Social media plays an increasingly central role in real estate marketing strategies, and it’s easy to see why: It’s where people are. Buyers and sellers continually use the internet to conduct home research, and social media helps them find representation. This means using each social media platform properly is very important. To do this efficiently, though, you need to stay on top of each platform’s latest technology updates.
We put together a comprehensive list of the major social media technology and product changes made to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to help you optimize each of your accounts accordingly.
Though Facebook seems to play around with page layout weekly, this recent update has stuck … for the time being. The streamlined aesthetic is intended to allow for a greater user experience and give page administrators easier access to their tools. The new “Pages to Watch” feature unveiled also allows brands to compare their page’s performance versus that of other notable sites — in your case, an ideal choice would be to follow the traction other local real estate agents’ pages receive.
Though this latest feature from Facebook may not be ideal for agents operating solo, it could be advantageous for agencies or brokerages that want to advance their branding on the site. The good news for these firms is the ability to monitor the performance of their videos thanks to new analytics from Facebook.
Monitoring advertising metrics for Facebook on desktops isn’t always feasible for real estate agents who are constantly on the go. Facebook recognizes this conundrum for certain professionals and began offering mobile Ads Manager to make it easier for admins to control their pages and examine their analytics. The site is still rolling this feature out, but by summer’s end, all advertisers should have access.
Speaking of ads, users now have the ability to see why they are seeing the ads that are featured on their News Feeds. What’s more, these users are now able to control which ads they see. In the long run, this will help Facebook determine better targeting for advertisers to reach their audience. For now, just keep modifying Facebook ad campaigns as normal to keep improving their performance (or start advertising on the site if you aren’t doing so yet).
The Facebook-ification of social media continues, as Twitter now has a feel similar to its online counterpart. It’s nothing Earth-shattering, but it’s still something agents ought to know about so they can optimize their header images accordingly. If you haven’t seen the change yet with your account, you will soon.
Technically, this update was announced in December 2013, but its effects have been seen throughout the first half of 2014. Advertisers are able to see what kind of engagement and impressions their Promoted Tweets receive, thus helping them optimize accordingly. It’s primarily a tool for retailers, but it’s still worth using to determine who’s coming to your real estate website.
Another way to help advertisers make the most of their Promoted Tweets comes in the form of language targeting. This will come in handy for agents who want to find specific audiences. Utilize this targeting feature along with other ones, like where users are located, their interests, and keyword optimization to find your specific niche audience on the site.
Promoted Accounts are also new to Twitter, as the site is allowing brands big and small to be showcased on users’ timelines. Some brands are even experimenting with call to action buttons, like “Call now” and “Buy now” — the former of which could become universally adopted by agents all over. Keep an eye on this feature’s development.
Ever find it difficult to manage all of your Google accounts, like your Google+ and YouTube pages? Now you can access, manage, and analyze all of them in one place thanks to this new addition. You can share posts, evaluate your Insights, and even check in on user reviews all in one place.
Twitter and Facebook lack image-altering tools (excluding downloadable apps and Instagram, which is now owned by the latter social network). Google+ saw a chance to distinguish itself from its competitors by offering an intuitive photo-editing feature — one that can help make your listings stand out on your page. The latest update to image-editing allows for more intricate alterations to be made, including the ability to edit portions of photos and images posted.
Google made another photo update recently that affects two of its most frequently-used platforms: Google+ and Gmail. This feature is perfect for when you want to share listings photos on the fly and don’t have them saved elsewhere on your phone. Just be sure to privately back up all listing photos and other branding materials in your Google+ account for later use.
Rolled out to a limited number of advertisers at the end of last year, +Post ads are now available to the masses, meaning you can create appealing Engagement Ads on the social channel that get exposed to your target audience. As Google notes, engagement rates have been high for big brands that create +Post ads, so consider adding this ad type to your real estate marketing repertoire.
“Be unique, express local flavor, and create what the Goliaths can’t.”
It’s not quite available to every user just yet, but the Publisher feature on LinkedIn could help you become a leading voice in real estate once fully released. It allows your content to be shared among countless LinkedIn users. Many influencers on the site have already built or bolstered their followings simply by publishing the occasional post on the site. Just think of how creating some content for LinkedIn could improve your brand and reputation. Sign up here to get on the list to become a publisher.
Though it may not help you grow your lead database, this feature is a great way to connect with fellow real estate agents and brokers on LinkedIn. Find commonalities among your current connections and those they’re connected with. You could end up finding the right people that can help you get your foot in the door at a brokerage.
LinkedIn has extensive analytics for brands and professionals that advertise on the site. But as with many real estate agents these days, many want to take a deeper dive to see why certain ads work well and others don’t. Know your Content Marketing Score and you’ll have insights into how your ad copy affected your paid or organic content on the site.
While you have to wait to get into the Publisher program, you can still post regularly on your own profile so that your connections see what you have to say and promote, like your blog posts. And with Trending Content, you can get an idea of what’s being discussed and what topics you should write about to grab people’s attention.
Become a Premium user on LinkedIn and a whole new world of features and options opens up to you. For instance, you get to take advantage of the platform’s newest profile redesign, which even offers recommended keywords to use to optimize your presence.
One of the core complaints among Pinterest users since its inception has been the lack of a very useful search feature. Until several months ago, trying to find the right pins was rather difficult. Guided Search has changed all of that, though, as users can now easily identify the right boards and pins with the latest updated tool.
Thankfully, Pinterest finally wised up and modified the look and function of its mobile site, meaning your followers can get a better experience when combing over your board to look at listings and other local real estate market photos.
Per the social media site’s new acceptable use policy, it’s clear there have been issues pertaining to users paying others to promote their pins and follow them. While you should already avoid these terrible marketing tactics, it’d be wise to read the entire policy to ensure you use the site in accordance with Pinterest’s suggested best practices.
As the other major social channels have had for a while now, it was time for Pinterest to catch up and finally offer an analytics platform to allow brands and professionals to measure their boards’ performance. The rollout of the new analytics will be slow, but it should become fully available in the very near future.
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.