Real estate agents with an active social media presence aren’t shy. A study by HubSpot found that real estate businesses post an average of 19.21 posts per week, which was the highest of the industries surveyed (marketing services came in second at 14.21). Yet, research by Sprout Social discovered that people think real estate is the fourth-most annoying industry on social media, trailing only government, banking/finance, and marketing/advertising.
Therefore, the key to a dynamic social media presence might be posting smarter, not more often. Fortunately, small changes can lead to big improvements. Here are seven tips for boosting the effectiveness of your social media posts:
1. Encourage engagement
Social media should be social—after all, it’s right there in the name! The conversation on your pages shouldn’t be one-sided; encourage followers to engage with posts and with you and your team. Ask questions and reply to followers’ responses. Post polls and comment on the results. Invite others to post pictures and videos to your pages. Make your social media presence something people look forward to not only consuming, but also participating in.
2. Take good pictures
Digital pictures enabled real estate agents to be their own photographers; smartphones allowed those same agents to shoot pictures without an expensive camera and at any time or place they saw fit. However, as most smartphone users know, the quality of pictures can vary based on the technology, the settings of the camera, and the skill of the photographer. The pictures you post to social media must look good to make an impression with your followers—no one is going to drop everything to come to an open house if the picture of the kitchen looks blurry. Take time to learn the finer points of your camera app, be discriminating about the photos you post, make sure you have the rights to post the photos, and seek advice (we like this article by Digital Trends) on how to take great pictures with your phone.
3. Get lively with live video
To say video is dominating the web is an understatement. According to Cisco, by 2021, video will comprise 82 percent of all internet traffic, with live video representing 13 percent of overall traffic. Plus, social media users love video, especially live video. When you go live on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube, your followers can get a better look at properties, open houses, and other events. Live video is simple to use, but delivers an immediate and lasting impact.
4. Time your posts
You want your social posts to reach followers when they are most active on channels. Although you should never pass up a chance to spontaneously post a picture or video when the situation presents itself, if you are regularly scheduling posts (and perhaps using a software tool to help with that), be smart about when you do so. Sprout Social identified these ideal times:
Facebook: Wednesdays at noon and 2 p.m.; Thursdays at 1-2 p.m.
Instagram: Wednesdays at 3 p.m.; just about all day Thursdays; Fridays at 5 a.m.
Twitter: Fridays 9-10 a.m.
LinkedIn: Wednesday afternoons
This data is helpful, but also do some research on your own—what days and times are your followers visiting your pages and engaging with your content? For real estate agents, the weekends take on extra importance, so don’t be afraid to schedule posts then as well, particularly if you are hosting an open house.
5. Discover Instagram
According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2018 Technology Survey, just 39 percent of agents using social media use Instagram. Considering that only about three-quarters of respondents use social media in any capacity for their businesses, you do the math and see Instagram has not quite caught on with real estate agents the way other channels have. That’s too bad—Instagram offers incredible potential and a burgeoning set of users on a platform well-suited for real estate. Besides the obvious strengths as a photo tool, Instagram’s Stories and Live features engage people in a way other channels don’t. Adopting Instagram now, ahead of your competitors, can give you an edge with potential clients.
6. Keywords and hashtags
You should be always striving to attract more followers on your social media channels. Keywords in your posts and hashtags on Instagram and Twitter make your content easier to find—especially for people searching for topics, pain points, and listings, but not necessarily searching for you. Optimize your posts for keywords (tools exists that can help you with this, including Google Keywords), and use plenty of hashtags to identify and describe listings.
7. Go beyond listings
Finally, social media presence is great for listings, but that’s not the only purpose for having a Facebook page or an Instagram account. In fact, listings should comprise a relatively small amount of your posts because if that’s all you’re posting, people who aren’t in the market to buy or sell a home will be less likely to frequent your channels. Therefore, be bold about posting other sorts of content. Polls, real estate tips, neighborhood spotlights, community events, pictures of happy clients outside their new homes, and even fun posts that aren’t necessarily real estate-related make your social channel someplace followers want to visit regularly. And when those visitors are ready to buy or sell, you’ll be ready to engage them.