New Tricks for Longtime Social Media Users

By Marc D. Gould

Social media may not be a "new kid on the block." After all, LinkedIn launched over 15 years ago, and Facebook and Twitter have been open for users since 2006. 
 
Today, these platforms and others are so ubiquitous that it's difficult to remember life before social media—and to assume little has changed, in terms of social media marketing techniques.
 
Nothing could be further from the truth.
 
Yes, real estate professionals have actively engaged with social media for a long time, and adoption rates are strong. According to the 2019 ABR® Member Survey, Facebook usage for business purposes has hovered around 90 percent for the past three years.

LinkedIn and Twitter are also popular, holding the No. 2 and No. 3 spots for several years—that is, until Instagram shot past Twitter in 2018. 
 
Staying Relevant
Even if you and your agents are longtime, active social media users, don't assume you're getting as much benefit as you could from your efforts. Each network occasionally rolls out new features and users' preferences evolve in terms of what content captures interest and what gets a pass.
 
It's also essential to explore social media channels you haven't tried before. As already noted, Instagram is an increasingly popular tool among ABR® designees and other real estate professionals.
 
Instagram Quick Tips
If you're interested in building your brand on Instagram, here are a few suggestions:
 
Use photo filters. Instagram is all about visual inspiration, which makes it well suited for real estate marketing. Take advantage of the filters built into the platform, along with other photo editing tools, to enhance your photography.
 
Add captions. This is especially important for video content since most users keep the app "muted." Captions and subtitles help viewers quickly absorb video content without listening.
 
Try GIFs. Since shorter is better when it comes to video clips, a looping GIF file can be an excellent attention-getting Instagram option. Or, try Instagram's Boomerang app, which stitches together 10 photos into a mini video that loops back and forth.
 
Optimize your hashtags. Learn which hashtags are most successful at reaching the biggest audience. Do your research at sites like ritetag.com and hashtagify.me, then test, monitor and refine your collection of hashtags. 
 
Explore Stories. The photos and videos that you post as Stories disappear in 24 hours, but don't let that dissuade you from trying this Instagram feature. All your followers will be automatically notified of any new Stories you share, and your current Stories will appear at the top of their home feed.
 
Learn More
Social media marketing keeps evolving. For real estate professionals who want to fine-tune their marketing efforts and generate leads, it's essential to continue exploring cutting-edge strategies along with traditional techniques.
 
One of the easiest ways to stay current is to enroll in our new one-day course, Marketing Strategy & Lead Generation. It's a consolidation of the "old" Real Estate Marketing Reboot course and the Generating Buyer and Seller Leads course, bringing the best of both courses together. It will debut at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco on Nov. 7, 2019.
 
Marc D. Gould is senior vice president of Member Development for NAR, overseeing a wide range of professional development programs for REALTORS®, including the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council (REBAC). REBAC is the world's largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer. With more than 30,000 active members, REBAC awards the Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR®) designation to REALTORS® who have completed the specialized education and documented experience in working with consumers purchasing a home. To learn more, visit REBAC.net.

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