Social Networking for the Busy Realtor
You know that it’s in your best interest to network online, but you’re a busy real estate professional. Updating even one profile consistently is a struggle. So, where to start? Although this depends on your business and your target audience, we wanted to provide you with some more concrete insight, so we dug into the collective data from our real estate platform. As you can see, bounce rates on social-referred visits tend to be high and visits tend to be on the short side. This is because the visits typically stem from clicks on incidental links, and are not the result of a targeted real estate search. Note the superior engagement metrics on Google+ and Google-owned YouTube, which, of course, incorporate search better than other social sites. Do relatively weak engagement metrics mean time spent on social media is not worthwhile? Absolutely not! The value here is exposure to new audiences, and in the opportunity to communicate out to potential customers on an ongoing basis. Why rely solely on the chance that they may return to your website, when you can show up regularly in their social media feeds?
Breaking It Down: The Networks
Facebook. This is a good place to start for almost anyone, simply because of its reach. Facebook gives you access to a large, and appropriately aged audience. According to the study cited in the table above, 65% of Facebook users are age 35 or older. YouTube is a no-brainer. We know that videos are engaging, and YouTube is the biggest video network out there. If you’re able to create an engaging “about you” video and videos for your listings, then do it – and host them on a YouTube channel. It’s worth it. Google+ is a multi-faceted channel that serves as both a local business directory and a social network. At the minimum, claim your listing and add photos and a good business description. If you can put time into posting on your G+ page regularly, you may see good benefits here, even though the volume of active social users is much less than Facebook. If you want to be visible on Google, then using Google tools can’t hurt. LinkedIn, a site for professional networking, had a considerably lower bounce rate than many other sites. If you want to reach an older audience, here’s a good place to start. 79% of LinkedIn users are 35 or older. Setting up a profile is easy, and this minimal presence is worthwhile. It’s less critical to actively post on LinkedIn than other social sites, though the opportunity to push out informative real estate content is certainly worth the effort if you can do it. Pinterest, a network for sharing images, has grown quickly as a way to share photos and visually inspired ideas among people with similar interests. With a user base that’s 83% women, and largely in the 35-44 age range, Pinterest could be a good outlet for exposure if that’s your target demographic. With a high 74% bounce rate, though, don’t expect many high quality visitors. Your Pinterest page should focus on real estate, with visually interesting photos from your listings. Twitter‘s engagement metrics were very close to Facebook’s, though its average age is slightly younger. Many Realtors like Twitter because its 140-character limit assures that it’s quick and easy to post while on the go. It’s especially useful for sending out links to open house info and new listings.
Ready, Set, Go!
Feeling ready to make some choices and get your social media effort rolling? We suggest getting your profiles into good shape with photos that reflect your business and welcoming text that describes what makes you unique. Write more posts than you need while you have some good momentum, and save them to publish later on, during times when you’re too busy to think. You’ll find more blog posts related to social media marketing here. Enjoy!