Back in March, Facebook announced changes to their current algorithm that will alter who’s content you see on your feed and who sees your content. This change aims to create a more personalized and more private social setting for you. It will recognize your “inner circle’ or those that you interact with most frequently and expose users to less content created outside of that sphere. Facebook will also start placing an emphasis on groups that users belong to, putting that content as the main focus of your feed. This algorithm is not new, just updated to allow better results and get back to the social site that Facebook once was, before advertising and mass marketing became popular.
So, how does this affect you? When it comes to advertising, the effectiveness of mass marketing will decrease. However, agents who do target marketing to groups that have a tie-in with the listing or message will do well. All in all, with this change to Facebook’s algorithm, it is imperative that you become more strategic with your advertising goals rather than casting a wide net. Additionally, this change prompts you to become more involved in groups and engage with your local community. The more active you are with various real estate and community-centered groups, the more people your content will be put in front of.
Here are four strategies that REALTOR® Magazine* offers to help you stay ahead of these algorithm changes:
“Make proper use of other photo-driven platforms. Instagram and Pinterest, for example, are strong mediums for showcasing photography, which is the most critical component of your marketing. Focus on presenting listing photos and short stories about your properties on these platforms while using Facebook more for making authentic connections in groups. “If you have great photos and a knack for storytelling, [Instagram is] a platform that’s made for you,” Listanski says.
Share more video content. Facebook favors serving video content—especially Facebook Live—to its users. If your videos are compelling and informative, you’ll likely end up in more of your followers’ feeds. Betti Russo, ABR, managing broker at Realty Executives Exceptional, REALTORS®, in Oakland, N.J., began a weekly Facebook video series in January focusing on topics such as FSBOs and vacation homes. In that time, her video views have grown from only a handful to about 1,100 per video. Though she also shares her videos on Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter, “most of my traffic comes from Facebook,” Russo says. “What’s important is to be consistent. Have a plan and a schedule, and it becomes like brushing your teeth every day.”
Join a variety of Facebook groups. In addition to real estate groups, get involved in online communities centered on other topics that are relevant to you. This will give you an opportunity to be more authentic in your interactions—instead of selling yourself as a real estate pro—which is the purpose of social media anyway, says Katie Lance, a social media consultant focusing on real estate. “Join a local group on parenting or photography—nothing to do with real estate—and connect with people over things that are personal,” Lance says. “Remember that social media is a marathon and not a sprint.”
Provide extra value to make your posts more shareable. Even if your organic reach decreases, those who do see your posts will be more likely to share them with others if they offer educational takeaways for the audience. “Real estate professionals need to think beyond the marketing copy they have posted on the MLS or on their flyer and think more like a storyteller,” Lance says. For example, instead of posting a simple announcement about a new listing, offer some information about your client’s journey to get the home prepared for market, along with some practical tips for sellers. Your followers are more likely to share such a post with friends and family who may be preparing for a move.”
Today’s world is all about social media and your business depends on results. If you’re not getting the views and action you want on your profile, here are five ways to generate that response.
1. Create a community.
Your followers will engage the most when they feel connected to you and other like-minded individuals. Utilize your social media to create a community and get to know your group, rather than just promote your business, by asking questions, responding to posts, creating polls and sending personal messages to keep conversations going.
2. Real + Raw = Results.
The best results come from you being you. Be a part of the community you are trying to create and let your followers get to know the you outside of your business. Your followers want to see your authenticity and relatable personality and to know that you have good days and bad days, just like them.
3. Have a hook.
According to the original article from RIS Media, on average, you only have 6 seconds in a video and 2 seconds with text/image to catch your audience’s attention. Provide the “hook” or important information right at the beginning so it results in them clicking or watching for more information.
4. What’s in it for them?
Marketing through social media is not about you, it’s about your followers. You will attract the most clients not by talking about how great you are, but by telling them how they can benefit from your services and how you will solve their problems. Make sure they know you are listening to them and their needs and work to foster a trusting relationship.
5. Tell them what to do next.
Creating a community is great, but there is an important step between them viewing your profile and contacting you for their real estate needs: calling them to action. Your followers won’t know what you want them to do next if you don’t tell them. Ask them to subscribe, share, like or comment on your posts to help further build your community and create more engagement.
They tell you that you should be present on all social media platforms, but there aren’t enough hours in the day to be constantly updating each site. Do you wish there was a way that you could post to all of them at once? Well, you’re in luck!
