Culture Scan

At the intersection of real estate, media, and pop culture.

Beyond the Screen: Take Your Social Media to the Next Dimension

You're surely aware of how social media can help you build contacts and ramp up your networking, but you may be less familiar with the array of micro-tools available that can improve the quality of your engagement with clients and prospects. Because a strong online presence, especially during these days of major uncertainty in business and the world, will help you be seen as a steady and knowledgeable professional, now's a great time to ramp up your social media skills. Your clients and prospects are spending more time than ever on screens, so reach out to them where they are. Here are some features on Instagram and Twitter, two of the fastest growing platforms for business, that can help you.

Overall, a professional should always follow the 80/20 rule on social media. This means 80% of your posts should feature original content from you conveying your business's "personality"— news about your clients (with their permission), tips for homeowners who need to sell, how you've completed transactions virtually, and personal perspectives about your changing market. The other 20% can be straight-up market facts and stats about your community and local sales.

Instagram

Instagram is fueled by visuals just as real estate is. Its marketing potential in your business is enormous.

  • Instagram TV: This feature lets you post a video up to 10 minutes long which stays on your profile for as long as you choose. Posting home tours there makes it easy for clients to view and compare listings, which is especially useful in the coronavirus environment.
  • Instagram Story: When on the home page, swipe to the right to start creating a story. Whether it's a photo, group of photos, or short video, it will only be viewable for 24 hours. Consider making a story for a real-time event or to offer brief highlights of your work day. Add text to an image to highlight what's going on in the visual.
  • Direct Messaging: Even if you don't have someone's contact information, you're able to send a message to any account. While it's a "social" app, remain professional in your communication like you would in an email, and remember to introduce yourself and indicate clearly why you're reaching out.

Story Polls:

 
Instagram story poll example featuring two answer options to a question
To engage with your followers and learn their opinion on a topic, use the poll sticker located on the story's drop-down menu. Ask any question and offer a choice of two answers which followers can then vote on. You'll see the results in real-time. This can help you, for example, narrow down the best day to host a showing or see which amenities people prefer in a home.

Countdown Sticker:

 
Instagram stories countdown sticker, displaying an interactive countdown timer.
You can also create an event when making a story, such as a showing, and display the date and time. It shows a live countdown, getting your clients excited to attend while also subtly ensuring they don't forget it's happening.

Twitter

If you prefer a more conversational approach, consider Twitter as it relies heavily on text and shared information.

  • Keywords: Type any word into the search bar and all the top and latest tweets containing it will show up.
  • Hashtags: Similar to keywords, hashtags will group all tweets together that contain the same hashtag. Search a word or phrase with "#" before it to find threads of conversations on that topic.
  • Reply: Once you've found the necessary hashtags, join in the conversation. Share your expertise or personal experiences when replying to gain credibility and reach potential partners or clients.
  • Retweet: One of the most time efficient ways to share information and your views is by retweeting already-posted content. Retweet things like market statistics and listing pics, but remember to strike a balance between other people's content and your own.
  • Quote Tweet: Quoting a tweet lets you comment within an already-written tweet. It relays your insight on a topic raised by someone else. If a news outlet posts info on falling home sales, you can quote from it and add your own perspective on how you're working to counter the trend.

Stay ahead of the curve with these tactics as more businesses and industry leaders join and get active on social media. Using these tools effectively will help you become — and stay — top-of-mind with clients and prospects. #businessgoals

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The Culture Scan blog explores the intersection of real estate, media, and popular culture. If you have an example of how culture plays a role in your real estate business, feel free to send story ideas to REALTOR® Magazine’s Ally Stegman. You can learn more about Culture Scan's focus here.

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