Social Media For Real Estate, Strategies to Grow Your Brand Online – Virtuance
Learn how to use social media to establish your real estate brand and create a stronger presence
It would be difficult to find someone that doesn’t have a social media account. Utilizing social media platforms to grow your business is valuable and, often times, free. A social media strategy is not for every brand, but social media for real estate agents, it can be a real winner.
Which social media platform is right for your real estate brand? Let’s take a look:
Facebook is the most widely used social platform in the world with 2 billion monthly active users. The most prevalent users on Facebook are between the ages of 18 and 29 years old, which is good news for realtors as 33% of home buyers are millennials.
It’s not just a great platform to target buyers, though. Facebook is an awesome resource for connected with motivated sellers. On top of that, marketing your brand on Facebook can help generate referrals and showcase your work. For this reason, each of the following strategies is essential for reaching your target market.
Let’s dive into how to grow your real estate brand on Facebook:
Understand your audience –
As you begin to grow your audience, take a look at your audience insights. By understanding your audience, you can work to generate the content that interests them most. Your audience (or people) insights will show you where your followers live, what languages they speak, and if they identify as male or female.
How to access your audience insights:
- Go to your Facebook Page. If you have not yet created a Facebook Page for your business, click here to view a tutorial
- On the tool header, click Insights.
- On the left-hand tab, click People.
- From here, you can view statistics reports of your fans, your followers, people reached and people engaged.
By analyzing which posts your followers like (See Insights Overview Page) and understanding who they are, you can consistently share relevant, engaging content.
Take a look at your competition –
Some of the best insight you can receive is through the pages of your competition or real estate agents and brokerages that you admire. This ‘Pages to
Watch’ feature can be found within your Insights Overview page.
‘Pages to Watch’ compiles weekly data including:
- Total Page Likes
- Individual rankings from the previous week
- Posts This Week
- Engagement This Week
When you click on any of the pages you are monitoring, Facebook shows you their top posts of the week:
Post at the right time – Another part of understanding your audience as well as your industry, is understanding what time of day your content will receive the most engagement.
Now, engagement times may be different for specific cities and people. You need to pay close attention to what works for your community and your following. You can check to see when your followers are online by clicking on the Posts tab within your page’s Insights.
Here is an example of audience engagement times:
Provide different types of content –
We understand that a majority of content produced for real estate Facebook pages will be, well, real estate. That does not mean that your posts have to be clones of each other. It is important to provide your followers with a variety of content relevant to your industry.
One way to change up your listing posts is to use customized digital listing templates. Get your free listing templates by clicking on the “Free Digital Listing Templates” banner on the right side of the page!
Aside from new listing posts, add in some real estate industry news and articles that help sellers prepare their home.
Here are some other content post ideas:
- Day-to-day real estate business – this will allow you to beef up your Facebook page while staying relevant to your industry
- Real estate trends – posts like this help position you as a thought leader
- Good staging and decorating – your audience will greatly appreciate the advice, which acts as an extension to real estate
- Seasonal/Local advice – again, you want prospects to know that you are knowledgeable about your community!
- Do the expected in unexpected ways – a great example of this is re-sharing viral videos that apply to your industry/audience.
- Check out this post we shared to our Facebook page:
Although this post was unexpected for our social media page, we related it back to real estate, and it was a hit!
Instagram is the second most used social media platform with 1 billion active users.
Primarily a visual platform, Instagram is perfect for brands (like real estate) who rely on imagery to sell their products. According to AdEspresso, images on this platform get an average of 23% more engagement than their Facebook counterparts.
Brands see major benefits having an Instagram account. With 60% of users learning about new products through Instagram and more than 200 million users visiting a business profile daily, Instagram should be a no-brainer when it comes to social media for real estate.
Let’s explore how to grow your real estate brand on Instagram:
Create a dependable handle –
When you activate an Instagram account, you create a unique handle. This is your main identity, so make sure to create a name that is memorable. A number of agents use their name and a real estate keyword to help users quickly understand the purpose of the account.
