What are the best times for real estate agents to share on social media?

Need a quick cheat sheet that shows when you should be sharing your new listings and other content on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest?  We have you covered!

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Feel free to share this with other realtors.  And don’t forget we offer free mini-audits of your social media presence for your real estate business!

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Are you failing to promote your social media accounts effectively?

facebooklikedislikeI was talking with a real estate agent the few days ago, helping her plan her social media strategy.  She had set up a page on Facebook for her business and set up a Twitter account as well.  While she wasn’t super active – posting maybe once or twice per month – she was making an attempt to market off the huge networking opportunities on social media.  But she was discouraged about why she wasn’t getting more likes, followers and engagement on both Twitter and Facebook.  The main reason?  While she had created the accounts (which to her credit is more than many real estate agents do), she did absolutely nothing to promote either of them, and this is a huge mistake many social media novices make.

In order to get followers, likes and conversation on either Twitter or Facebook, you need to ensure you are promoting your social media accounts so people can find them.  The vast majority of your potential clients aren’t going to hunt down your Twitter account, but if they see a link to your account, chances are they might click it and then follow you.

So what are things you can do in order to promote your social media accounts so people realize you have them?

Email signatures
This is one of the most cost effective ways to repeatedly get your social media accounts before your clients.  At the end of your regular email signature, add “Follow me on Twitter at @yourhandle” and “Like us on Facebook!”.  And be sure that signature is linked to both of those accounts – you want people to just click and end up on your Twitter account.  If you make them type in www.twitter.com/yourhandle, chances are good they won’t bother.  Always remember the KISS method.

Website links
Make sure you add your relevant social media links to your website.  Facebook and Twitter are the most common, but also add your YouTube account and Pinterest account if you are utilizing them as part of your social media marketing campaign too.  If you have a webmaster who makes your changes for you, send him or her the links to your social media accounts so he can add them along with the appropriate company logos – this is one of the more common website additions so it should be quick and easy to add to your website.

Print ads
Especially if you are taking out a larger sized ad, it is easy to add “Follow me on Twitter at @yourhandle” and “Like us on Facebook!” on those print advertisements.  Or if space is limited, choose one or the other.  And if you do happen to have a large advertisement coming out, don’t forget to make sure you update your Twitter status or share something on Facebook.  You don’t want people to see you have a Twitter account, only to discover you haven’t engaged on it for the past six months.

Don’t be dormant
While on Pinterest it isn’t as obvious if you haven’t shared anything in the past six months, on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, it is quite noticeable.  People also forget that posting on those accounts is also promoting those accounts.  Anytime a client shares something you posted on Facebook, it has the added bonus that all that client’s friends and family see not only the share, but also that it originated with you, and those people are not only reminded of your name, company and what you do for a living, they might also re-share it to all of their friends too, extending your reach on Facebook even more, and potentially getting not only brand awareness for yourself with a potential new circle of people, but also the possibility that some of them will “Like” your Facebook page as well.

While it would be amazing to just be able to create our social media accounts and then ignore them, while the magical powers of social media do the rest, in order to make social media work, you do need to put some effort into promoting it.

Note: We offer social media audits and strategy blueprints for realtors looking to extend their social media marketing for networking and selling.  Please contact us for more information.

How to encourage engagement on your real estate Facebook posts

One of the struggles many marketers, including real estate agents, have on Facebook is how to encourage engagement with what they post. Once you have thousands of followers, it’s not as big of a problem because you will find at least one or two people that will have something to say. But if you have a dozen or even a couple hundred followers, it’s a lot more difficult to encourage people to comment and engage with what you post. Here are some ideas on how you can encourage people to engage in what you post.

Include a photo or video
Facebook posts that contain a photo or video are many times more likely to be shared and noticed than those without. When people are quickly scanning their news timeline, is quite easy to skip over text-only updates and just notice the ones with interesting images included. So try to include a related photo or video with everything you post.  Here is an example of a very visual post that is interesting, and a unique closet storage idea for shoes most people haven’t seen before.

