As a real estate agent, you already know hopping onto the internet is the very first step your prospects take when they begin their homebuying journey.
According to the 2021 Real Estate in a Digital Age survey by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), just about every home search begins online.
But getting in on the action isn’t just about posting your listings on the internet and waiting for the leads to magically roll in.
In fact, the same NAR survey found that 52% of agents said they got their best leads from social media, and another 50% said they use social media to build and maintain relationships, as well as to promote listings.
Because no matter how many shiny new digital marketing channels hit the scene, real estate is still a people business. One that revolves around personal connections.
The only thing that’s changed is how those connections are made.
In today’s digital world, social media is the new firm handshake. That first introduction that helps prospects feel confident and ready to do business.
If you nail it, you can build the same ‘know-like-trust’ factor that the agents before you could only communicate in person. But with so many social media marketing options, where do you start?
In this ultimate guide, we’ll reveal why social media is a stellar tool for real estate and share real examples of how top realtors market themselves on social.
Let’s dive in!
We’re not going to waste your time regurgitating the latest data on social media. You already know this stuff matters.
But in real estate specifically, the price of paid leads is going up. Free and organic lead sources are getting harder and harder to come by. And unless you’ve got deeper pockets than your competitors, you’re probably not going to be able to compete on a paid strategy alone.
Now, the good news.
Social media marketing is F-R-E-E. And contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be on every single social media channel to get results for your real estate business.
You just need to choose the channels that will work best for you, then focus on developing — and consistently following — the right strategy for each.
While these three questions can go a long way in helping you narrow down your strategy, there are some important figures to dig into when looking at each individual social media channel and its place in your overarching real estate marketing strategy.
Whether you’re looking at elevating your Facebook game or becoming the biggest YouTube expert in your area, it’s important to know what makes each channel different.
It seems like every day there’s another business influencer waxing poetic about the latest social media channel to hit the scene.
But the truth is, when it comes to social media, it’s not just the number of users that matter. It’s who they are and what they’re doing that counts.
We’ve rounded up the facts and figures to help you decide which social media channels will work best for your real estate business.
If you want to cast the widest net possible, Facebook is the channel for you. The social media giant has 2.91 billion active monthly users globally and estimates put its US visitors at 193.9 million.
Facebook’s visitors come from all walks of life so whether you want to connect with first-time home buyers, couples with families, those looking for mid-priced homes, or those who might want a luxury or vacation home, you’ll likely find your audience on Facebook.
The downside? All that diversity can make it challenging to zero in on a particular niche when marketing your real estate business Facebook. If you’re planning to make Facebook a key part of your social media marketing game plan, be sure to use Facebook Insights to learn more about your followers and tailor your content to rise above the noise.
Think of Facebook as a busy coffee house. It’s the place to go to have a conversation.
You can talk to hundreds, if not thousands of people, generate leads and nurture your sphere of influence.
Tip #1. Change your cover photo frequently and feature high-quality photos of homes whenever possible.
Tip # 2. Add tabs for home listings, community events, and real estate tips and advice to your main real estate Facebook page so viewers can readily access those topics.
Tip # 3. Invite past clients and your SOI, as well as the existing leads in your database, to follow and friend you.
Tip #4. Respond to all comments. (And when trolls enter the mix, remember to never sink to their level.)
Tip #5. Share community info. This could be farmer’s market schedules, upcoming theatre performances, local school fundraisers, where to pick up Girl Scout cookies, or anything else your followers might be interested in.
Tenisha Williams is the fearless leader behind the rockstar team at Elite Realty Partners Inc., which hit the $100 mln mark in sales in just two years.
Leaders like Tenisha know success is a team effort and by sharing a ‘meet the team’ post on Facebook, she lets potential prospects know they’ll have an entire group of people working to help get them into their dream home.
Obviously, Facebook is a great place to promote your new listings. But what’s not as obvious is how much fun you can actually have with your ‘New listing alerts’ posts.