We would suggest keeping your agency name out of your handle unless you own the agency. If you ever move to a different brokerage, you do not want to worry about changing your name and confusing followers.
On that note, you always have the option to change your username so long as no one else is already using the one you want to change to.
Write a strong bio –
After you choose your handle, you’ll want to perfect your bio. Your bio should be easy to read and represent your real estate brand. Include your specialty, location, and contact information. We suggest using short-form writing and emojis in a stacked format. This helps users quickly read what your brand is all about!
Here are some examples of great Instagram bios:
@realestatebyjoanna has a great bio and username! She includes her full name, her location, what she does and a link to her webpage.
@lisagathercolerealtor is another realtor with are great bio set up. Again, Lisa includes her name, what she does and a link to her website. Users know exactly what she does!
@jademillsestates, a Verified Instagram User, takes a different approach by focusing on her well-deserved accolades. This is another way to stand out from your competitors.
Keep visuals in mind –
Remember, Instagram is a visual marketing platform. When you create a post, focus on visuals first. Everything else is secondary. If you use professional photography to market your listings, this platform is ideal for marketing how you go above and beyond for your clients.
Similarly, brand influencers and designers will often use the same filter for every image in order to create a visual board that is aesthetically sound.
Here are a couple of our favorites:
@dactylion_design uses a variety of compositions while maintaining a faded filter look throughout her feed.
@realtor_jessicahoneycutt mixes in staging photos, personal photos, and social proof into her feed. This is a great strategy to building a brand while giving followers a behind-the-scenes look.
@zoelaz is an Instagram Influencer with a strong filter game. We love how her warm fall time aesthetic and professional images carry throughout her feed.
Even though visuals are the most important element for Instagram, your captions need to be well-written and informative. They should contain relevant hashtags (keep it to four). You want to switch up your hashtags every few posts, otherwise, the Instagram algorithm may categorize you as a spam bot.
Use all of Instagram’s features –
Instagram’s algorithm is ever-evolving. The 2018 algorithm rewards you for using all of their features. This means that you should not post single photos only. You need to post videos as well as slideshows using the carousel feature.
You also need to play around with Instagram Stories, which can increase overall engagement. According to Later.com, the more a user interacts with your Instagram Stories, the more likely your posts will show up in their feed.
Instagram Stories is a great feature for giving your followers a sneak peek into your day-to-day life. You can also create polls, ask and answer questions, add gifs, and so much more.
Be quick to respond –
The first hour you post a photo or video to Instagram is crucial. Your visibility on this platform is dependent on the engagement you receive within that hour. This means that you need to ‘like’ and respond to comments from visitors. Your comment needs to be four words or longer for the IG algorithm to index it.
On top of engaging on your own post, you also should spend this golden hour commenting and liking other posts that are similar to your own. This helps Instagram see that you are active and not a bot. Again, make sure that your comments are four words or more.
There are so many strategies for finding Instagram success. We will dive deeper into exploring this visual platform in the following months.
As the world’s largest professional network with over 467 million users, LinkedIn is the perfect social media platform for growing your brand. Better yet, LinkedIn is a hub for millennials (40 million users), which makes up one-third of home buyers.
According to HubSpot, LinkedIn is 277% more effective for generating leads than other social media platforms. By using LinkedIn, you can quickly connect with valuable referrals and leads while positioning yourself as a thought-leader in the real estate industry.
How to use LinkedIn to build your real estate brand:
Build out your LinkedIn profile –
First things first: setting up a stellar real estate profile. After you sign up for LinkedIn, make your way to your profile page. You will find this on the header toolbar under “Me”.
