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Facebook and Instagram are not the new kids on the block in the social media world — but they are two of the most popular and effective platforms for real estate agents and brokers to build their brand, promote their listings and generate leads.
Did you know there are several hidden features agents don’t know about? Here are some of my favorite little-known gems.
1. Don’t be a secret agent!
Did you know — you can pick and choose which sections of your profile on Facebook are open to the public? Although many of you probably have a personal Facebook profile and business page — when you get “Googled” — often your personal profile on Facebook appears at the top of the search results.
The challenge is that if you have your entire profile’s privacy settings set to friends-only, the general public might have a tough time contacting you.
Go into your personal Facebook profile, and under the About section, each section has the option to change the privacy settings, and change your Work and Contact section to public.
2. Create private Facebook lists to organize your clients and prospects
This tip is an oldie but goodie, but I’m still shocked at how many people don’t realize you can do this. It’s one of my favorite Facebook features. You can create any number of private lists (for your eyes only, your friends are not notified when added to a list).
You can create lists such as clients, prospects, agents, neighbors, first-time homebuyers, etc. This option is only available on your Facebook personal profile and the desktop version of Facebook.
I love this option because Facebook can be so noisy. Once you create lists, instead of looking at your noisy news feed, you can go right to a specific list to connect with people!
3. Review your Facebook insights within the Facebook groups that you manage
Do you manage a Facebook group for your community, neighborhood or office? Did you know you can review your insights and engagement to see who the most active members of your group are?
This tool allows you to give these folks a shoutout monthly or as you see fit.
Also, within groups, you can pin multiple announcements, you can schedule content, and you can format posts — all great for group admins to know. By the way, Facebook groups, when done right, can have a massive impact on your bottom line.
Inman ambassador and broker Lee Arnold has garnered 25 percent market share in his market area in large part because of the group he manages and has cultivated.
4. Automatic captions for Facebook Live
Did you know when you go live on Facebook on your page or in a group — you can have Facebook automatically caption your live broadcast as you are speaking? It’s a fantastic tool, especially because so many people never turn the sound on with video content.
Here is a link from Facebook with details on how to set this up for your next broadcast.
5. Download your Facebook Live replays
If you’ve created great content using Facebook Live, make sure you download it. Save it to Google Drive or Dropbox, so you have the original file. You can also upload it to your YouTube channel, take the audio and turn it into a podcast, or edit out a quick clip to share to Instagram.
Social media is rented ground — save the content you have created. To do this, go back to the Facebook Live on your computer, click on the video, and you’ll see several options: edit video, edit post, and download the video.
By the way, did you know Facebook Live is still one of the best pieces of content that generates more engagement than almost any other type of content? Here are a few ideas on how to get more people to watch your Facebook Live.
1. Create Instagram highlights to extend the life of your Instagram Stories
You might have been on someone’s Instagram account and seen “buttons” or circles on their page under their bio. These are called highlights, and they come from Instagram Stories.
Your IG Stories disappear in 24 hours, but after you post a story, you can go back to that story and add it to a highlight. Highlights help showcase who you are, what area you serve, who you are beyond business, etc.
Many people don’t know you can go into your Archive on Instagram and add older Stories to your highlights. So, even though they have “expired,” you can still add them to your highlights.
2. Create Instagram Guides to showcase your expertise
Here’s one of my favorite little-known features. You can go into Instagram, click the + sign and create an Instagram Guide. A guide is a collection of posts from your IG feed or others’. You can make a guide showcasing homes for sale, your community, client testimonials, real estate tips, etc.
It’s a great way to pull older IG posts together into a curated collection. You can then share that guide from IG to your email database, your IG Story or anywhere else.
3. Robust search feature
When you are on Instagram on your mobile device and tap on the magnifying glass, it takes you right to search. You can now search locations, hashtags and keywords. To find potential local clients, search areas that your potential clients might gather and engage with them on Instagram.
Search local businesses that you love, and give them a follow and highlight them in your content. Make sure to tag them in your posts when you do.
4. Turn your notifications on for your A+ connections
Instagram doesn’t quite have lists like Facebook, but you can turn your notifications on for your A-plus clients who are active on Instagram or local accounts where you don’t want to miss their posts.
Go to their pages, and tap enable notifications to receive a push notification when they post a new post to Instagram. It’s an easy way to stay intentional and top-of-mind!
5. Look into what worked before
Stuck on content ideas? What worked in the past? Review your Instagram Insights, and search your past content. Which posts had the highest reach? Shares? Saves? Comments? You can search back two years!
If you had a post perform well a year ago or even six months ago, why not repost it but freshen up the caption. It’s an easy way to repurpose content. This is available within Instagram business accounts.
Want more Facebook and Instagram tips and content ideas? Check out the video below.
What hidden features do you love with Facebook or Instagram? Please share in the comments section below.
Katie Lance is the author of #GetSocialSmart and founder and CEO of Katie Lance Consulting, a social media strategy firm and founder of the #GetSocialSmart Academy. She’s been recognized by Inman News as one of the 100 most influential people in real estate and is a featured keynote speaker at many industry events. Katie is also is the author of the best-selling book, #GetSocialSmart