As an investor, having an effective real estate social media strategy is a must. Millennials make up the majority of today’s homebuyers, and these digital natives consume more content and marketing through social media than any other channel. Not only do you need to meet them where they’re at, but you also need to make sure your brand stands out from others.
However, you can look at this as an opportunity and not as a problem. Social media can be leveraged to build your brand further, increase your leads, and generate more sales. Additionally, you can do it all at a fraction of the cost relative to print media. It will take some time to build your systems at first. However, once you have a well-oiled machine, you’ll only need to invest a few minutes per day for a great return.
So, how will you do that? Keep reading this guide, which will help you develop your ultimate real estate social media marketing plan.
Why Use Real Estate Social Media?
Real estate entrepreneurs tend to rely heavily on traditional methods of marketing. Even in this digital age, we see a lot of real estate ads in newspapers, mailers, and even on bus bunches.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we witnessed some industries boom while others were forced to pivot to survive. Social distancing has catalyzed individual investors and agencies to embrace social media marketing. According to a report by The Close, many are finding success. 44 percent of real estate agents who responded to a survey stated that they gained new clients through social media, the second leading source after direct referrals. 82 percent of respondents said that improving their social media presence is their top focus for growing their business in 2021.
Another important note to point out is the value of word-of-mouth and referral-based marketing. These two strategies are often the top sources of new business for real estate professionals.
Social media users often like, post, and re-share content from brands they trust. A savvy investor will quickly realize that real estate social media is an untapped goldmine for getting boosts and referrals in the digital space.
Anthony Martin, CEO, and founder of Choice Mutual, says that “real estate investors can bring more awareness to what they can offer sellers, buyers, and other real estate investors. Therefore, even if they won’t need them now, continuing to provide insightful information can help retain their interest, which can become a profitable opportunity for the future. Be strategic with your posts and social media platform selection.
This will help you get the results you’re aiming for”.
1. Set Up Real Estate Social Media Accounts
To get started, you need to decide which real estate social media accounts to set up. There are several popular platforms, all of which have different audiences, require different strategies, and buzz with new content every moment of the day. It will be tough to stand out from the crowd, especially if you don’t have a succinct real estate social media strategy. Even if you’re already a savvy social media user, it’s an entirely different game when using it to grow your business. It can be a lot to handle.
What you don’t want to do is put out mediocre, inconsistent bits of content across several platforms. It’s best to choose your platforms wisely and commit to the ones you can consistently show up for. You might even consider starting with just one platform and then scale up once you master it and feel like you can take on more.
Not sure where to start? We’ll provide an overview of the most common social media platforms used by brands today:
Earlier, we suggested that you might focus on using one platform well before thinking about others. If you choose that option, Facebook would be an excellent place to start. This is because Facebook’s user demographics represent wide ranges of age and income. It’s where you can cast the widest possible net.
There are several dynamic ways that you can use Facebook to boost your business. Some features are free, while others will require an investment:
Facebook business page: Business pages are powerful, as they offer page analytics and the option to promote individual posts to your audience. These features will allow you to experiment with different types of content, and track audience engagement. If you do business in multiple markets, consider creating a business page for each. That way, you can create tailored content for each unique audience group. Finally, clients can also leave a recommendation on your page.
Personal profile: Though your personal profile is not a great place to overtly sell, it is a great location to connect with friends, send and receive personal messages, and share updates about what’s going on in your business. It’ll serve as a great reminder for your social network so that you are the first to come to mind when they need a referral.
Groups: Facebook groups might be the most cost-effective way to market on social media. Just put in “market” and “topic” (such as Denver real estate), and see what groups you can join. Proceed to share deals, or simply network with fellow members.
Ads: Want to build a buyer’s list, fast? Create some paid content that will reach a larger number of Facebook users. Studies show that video content tends to grab more attention. In your message, be sure to address your target audience’s pain points, how you can serve them, and other reasons why they should do business with you.
LinkedIn is a platform that is primarily used for business-to-business (B2B) networking. Although it’s not necessarily the place to find clients such as homebuyers, it’s the perfect place to grow your professional network. Your presence on LinkedIn will help you make key connections. Before you know it, you might be meeting your next business partner, or a friend who will refer your next opportunity to you.
Here are some keys to consider when developing your LinkedIn presence:
Optimize for keywords: LinkedIn’s search engine is powerful. People will find you if you use the right keywords to optimize your profile.
