You’ve no doubt heard the news. Unless you’re actively posting to social media, you’re irrelevant to the world at large. Maybe that sentiment is a bit extreme, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t harness social media to expand your network. If nothing else, good use of social media can help you connect with your sphere without having to spend a lot of money on blind advertising.
Whenever you post, use images to tell a story. If you want to convey what a great place your town is to live, take a few photos at the weekend farmers market, or snap a few colorful shots at the next high school football game. Color guard flags or a super close-up of a marching band uniform are fun examples. Use photos that convey a fun spirit of community. If your farming area has a festival, new fire station, or a great new restaurant, celebrate with pictures. Look for vivid colors or interesting patterns. Be engaging and aware of what’s going on nearby. You’re here to catch people’s attention. Remember to try to keep it relevant to your audience.
Remember, this is not the time for a hard sales pitch. Keep the “social” in your social media. You want the tone to be engaging, light, and fun. Yes, you can and should market your listings, but don’t make that the only focus of your posts. Your audience will tune out or fade away entirely.
If your photography skills aren’t your strong suit, don’t worry. Help is available. There are websites around that will help you improve your images or find good ones to use. Canva is on great example. This free website has simple, user-friendly tools to enhance your graphic design. It’s designed for everyone from technophobes to media pros. While you can use your own images, Canva offers stock photography and templates for both online and print marketing, which is a nice feature to have. You can coordinate the great new look of your social posts with your listing flyers to create a cohesive brand image.
Speaking of building a cohesive brand image, let’s talk about color. When you’re creating your social media posts, choose a color that reflects your brand. If your signage has a dominant color, make sure to incorporate that somewhere in the image. For instance, you could use the color in a backdrop or as a border. Be consistent with the look and tone for maximum impact.
Learn to love selfies
A recent Georgia Tech study found that on Instagram, photos showing faces get 38% more Likes than photos not showing faces. And since REALTORS are known for sticking our faces on just about anything that won’t move, don’t get shy when it comes to social media posts. You don’t have to be in every picture, but if you’re taking fall pictures at the pumpkin patch, snap a few selfies on the hay bales and encourage your fans to make the most of the season. It’s ok to be human in your marketing. After all, you are your best brand ambassador. Just finished a closing? Try out a custom snapchat filter with your happy new homeowners. Remember, you want to be eye catching and engaging. Plus tagging your clients will encourage them to share with their circles as well. But don’t go overboard. You want to be seen as a working professional, not some goofball with an odd obsession over cat filters.
Get around the algorithms
Facebook has a funny way of sharing your posts using mathematical algorithms and quite possibly sorcery. What works – and what doesn’t – is always changing. Recently, Facebook started counting your words against you. If you place a lot of text over an image, Facebook will share it less than if your image has fewer words. You might find that you can’t boost a post if it’s deemed to have too many words and not enough images. So keep your images simple and try to be mindful of the kinds of things you see in your feed. If you notice you’re not seeing something as often, try to find out why.
But do still use your words
You can post that great photo and create a call to action with the photo description or in the comments. Keep in mind the 5 w’s – who, what, when, where, why (and how). Remember that selfie with your clients? After creating your first call to action with an image, it’s time to focus on the description. Use something like, “Bob and Sue are celebrating their new house. Be sure to congratulate them. And when you want to know more about how to achieve your real estate goals, I’ll be here to help.” Be generous and friendly. The emotions you portray will influence how the viewer feels.
Another way to engage is to be conversational. “Bob and Sue are celebrating buying their first house together. Where did you buy your first house? Tell us about it.”
Video is a pretty popular trend and you don’t need anything more than a phone to pull it off. You can even live stream to boost engagement. A fun way to pull people in is to interview another pro. Have a live sit down with a designer and let people ask questions about paint colors or design trends. Go to the State Fair and preview some of the gadgets and innovations you see. You might even try one of the wackier fried foods. Just make sure to tell people what you’re planning in advance, and invite them to join you. Remember to acknowledge your viewers by name and encourage them to ask questions.
Have a purpose
Don’t be intimidated to use social media in new ways. If you are consistently thoughtful and purposeful in your posts, you will establish your unique brand. Provide useful and fun content and establish yourself as a credible expert on your market area. Engage your sphere where they are, and watch your business flourish.