We live in a visual society. Don’t just take my word for it; look around you. TV commercials, art galleries, the family photos on your office desk… even graffiti tags. We come into contact with visual appeals every day of our lives. So why shouldn’t we incorporate visual media into our marketing plans? Every real estate agent out there knows the importance of the visual quality of a home and its community. In fact, it’s often said that a home buyer makes all of their first impressions of a home on the walk from their car to the front door. Knowing the power of these visual cues, why not take advantage of it?

Our Internet Marketer Erin Shetron wrote a blog last week about some major social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Originally, she included YouTube and Pinterest on that list. After some thinking, though, we realized that these two sites are a different breed from the usual social media group and deserve their own post altogether.

Below, I’ve highlighted what makes them work so well for our real estate clients and why you should consider joining the craze of visual social media.

YouTube

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YouTube used to be a site for crazy cat videos and music videos. Times have changed, and businesses are starting to take notice.

Creating online videos might feel too far out of your comfort zone, but spending the time to upload short clips about you and your company could lead to serious benefits. According to the Google-owned company, more than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month and reach more US adults aged 18-34 than any cable network. The audience is there, and search engines are well aware. A video is 40-50 times easier to appear in search engine results than text content. YouTube even has a keyword tool to help you find keywords that will best market your video. The SEO and marketing opportunities are endless for real estate agents.

First, invest in a simple camera that records video and begin making 3-5 minute clips. Make videos about your company, home tours, neighborhood spotlights, and more. Create an account for your business on YouTube and start uploading your clips. All of these videos will fall under your account to create a YouTube channel for your business. You can use these videos to introduce new clients to your company and to let existing clients know what your business is up to.

Pinterest

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Pinterest is essentially a virtual corkboard that allows users to “pin” pictures and links of things that they like and are passionate about. Pinterest is like other social media channels in that it offers real estate agents the chance to show off their personality, increase brand awareness, and lead new visitors to their site. For retail brands, Pinterest can lead to an increase in sales if a “pin” of their product becomes popular. For real estate companies, Pinterest can lead to more exposure for new listings.

Start by creating an account for your business. Network and connect with clients and other business in your area or industry. Then, begin pinning! Create boards based on region (ex. St. Johnsbury, Vermont) or based on content (ex. new listings). For regional boards, you can pin pictures of festivals or events going on in the area. For content-based boards, you can pin photos of your inventory.

Although many Pinterest users tend to spend most of their time browsing rather than buying, companies who are active on the site can still see benefits: site traffic, customer retention, and brand identity. We also have a great blog on the additional benefits of using Pinterest for real estate marketing.

At the end of the day, remember that these sites are here to give your business personality! Potential clients will more likely contact a business that is personable; they want to see that you’re people and not just a machine. Let your creativity flow. Your search rankings and web traffic will thank you for it.