Add new connections:There’s simply no better way to build a relevant database of connections than through LinkedIn. Whether you’re looking for buyers, investors, lenders, contractors, making connections and growing your network is a valuable use of your time.
Leverage groups: Facebook isn’t the only platform with powerful groups. In fact, LinkedIn Groups are a great way to share content, get advice, and connect with other real estate professionals. Moreover, LinkedIn is home to tailor professional groups, where you can likely tap into a strong network in your specific niche and market.
Twitter is a tricky platform to gain traction on, especially when you are confined to the limit of 280 characters. However, it’s still a great way to grow your marketing funnel by connecting with buyers and sellers. You might consider using Twitter as a space to establish yourself as a thought leader and as a source of insightful news and trends. Here are a few strategies to help you cut through all the chatter:
Follow to be followed: Building your Twitter base is simple: keep following folks who you want to do business with, and the majority will follow you back. Do this slowly, over time, and you’ll build a Twitter following in no time.
Leverage questions: One of the best ways to use Twitter is to set up relevant Twitter search parameters. By doing so, you’ll identify users who might need your services. From there, you can begin to engage with them. For example, you could set up a search around the words “foreclosure” and “how” to people in the Denver area.
Lead Q&As: Another great way to utilize Twitter is to run Q&A sessions. You can do so by creating a unique hashtag and have people ask you questions in your area of expertise. Perhaps you could educate private investors in the world of real estate investing, or maybe do a Q&A for home sellers on the perils of the probate process.
Instagram has quickly turned into a goldmine for real estate businesses. According to a Statista report, the top users are Millennials (ages 25 to 34.) This also happens to be the fastest-growing group of homebuyers today. For these reasons, real estate investors are finding that Instagram is one of the best places to tap into the newest generation of buyers. The second-largest group of users are Gen Z (ages 18 to 24.) While you target Millennials as your current client base, Instagram is also the perfect place to begin grooming your next generation of potential clients as well.
Here are some tips to help you boost your Instagram game:
Use stylish photos: Instagram places an emphasis on aesthetics, so be sure to use beautiful images. You can post your own before-and-after exterior and interior photos, but make sure to use good photography. Filters can help! The goal is to get a user to stop in their tracks while they scroll. They won’t do that for posts that aren’t aesthetically pleasing, so get your designer hat on.
Post engaging captions: The trick to boosting your Instagram presence is getting more engagements per post. This means that the more likes, saves, and comments you get on a post, the more your content will land on user feeds. The best way to do this is to post engaging captions. Experiment with asking different types of questions, such as a simple poll or asking for opinions.
Create Instagram Stories: Don’t forget to create Instagram Stories as well. Some users spend more time watching Stories over scrolling through feeds. This is a great place to show users the “behind-the-scenes” of your brand, so don’t be afraid to post videos of yourself in action.
Pinterest is a platform used to share images, and is often used by those looking for inspiration on a project or other concept. With 86 million active monthly users in the U.S., the social media site is well-worth paying attention to. According to Sprout Social, most of its users go to Pinterest for shopping inspiration, and 43 percent plan on buying a home in the next 5 years.
As a real estate professional, Pinterest can be a great investment of your time. Not only do you have plenty of beautiful images to share from, you’re marketing to a large proportion of users who are specifically looking for home inspiration.
Tik Tok exploded onto the scene in 2016 and has 1 billion users worldwide. It’s a video-based platform, and features user-contributed videos that are 30 seconds to 3 minutes in length. At first, Tik Tok was not a worthy investment of time for real estate professionals, as its user base was predominantly teenagers. However, not only has its user demographics grown since, original Tik Tok-ers are growing up. Many are now of home-buying age, or will soon reach it. If you’re a tech-savvy professional who can make engaging video content, this could be your opportunity to tap into a market that other professionals won’t touch.
Last but not least, ActiveRain is a professional social site that is similar to LinkedIn but is for real estate professionals. It’s a great networking site that can help you increase the number of contacts in your network.
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2. Start Real Estate Conversations On Social Media
The majority of millennial homebuyers conduct their search online, so this makes it trickier for you to ask them questions in person, or over the phone. That’s why social media should be a space where you are starting conversations with potential clients.
