If you think social media is still just a trend among teenagers, you’re missing a tremendous real estate marketing opportunity. The reality is that people of all ages are spending an increasing amount of time using social media, and where the audience goes the marketer must follow.
I made social media a cornerstone of my online marketing early on and that strategy has paid off handsomely. Along with blogging, being active on social media is one of the best things an agent can do to build their business online. Today, seven-five percent of my leads come from my website and social media accounts.
Each social network is unique, so before you dive in, figure out which is best suited to your audience and skills. Below we review each of the top social channels and provide some helpful advice for using these better as a real estate agent.
Pinterest is one of my favorite social media channels and is, in fact, the number one source of traffic to my real estate blog. Pinterest is all about visuals: The better you are with creating graphics, the more success you will have using Pinterest as a viable means of getting web visitors. One of my favorite sites for creating graphics is Canva. Check out the site and learn to use it (which shouldn’t take you too long, even if you have modest graphic design skills). It is almost as good as having a full-time graphic designer on your staff.
While having great visuals is certainly important, never forget that you need great content too. Graphics will only get you so far. People using Pinterest pin articles because they want to either go back and read them or because they already have read them and want to save them. Here are some great tips for how a real estate agent can use Pinterest for business. Make sure you check out all of the great links in the article, including the ones surrounding group boards. Using group boards is a great way to grow your followers quickly.
Twitter is one of the more underutilized social media channels among real estate agents. There are many agents that just aren’t consistent enough with their tweeting to make it an effective channel. Your chances of being successful with Twitter go up exponentially with active engaged followers. Not to sound like a broken record, but so many agents fail at using Twitter because of what they do and don’t do! Take a look at how a real estate agent can use Twitter to enhance their online visibility and grow a base of followers. Keep in mind that one of the better ways of growing a following (especially with Twitter) is reciprocation. Those who fail don’t do much else other than broadcast. The top real estate agents using Twitter understand that if you want Twitter to be an effective tool, you need to have a following that is willing to share your content freely.
This important fact escapes many agents. I can tell you that one of the most effective ways to grow your follower base is using the retweet button freely. Every day when I log into Twitter, the first thing I do is see who has shared my content. Each one of these people gets a retweet back from me. I scan their stream and pick the article I feel my followers will enjoy. This is a real win-win for me, the original sharer of my content, and my followers. Do this one thing daily and I guarantee you will quickly grow an active following.
LinkedIn is another platform that many real estate agents don’t use effectively, if at all. Far too many think that Linkedin is just a way of getting a job. Far from it. Linkedin can be a great tool in getting your content noticed. One of the best features of LinkedIn is its excellent real estate groups. In the article how a real estate agent can use LinkedIn, I share some of the best tips for using the site effectively.
Facebook, of course, is the largest social media site and one that real estate agents should pay attention to. Those who are local to you are bound to see your content if you are consistently using the site. One of the keys to using Facebook correctly, however, is not bombarding people with your content. A good rule of thumb would be to share real estate–related content a few times a week.
Make sure that your profile shows a good diverse mix of content, particularly things that show off your personality and interests besides real estate. Mashable has put out an excellent article detailing how real estate agents should use Facebook that can give you insights on how to craft your real estate social media strategy for the platform.
Google+ is one of the least understood social channels, in my opinion. So many real estate agents don’t even use the site. What seems to escape many is that Google+ is a Google product — need I say more! Google+ can be a great site to share content on, and like other social channels, building a loyal following is very important. If you are not using Google+, you should be! Here is some great advice on how a real estate agent can use Google+ for real estate. Keep in mind that anyone using Google+ who follows you while logged in will more than likely see your content when doing a search. This alone is reason enough to use Google+ more regularly.
Bill Gassett is a Realtor who has served Boston’s metrowest area for 28 years. Gassett has been ranked a top-five RE/MAX agent in Massachusetts in 13 of the last 15 years and ranked among the top 20 RE/MAX agents nationwide. He holds a B.S. in Marketing and Management from Northeastern University.