Branding Your Real Estate Business with Social Media

Updated: Feb 9

"Bad artists copy. Good artists steal.” - Pablo Picasso Great quote from Picasso, though there is something to be said on “good theft” vs. “bad theft”...

So, you want to know how a home seller might use social media to move real estate, huh? In this pamphlet I will be share with you my knowledge and expertise on how you can use social media to market your real estate business while maintaining your brand! “Millennials now make up 66% of the market for first-time homebuyers, and 99% of those looking for homes use the internet to research properties.” They aren’t just Googling a few keywords though, they are using property-related hashtags and search social media feeds to find their dream homes. I’ve listed off in order of use, a home buyers’ steps when searching for their next dream home.

  • Word of mouth: Good old fashioned/connections, Word of mouth via social media/email marketing

  • Real Estate apps: Zillow, Homes.com, Once a home or agent is chosen, buyers look to social media for references, pictures, information, so on

  • Google, Bing, and Yahoo searches

  • Local SEO rich sites, “find a home for sale near me”: Zillow.com, Realtor.com, Century21.com, Trulia.com, Homefinder.com, Forsalebyowner.com, Homes.com, Remax.com, Owners.com, Redfin.com

  • Your website (your own website will more than likely be unable to beat the listings above in search engine results)

  • Once a place is found, buyers will either click on the first person listed, or they will click on who they recognize (social media helps brand yourself and get your face/name recognized)

  • Social media : Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Other

As you can see, no matter the route your potential buyer takes, they end up on social media one way or another. They are monitoring activity, double checking if the open houses they want to attend are actually going to be informative, looking at pricing and availability, reviewing their peer’s reviews, and so on. But which sites do you use and which ones should you be using? Each site is different and therefore each business needs to use the sites that benefit them. Unfortunately, you can’t determine or force your customers to use the sites you prefer. You have to know your market and more importantly you have to understand how each site works. Facebook vs. Instagram (Restaurant Logic): Since January of this year, Facebook has been making a push to stop posts that are impersonal (business posts) in an effort to make personal moments their main focus. They want to create more meaningful social interactions. This will, and has, made it more difficult than ever to be “organically seen” in users’ newsfeed. If you thought it was bad before – because it was – it’s even worse now. Take for example, Restaurant Logic located in Jackson, MI. Restaurant Logic is a marketing business for restaurants. They have 1169 followers on Instagram but only 191 followers on Facebook. Some might argue that it’s time to get off Facebook and migrate to Instagram. On the flip side, an actual restaurant in Jackson, Klavon’s, has 1,278 followers on Instagram but an overwhelming 31k followers on Facebook. Now one could argue that it’s best to stay on Facebook and leave Instagram alone, cause if it “ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, right? Let me break this down: Facebook’s algorithms have always been set for users to enjoy connecting and have never been set for businesses to market. Facebook finds Klavon’s posts, videos, and content more interesting to its users than that of Restaurant Logic. But obviously Facebook users enjoy Klavon’s posts because who doesn’t love pizza? Especially Klavon’s, have you been? I love ‘em! Anyway, this doesn’t mean that what Restaurant Logic shares to the world is crap, boring, no good… It just means that Restaurant Logic’s demographic, their target audience, are usually business owners such as Klavon’s themselves and we all know that business related information is nowhere near as fun as going out to eat! Of course, there is A LOT more to this, paid ads, videos vs. general posts, time of the day posts are published, and so on, but you get my point. So now what? You might consider choosing 1 or 2 social platforms to use over the rest, right? Perhaps Klavon’s can just use Facebook and Restaurant Logic can just use Instagram. And while this does seem to make sense you run the risk of not being everywhere your customers are. Here’s some useful statistics I found from Marketing Charts that help explain. Facebook “Facebook still boasts usage by about two-thirds (68%) of the adult population. Facebook use remains higher among women (74%) than men (62%). Among age groups, its adoption is relatively consistent among the 18-24 (80%), 25-29 (82%) and 30-49 (78%) brackets. Older age groups have also adopted Facebook: its usage by 50-64-year-olds (65%) and those ages 65 and older (41%). Facebook is more commonly used by urban (75%) and suburban (67%) adults than among those living in rural areas (58%). That represents another shift from 2016, when these groups were more on par in their adoption.” Instagram “Instagram is now used by 35% of adults. There are some notably discrepancies in Instagram use among demographic groups: Black adults (43%) are considerably more likely to use the platform than White adults (32%); Instagram use is far higher among 18-24-year-olds (71%) than among 50-64-year-olds (21%) and those ages 65 and up (10%). Urban adults (42%) are far more apt to use Instagram than rural adults (25%). It’s worth noting that while the age gaps are quite stark with Instagram, more 30-49-year-olds say they use the platform than use Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter.” Marketing Charts provides statistics for the other popular social platforms but I’m not going to list all of them. You can find all of these statistics and more on their website or the link is listed at the bottom of this article. I will however, show you a chart they compiled, which sums things up nicely. It’s important to note this chart is related to US adults 18 and older. (See Chart) As you can see, YouTube is the highest platform used, then Facebook, Instagram (owned by Facebook), Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter, and WhatsApp (also owned by Facebook). The top 10 platforms I often suggest are: (Information about the sites themselves taken from Life Wire) YouTube

  • Highest used video sharing platform

  • After Google, YouTube is the second largest search engine. Also, it’s owned by Google

  • From music videos and movies, to personal vlogs and independent films, YouTube has it all

Facebook

  • It’s a thriving beast of a social networking site on the web with about 2 billion monthly active users and more than one billion that log on daily (according to Facebook itself)

  • Facebook Messenger, with tons of cool features, is the second most popular messaging app behind WhatsApp. Also, you know, owned by Facebook

  • People use Facebook individually and by joining or setting up groups

  • People use the events feature to host, manage and attend local, business, and personal events

Instagram

  • It’s the ultimate social network for sharing real-time photos and short videos while on the go

  • A leading advertising platform for brands as well as “Instagram Influencers”, who legitimately generate income through the network (much like YouTube)

Pinterest

  • Social platform + search engine showcasing the importance of visual content

  • 10 million monthly unique visits

  • A place to collect the best images and content the internet has to offer

  • Growing to become a social shopping network for retailers

LinkedIn

  • LinkedIn is a social network for professionals

  • Connect with other professionals

  • Interact in group discussions

  • Post or apply to jobs

  • Publish articles

Twitter

  • Twitter is known as the real-time, public microblogging network where news breaks first

  • Most users love it for its short message limit