With social media being a well-established part of an overall marketing mix, real estate agents can easily turn to social channels like Facebook and Instagram to make connections with their homebuyers and clients without face-to-face interaction.
Even if the real estate company you’re working for offers an automated social service, it’s necessary to stay active on social by personalizing the content to meet your local customer where they are. This content should fit your personality and your unique business goals. Basically, your social channels need to be sustainable and about you – no matter how robust your marketing team’s services are.
If social is new to you, if you’re looking for advanced social tips, if you’re new to the real estate industry, or if you're a seasoned pro, this article has something for everyone and covers some of the top questions top real estate agents have.
Open Business Facebook and Instagram Pages
You may have been told using personal Facebook and Instagram Pages are a more direct way to reach your clients and loan officers, however, utilizing business Pages with a more strategic, long-term social tactic in mind will generate more business and higher ROI than using personal profiles alone.
Benefits of Creating Business Facebook and Instagram Pages
There are several immediate and long-term benefits that simply make sense for using a business page – in addition to it being Facebook’s policy.
Using a personal Facebook profile will limit your reach to a maximum of 5,000 connections. By using a business Facebook Page, you will never be limited on the number of connections you can have.
When you utilize business Facebook and Instagram Pages, you also organically boost Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to help you get found in search results. This is because although you can make personal social profiles public, they were never designed to be optimized for search like Business Pages are.
To increase the likelihood of being found in both Facebook search and Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS), like Google, you should…
Claim a Branded Vanity URL. By claiming your shortened and branded URL (Aka your username) so it matches your other social channels and website URL, your branding will be the same across all social media sites. This builds trust with search engines.
Let’s say you wanted to share your Facebook page with a connection. Consider which link looks better:
Now let’s say you wanted to share all your social channels with your connections. Consider how easy it would be if all your social channels could be located using the same Vanity URL.
Use Keywords. Sprinkle in industry and niche keywords you’re known for throughout your page and in your social media posts. This will help boost the likeliness of your page being found when someone searches for “Boise Realtor” or "National Association of Realtors" if you’ve recently made a post about it.
Purposefully Create a Linking Strategy. The way you use links influences your SEO. By cross-linking your website, social, and review channels, Google will find your content trustworthy and valuable.
In addition, if someone is following you on one channel, they may be active on other channels. By cross-linking, you will make it easier for them to follow you elsewhere.
Incorporate Links in Your Social Bios as Calls to Action (CTAs). You can add links in your social profiles to cross-promote accounts. However, you can also use these links as CTAs for a blog post or to have someone contact you for more information.
Collect and Publish Facebook Recommendations
One of the most popular features business Facebook Pages offers is the ability to enable reviews. In 2018, Facebook changed its reviews system to a recommendation-based algorithm.
Customer reviews are vital – people crave social proof. Reviews are a good indicator if your service is worth their time, and more importantly, the investment in what you’re offering.
Without reviews, consumers are less likely to engage with you and may question your experience and overall customer satisfaction.
Access to Analytics
Analytics allow you to understand and optimize your customer’s journey. Having access to those analytics helps you to make smart decisions with the posts you make so that you’re getting the most engagement out of each post.
Using your personal profile and business Page strategically will ultimately generate the best results. Here’s how you can use both your business Pages and personal Facebook profile to boost engagement and generate more business.
- Post all real estate content (listings, closings, open houses, etc.) on your business Facebook Page first (I know, I know…bear with me here.)
- Next, share only select posts from your business Facebook Page to your personal page – adding a personal note about the post and why your personal connections should pay attention.
It’s important to share the most valuable content – not just any content or every post or you’ll numb your audience – on your personal profiles.
In addition to sharing the post to your personal profile, you can also tag clients and loan officers who may connect with the content directly (depending on their personal settings) or you can post it to their business Page (depending on their business settings).
By utilizing your business Page as your content hub, and your personal profile as the way to get more eyes on a post, you’ll generate the most engagement and traffic from that single piece of content vs posting it to your personal profile alone.
Pay Attention to your Data
Tapping into the data being tracked through your business pages is vast and will help you better understand the structured and unstructured data. That said, if you‘re going to be more successful tomorrow than you are today, you need to know what success looks like. Each social channel has its own algorithm and location to access your analytics.
