Social Media Do and Don’ts : A Guide for REALTORS®

The “2014 Survey of California Home Buyers” by the California Association of REALTORS® revealed that more than three-fourths of home buyers used social media in their home search (compared to 52 percent in 2011.) When asked how they used social media in their home search,  44 percent of buyers said they primarily used social media to obtain buying tips and suggestions from friends, 44 percent said they used social media to gain neighborhood information and 42 percent used social media to view an agent’s Facebook page. 3 Social media is more relevant and useful in real estate than ever and a great way for REALTORS® to market their business online in addition to their website. Below you will find the do and don’ts of using social media to generate new real estate leads while being mindful of the strategies that will use them most effectively.

DO use social media to build trust: Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter provide a chance for you to display your expertise and establish credibility in a more personable way. Be honest about the pros and cons of living in certain neighborhoods, share why you chose where you live, involvement you have in the community and events happening in the area.

DON’T forget who your audience is: Certainly allow your personality to shine on your social media posts but also pay attention to what types of posts receive engagement… and work towards posting more of them!

DO set up Instagram to share automatically with Facebook and Twitter: Save time by changing account settings in Instagram for photos / videos posted to also appear on your Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can also select this option on a post-by-post basis; it’s located just below the area you type a caption.

DON’T only post about your listings: Although social media is a great venue for sharing your listings, if it is the only item you’re posting, you become less social and more of a salesmen. You run the risk of losing your followers all together. Share relevant real estate articles, your community involvement, neighborhood statistics, and pictures from your company BBQ…etc.

DO @mention relevant users on Instagram posts: On average, posts mentioning another Instagram user in a caption net 56 percent more engagement; however, only 36 percent of brands use this strategy.1 When participating in a community event, for instance, post a photo of the event and in the caption @mention the relevant or influential names that also participated to interact with a wider audience. Example: “I had a great time playing golf today to support @CharityNameHere with @CompanyNameHere @InfluentialNameHere @LendersNameHere.”

DON’T be a #hashtag maniac: Posts that include at least one hashtag average 12.6 percent more engagement on Instagram1, but be thoughtful with its usage. Too many hashtags could come across as spammy. Embrace the hashtags you trust will help get your real estate tweets or Instagram posts in front of the right audience and ditch the ones that will merely generate random likes.

DON’T notify your LinkedIn network every time you make a change to your profile: People are notified in their feed every time you make a change. This can be bothersome when even the smallest changes (such as a typo or rephrasing of your job description) are broadcasted to your network. Instead, select “do not notify network” or turn the option off all together when editing your profile (this option is on the right side of your page when in editing mode.)

DO use video: Humans are visual creatures and now we want more than just photos, it seems! Instagram videos create twice as much engagement as photos.1 Quickly compose high quality video tours of properties by using a video app such as Hyperlapse2 or post videos of yourself sharing valuable information on the current real estate market.

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