Notice the use of emoji in this new listing alert from the Decotis Group. Here the team uses a fun mix of emoji to create a sense of urgency, while also summing up the home's best features. Way to get your listings noticed, DeCotis Group! 🎉
Great tips can come from anywhere, even an unexpected deep freeze!
In this Facebook post, Modern Nest Real Estate Group isn’t just showing folks how to weather the storm, they’re also signalling that the agents on their team are looking out for the community.
If you’re a Follow Up Boss user, you can integrate the system directly with Facebook to help you automatically capture leads from your business account and transfer them seamlessly into your database.
Here’s how it works.
Leads will automatically be tagged with the name of the Facebook page and the lead form they responded to.
From there, an Admin can use this tag to route the leads under Admin > Lead Flow and make sure the right team member reaches out at exactly the right time.
Instagram is the perfect place to show off your style and listings through jaw-dropping images and photos.
Basically, Insta is where users go for all things beautiful.
It’s also an ideal social media channel for meeting first-time home buyers because the demographics of its 194 million US users lean heavily toward millennials.
Tip #1. Using eye-popping photos and videos.
Tip #2. Choosing the right hashtags to help people find your page.
Tip #3. Using location tags to zero in on your local audience.
Tip #4. Writing a profile bio that lets followers know who you are and what you do and a photo that shows off your personality.
Tip #5. Being yourself. Don’t limit your posts to real estate. Put your passions and your style on display.
Audrey Rozier, Keller Williams Flagship of Maryland, shines light on what’s important to her in this post, what you can expect from her instagram page, resources and contact info laid out simply–making it easy to connect. Bonus points for the mug that reads “Everything I touch turns sold.”
Here’s a twist on a typical listing post from Million Dollar Listing broker Fredrik Eklund.
His upcoming listing isn’t yet ready for prime time, but he’s getting a head start to pique interest and build buzz.
Video is BIG on insta and this one is sure to connect with potential buyers in cold climates who wait all year for that first snowfall.
Extra credit goes to the agent, Anne Jones, who uses the handle @tacomajones to really drive home her love of the city.
LinkedIn’s 738 million members are mostly professionals looking to network with others in their field.
Whether you want to establish your brand, gain more visibility, recruit agents, or connect with future clients, LinkedIn lets you showcase your expertise, skills and accomplishments.
Tip #1. If you lead a team, set up a company page with a compelling description about how you’re different from other real estate companies. Team members and solo agents can set up their own accounts and invite others to connect with them.
Tip #2. Keep your bio and your profile photo up-to-date. This will help give your profile a search engine optimization (SEO) boost so you can be found more easily in a Google search.
Tip #3. Show off your accomplishments. Update your personal and company page with relevant rankings, awards, closings, and anything else that showcases your abilities and recent wins.
Tip #4. Post consistently. LinkedIn puts your posts right in front of your connections, so posting consistently will help keep you front-and-center.
Tip #5. Be a thought leader. Share news and other articles of interest with your own thoughts on the latest topics and issues to show that you’re actively thinking about what’s happening in the industry.
This agent hits the trifecta by thanking the realtor who made the referral, sharing her success at finding her clients a home, and throwing in a testimonial all at the same time. That closing call to action is pretty cool too!
LinkedIn is not the place to be shy about your professional accomplishments.
When you win an award, are invited to speak at an event, or decide to link arms with an awesome new partner, it’s always ok to celebrate on LinkedIn.
Check out how Renee Funk of The Funk Collection celebrates getting the chance to share her story of being coached by the Tom Ferry Organization on their real estate podcast.
Stephen Pilaconis might be relatively new to real estate, but he sure knows how to get out there by sharing video content on LinkedIn.
Through the clever use of video, Stephen shows he’s ready to be recognized by both his peers and potential prospects as an expert in this space.
When you want to get a conversation buzzing about news, market trends, and other important topics in your community, Twitter is the place to be.
