I don’t know about you, but I love connecting with people.
Long before social media became the mainstay it is now, I was regularly calling and emailing friends, professional prospects and clients, asking them for feedback and reviews or just checking in. I thrived on it, and they were happy to engage with me because it was clear that they mattered.These days, you probably use multiple social media platforms just like I do. And while you might not know everyone who follows you the way you know your actual clients, the same principles of making them feel special to encourage great business rapport continue to apply.
Now, you might be asking yourself: How can I engage with social media followers? Life is already so busy! Sure, I signed up for Instagram, but I don’t have time to be on it!
If that’s how you feel, don’t worry. I have easy suggestions to help you make the most of your social media accounts, without sacrificing the rest of your priority list.
Facebook has plenty of advantages, including a variety of ways to engage with followers.
In fact, out of these three platforms, you have probably used Facebook the most for your real estate business. But are you using it correctly to gain likes and direct people to your website and other content?
Here are a few tips.
Promote Your Brand
These days, if you have a business, you need a Facebook page. Yet many agents let their pages fall to the wayside instead of letting them be an extension of their real estate businesses.
- Keep your page up to date. Make sure your contact information (including your website) are all relevant. Include links to your other social media pages such as Twitter and Instagram. Your profile photo and cover photo should be switched out often, as well.
- Keep fresh photos in your albums, as newcomers to your page will want to see photos. Offer photos of recent listings as well as recent homes sold, if applicable. Don’t be afraid to ask clients if you can post a happy photo of a home closing!
- Come up with a posting schedule. Yes, Facebook will allow you to schedule posts for the future, but many agents still prefer using programs such as HootSuite, SproutSocial or Buffer to manage multiple accounts.
- Make sure your posts are varied. Instead of always sharing a motivational meme, for example, opt for several kinds of content, including survey questions, photos, links to your own blog or website and links to articles about the real estate industry.
Connect With Others
When it comes to Facebook, relationships are key. That said, here are some ways to connect with the fans of your page and obtain new ones. Connection is important, since it helps your page appear in the main feed more often.
- Comment as much as possible. Venture to other pages and post comments so that strangers notice you, keeping everything you say positive and friendly.
- Share posts from other pages in the industry, as well as relevant pages within your community, such as town government or news. You’ll want to remain relevant to folks who are shopping for homes in your neck of the woods, and giving them the scoop is key.
- Give shout-outs to other businesses when you can. Not only does it build relationships, but it gives you more visibility. Did you recently have lunch at a local taco spot with a client? Tag that establishment. Did you stage a home recently and borrow furniture from a friendly business? Give them a mention on your page.
With 326 million monthly active users currently using Twitter, you can’t afford not to have a Twitter account for your real estate business. With practice, you can engage with followers and earn new leads. Want some inspiration? Here’s an article about several Realtors who built a strong brand on Twitter. Check back on Friday for our exclusive interview with Chris Smith, one of the people featured on this list.
Promote Your Brand
Here are the best ways to promote your brand on Twitter. I suggest focusing on building your own profile adequately before connecting with others.
- Stand out with a profile photo of yourself (not your logo), a relevant location and a succinct bio that shares who you are, as well as a link to your website. Try something like: I’m John Doe, a Realtor in the Jacksonville, Florida metro. View recent listings at JohnDoeinJax.com. The header photo can be a beautiful home you recently listed, a page from your website, your most recent headshot, or whatever you think will attract visual attention.
- Make sure your profile and Tweets are completely public — there’s a box you have to uncheck so anyone can find you and search your Tweets.
- Use a social media manager such as Buffer or SproutSocial to schedule out Tweets. You should try to Tweet at least once daily, if not two or three times.
- What should you Tweet? Videos do well on this platform, so I suggest a quick video of a home you have listed, relevant market statistics and the occasional motivational quote.
Connect With Others
Once you have a profile and get accustomed to Tweeting, it’s time to connect with followers. Try these tips for getting more followers on Twitter and ensuring they stay engaged.
- Use hashtags to your advantage. Many agents don’t understand how hashtags work, but it’s a simple concept — they allow others to search for particular topics. That means if you want to be part of the conversation about #AmeliaIslandLuxuryHomes, include that phrase in your Tweet as a hashtag. Check the hashtags you’re using regularly, and make sure to follow the folks who are using them.
- Check the “Trending” hashtags daily, and try to Tweet something that speaks to trends.
- Retweet diligently. Not only should you retweet what your own followers say, but go ahead and retweet anything relevant to your area and the business of real estate.
- Ask your followers to Retweet your Tweets. Try saying something like, “If you live in Jacksonville Beach, please #retweet!”
- Ask your followers questions so they’ll reply with a Tweet. Reply to others who are talking about real estate and your area.
- Don’t be afraid to use Direct Messages (DMs) to send someone a quick follow-up. I suggest moving the conversation elsewhere, like email, but DMs can be a great starting point to connect with a follower.
