Having a social media presence today is critical to all real estate agents who want to improve lead generation. Since social media is all about relationship building, omitting it from your business plan would be like leaving the roof off your house.
Making consistent social media postings — posted at least two times weekly — will create meaningful connections. You can then be top-of-mind for these connections any time someone needs to buy or sell their home.
Mastering social media to generate leads is easy, and it all starts with a desire to learn from the right teacher. Start with a platform you feel most comfortable with or one you like and master it.
The following is a mini “how to” guide on social media marketing for real estate agents to get you started. You will also learn some statistics about social media to keep you motivated and help you understand why it’s so important to be active on it as a real estate agent.
Why Social Media Marketing for Real Estate Agents Works So Well
To do social media the right way, it helps to keep perspective on why social media marketing works for real estate agents.
First of all, everyone’s on social media. Pew Research studies show that 69 percent of all Americans over the age of 18 use it. Looking just at people 18-49, 83 percent of them use social media. That alone is pretty incredible. You will also find plenty of adults over 50 on social media, especially Facebook, with 61 percent of all adults 50 to 64 having a Facebook account.
So, posting on social media is bound to get attention for your real estate business, but it also makes you feel like part of the community. Creating social pages gives you a place to put up photos, interact with potential leads, amplify your marketing messages and actively engage online with people in your community.
Depending on your business goals and your typical market, you may want to choose some social platforms over others. Learn more about each platform, the benefits they offer and some tips on how to use them in the sections below.
Being active on Facebook will bring you the biggest returns if your goal is to reach a lot of people in your area. You can expect to find most of your community on Facebook, including local businesses and 38 percent of people over 65 years old. Start by creating a dedicated business page and posting a few images of your recent closed/sold listings. Use your page’s “invite” feature to invite as many friends, family and past clients to like your page as possible. You can import your email list to see if anyone on it is also on Facebook.
Facebook’s “Create an Event” feature is perfect for hosting get togethers that can earn you leads. The feature lets you quickly invite a bunch of people, and it reminds them when the event gets close. People in your community also see a post on their timeline every time someone marks that they are “going” to or are “interested” in your event, helping you get more publicity. This feature makes it easier to get people to come to your open houses, appreciation events and anything else you do.
Make sure to keep your Facebook page current with any activities you have been doing throughout the week. I always make sure to take pictures with my phone during events or big moments so that I can use them to get more attention on my posts. Nothing gets people clicking on a post like a happy-looking family in their new home! Posting these pictures regularly helps people in the community feel closer to you, especially if you tag someone.
I recommend posting at least twice a week, and checking for replies or messages daily. The best posts ask people in the community something like: “Where’s your favorite place in town to get pizza?” or “Tell us a story about your favorite feature from your childhood home.” They’ll generate lots of comments, and each person interacting with your page increases the chance others will see it.
If you have had a slow week, you can always share articles about how to make buying or selling a home easier. Writing your own articles is a great idea if you have the time, and if you are short on time you can follow pages like HGTV and Realtor.com and share their posts.
Creating a group on Facebook can also help keep people engaged with your page while growing the relationships you create online. Make your page locally focused and valuable to the community. Your page can be focused on your business, like “current homes for sale in town” or it can be something like “[Your Town] Handyman Tips” for homeowners looking to do DIY repairs or find good businesses in their area.
Instagram is hugely popular with the younger crowd, and a growing number of adults are using it now, too. Real estate agents can benefit because local businesses have found huge success by posting on Instagram. People like seeing news and updates about their area as they scroll through the photos.
Making an Instagram profile is super easy, and it can share lots of data from your Facebook page. For instance, you can instantly connect with anyone who follows you on Facebook with the “Find Friends” option.
Instagram is 100 percent focused on photos, so use it to post the cream of the crop photos from current listings or your activities. If you have an event coming up or a particular listing you want to highlight, you can add text to photos using an app like “Over” or “Piclab.” Search for these apps on your phone to add them. Make sure all photos look beautiful and interesting since people are more likely to unfollow anyone who posts unattractive or uninteresting photos.
Also, make sure you have a contact link on your profile so that people can get in touch with you after seeing your posts. You can switch it to be a link to your email address or your business phone number — whichever you prefer — by going into your Edit Profile settings. Use the text captions on your photos to remind people that if they want more information on your services to use the link in your profile.
Twitter has fallen off a lot of people’s radar lately, and only 21 percent of the population uses it overall. BUT — and this is important — Twitter posts (“Tweets”) can appear in search results on Google, and they can be embedded in things like news posts. So, even if someone doesn’t follow you on Twitter, they can still see the things you post.
For this reason, many marketers recommend that businesses use Twitter as a way to keep track of ongoing news and updates. You can post quick, easy links to listings with headlines talking about their neighborhood or number of beds/baths. You can also post about upcoming events, things people would look forward to in the community and local news, such as new neighborhoods being built. You can also use Twitter to share photos or promote blog content from your website.
Not every real estate agent needs a Twitter account, but those that do create one should update it at least three times a week and check back regularly for responses and questions. Twitter users tend to be impatient if they need something from you!
YouTube doesn’t work the same as other social media platforms, but it still happens to be a great resource for real estate agents who want to host video content. People love watching videos these days, and with mobile phones they can watch them anywhere. According to one source, people spend a third of their time online watching videos.
Video production for your YouTube channel requires investment in a camera setup, lighting and a microphone. You can spend most of the video talking in front of the camera, but you can make videos more interesting by cutting in footage of home interiors and exteriors. Hiring a professional videographer for your listings can therefore be a good way to generate footage to use on your channel.
So, what kind of videos should you post? Anything informative and helpful. You can give people tips on how to buy or sell their home, such as information on how the closing process works step-by-step. You can also give information about your local area, such as neighborhood profiles or popular local restaurants. Keep videos under the five minute mark to make people more likely to click.
Pinterest has a high number of female participants — 26 percent of the U.S. population and 38 percent of all women! The platform lets you upload photos with short captions, kind of like Instagram but in a much busier and more interest-focused layout.
Make sure any posts you upload to Pinterest have the most relevant categories possible. Do not be afraid to mark everything as “real estate” since plenty of Pinterest users will have a business focus. Pinterest also makes for a good spot to post infographics or teaser images for your blog with text overlayed on it.
Connect your Pinterest to your Facebook and Twitter account to find followers and make cross-posting across platforms easier.
LinkedIn was made for professionals, but even professionals need homes and can become leads! Connecting to other professionals in your area can also help you become top-of-mind for referrals.
I personally use LinkedIn as a go-to place to post all my blog articles. People who read them often send me “connect” requests, helping me grow my audience and my leads. You can even pay to promote your articles. Doing so gives them a guaranteed chance of showing up in front of people in your area. You can also filter your ads to show up in front of select people in certain industries, like choosing nurses for a side of town with a big medical community.
Mastering Social Media Marketing for Real Estate Agents
No matter what social media platform you use, stay consistent and keep at it to win more leads and referrals.
If you post regularly, respond promptly to people who comment. Remember to promote everything you do through your page — you are basically creating a lead generation machine as you interact with everyone in the community.
Cindy Bishop is the Managing Director of Cindy Bishop Worldwide, a real estate education company specializing in Continuing Education and Business Development leads using social media to the Real Estate Community.
Cindy is an active coach specializing in real estate agent business development.
Leads using social media