It's no secret that social media is a powerful tool for real estate agents to use when looking to generate leads. Social media marketing has become so important, in fact, that many agents are now using it as their primary form of lead generation online! In this blog post, you're going to learn the basics of how social media for real estate can help you start generating more leads by creating a proven strategy and growing your business online.
How Social Media Has Changed the Real Estate Industry
The world of social media is a new frontier for classic marketing. Agents, mortgage companies, and other real estate firms are using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social channels to increase brand awareness and sales; different from traditional advertising, they offer value contingent on how willing you are to put in the time and effort it takes to grow an engaged channel.
Different from traditional marketing such as cold calling, door knocking, and print ads, social media is allowing real estate agents to connect with a broader range of consumers, put their marketing on autopilot, and spend more time focusing on building relationships.
Social media marketing is a great way to generate new clients and create awareness around your personal brand in a way that traditional marketing doesn't allow. Social media is giving agents the opportunity to show their personalities and stand out from the competition.
In order to remain successful in today's real estate industry, it is important that real estate agents understand how to use social media marketing in their business plan.
How Real Estate Agents Can Create a Social Media Strategy
Social Media for Real Estate
A real estate social media strategy for your business is a summary of the goals you want to accomplish. The strategy helps you work toward growing your following to generate leads and allows you to better understand what is and isn't working. Your strategy should be clear and specific with realistic and achievable goals. Without creating a set goals for yourself, you may find yourself making social media mistakes without even realizing it.
Setting Smart Goals
The first step to creating a real estate social media marketing strategy is deciding on your goals. Without these, you have no way of knowing how to measure success or what your return on investment might be.
Each goal you set should be as follows:
As you're setting your SMART goals, make sure you're tracking meaningful metrics. Growing a large following is great, but if your followers aren't engaging, then they're not valuable to your brand. Instead, focus on engagement, click-throughs, and conversions.
Here's an example of a goal you might set: "Grow my Instagram following by 25 people per week."
- Specific - this goal is specific because it breaks down what platform you're focusing on and layouts exactly what you want to do; grow your following.
- Measurable - this goal is measurable because you can pull analytics each week to see if you were able to meet your goal.
- Attainable - the average growth for Instagram accounts is 1.46%
- Relevant - this is a relevant goal if Instagram is a primary social media platform.
- Time-Bound - you've set a weekly timeframe on your goal.
Know Your Competition
Since social media is a great way to reach potential prospects who are looking for homes, most real estate agents are on social media. However, being on social media and generating leads from social media are two different things. That's why you need to make sure that you're standing out.
Take time to research what is and isn't working for your competition. Review their posts and look at what is getting the most engagement and what isn't getting engagement at all. The best way to see which posts are working for your competition is to calculate their engagement rate.
In order to calculate the engagement rate, divide the total engagement (likes, comments, and shares) on the most recent 10 posts by the total followers and multiply it by 100. A good engagement rate is between 1 and 5 percent.
Creating a Content Calendar
Developing a content calendar is what makes following a social media guideline for Realtors less stressful. When you take the time to plan out what to post each day, it makes creating content less demanding and allows you to stay consistent.
The content that you're sharing should accomplish three goals for your real estate business.
- Attracting your ideal client to grow your following.
- Generating leads by moving followers from your social account to your emails list.
- Dominating the market by becoming the go-to agent.
With these goals in mind, you'll want to create content buckets that allow you to accomplish these goals. Once you have your content buckets created, decide how many times per week you want to post, and assign a bucket to each day.
If you're unsure which content buckets to include, here are some examples:
- Brand Awareness
- Lead Generating
Social Media Content Ideas for Real Estate Agents
With your content buckets in mind, you're ready to do a deep dive into what type of content you should be sharing within each of those buckets.
- Behind the Scenes
- Personal Connections
- Upcoming Events
- Promoting a Real Estate Opt-In or Lead Magnet
- Promoting a New Listing
- Homeowner Information
- DIY Projects
- Buyer Tips
- Seller Tips
- Community Events
- Things To Do
- Local News
You'll notice that three out of the four content buckets above focus on attracting followers and dominating the market, while only one focuses on generating leads. That's because consumers turn to social media as a way to decompress; no one comes to social media looking to be sold to.