Thanks to the younger generations, Instagram (also known as “the ‘Gram” and “Insta”) has risen to immense popularity as of late. And it’s with good reason, of course. Instagram is built around sharing photos, from beautiful destinations, houses or food photos to selfies with puppies and grandkids, and people by nature love to engage with visual content. So how can an agent use all this visual beauty to his or her advantage? Here are my suggestions.
Promote Your Brand
Promoting your brand on Instagram is a slightly different experience than what the teenagers in your life might tell you. Here are a few suggestions to keep it business friendly.
- First, opt for an actual business account, rather than a personal account — they’re slightly different. Your business account should be focused on real estate, so keep your family and travel photos on another feed. Make sure your bio and profile picture are related to your business, as well, and most definitely include your website!
- Since Instagram is visual, it doesn’t hurt to have a color scheme, “style” of posting and “mood” that suits your business. Are you coastal and casual? Luxurious? Bohemian? Let that shine through your posts.
- Aim for a few posts a week, and try to post as late in the day as possible, or even in the evening, when more people are scrolling through and likely to see your post.
- What should you ‘gram? Decide ahead of time what content will work best. Attractive photos of listings or homes you recently sold are an obvious choice, as are “Stories” (short videos you can post to run on your profile for a set amount of time). You can show clips of home tours or record short videos inviting people to your open houses. Always use the best photos you have — nothing blurry, grainy or dull. Try out the built-in filters to enhance photos, but don’t go overboard. Your “Story” should drive viewers to your feed as much as possible and make them curious about you.
- Use the “Insights” feature to gain knowledge about your followers, such as their ages, locations, genders and times of day they visit your feed.
Connect With Others
Yes, it’s fun to scroll through Instagram and like whatever catches your eye, but you need to be more strategic in how you promote your brand on the platform. Here are some ways to engage with followers and build your brand.
- Follow everyone that follows you, and then some. A great way to find other people who work in real estate — or who are looking to buy or sell — is to search relevant hashtags, just like on Twitter. Use hashtags in your own posts, as well. I recommend using the same hashtags on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, to create cohesion among your platforms.
- “Regram” posts from influential people in the industry — or anyone you think is worth a follow — and give them a shout-out in your caption. People will likely return the favor.
- Talk to your followers as much as possible. Ask questions and invite comments to photo threads.
- Contests are a great way to engage with followers. Come up with a catchy hashtag for your followers to use and ask them to repost your content for the chance to win. Or ask people to comment on a photo and pick a winner from comments. When someone wins, share their profile on your feed and let your followers know.
- Use Instagram’s fun filters and effects when you post a story. Add music, locations, hashtags and even ask questions to encourage your followers to engage.
Are you sheepish to admit you haven’t had much experience with LinkedIn? You aren’t alone — plenty of Realtors and other business owners shy away from it because they aren’t sure how it works. The key is to remember it operates like all other social media platforms, just with a business slant for content. For even more in-depth LinkedIn tips pertaining to connecting and finding leads, check out another Smart Agents blog on the topic right here.
Promote Your Brand
On LinkedIn, you can let your “nerdy business side” shine through. This is the perfect place to show your connection to your industry with relevant articles and content.
- Make sure your profile is as filled out as possible. Your personal profile should include that professional headshot we discussed, your career history, your education and community involvement
- Once your own profile is completed, start a business page as well, with relevant contact information and a general overview of what you offer.
- Share updates on the business side of real estate, such as market trends and educational news.
- Don’t be afraid to share items outside of the real estate industry, if they are relevant and interesting. Posts about the economy, for example, are always welcome.
Connect With Others
No, LinkedIn is not the place to trade pictures of your kids and cats, but there is plenty to share with other people who are interested in business — everyone, in other words.
- Give recommendations and endorsements to everyone in your business network, and ask them to do the same for you.
- Comment on posts that other people inside and outside of your network share.
- Try to send out multiple invitations to connect weekly, based on your “greater network” — people connected to people you already know.
Still Want a Helping Hand?
If the idea of delving into social media on the daily doesn’t exactly thrill you, take heart. There are plenty of options. You might want to consider hiring a virtual real estate assistant who can handle your social media, as well as a variety of other administrative tasks, if you choose.
Zirtual is a website specifically catered to assisting real estate agents. The company will connect you to a person who is experienced in the tasks you need, usually for a flat fee.
Upwork is a great choice for freelance or short-term help, as well as ongoing projects. You can select the “Admin Support” category and find a VA.
VA Cafe offers VAs to do everything from handling social media to following up with clients.
Not sure what a virtual assistant can do for you? Here’s another Smart Agents blog on the subject.
But remember, whether you choose to dive head-first into your social media yourself, or hire someone to help you navigate the waters, you can’t afford to neglect it. Connecting with other people is important, and it’s definitely working smart!
For even more about social media, stay tuned for our interview with Chris Smith, founder of Curaytor, this Friday!