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Social Media in the lives of Real Estate Agents

By Ben Shepardson | December 13, 2016

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

Like it or not, the sometimes pesky world of social media isn't going anywhere. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest have become permanent fixtures in the modern world, especially if you work in any type of sales. Resistance is futile, so you had might as well embrace the notion of using social media to engage clients, increase traffic to your website, and drive sales.

Nowhere is this more true than in the life of a real estate agent. If you're a realtor and you want to compete, you must have a strong social media presence. Otherwise, you'll go the way of the dinosaur or the original style A-frame-- extinct or off the market. Not to fear though. Here are some ways a real estate agent can turn the necessity of social media into a benefit.

General Practice for Realtors on Social Media

Here are a few general tips that have helped other small businesses maximize the benefit of social media.

A good social media strategy is marked by seamless integration. This means linking social media platforms to your website in a way that's easy to navigate. Within 2-3 clicks, users should be able to go back and forth between you, your reputation, and the properties you have for sale.

And on occasion, you can link users to non-competitor sites as well, especially if they have crossover appeal with your business or draw attention to neighborhoods near your properties. For example, you can embed a link to a store that's recently opened near some of your properties.

You can also use social media to show that you care about your audience and their daily lives. You can post items about events and charities within your audience demographic for instance. And as long as you don't use their names, you can congratulate new homeowners as well.

The Real Estate Agent and Facebook

Facebook isn't the only social media platform, just the most important one. It's the best way to show off your properties and increase the size of your sales network. But Facebook isn't something a realtor can use at random. In order to maximize its enormous potential, you have to proceed by design.

Many realtors use Facebook as the hub of their social media strategy. This entails providing links to and from other social media platforms and using Facebook as a showcase for posting important events. One approach is to use Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. as signals or brief announcements and Facebook for more detailed information. This gives clients an integrated, seamless experience and emphasizes your professionalism.

The Power of Facebook's Business Features

If you haven't done so already, you'll want to establish a business page and use it to communicate with current and future clients. A Facebook business page isn't just more professional. It also offers a ton of features than can engage your possible client base and drive people to your properties and website. Let's have look at the features that are most beneficial to real estate agents.

Facebook Insights offers detailed analytics that can track the success of your page. It tells you how many people see your posts and provides important demographic information as well. Using Facebook analytics in conjunction with their Hashtag feature increases a realtor's presence both inside and outside their network.

You can also use Scheduled and Promoted posts to increase your online presence. You can craft your announcements beforehand, and the Scheduled Post feature will place them in your friends' feeds in a timely fashion. For a small fee, (sometimes as little as $5-10) Facebook will label your post as "sponsored" and place it higher in your friends' newsfeeds, giving it both pride of place and increased attention.

Use a Varied Approach for Maximum Results

Although Facebook is very important, make sure you're not ignoring sites like Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. These sites attract huge volumes of traffic as well, and you can use their popularity to your benefit. Post on these sites frequently to keep your audience engaged, but not so much that your online presence becomes a nuisance. Get to know the demographics of your followers on each of these sites. That way, you can tailor your posts in a way that appeals to who's watching you when.

If you're creative, patient, and diligent, social media can help grow your business from the grass roots level up and become the most cost-effective tool in your marketing arsenal.

Ben Shepardson is a Realty Biz News Contributing Writer and has a long track record of success in online marketing and web development. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems, he worked doing enterprise-level SEO and started an online business offering web development services to small business customers.
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