The 80/20 rule is a good rule to follow when deciding on the type of content you want to share—80% should educate or entertain, and 20% should focus on sales. By following these social media guidelines for Realtors, your audience will be more likely to engage with you on a regular basis.
Reusing Content Multiple Ways
As an agent you're busy carrying for your clients, no one has time to create a continuous streamline of new content. That's why you need a system that allows you to reuse content in different ways. Here's how to turn one piece of content into three.
Building an Active Community of Followers
The first thing to do when working on social media marketing for real estate agents is to ensure you have an active community.
Building a following is about creating content that's relevant and engaging, so make sure your posts are personalized and targeted toward the interests of your followers. Speak to your audience, not at them. Social media allows users to engage with brands through liking, commenting, sharing, or even asking questions.
It's important to maintain a conversation with your followers, so make sure you are responding to their comments and answering any questions they may have. Social media isn't just about broadcasting information - it's also about listening and engaging with an active community of people. It's important that you're setting aside time every day communicate with your followers to build an online relationship with them.
Growth Strategies on Social Media for Real Estate Agents
There are two ways to grow your following online: organically and through paid ads.
Growing a following organically can take time, but you're more likely to have a higher engagement rate and an easier time converting those people into leads and sales. To grow organically, focus on engaging with your ideal client, commenting on your competitor's posts, and engage with hashtags related to your ideal client. The best organic growth strategy is the Gary V. $1.80 method.
The $1.80 method works as follows: Think of nine hashtags that your ideal client would be using, and then comment (or leave your 2 cents) on the most recent ten posts for each of those hashtags.
9 hashtags x 10 comments = 90 engagements
Growing your following through paid ads is a quick way to increase followers, but you're less likely to have people who are engaged, and it's more difficult to convert those consumers into leads.
When deciding how you want to grow your audience, think about the type of content that will attract them the best—organically or with paid ads. Social media marketing for real estate agents doesn't always see an immediate return on investment, so don't be discouraged if there isn't one right away!
Choosing the Right Social Media Platform
There are so many social media platforms that it can be hard to choose which one is the best for your business. The good news is you don't have to be on every platform to grow your brand and generate leads. In fact, it's better to pick 1–2 accounts and get consistent on there as opposed to trying to show up on 3 or more.
To help you decide which social media platform is right for your real estate brand, follow the steps below.
Identify Your Target Audience
When you try to attract everyone, you attract no one. That's why it is important to niche down in your business. Think about who you enjoy working with and what traits they have in common.
How old are they?
Where do they hang out in person?
What is their income and education level?
Are they married, single, divorced, or widowed?
Find Your Audience
Now that you have your goals defined and a list of target individuals, it's time to find them. You are going to investigate which platform they use and how active they will be based on the demographics of users on each platform.
Facebook: Facebook has over 2.7 billion users; however, despite so many people using it in some form or another, it can be difficult to build an audience due to Facebook's size and limited reach. The reason it’s difficult to grow on Facebook is because the platform wants you to pay to play. Facebook is great for building a following of clients and keeping in touch with them, but it may take more time than other platforms to acquire new business.
Twitter: Twitter can be an excellent tool for you to build awareness of your brand. You can create tweets and use hashtags that align with popular topics on Twitter so that you can take part in conversations happening around specific words or phrases.
Pinterest: Pinterest is a site where users can ‘pin’ photo or video content to a virtual board. Women are the most common demographic on Pinterest, and some popular pins include recipes, DIY crafts, photographs, and style ideas.
YouTube: When it comes to showcasing your real estate business, there is no better space online than YouTube. This social media platform has 2.3 billion users with around one million video views in the span of 22 seconds! The beauty of this massive reach is that users don't have to have a profile to watch the videos.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn, which boasts the largest audience among ages 30–49, is also unique because it has a narrow focus. The platform is useful for B2B lead generation and general networking in addition to the recruitment of team members.
