Social Media Optimization: 5 Steps to Building and Maintaining an Online Presence
Social media offers a great way for real estate agents and team leaders to interact with their audiences and build brand recognition. With over 295 million active users in the United States alone, the popular platforms represent unlimited potential and can provide a steady stream of leads; as a result, avoiding them can have a serious – and negative – effect on your business.
However, it’s not enough to simply exist on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok. To truly make the most of your time and money, your social media accounts need to be fully optimized. Ultimately, this will increase awareness of your business and brand, allow you to connect with your audience and SOI, and give you the chance to organically generate new leads. Let’s take a look at the 5-step process real estate agents can use to fully optimize their social media platforms.
Understand Your Audience
This is stone number one, and for good reason! You can’t possibly deliver a positive customer experience if you have no idea what your audience wants or needs. Your job is to learn as much about your target audience as possible: what are their motivations, hesitations, pain points, and desires? How can their lives be improved by choosing you as their real estate agent?
Being able to anticipate the wants, needs, and expectations of your customers can fundamentally reshape how they view your brand. This allows you to handle many objections far before they even begin to arise, creating a mutually beneficial customer service experience; the more you’re able to reassure potential clients that you can give them what they want and need, they more they’ll trust you, and the more likely they’ll be to choose you as their agent when the time comes.
Shadow Your Competition
Success leaves clues. The top-performing agents in the country didn’t get where they are by chance; if you want to rise in your local market, it’s a good idea to check out what the top-producers are doing. Fortunately, this is particularly easy to do considering the public nature of social media. Go to your competitor’s pages and think about:
- What content they are creating
- What is/isn’t performing well
- How often are they posting
- Who, if anyone, are they collaborating with
- Any other details that stand out
Paying attention to the habits and trends of successful agents will give you a head start on optimizing your campaigns. Since it’s already working for them, the likelihood that your brand will gain traction and be successful on social media is greatly improved.
Establish Your Brand
All successful business have a easily-identifiable “voice.” Your brand voice can be built around a value proposition, a certain personality and tone, or any other trait that makes you stand out from the crowd. In fact, the best brands utilize a combination of all three. If you haven’t established your brand voice yet, look to your favorite successful companies; Nike is well-known for its confident and assertive voice that encourages its customers to “Just Do It,” Tiffany focuses on elegance and beauty, Old Spice emphasizes masculinity to the humorous extreme, etc.
Your social media accounts act as an extension of your brand; any brand messaging you have on your website or in your various outreach and follow-up campaigns needs to match what you post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other social media platforms you exist on. By maintaining a consistent voice, your brand becomes more recognizable, both among competitors and in your local community. This also forces you to stay true to your values.
Implement the ‘Rule of Thirds’
At its core, social media is all about communication. Remaining a constant presence on a number of platforms, each with their own specific form of interaction, can be a daunting task – especially for agents that are unfamiliar with them. Fortunately, there is a simple formula that you can follow to stay focused and engaged with your audience: the Rule of Thirds. Put simply, your posts should be ⅓ promoting your business, ⅓ interacting with your audience (especially through educational content), and ⅓ sharing personal stories to build your brand.
- Promote. You’re selling a service, so promotion is a vital part of social media marketing. Take the time to talk about what you know best: your skills and your results. You can share recent listings, success stories, client testimonials – anything that proves that you’re not only good at your job, but the best choice in your local market.
The risk here is that many agents spend too much time on self-promotion; there is a balancing act between selling yourself as a business and remaining approachable and relatable. Your audience needs to see who you really are underneath that business or you’ll never be able to build trust.
2. Engage. It’s called “social” media for a reason! These platforms provide a space for people to interact and share experiences with each other, so it’s necessary that you reach out to and connect with your audience to start building relationships. This could be as simple as liking a post, sharing an image or message, or tagging your followers to start a conversation. Educational posts are valuable here as they create a space for your followers to interact and learn about information that may be relevant to them.
Skipping this step communicates one message: I only care about myself and my business. Your ability to build a community is crushed when you eliminate the possibility for your followers to be heard.
3. Share. As previously mentioned, potential clients are more likely to choose you as their agent if they feel they can trust you. This means viewing you as a real person with a normal life rather than a two-dimensional business that just wants their money. By sharing personal stories and anecdotes about your life, you can give your audience a glimpse into who you are outside of work.
Post pictures of your family, your vacations, and your life in general; although the content might seem mundane to you, these personal insights go a long way toward building parasocial relationships. Remember to be genuine in these types of posts or you’ll end up undermining the overall goal.
Research Your Hashtags
Hashtags provide a way for your posts and your account to circulate throughout the platform. If you’re trying to grow your database, the right hashtags can attract new followers to you without requiring a lot of effort. However, you can’t just use any old words; by researching your hashtags, you can ensure you’re drawing the right audience, ultimately helping to build your SOI in the long run.
The easiest way to do this is to look at what other agents are using and branch out from there. Consider the entire topic rather than just the specific word itself; “#realestate” is common and your post will most likely get lost among the tens of thousands of others also using it, but “#realestateGA” will narrow the playing field considerably. Remember that hashtags can only be one word, with no spaces or special characters (numbers are allowed), and you’ll begin building a following in no time.
The Bottom Line
Social media optimization is necessary if you want to build and grow an online following. The benefits, especially in this digital age, are clear: the more you’re able to build a relationship with your audience, the more likely they are to think of you when they’re finally ready to buy or sell. As a result, social media can operate as an organic lead generation machine.
However, many agents find the idea of posting content every day extremely overwhelming. If you’re not sure what to write or how to create graphics, REN 360 can help. This all-in-one marketing solution can put your social media marketing on autopilot by giving you access to premade Facebook ads, social media graphics, topics, and all the content you can imagine in one easy-to-access place. Sign up for your free 14-day trial today to see how REN 360 can work for you.
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