It's no secret that leveraging social media is one of the best tactics an independent agent or brokerage can use to broaden the scope of their marketing efforts without investing a lot of money. If you're successful and one (or more!) of your listings goes viral, you're going to see a huge increase in traffic across all your web properties, leading to more leads, more referrals and hopefully more closed business.
So what are the main avenues for social real estate?
- Facebook-- you should have both a personal and business page. Obviously you'll want to ensure that your photos etc. have proper privacy settings to avoid any embarrassing or personal images being shown to visitors you don't know well. It's a good idea to keep things pretty professional regardless!
- Twitter-- again, it's worthwhile to keep your personal tweets and follows separate from your professional ones. Use your business account to tweet new listings, your personal one to talk trash about your favorite teams!
- LinkedIn-- use LinkedIn to network with other professionals. The utility of LinkedIn for marketing isn't quite as strong as the others, but it's well worth using to build your professional network.
- Pinterest-- Pinterest is a site that is still unfolding in terms of its utility for marketing and promotion-- but there's no question it's one of the hottest topics. Agents can create "boards" for each property, with great opportunities to use quality photographs. Creative and effective use of tagging is key to getting your listing found.
- Google+-- Google+ is especially important for businesses. New Google rules seem to state that a business will not be included in the online business listings unless they have a verified G+ business page.
Keep in mind that almost all of these venues have multiple ways to interact. For example, while it's clear that you can push your listings to Pinterest by creating your own boards, you should use the "Pin This" widgets they make available to let your end users interact with your website directly, by pinning their own favorite listings and photos. This expands your reach dramatically-- now users are making your listings available to their whole networks, rather than simply relying on the users who already know about your Pinterest boards to drive traffic. Facebook has multiple widgets, including a "Like" button, comments, and social graph, all of which can and should be used to increase your reach.
Intellectual Property was built with multiple features to make social marketing for real estate even easier, including:
- Pin This widget
- Facebook Like widget
- AddThis widget (multiple social media buttons in one)
- Facebook Comments plugin (allows comments specific to individual property listing)
- Google+ widget
- Tweet This widget
In addition to these widgets, you can activate Facebook and Twitter plugins to automatically Tweet and post to Facebook your new or updated listings, complete with the main property image! This takes two big items off your "to do" list when you add or modify a listing. At this time Pinterest's API doesn't support auto-posting. But it's expected that they will be developing a capability to let users push data to them.
Using social media in cooperation with your website is a must. Using a professional real estate system like Intellectual Property makes your job that much easier, and makes it easy to effectively use social media in your own marketing efforts!