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Agents who hope to reach clients and expand their professional networks through social media should embrace the power of their own voice online, an expert said at a recent real estate panel.
“There is not an app or tool that can replace you,” said Katie Lance, who owns and runs a consulting firm that offers social media tips for real estate professionals.
Lance broke down some of the top tools for brokers trying to expand their social media influence Tuesday in an Inman Connect virtual workshop.
A wide variety of potential clients, current customers and industry professionals can see an agent’s posts on sites like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin, Lance said.
One of the biggest traps that agents can fall into is being hands-off with their social media, Lance said. She likened this to an agent inviting all their clients over to a dinner party, then handing off the presentation to an assistant.
“We would never do that,” Lance said of the dinner-party analogy. “But that’s what happens when we just automate everything and hand off our social media to someone else.”
With that in mind, Lance said agents should familiarize themselves with the following tools and strategies.
The ‘focus five’ strategy
Agents who merely post to social media but don’t make an effort to engage with others’ content are less likely to see the results they want, Lance said.
These brokers should regularly attempt to respond to five of their online contacts with a meaningful comment — something more than a simple “like” or four-word quip, she said.
Over time, this “focus five” strategy can forge deeper connections in an agent’s online social network.
Videos and images
Brokers should also explore creating video content, which is prioritized highly on certain social media platform algorithms and can spark high-engagement conversations, Lance said.
Some of the top video platforms on social media right now include Facebook Live, YouTube and IGTV, Instagram’s video app.
This content can be edited on free services such as Videoshop and Videorama, Lance said.
Good images can also make an agent’s posts stand out. Lance recommended websites Unsplash, Pixabay and Pexels for high-quality stock images to pair with social content.
For keeping track of social media ideas and plans, whether in a team or on one’s own, Lance recommended using organizational tools such as Trello or Asana.
These tools help users create schedules for content and track ideas over time.
Users who use video or images will find they may need access to these files across devices, or in concert with a team. Services such as Google Drive and Dropbox are useful for this purpose, she said.
Working smarter, not harder
For agents looking to make a splash on social media, Lance recommends creating one great piece of content per week — an article or video that she described as “pillar content.”
But this content can be repurposed across multiple platforms, reaching different audiences and cutting down on the amount of time required to keep all an agent’s various social pages active, Lance said.
An example of this, Lance said, might include posting a full video to Facebook Live, uploading an edited version of that same video to YouTube, and then taking a shorter clip from it to post as an Instagram story.