You can do this by engaging with users in the comments sections of relevant posts, whether they be your own or someone else’s. You can also send potential clients a private message. Instead of focusing on yourself, focus on their needs. You might find that they have a certain pain point, and offer how you can help them. Be there as a resource and answer questions that they might have. invite them to have a real conversation with you that isn’t focused on a sales pitch. This is an opportunity to build trust and develop authentic relationships.
3. Post Consistently On Platforms
Posting consistently is a requirement in developing a reliable social media presence. This is due in part to human psychology, and in part to social media algorithms. Cultivating any type of successful relationship calls for consistent contact and communication, and social media is no exception. Algorithms appear to promote content from users who post consistently. This means that you can’t get away from doing your social media homework on a daily basis.
Luckily, there are ways you can automate your real estate social media marketing. First, devote a block of time for developing your content calendar for the week in advance. That way, you won’t have to curate and post content every single day. Second, invest in a platform that will help you schedule out your content in advance. These social media management platforms also allow you to filter through and respond to user comments and messages across platforms.
While you’re developing your content in advance, don’t forget to research and prepare your hashtags to go along with your posts. Hashtags are a great way to help social media users find your content, which can lead to new likes and follows.
4. Tell Success Stories
Studies have shown that consumers connect more deeply with brands with a core story because it’s something they can relate to. A Psychology Today article on storytelling argues that stories give others something to believe, engage with, and share. They are a pathway to triggering imagination.
Social media is a great space to tell the story around your brand. You can also use it to share other stories, such as client testimonials and success stories, as well as small wins to celebrate for your business. By giving users something they can relate with on a more personal level, you’re building trust and likeability to attract new clients and deals.
5. Provide Valuable Real Estate Ideas
You can also leverage your social media channels as an extension of a website blog. The importance of blog posts is to establish yourself as an expert and thought leader with your audience. By doing so, you’re providing value to your audience in the form of ideas and information, and your audience will look to you when they are ready to take action.
Your social media is no different. You can take snippets of valuable information from your blog posts and create social media posts, along with interesting, informative graphics. Ideas for content include market trends and statistics, tips for buyers or sellers, home renovation ideas, and local events.
6. Incorporate Branded Visuals
In this guide thus far, we’ve mentioned the importance of graphics and visuals when using social media. Instagram is an entirely visual platform, but it’s also because human psychology leads us all to connect more with visuals and images over text.
However, a plain image without any branding or call to action can be confusing. Sure, it can be pleasant, but your audience won’t know what they’re supposed to do next.
This is where branding will come in handy. First, adding your logo and branded colors will help your audience identify your posts more easily. Second, you can use design software to overlay text on your images with information.
For example, let’s say that you’re a real estate agent and you have a new listing that just hit the market. If you post just a photo of your listing with no description, your audience member might scroll past thinking, “nice house,” but not much more. Of course, you can include information in your caption. However, keep in mind that audience members often won’t read the caption unless the associated image intrigued them enough to stop their scrolling.
Instead, try posting a collage showing the property’s exterior along with a couple of interior shots. Then, overlay some text with words such as “Just Listed,” along with the address, listing details, your logo, and how to get a hold of you. Now, the audience member might see a breathtaking house, see that it’s for sale within their budget, and they know that they can reach out to you easily. This shows the power of a graphic that has been properly branded.
7. Build & Maintain Relationships
Last but not least, don’t let your real estate social media efforts go to waste. A common mistake is made when real estate professionals start a conversation with a potential client but then let it fall to the wayside. It’s important to keep track of the conversations you’ve had and then make sure to cultivate those relationships by following up. Remember, even if a potential client says “no,” what they mean is “not right now.” Systems help by reminding you to follow up with them after a set amount of time. You want to strike the right balance between flattering them that you had them in mind but also not coming off as pushy or aggressive.
Social media management platforms have made this job a lot easier. Many products will allow you to manage your client communication across multiple social media platforms from a central location. Some popular products to check out include Sprout Social, Hootsuite, and Buffer.
The purpose of real estate social media isn’t to win the race for most likes, friends, or retweets. Instead, think of your real estate social media marketing as an opportunity to develop your brand and deeply connect with your audience members at the same time. You shouldn’t go at it through an angle of pushing sales. Your strategy should be focused on telling your story and others’ stories that users can relate to. You should also be offering insights and value that will help alleviate your leads’ pain points. That way, you’ll magnetically attract new business while remaining genuine and authentic. Do you know the best part? Social media marketing for real estate is so much more affordable relative to print marketing of the past.
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