It's hard to believe that just a decade ago social media wasn't on most people's radars. Things have surely changed, and it seems they change faster and more noticeably with each passing year. For real estate agents, 2018 is shaping up to be no different.
Take a look at the top three social media trends to watch for in 2018 and start preparing your strategy now:
2016 brought us our first venture into Facebook Live. It picked up speed in 2017. And 2018 will likely be the year for widespread leverage. If you're not familiar with the feature, think of it as having a live video camera that lets you broadcast in real time no matter where you are.
This feature has already become a mainstay for beauty vloggers and direct sales companies, but real estate agents should also be taking advantage of this tool. The format is likely to continue evolving throughout the year to give you more flexibility in how you use it.
Generation Z - those born between 1998 and 2016 - are increasingly finding their way through life via social media, and those that fall in the older end of the spectrum may become a new target market for realtors.
Those born in 1998 are turning 20 years old this year. While they might not be looking for a house to buy, they're most certainly looking for a place to live that isn't called their parent's basement. Real estate companies specializing in rental services will have their work cut out for them as they begin learning how to cater to this new technology-driven generation.
Automation and robots have come a long way in the past couple years. It's becoming increasingly harder to distinguish (in some cases) if you're communicating with a real person or a robot, such as chat sessions.
2018 will be a pivotal year for chatbots. Real estate agents can (and should) leverage this technology to act as their 24/7 communication when a prospect reaches out.
Now, you can find chatbot software that can be customized to your brand and will work with any platform, such as Facebook. It can help you set appointments, respond to questions, and understand the prospect's responses to deliver the right information.
In addition to providing an exceptional first impression with prospects, it can also provide you valuable data points, such as lead information and analytics. Set it up to transmit data to your CRM or email. It's basically like having an extra employee, only this one works around the clock and you don't have to pay overtime or benefits.
The biggest selling point, however, is that chatbots ensure you can respond more quickly to your leads (immediately, in fact) and provide a seamless, consistent impression with each interaction. These little details can go a long way in showing your clients why you're the best choice for them.
Each year brings a whole slew of newness to the social media landscape, and 2018 will be no different. Just how far will technology take us? Only time will tell.