That’s why ShowingTime has spent the past couple of weeks researching how agents can benefit from the many various platforms.
Today we’re focusing on how these four social media platforms can help you build your brand, get leads and increase business.
Instagram has doubled its growth to more than 700 million users in two years, the company reported in April, making it twice the size of Twitter. The opportunity for real estate agents to reach a variety of people is there, especially because Instagram relies on photos and videos – which fits perfectly into the real estate industry.
Beware, however, of just posting a generic photo of the front of the house. Instagram has so many features – and homes/properties are so visual – that it’s silly not to take advantage. Here are a few:
- Use the gallery option, where you can share as many as 10 photos in a single post. You can highlight various rooms and even focus on a couple of the home’s unique features, such as a nice shower, kitchen island or fireplace.
- Use video. People are drawn to it, and Instagram users can post videos up to 60 seconds long. Consider this a short virtual walkthrough you can share with potential homebuyers.
- Don’t forget to use hashtags, which can be searched by users and garner organic leads.
- Instagram stories are housed at the top of the app, and are another avenue to get views. If you’re an active user, others might see your story instead of your post. Don’t use the same image in both, however.
Snapchat might be tailored to the younger crowd, but it’s worth exploring for agents of all ages – especially with millennials representing the largest percentage of homebuyers. In fact, Snapchat boasts 100 million daily users.
Snapchat, for the uninitiated, is a photo/video/text messaging app where you can connect with people, businesses and news outlets throughout the world. Messages are immediately deleted after they’re opened, but users can share stories with their followers that are available for 24 hours.
Why use it? Like Instagram, it’s extremely visual and has a story function. Use a Snap Story just like you would an Instagram story – by showing off different unique characteristics of the property, such as an amazing view. Users can then respond via text for more information, and you can eventually move the conversation off social media to a phone call or text message.
YouTube has been around for a while and is making its way into live TV, but at its core it will always be a place for ordinary people to create videos that inform and/or entertain.
The obvious way agents can benefit from YouTube is by posting walkthroughs of their listings. But the more time and effort you put into editing, the more well received the video will be. Include background music. Use drone footage. Time lapse a walk around the neighborhood. Visual elements are key, and while images are great, video might be able to provide a better understanding of how big a space is.
YouTube also is a great way to enhance your brand and display your expertise. If you already do that by blogging, consider video blogging (vlogging). There’s so many different ways to vlog. You can shoot b-roll and do a voice over for a look into a day in your life. You can interview other agents or experts in the field. You can even take a quick video selfie in your car between showings.
As with all social media, experiment and find what works best for you. The possibilities are endless.
Pinterest was once described by its CEO as a “catalog of ideas” rather than a social network, so if you’re only on social media to connect with people and gain leads this isn’t the platform for you. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth your time.
Pinterest isn’t a dumping ground for your listings – though it’s worth creating a professional board with homes for sale. But it is a place agents can share tips and show themselves off as friendly, helpful and knowledgeable about the real estate industry.
Think about pinning items from different sections of your life such as real estate (homes, views), home projects (decorating, DIY, landscaping), community (local information), thought leadership (links to blog posts) and personal favorites (recipes).
A few other thoughts:
- Longer, more rectangular pins are more likely to get re-pinned because they’re more prominent than square images.
- Apply for rich pins, which are bolder and stand out from standard pins.
- If linking to your blog, make sure to create images that stand out. Canva can help.
- Pinterest is about looking at photos, not reading. Keep your descriptions short and sweet – but always add a link to your website.
- Don’t forget hashtags.
Check out what else we’ve written about using social media in your business:
Do you spend too much of your day scheduling and confirming showing appointments? Learn how the ShowingTime Appointment Center helps free up your time to focus on other tasks to grow your business.