Trying to put together a social media marketing strategy for your real estate business can feel a bit like drinking from a firehose. There are so many opportunities for success, tons of advice out there on how to achieve your goals, but not much in the way of a Step One for real estate professionals who are ready to use social media tools to better their business.
Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered with exactly the advice you need to get started down the path of social media marketing success for your real estate business:
Start with a narrow focus. Establish your strategy and measures for success one social media platform at a time, then expand to other platforms one at a time.
Let’s dive into a little more of what this means for real estate agents.
Top 5 social media platforms for real estate agents
There are all sorts of social media options out there from Facebook real estate ads to TikTok and back again., but not all of them are great places to start your marketing efforts. Here are three platforms you should consider when deciding where to begin your social media journey.
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Facebook is currently the dominant social media platform, especially among those that are in the home-buying and selling phases of their lives.
Facebook is a great place for real estate agents to connect with their sphere of influence and (eventually) generate new leads because it’s such a widely used network (over 244 million users between US and Canada), it provides you with a chance to tell your story as well as interact with other user’s stories, and it is very widely used on mobile devices.
Real estate agents who are successful on Facebook share their stories, not sell their products. By giving people a chance to know more about you and what you do, understand that you’re a member of the community, and share things in common with them, you provide them with the social proof they need in order to trust you with a real estate transaction.
Is Facebook the place to start?
If you’re an active social media user and can commit to daily posts, interaction with others’ posts, and creation of original content and links, Facebook is a great place to start.
That consistency component is important; people need to see you appear regularly in their newsfeed and interacting with what they have to say in order to build that trust.
Even though Instagram is owned by Facebook, it’s a completely different platform with different rules for success. Driven primarily by photos and video, Instagram is less about the conversation and more about showcasing your personality through the visuals you share.
Of course, the captions you include on Instagram are important too, but unlike in Facebook, there are no links allowed in Instagram captions, so you’ve really got to tell your story and direct your audience with the pictures and videos you share. Content on Instagram showcases its users’ aesthetic, lifestyle, and lens through which they view life.
Is Instagram the place to start?
If you’ve got a keen eye for the world around you, find yourself in some jaw-dropping properties every week, and are excited to share a glimpse into your real estate world through filters and hashtags, Instagram is the place for you.
Just like Facebook, consistency is key, but not just in the form of regular posting. You need to provide consistently beautiful real estate content that your audience will gravitate towards, so if you’re unsure you can get great photos, think twice about starting here.
LinkedIn is the go-to place for professionals to connect with others about work and their professional journey. LinkedIn’s average user is more educated, has a higher net worth than users on Facebook and Instagram, and is more focused on bettering themselves professionally and financially.
The most popular content on LinkedIn tends to be links to stories from reputable news sources, along with commentary on the story, provided by the user.
Is LinkedIn the place to start?
Unlike Facebook or Instagram, organically growing your following is difficult to achieve on LinkedIn, so the most successful real estate agents on the platform have a well-established sphere of influence that they can easily tap into.
Posting expectations are a little lower here; you only need to post on LinkedIn a couple of times a week (versus at least once a day on Facebook and Instagram), but the quality of that content needs to be really high. People aren’t consuming your content on LinkedIn because they want to get to know you; they are consuming it because they want to understand how you (and what you have to say) will make them more successful.
Wait, what about YouTube? Twitter? Pinterest?
Yes, there are lots of places to consider getting started, we just don’t have time to go into all of them right now. We do go into detail on all of these platforms in The Download, our online real estate marketing guide, which you can for free right now, or go and check out our Email Marketing Guide for Real Estate Agents.
Succeeding on social media: The 3 must-dos + 1 helpful hint
Regardless of which platform you’re choosing to start your social media journey on, there are a few things you have to do in order to be successful.
1. Be consistent
We mentioned this above, but it’s worth mentioning again. The algorithms that social media companies depend on to deliver their content take into account how often you’re posting, how often people are engaging with you, and how often you’re engaging with them. Pick a posting schedule, make it a priority, and stick to it.
2. Constantly deliver value
Every single post, comment, video, or piece of content you put on social media needs to deliver value to your audience, and that doesn’t mean that you have to be giving real estate advice every time either.
Your audience will begin to trust you and act on the things you say if they know what you’re communicating will get them more time, money, or knowledge. No matter what message you’re sending, demonstrate to people that it’s worth their time to read it.
3. Constantly learn about your audience
Think about each of your social media posts as miniature experiments. What can you learn from your audience every time you post?
For example, say you’re posting five times a week on Facebook, and you notice one sort of post (let’s say, a summary of what’s happening in your community) gets higher engagement than another (an update on the latest mortgage rates). Your audience is trying to tell you something about the content that resonates most with them; the more you learn about what your audience wants, the better you’ll be able to connect with them.
Helpful Hint: Every single major social media platform has an option to run ads or to boost posts so that more people – people who aren’t directly connected with you – will see what you’re sharing. Though it’s unwise to dump a bunch of money into ads without really understanding how they work, take your experimental mindset from Tip #3 and apply it to ad sets.
Trying spending $10 or $15 a week to expand your reach a little bit. Are your engagement numbers and interaction with your audience the same? What does this say about your potential leads? How can you learn from each paid interaction to make the next one better?
Setting your social media goals
OK, you’ve chosen which platform you want to start on, you’ve got the best practices in mind, how are you going to measure your success? What are the objectives you want your social media marketing to achieve?
This question can be trickier to answer than you’d think. Remember, since consistency is the name of the game in social media, it will take some time (some experts say up to a year) before you start seeing real business returns on your social media efforts. In the meantime, consider one of the following metrics to help you measure your success:
Awareness: This can be measured in impressions on your social media; a metric that tells you how many people actually see your content. This is a great metric to use in the beginning, while you’re still building an audience and finding your voice.
Engagement: This can be measured by gauging the interaction levels on your posts. How often are people liking, commenting, sharing your content? Once you’ve achieved your awareness goals, engagement is a great way to understand success because it demonstrates how well your audience is identifying with and trusting your message.
Action: Once your audience is aware of you, is engaging with what you share on a regular basis, you can then start to measure your success by the actions they’re taking. Are they clicking links to your real estate website? Filling out forms? Sharing your contact information with friends and neighbors?
Tell me more about social media marketing in real estate!
If you’re ready to put together a social media marketing strategy, and even more importantly, ready to understand that strategy in the context of your overall marketing effort, we’re here to help! Get started right away by reading The Download: Making Sense of Online Marketing for Real Estate.