Next, click on the pencil tool to edit your intro:
Here, you will add your professional headshot, your brand-consistent cover image, and information about your business. The highlighted sections below are key to growing your brand on LinkedIn:
Many realtors use their LinkedIn profile as an opportunity to showcase their achievements and accolades as an agent.=
Here is an example of a real estate profile that hits the mark:
Jamie Melim uses a professional headshot for her profile image as well as a professional listing image for her cover photo. In her summary, she details her experience in the real estate industry, her love for her community, and her specialties as a real estate agent.
Additionally, Jamie has over 500+ connections. Not only does this mean that Jamie is active on LinkedIn, but it also shows other users that she is well-connected and interested in networking.
Connect with agents in other cities –
Building connections with real estate agents nationwide is a great technique for creating a strong referral network. Because agents in other cities are not in direct competition with you, they are more likely to send prospects in your area straight to you.
Another reason to connect with agents nationwide is to see what techniques help them succeed in their specific market. Maybe their marketing strategies have not hit your city yet. This insight will allow you to get ahead of the competition when it comes to prospecting new clients.
Join real estate groups –
LinkedIn has an active network of niche groups available for users to join. This is a surefire way to connect with other agents, gain knowledge about your industry and generate fresh content ideas.
To find groups, type your keywords into the search bar and select groups in the More drop-down menu:
As you can see, there are over 17,000 real estate groups on LinkedIn. If you want to narrow your search to specific markets, make sure to add your state or city to your keywords.
After it’s launch in 2005, YouTube became the second largest search engine and the third most visited site after Google and Facebook.
Although YouTube may not be the first social media platform real estate agents turn to for their marketing strategy, there are some major upsides. Video marketing has become a key strategy for successful real estate agencies and YouTube remains the perfect hub for promoting video content.
Let’s look at how you can grow your brand on YouTube:
Customize your channel to reflect your brand – You want your YouTube channel to look as good as your website.
Take a look at Seth O’Bryne’s YouTube Channel above. He makes sure to include a professional headshot, professional photography in his cover photo, and a well-written bio. Placester has a great article on how to optimize your channel.
You can create a YouTube channel by signing up with your Google Account (Gmail). If you don’t have a Google Account, create one here.
Create engaging video content –
You don’t have to be a videographer to produce engaging videos. There are plenty of video creation programs available, both free and paid, that make it easy to produce eye-catching content.
Some professional real estate photography companies even provide listing image tours in a video format, which means you can quickly share your new listing on YouTube.
When you create your video marketing plan, Placester suggests the following content pieces:
How-to videos are a fast and easy way to generate content, offer educational tools to buyers and sellers, and position yourself as a leader in the real estate industry. For easy video creation, check out Animoto.
Keller Williams Realty does a great job at leveraging their worldwide success. By sharing what’s going on in their company on a global scale, they stay relevant and top-of-mind.
Seth O’Byrne highlights his clients’ success stories through consistent, short testimonials. Social proof will help you build a great referral network.
Not only do listing videos help gain exposure for your current listing, but they show sellers that you go above and beyond to market their home. Notice above how clean and well-branded Seth’s thumbnails are for his listing videos. You can select/upload your video’s thumbnail and change it at any time.
Videos of your community work wonders for positioning yourself as an in-the-know agent for your area. Never miss the opportunity to offer your buyers and sellers in your community with neighborhood highlights and important statistics.
Keep SEO in mind when creating titles and copy –
When you create a title and copy for your newly uploaded videos, don’t forget about keywords for SEO (search engine optimization). How will your video be seen? Always consider what your viewers will type in to find videos similar to yours. If you’re posting a new listing, include keywords like “new listing”, your agency and the location. Likewise, if you’re posting a testimonial, include keyword phrases like “real estate success testimonial”, your agency name and location.
Viewers are not only searching within YouTube’s site. They’re most likely searching Google, too. This is why you need to have an eye-catching title and a long-form caption describing what is in your video. You will also want to add important links within your copy.
To learn more about how to upload and optimize a video, click here.
With a well-designed social media strategy, you’ll be a real estate social media guru in no time. Remember to remain consistent with your brand identity and voice across all social media channels – and always stay engaged!