Social media is a growing concept that can be incredibly useful, if used correctly and to its highest potential. Agents can acquire leads and referrals quickly through social media, but it is paramount to understand its power and capability in order for it to be a benefit instead of a time waster.

With its ability to connect people worldwide, social media marketing is a smart move for real estate agents to make. Real-time communication, versatility and mobile accessibility make social media platforms extremely helpful to both businesses and individuals. To professionally promote yourself and your business, keep the following elements in mind when developing your social media presence.

1. Increase reach.

When it comes to social media, your success relies on the scope of your online reach. This means more than just the number of friends you have on Facebook or the number of followers you have on Twitter.

Reach includes how often your friends and followers share your profile or content with other online viewers. Encourage your contacts to spread the word about you and your business; social media allows the concept of word of mouth to escalate into a viral spread of information — in a much shorter timespan.

Think about how you make a big decision in your own life. We ask people we know and respect for their opinions, and we take both their recommendations and their warnings seriously. Make sure to get your information out through social media in order to increase the number of people who have connections to you.

2. Maintain a personal connection.

People often feel a disconnect when communicating solely online; actively pursue a robust online presence that gives people the instant comfort of knowing that an actual person is behind these posts (and not just an automated system). Even if you decide to schedule regular uploads on your various social media platforms, I cannot stress enough the importance of tailoring these posts to your particular clientele. Don’t make the mistake of focusing too heavily on generic postings only to increase your daily or weekly numbers — people will notice that the quality of your posts decreases as the quantity increases.

3. Utilize the scheduling features.

Scheduling regular posting times on your social media platforms does not mean you have to sacrifice a personal touch in these posts. It is beneficial, to both you and your online viewers, to maintain a sense of regularity in terms of posting to your social media profiles. Time management is essential, especially as duties continue to pile up. Take advantage of the newer scheduling options available to you and your business’s social media platforms; schedule specific dates and times for certain posts to go out.

Keep holidays in mind; the scheduling features make it very easy for you to create posts tailored to each holiday and then focus more intently on developing your more elaborate posts.

4. Keep it professional.

Be careful not to overload your followers with updates, whether they are personal or professional. Make sure that everything you and others post to your various pages is appropriate. In an age where nothing is private once placed somewhere online, it takes only one inappropriate or offensive comment to damage a reputation or relationship. While it is important in this industry to maintain an online presence, one wrong move could cost you vital referrals. Word spreads quickly, especially online, and you do not want to ruin your name or professional reputation by posting inappropriate content.

Proofread before posting to any and all of your social media platforms.

5. Focus on visuals.

The adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” also applies to social media. To have a strong social media platform, the use of photos is essential. Visual marketing is taking hold and growing rapidly. People do not always take the time to read much when scrolling through their online feeds; pictures stand the best chance at capturing your audience’s attention. When posting to sites like Facebook and Twitter, keep in mind that a post with a photo and a small caption is more likely to be shared than text alone.

Diligence is essential to the successful development of your various social media platforms. A strong online presence takes time; do not be discouraged if your sites do not take off immediately. Continue to work at these social media marketing elements and keep the big picture in mind. Over time, your online presence will grow, and you can better refine it to meet the needs and desires of your specific target audiences.

Helen Hanna Casey leads Howard Hanna Real Estate Services with her sister, Annie, and brother, Hoddy.

Email Helen Hanna Casey.

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