Instagram: Instagram is an ideal social media platform for businesses that rely on visual content—like showcasing homes. It's a fast-growing and less noisy network compared to Facebook. It also allows you to better connect with your ideal client organically using hashtags.
TikTok: Over the past year, TikTok has quickly become one of the fastest-growing social media networks. While the demographic skews younger, every day, more millennials and Gen X-ers are joining the platform. TikTok is perfect for those who enjoy being in front of the camera and can take a trend and transform it to match their industry.
Using Hashtags in Your Real Estate Social Media Strategy
On social media, a hashtag serves as an indication (for users and algorithms) that the content that is being shared relates to a specific topic or belongs to a particular category.
Hashtags are used to make content discoverable in on-platform searches and, effectively, reach more people.
Basics of Hashtags
- Hashtags always start with #.
- Don't add a space or punctuation when using hashtags.
- Your account must be public for your hashtagged content to be seen.
- Use hashtags that are short and relevant, don't string together too many words.
- Use hashtags that are relevant and specific to your audience and content.
- Limit the number of hashtags used or your content may appear spammy.
Researching the Best Hashtags
Using hashtags is a great way to grow your real estate social media accounts, but you need to ensure you're using the right type of hashtags.
Contrary to belief, as a real estate agent, you don't want to use a bunch of real estate hashtags. Using lots of real estate-based hashtags will actually put your content in front of other real estate agents as opposed to your ideal client. However, you will want to use a few real estate-related tags.
You'll want to spend time looking at which hashtags your ideal client is using and how often the hashtags are being used.
The number of hashtags you need to use will vary depending on the platform you’re on; with most encouraging 1-3 at max.
Instagram is different from other platforms, because you can include up to 30 hashtags on a post. However, there is debate on whether or not you should add all 30 hashtags to every post. Recently, Instagram rules for Realtors have changed saying you should aim for 10-12 hashtags per post.
Once you have an idea of the different hashtags you want to use on Instagram, here is how you should categorize them.
- Choose three to five popular hashtags to attract your ideal client. Popular hashtags have around 300,000 to 1 million posts for a specific hashtag. Anything more than 1 million generally is irrelevant and since it's so saturated with content, you're likely to get a lot of spambots.
- Select three to five moderately popular hashtags to attract your ideal client. These are the hashtags that fall in the 80,000–300,000 range.
- Pick three to five niche-specific hashtags. These are going to be your real estate-related hashtags.
- Include one or two of your branded hashtags. These hashtags would include your brokerage's hashtag and creating a hashtag for your brand.
Using this formula allows you to generate 12-15 hashtags. You'll want to create different sets of hashtags based on the type of content you're sharing.
Staying Consistent with Your Social Media Strategy
The best way to stay consistent with your social media strategy is by automating your online posts. There are a number of platforms available that allow you to schedule your social media in advance so all you have to focus on each day is engaging with your ideal client, not figuring out what to post.
Facebook Creator Studio
The Facebook Creator Studio allows you to post directly to your Facebook and Instagram page. With Instagram, you can even post directly to IGTV. The cost is completely free, and Facebook loves it when you use their tools.
Hootsuite is one of the most popular and used scheduling platforms. It allows you to integrate Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, so you won’t have to log into multiple platforms to schedule the same content. You’re also able to monitor your analytics, monitor your competitors and engage directly from the platform. Plans start at $49 per month and go up.
There are lots of other scheduling platforms available including Later, Buffer, Planoly just to name a few. The best thing to do is find one that has the integrations that you desire within your price range.
Getting Started with Social Media Marketing for Real Estate Agents
Now that you have a better idea of how to get started with your real estate social media strategy, it's time to start implementing. By becoming an affiliated agent with Radius Agent, you'll get access to the tools and strategies you need to help you grow a successful real estate brand.
Amanda Webb is a real estate marketing strategist and the owner of Gravity Real Estate Marketing. She's helped agents start closing over $1 million in transactions and go on to build successful businesses, one property listing at a time.
Her background in real estate marketing has given her the knowledge she needs to help agents become more successful online. At Gravity Real Estate Marketing she provides done-for-you customizable marketing resources that allow agents to show up consistently online and convert followers into leads.