I would like to introduce you to Hootsuite, an online tool that links all of your social media accounts together, making your life easier. With Hootsuite, you can post one message that will automatically be filtered to all of your social media pages. You can even save yourself a lot of time by scheduling posts to be distributed days, or even weeks, in advance.
Hootsuite takes it a step further and collects analytics on your posts and provides a report on your ROI. This helps you make sure that you are reaching your target audience and can help you determine which social media platform is getting the most results.
They offer three different plans, which allows you to choose what you need for your brand. If you’re not sure about Hootsuite, why not give their 30-day free trial a try? Social media is all about trial and error in order to figure out what works for you and your brand. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work at first because gathering a following takes time.
If you would like to learn more about social media, you can attend the ACCELERATESM classes offered by our very own Homesale Career Development course. There are three elective classes, that anyone can attend, which deal with the topic of social media: Your Online Presence, Facebook Business and Embracing Video. For more information about these classes and a training schedule, visit http://www.homesalecareers.com/Accelerate.
We’ve mentioned in previous blog posts how important it is to maintain social media accounts to engage with your clients, but it’s not enough to simply have the accounts, you need to create and grow relationships with your followers. Here are a few simple tips to increase your engagement on social media.
According to a 2017 report by the National Association of REALTORS®, the largest group of home buyers, at 34%, are under the age of 36. Pair this, with the fact that 59% of Instagram users are aged 18-29, it’s no wonder that real estate agents are using Instagram to connect with younger clients.
Instagram is all about great visuals. It is important to create fabulous eye candy for your followers. Every photo or video you post should be clear and not blurry, well-lit and visually appealing. Use a smartphone, tablet or digital camera that produces high quality images.
For photos, make use of Instagram’s filters to create a mood or story about your particular style. It’s best to stick with one or two filters to keep your style consistent. However, don’t go too crazy with filters when you are posting listing photos. They should be close to actual color.
If you want to get creative with text and designs, check out these free design and photo editor apps: Canva, PicMonkey, Qwik or Studio.
Instagram videos are seeing significantly higher (over 2X) engagement than Instagram photos. Try creating videos that include your photo and contact information, as well as, company branding by using Videolicious. This app is easy to use, and makes professional-looking videos with music, narration, video, and slideshows of photos.
Great personal experiences are the cornerstone of your real estate business. Since 88% of consumers trust online reviews, this will help you make a good first impression when prospective clients are deciding who they want as their REALTOR®. Plus, millennials are significantly more likely than older generations to be influenced by their friends’ social media posts. Video testimonials enable your existing clients to share their story. Photos of significant moments in the sales process like receiving the keys at settlement, standing in front of their new house, and a thankful hug after putting up the Sold Sign (like this picture below) show that your clients are the center of your focus.
It’s been said a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a million. Beautiful photos and compelling video of your new listings or open houses engage potential home buyers. Plus, you can add a location to your post, which makes it easier for mobile users to find the property. Always include key features, info, and maybe even a little humor like this post:
Instagram is social media. Millennials want authenticity. They enjoy seeing you playing with your kids or grandkids, going on vacation, or sharing activities you like to do outside of work. Infuse your Instagram with posts that show the real you. While you may be helping them to buy or sell a house, at heart, it’s YOU and your personality that sells. They want to know, like and trust you. Sharing your interests and finding things in common with you, helps them feel connected. So go ahead, share great images of you that reflect your personality! Funny? Show your humor. Athletic? Show yourself in action. Giving? Share pics of you volunteering in the community. Family oriented? Share family photos. Sports fan? Show that Penn State Pride:
Buyers moving into a new area want to know all the hot spots: restaurants, shopping, areas of interest, and places and events that only the locals know. Sharing pictures of your town, neighborhoods, local events and local areas of interest give buyers a glimpse into the community. Who better to be the expert in the area, than an agent that works and lives right there?
Do you want to get noticed by those outside your circle? Hashtags are a powerful way to connect. Hashtags allow users to find you. Here are a few popular hashtags:
These are just a few. Search GetHashtags to find more.
Caution: don’t include too many hashtags, as you might come across as spammy. Instagram allows up to thirty, but stick with just the ones that are appropriate for your post.
With a little bit of creativity and your own unique style, you can create a visual display of who you are, what you do, and how you can serve potential clients. Ultimately, Instagram can help you engage with younger buyers and sellers, resulting in a boost in your business.