Ask a question
You might be commenting on an interesting home decor idea, or on tips to increase the home’s value. But turn it into something that makes people more likely to comments, such as asking a question at the end. It can be something as simple as “what do you think?”, “is anyone adding this to their to do list?” or even just “yea or nay?”  This encourages people to give their two cents on your question, which also shows up on many people’s timelines which expand your market reach.

Be seasonal
People love seasonal posts, whether its for the Fourth of July, Holloween or New Year’s Eve. So post some of your favorite decor ideas, put a picture of a really uniquely decorated house in your market area that has been dressed up for Halloween or Christmas and ask if people have done anything like it.  If your town has a community hollowing fireworks event, post about that.  Here is an example about fall cleaning (and feel free to share it on your own page to encourage engagement as well!)

Ask for likes
Surprisingly, post that ask for likes actually do get more likes.  So if you post something, add for people to “like if you like this!”  Do use it sparingly though, you don’t want to alienate people because every single thing you post you ask people to like. But once or week or so, especially if it is something you really want to have a broad reach to people outside of your followers, definitely ask for a like.

As build more followers, you will definitely find it much easier to create engagement on your posts. But until you get to that tipping point of number of likes, definitely use these tracks to encourage engagements on your real estate Facebook page.

Be careful what you “like” on Facebook

If you have spent any time on Facebook, you’ll know that your friends are constantly recommending you to “like” stuff on Facebook and often you click like without thinking about it. Or maybe you are on a website and you want to enter one of their contests, and to enter, you simply need to like them on Facebook. And there are also nefarious websites that will use underhanded tricks to cause you to like their page, disguised underneath something else you click, so even though it may not seem like you’ve actually clicked to like them, and actually registers of the like on Facebook, and it will show up on your timeline for anyone to see.

When you’re looking at someone’s Facebook page, Facebook makes it pretty obvious what things they have liked. And I’m sure there been times where you have questioned when you have seen that someone likes something that either think is completely strange or worse, is an organization or company do not agree with.

Now look at it from the perspective of someone you want to impress, such as a potential home buyer or seller.  They are going to scrutinize your likes as well, to get a sense of the kind of person you are, especially if you have been recommended that by someone or the as seen an advertisement.  What is on a Facebook page truly says a lot about the type of person someone is.

But the downside is your Facebook page might be saying something about you that you are intending to. When you got to Facebook comment you see your new stream, that is all the activity to other people are doing. But you often aren’t looking at your own personal page to see what is coming across on that page, such as things you have liked or articles you have shared. And this is where a lot of people get caught, because something show up they never intended to. And the biggest culprit tends to be pages that people have “liked”.

Fortunately, it is quite easy to look at your legs, and to clean up and to lease any lakes that don’t represent the the impression you want to give people. Here’s how you can go to your likes to remove any you don’t want, and I think about the impression you are giving off to people with them.

First, what you should do is go and evaluate everything you have liked up to this date.  Simply look on your Facebook page, and click on your likes to see everything you have liked so far. If there’s anything that could come across as being slightly controversial or that some people might not share your passion for, just click on like rather than it coming back and haunting you later.

Now, you might have liked Hooters because you love their food.  But think of it from the perspective a potential female home buyer or seller, it is going to give them a very likely negative impression of you, before you even meet them.  And first impressions are everything.

Likewise, things that proclaim you pro-choice or pro-life should probably stay off your page, as should any political affiliations, unless perhaps you live in an area that is primarily supporting one political party, but then you still need to take into account that you could lose potential clients who don’t support that candidate or party.

The bottom line is you want to make sure that your Facebook page represents not only you personally, but the person you want people to see when they are looking at you objectively as a potential realtor.  This doesn’t mean you have to hide the person you are, but just consider whether you really need to let people know that you’re a fan of Hooters or a trashy reality show.