How the Instagram Algorithm Works in 2021
Like Google, Instagram’s algorithm has been configured to show content that relates to things the algorithm feels the user will like best. The more the Instagram algorithm thinks the user will comment, like, reshare, or watch a video of, the higher it will appear in the user’s feed. This is why consistently posting quality content on Instagram is important. Regularly posted, quality content sends positive signals to the Instagram algorithm – and gives your audience more opportunities to interact with you.
How the Facebook Algorithm Works in 2021
Unlike Instagram’s algorithm, Facebook’s algorithm is made up of 4 ranking signals including:
- Likelihood the user will interact with the content
- Type of content
- Popularity of the post
- How recently the post was made
To discover which posts are getting the most interaction, simply navigate to each respective analytics dashboard, or consider using a third-party vendor like Sprout Social or Hootsuite to pull in all your social channels so you can access your analytics in one dashboard.
Use Facebook Business Suites
Facebook owns Instagram. As part of this partnership, both platforms work together allowing you to use Business Suites to manage both profiles.
- Schedule posts. Draft new feed posts for both Facebook and Instagram and then schedule those posts to be published at a time that makes the most sense for each channel’s core audience.
- Build credibility. When you link the two channels, you can sync your business information. By doing so, you gain access to tools such as appointment booking buttons, and camera effects, while also sending out a strong signal that you have the authority in your industry.
- Manage messages. When you sync Facebook and Instagram, you can manage your messages using Messenger for both Instagram and Facebook in a single inbox.
- Run ads for both business pages. You can create ads that appear on both Facebook and Instagram.
According to Facebook, after June 30, 2021, you’ll access Facebook analytics in the following places:
- Business Manager, which allows you to manage advertiser and user accounts as well as access your analytics
- Facebook Business Suite allows you to create ads, post videos across multiple Pages, and view insights. Note: This tool may not be available to you yet.
- If you’re running ads, you’ll be able to access your ad post data in Ads Manager. You’ll be able to view, make changes and see results for all your Facebook and Instagram campaigns, ad sets, and ads. With Facebook Ads Manager, you can also create landing pages. These landing pages are what users land on after clicking an ad and can include clear CTAs and have the ability to collect contact information.
- Events Manager will help you set up and manage Facebook Business Tools like Facebook pixel tracking.
Once you’ve located your Facebook insights, you can explore your page’s metrics, how people are engaging with your content, and which posts are most popular. Over time, you can determine the type of content your target audience enjoys most, allowing you to push out more posts targeted to their preferences.
Be Picky About What Is Posted on Your Channels
Staying active on social is an essential part of creating a strong presence with an engaged audience. The goal is no longer to post content multiple times per day, instead, it’s to focus on posting quality content. Think quality over quantity.
- Spotlight your people and their expertise
- Highlight your clients and their success stories
- Involve your audience
Curate and Share Engaging Videos
Sharing authentic, behind-the-scenes content can help attract and expand your organic reach. But there’s more you can do to boost your video engagement.
- Add captions. As people scroll their Facebook feeds, videos typically stand out. To make your videos appealing, try using captions. As Sprout Social reports, captions are particularly important, because 85% of Facebook users watch videos on mute.
- Crosspost video. With some creative thinking and partnerships, you can crosspost other videos to your Page. Through Facebook’s crossposting technology.
- Upload video to Facebook. If you’re already publishing videos on YouTube, take the extra step of publishing them on Facebook too (as opposed to just sharing your YouTube video on Facebook). This will give you the best engagement results.
- Broadcast live. You may think broadcasting live videos on Facebook is complicated, but Facebook has helpful tools for video recording and live broadcasting.
When it comes to the content of live video, keep the content light but relevant. For example, you might record a brief video as you head to your next open house or a fun “get to know the team” video in the office. For more detailed topics, such as first-time homebuyer-specific content, you may want to stick to pre-recorded videos. That way you can carefully plan what you’d like to say and edit out mistakes.
Create Unique Content
Sharing content created by other people and organizations can be a great way to supplement the content on your page while sharing the love. However, don't forget to create unique content to give your Facebook and Instagram users something to share. When you post your own unique content, it allows your fans to learn more about you. People like to follow businesses that show their authenticity, professionalism, and relatability and that’s no different for real estate agents they are considering doing business with.
Understanding how you can effectively use social media marketing to enhance your real estate business is often a process of hit-or-miss, but once you discover which content is most engaging to your fans, the results will be worth the effort. Plus, creating engaging social posts is a fun way to share your knowledge and your personality — and, most importantly, it positions you as a real estate professional who recognizes and addresses the needs of your clients and loan originators.
For more, visit our Agent Resources page.