You’ve starting writing stellar blog posts, and you’ve got a publishing schedule you can keep up with. Whether you’re posting every day, twice a week, or bi-weekly, you’re feeling pretty good about yourself. Good for you! It’s time to sit back and wait for the new page views to roll in as a new and expanding audience finds your clever prose and filters toward your site.
Not so fast. Carefully-crafted blog posts are excellent—content is still king—but it’s not enough to write great copy. You have to make sure people will read it, which means making sure they’ll know it’s there in the first place. If you have a robust blog following already, that may not be a concern, but every blog could use a boost. The best way to spread the word when you’ve got a great blog? Promote it on social media.
Social Media for Real Estate?
It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. There is a wealth of evidence to suggest that businesses of any ilk benefit greatly from being active on social media. It makes sense: more visibility in the daily lives of customers and potential customers translates fairly directly to more interest, more page views and much more engagement. Social media marketing helps small businesses get an edge in search engine results, generates higher conversion rates, and even boosts your brand authority.
For real estate, the ability to connect directly with interested consumers is not to be underestimated. With a social media profile, realtors can advertise open houses, post photos of charmingly staged interiors, promote neighborhood events and more. Let’s take a look at the advantages for real estate businesses of several of the most popular social media platforms.
Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms on the planet, with over 70 percent of adults actively participating on the site. With the ability to post and share photos, videos, links and more, and share those posts with a massive audience, Facebook is something of a one-stop shop for social media marketing. Any time you post a blog, list a new home or throw an open house, making mention of it on Facebook (and including pics or a video) is a great way to make sure you get the word out.
Real estate mavens aren’t the only ones flocking to Twitter—the social media platform has proved very popular among businesses big and small. Though Twitter limits your message to just 140 characters, don’t underestimate the mileage you can get out of these little snippets. Tweeting is a crazily easy way to get your latest message—an open house, a new listing, or a reduced price—out to a large following. Set up your profile (there are even helpful tools just for businesses), reach out to your target audience and start tweeting! This platform is best for quick one-off content, short updates with pictures and cross-promoting longer content you post elsewhere.
While many consumers eschew Google’s proprietary social network in favor of the more familiar (and arguably more user-friendly) platforms like Facebook and Twitter, Google+ offers a few distinct advantages for businesses, including real estate. Perhaps the most obvious is Google Authorship. When a Google+ user writes or posts and article somewhere, that content appears in search engines beside their Google+ profile picture, and Google Authorship authors enjoy preferred ranking in search results. That’s great news for real estate bloggers, who post frequently and do so under their own names. If you’re a realtor, sign up for a Google+ page and start participating in Google Authorship to get an extra boost from the ubiquitous search engine.
While at first blush it may not seem the most obvious outlet for real estate businesses, YouTube has a lot to offer for all sorts of small businesses. You can post short videos with your realtors, walkthroughs of homes ready to be shown, quick video updates on the business and more to your business’s YouTube page. A video offers a much richer wealth of information to the viewer than a static image and a realtor can communicate far more about a property in a video than with a picture and a paragraph. It’s also a far more personable way to connect, allowing you to control your brand and manage your reputation and relationships with precision. Any time you post to your YouTube page, make sure to link to it on your other social media profiles.
Pinterest is a wildly popular visual social media site—you pin ideas, in the form of pictures and short descriptions, to a Board, which you can then share with your friends and followers. Because Pinterest is so visual, it’s a great place to post high-quality pictures of the homes you have available and share them with an audience who’s hungry for them. The other great feature of Pinterest for real estate businesses is the user base: they’re overwhelmingly female, 55% are between the ages 25 and 44, and they’re full of crafty DIY and aspirational energy. Pinterest users like to pin images of homes and projects they aspire to achieve, and real estate businesses can use this to their advantage.
Try creating several Boards: one for dream-home exteriors, one for DIY renovations, one for interior design inspiration and ideas, just for starters. Post dreamy photos of well-lit homes you’re showing among images of airy real estate we can all drool over, and you’ll find Pinterest users will follow your Boards and re-pin the images that speak to them. Most Pinterest users are also active on Facebook, so feel free to cross-promote (though steer clear of overly promotional messages on Pinterest, where the community may balk at its tone).
Social media is too great a marketing tool to be ignored. It’s time for your real estate business to get serious about its Facebook, Google+ and Twitter accounts, and maybe to branch out into YouTube and Pinterest. Used wisely, these social media platforms can help a real estate business curate their image, manage their brand’s reputation, generate and convert leads and stay in touch with a broad audience. With the right internet savvy, an account on these sites will help your real estate brand stand out from the crowd!
Something I missed? Suggestions for how else to use these sites for marketing? Give us a shout on Twitter, Facebook, or right here in the comments section and we’ll get back to you. Thanks for reading!