While teens spend an average of eight hours per day on social media, don’t make the mistake of thinking that they are the only consumers of digital media for social interaction. Adults in North American now find ways to devote around two hours a day to platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and that offers a great opportunity for real estate professionals to find them, engage with them, and convert them into steady clients. Here are some strategies and tips for things you can do to leverage your real estate brand and exposure on those three social media platforms, which account for the majority of online social networking and connectivity.
One of the biggest mistakes that real estate agents make when using Facebook to generate leads and gain more clients is that they get bogged-down in social interactions that do not push that agenda forward. To avoid that misstep, relegate your personal Facebook activity to a personal account that can feed into and link back to your business Facebook page. Then focus your energy on that business page or account to highlighting the successes of your clients, versus simply tooting your horn for your own success – which is what all your competitors probably do.
Share stories of clients who struggled to buy or sell until they worked with you, for instance, or of first-time buyers who talk about how great it feels to own their own home. Highlight your partnerships with local charities and small businesses, and use your site to promote them – which will win you fans from their own sites. The more you let the voices of your partners or happy clients provide the messages on Facebook, the more it will add to your credibility. Keep in mind that Facebook posts that are most effective include visuals like photos or videos. Keep the writing to a minimum and let pictures, which each tell a thousand words, dominate the page.
The place where those compelling visuals really shine, of course, is Instagram. You should post photos on a daily basis, to keep the account exciting and fun to view. You can use photos of clients in their new homes or sellers smiling at the closing table, or post favorite quotes or affirmations that convey positivity and a winning attitude. Whenever you or your brokerage participate in a community event, post a photo. Did you find a new restaurant, bike path, or hiking trail in the area where you focus your business? Post a photo of it to show your support and also give your clients a head’s up about a new neighborhood amenity or asset. Of course you should also post photos of your listings, but if listing photos are all you post, most people won’t follow you until they go house shopping. By using this other picture-a-day approach, more people will follow you – and when you do post photos that directly promote your business they will see them and tell their friends, which is the goal of social marketing.
LinkedIn is a great way to keep tab with business partners and clients, and the majority of people on the platform basically just use it as a kind of address book. That’s fine, but it certainly is not why Microsoft just bought LinkedIn for an historically high price. The great value for you if you want to maximize it for real estate purposes is that LinkedIn can position you as the go-to expert in your field, in your city, and in your social network. So to take full advantage of this platform, start sharing your knowledge and expertise in one or more of the widely-read forums related to real estate. Many LinkedIn users rely on those expert posts to keep them in the loop and educated, and the more valuable the insight is that you share, the more valued you will be as a LinkedIn connection. Then, when those readers or people in their network need a real pro to help them with a real estate issue, you’ll get the call.