all over the place, trying out the social media network flavor of the month — a very smart move. Still, they can benefit from fine-tuning their social media strategies.
Sharpen Facebook Focus
Facebook dominates real estate professionals’ social media, and for good reason: year after year, it remains the dominant social media network. But it’s also a highly competitive space.
Stand out from the competition on Facebook. Don’t just show listings, but use it to educate people in your area.
Not everyone researching real estate is buying or selling: many property owners want information on how to improve, preserve and understand the local real estate market.
Take a page from the industry leaders on Facebook.
LifeLock hardly ever advertises on Facebook; instead, it offers security tips that link back to its website.
Johns Hopkins Medicine, a world-renowned center, is closing in on 316,000 Likes, and is another example of a page that promotes information over marketing.
Similarly, the Air Force isn’t overtly recruiting through Facebook but it’s got interesting and cool content on its page. More than two million people have Liked it, far more than the 615,000 personnel reported by the Air Force Personnel Center.
You want people browsing real estate in your area to know your services are available and knowledgeable. And now that Facebook is included in Google searches, this strategy to provide information as well as listings is more likely to boost your organic (non-advertising) Facebook strategy.
If you blog for your website or a real estate site, make sure to create a link that includes a great lead-in and photo. If you don’t blog (and really, you should give it a try — blogs can be casual, fun, and informative), use your Facebook page to connect visitors to useful, related information such as financing, home repair and maintenance tips, and news about property taxes.
Real estate professionals should bump up their Twitter activity.
Use hashtags for key words you want to emphasize, such as the town where you’re tweeting a listing or where you want to build up business. That will attract people using Twitter to find information about that town, such as prospective buyers/sellers.
Pew Research Center says more than 60 percent of Twitter users are under age 49; 37 percent are under age 29.
But BufferSocial reports that the fastest-growing group of Twitter users are 55-64, an age where many are downsizing and looking to sell.
Twitter is most active on weekends, same time as the real estate business.
Finally, don’t spend too much time on Google+ unless you already have a strong following there. Google has been dialing it down and will probably transform it into smaller services like video streams and photo features.
Give Instagram A Try
In 2014 Instagram did not even get a line item for what social media platform Realtors engaged in. This will probably change in 2015. According to Mediumwell.com, Instagram “…had 50% growth from 2013 to 2014, making it the fastest growing social media channel. Instagram has reached at least 300 million users.”
Instagram is a great place to show off your listings. Be sure to post images and videos that you took… don’t use stock images or clip art.
You can gain a bigger audience quicker by using Hashtags.
Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, it may be a good idea to post your images and videos to Instagram and select to share to Facebook. Giving you twice the bang for your social media buck.
Keep Posting Real Estate Photographs
Real estate is driven by its good looks, so keep on posting those photos! Just about every online market research shows that tweets and posts accompanied by graphics get shared more. And since social networks are extremely mobile-friendly, your photos will pop up on searches conducted on smartphones.