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Basic Social Media Strategies for Real Estate

By Rebecca Chandler

lipsAt the recent Keller Williams Family Reunion in New Orleans, agents packed multiple sessions on social media for real estate.  They have heard the buzz and know they should be using social as a part of their marketing mix and were looking for guidance on exactly what they are trying to accomplish with this new tool and how to reach their goals.

Goals and Expectations.  While social media may be the next new buzz, agents realize that they should have specific goals and expectations.  They don't want to spend time and energy on an activity with no payoff.  What should they expect? 

  1. To ENGAGE potential prospects and clients through one-on-one interaction
  2. To PROMOTE their personal brands
  3. To INCREASE their sphere of influence
  4. To GENERATE new business

So, what are the recommended basic starting points?

The Facebook Personal Profile.  Think of this as your business social persona and use it in the same way you would interact with prospective and past clients and mix your personal life with enough of your professional life to make others comfortable doing business with you.  Typically, this means 75-85% personal and 15-25% business - the same type of mix you would use at a cocktail party or other social event.  It's ok to feature a new listing on your profile if you have something interesting to say about it or invite others to an open house or event, just don't overdo it.  DO show your personal interests, personality, and sense of humor while reminding your friends that you are a real estate professional.  DON"T share controversial political or religious views or become a Farmville or Mafia War fanatic. (It's annoying.)  Top tips for getting started?

  1. Let Facebook look through your email addresses to find your friends.  Include a personal note in friend requests. Friend others you meet.  Start to build your network.
  2. Post happy, appropriate, and flattering photos not only of yourself - but of other people.  Tag them.  This creates connections to your profile.
  3. Comment.  When you comment, others see your comments and comment back.  This creates engagement and interaction.
  4. Don't abandon.  Monitor and comment daily.  Post at least 3-5 times per week.
  5. Put your Facebook personal url on your business card, email signature, etc. to encourage others to "friend you."

The Facebook Fan Page.  This is the appropriate place to showcase your business.  Think of it as your business web page within Facebook.  It's publicly accessible to everyone - even those outside Facebook.  "Fans" come here for  information and advice on the local real estate market and community, so don't make it all about you.   Share things on this page that offer value.  For example, share local market stats, showcase new listings, talk about schools, parks, and community events.  Encourage interaction by posting and sharing information that benefits the fans (so they'll share) and that prompt comments.  DO offer value in every post.  DON'T oversell.  Top tips for getting started?

  1. Just start.  Create the page and set up an intuitive url through Facebook.  Make it something meaningful to the market - not just about you.  (example - www.facebook.com/yourtown  or your area of expertise.)
  2. Post.  Events. Information. Photos, photos, photos (tag when appropriate. )
  3. Allow others to comment.  Comment on every comment. 
  4. Don't abandon.  Monitor and comment daily.  Post at least 3-5 times per week.
  5. PROMOTE OFFLINE.  Include the url on your business card, print ad, yard signs, direct mail etc.  Use offline to drive traffic online.

That's the start.  And enough to get you started.  Next steps?  Blogging and Twitter . . . . For more information, go to www.realestatebookfacebook.com and become a fan.

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