Tips for finding the right audience on social media

Not all social media are equal — they’re actually very different, particularly in who you connect with and how. Because real estate agents don’t have time to build a presence on several social media platforms, it’s important to understand the differences so you can pick the ones that work best for you and what you want to accomplish. I’ll post more on the differences, but one of biggest things that makes each site unique is who you can connect with and how.

facebookUse Facebook to connect with people you know, whether you know them well, knew them several years ago or they’re acquaintances. Friends, family, neighbors, college buddies, friends from high school, clients, and real estate agents or employees at your brokerage are an obvious place to start — people you know, see regularly and already have a relationship. But you can also connect with acquaintances, such as agents, appraisers or mortgage brokers you’ve done business with, and people you’ve met at networking events. But it’s considered intrusive to send a friend request to someone you haven’t met, so it’s not recommended.

twitterTwitter is my favorite social media platform because it’s easy to connect with people you don’t know, but with whom you share a common interest. Follow the same people you would on Facebook who are on Twitter, and then expand your sphere by following people you may not know but would like to build a relationship with, like your local real estate reporter, business owners and even celebrities. I actually know a Florida Realtor who sold a property to Rosie O’Donnell for $5 million, and then turned around and sold that same property for Rosie two years later for $5.3 million, all because she connected with Rosie on Twitter!

pinterestOn Pinterest, it’s less about making connections and more about sharing pretty pictures. But it’s through your gorgeous property photos that you can connect with potential buyers. If you use the right search terms in your posts, such as dream home, family home or beach house, along with the location, you’ll start to attract followers who might be potential buyers. Just make sure every property photo is linked to that property on your website, so they can find it online if they’re interested.

instagram-icon-circle-vector-logo3Instagram is also about pretty photos, but it’s very different from Pinterest. Instagram is used more to show off personal photos that you take, rather than photos you find online or from another source. Use the “Find Facebook Friends” and “Find Contacts” functions in your Instagram settings to connect with people you know. Then follow people you’d like to connect with. Most importantly, use lots of hashtags on Instagram in your posts to attract the people you want to follow you, like #SarasotaHomesforSale, #AtlantaProperties or #beachhomes.

youtubeYouTube, while technically a social media site, is viewed by most people as just a place to post videos and use the links in other social media. However, if you really love making videos, it presents a great opportunity to build your sphere and influence. Check out what Jessica Riffle Edwards has done on YouTube. With more than 400 videos, she has amassed a following of 3,800+ subscribers and has received almost 1.2 million views. If video is not your passion, then use YouTube as a place to post what videos you do make, and then share a link on your other social media and your website.

linkedinLinkedIn is all about business and is set up for you to connect with people you know or have done business with, like other agents, mortgage brokers and bankers, appraisers, plumbers, landscapers, Chamber of Commerce members, clients, etc. If you want to connect with someone you haven’t met, you can ask for one of your connections who knows that person to introduce you through LinkedIn. For example, if you want to connect with a city council member and one of your clients on LinkedIn knows her, you can ask your client to introduce you through LinkedIn.

googleplusIt doesn’t seem like Google+ ever really took off like Google had hoped, but it does enjoy a dedicated, if somewhat techy audience and you can use it to boost your website’s search engine optimization. You can connect with people much like you do through Facebook. The advantage of Google+ is you can arrange those connections into “circles” (friends, agents, family, etc.) and share posts that are only visible to a specific circle. So you can easily share vacation photos of the kids with your family, and keep more business-appropriate posts for your clients.

So pick the social media platform or platforms that work best for you, then start connecting!

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5 Tips for Engaging Social Media Content

You may have heard the phrase “content is king” – that just means that you need to have interesting social media posts to attract followers. Here are seven tips for finding and creating interesting social media content for real estate that potential buyers and sellers will want to view.

Show your followers why your community is a great place to live. Photo: Adrian Snood/Flickr

Show your followers why your community is a great place to live. Photo: Adrian Snood/Flickr

Love Your Community – Show what it’s like to live in the area that you serve. What’s going on today? What is your favorite restaurant, theater, non-profit or event? Does your community have something new that your followers will enjoy, like a new bike trail or shopping area? Show why your community is a great place to live, work and play, and you’ll gain followers.

Water Cooler Test – Post unique properties that pass the water cooler test, meaning people will chat about it and want to share it with their friends and followers. Or, find a way to relate listings to an interesting trend or tip. Just make sure your listings are only part of your posts, not all of your posts, or your followers will get bored.

Offer Answers – Think about the questions you hear most often from buyers and sellers, and then answer them on your social media pages to provide valuable information and tips.

Be Visual – Posts with a compelling picture or video tend to get viewed more often, so avoid posting comments without something visual to go along with it. It’s best to take your own photos and videos, or share videos from YouTube. Don’t borrow images you find on Google Images, though, because you don’t have permission to use them. Instead,  use free photos from Flickr Creative Commons (make sure to give credit) or purchase inexpensive images through sites like shutterstock or istockphoto.

Proofread – Nothing can make u look moor unprofessional then a big glaring typo or freequant misspellings in your soshial media posts. So profread everything twyce befor e youu post. (Nuff said.)

Follow these 5 easy tips, and you’ll be on your way to an interesting social media profile that you can use to build your business and expand your sphere of influence.

 

Why PR should take social media seriously

Jeff Bullas tweeted a past blog post today about why the PR industry should take social media seriously. If you read my last post, you know how I feel on the subject.  While the numbers he cites are a little outdated now, it still puts things into perspective.

USA Today’s audited circulation is now 1.83 million plus 16.9 online readers, which means getting a story in there has the potential to reach almost 19 million readers. That’s a lot.  But consider Facebook, which has more than 800 million users. That’s a whole lot more!

Obviously there are many differences between a professional, edited and respected news outlet and a social media site. But the sheer size of sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn cannot be ignored. They offer tremendous potential to reach a wide audience. They also offer a huge challenge in times of crisis.

So I’m with Jeff. PR needs to take social media seriously.