With 206 million daily active global users and 77 million in the US, Twitter is a great place to gain followers from your target market, and a valuable resource for insights from influencers like top real estate coaches, investors and other market leaders that can help fuel your overall social media marketing strategy.
Tip #1. Follow real estate influencers to get insider tips on what’s working in the industry. Build credibility by commenting with your own professional experience.
Tip #2. Use Twitter posts to promote other social media posts, and vice versa. If you’ve posted a video on YouTube, announce and link to it on Twitter.
Tip #3. Announce upcoming events like open houses and also recap events you’ve attended to put your connections to the community on display.
Tip #4. Always follow back when someone follows you, and retweet posts where you are mentioned.
Tip #5. Create Twitter Lists so you don’t miss important tweets. Post short snippets frequently. Unlike other social media channels, you can post multiple times a day on Twitter without the fear of overdoing it.
Retweeting a relevant article like this one about interest rates with your own spin on the news will help show followers that you’re an authority on the market.
Gary Ashton of Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage, #1 RE/MAX team in TN and #1 RE/MAX team in the world, keeps his audience informed by sharing valuable market updates and helpful resources to go with it.
Minnesota’s Kris Lindahl regularly tweets about his local community and it’s paying off. With over 5k followers on Twitter, Kris has established a big role in his community and the authenticity shines through.
YouTube is a true fan favorite among social media enthusiasts because it gives viewers tons of information in a highly digestible and entertaining format — video.
And these days, it’s all about video.
In fact, 81% of US adults say they use YouTube, more than any other social media platform!
But make no mistake, YouTube also requires more commitment than any other social media channel.
Not only is long-form content time consuming to produce, competition on YouTube is heating up. You’ll need to create a lot of videos to establish a solid presence.
The good news is, once you gain momentum YouTube’s algorithm will feed your audience more of your videos, creating a compound effect that can definitely make it worth your while.
Tip #1. Create engaging content that directly answers key customer pain points. By simply taking a frequently asked question and providing a clear, value-driven answer, you show potential customers you know what matters to them. This can help you establish trust and expertise, without simply boasting about how great you are.
Tip #2. Create thumbnails. These are the little postage-stamp-sized previews for scrolling videos. The more eye-catching your visuals and headlines, the easier it will be to stand out and draw viewers in.
Tip #3. Create an impressive ‘About’ page to help you appear on search engine results and persuade viewers to subscribe to your channel.
Tip #4. Promote your videos on the other social media channels you use, in your newsletter and via emails to your database.
Tip #5. Use keywords, hashtags, and tags to help customers find your video while also helping your content rank better on search engines. (Pro Tip: Check out Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner for help choosing your keywords.)
Matt Leighton’s video with over 1 million views does so many things right — from focusing the topic to specifically address first-time home buyers, to using a headline that gets at the biggest concern so many buyers have (making a costly mistake 😬).
YouTube is a natural channel for showcasing a listing. In this video by Nava Realty Group, the agent provides a 360 tour of the property, and elicits useful feedback by inviting comments from viewers throughout the tour.
By creating a video that gives first-time investors a wealth of valuable information, Bay Area agent Vincent Hayes gets a head start on generating leads and creating long-term trust with prospects who are looking to invest in real estate.
When it comes to Pinterest, it’s best to think about this social media marketing channel as the place to show off your real estate skills and allow users to get to know you over time.
That’s because the 431 million Pinterest users (78.7 million in the US) aren’t always ready to buy or sell immediately. They typically go to the site for ideas and inspiration when they’re in the earlier stages of thinking about a purchase.
Like Instagram, Pinterest is very visually oriented.
But on Pinterest, it’s also very easy to leverage great visuals into other forms of organic marketing by including links to a blog post, real estate landing page, or your website to really drive home your message (while increasing your organic traffic).
Tip #1. Use original photography rather than stock photos. Pinterest ranks content heavily on the quality of its photos and as you might imagine, stock photos tend to get lower rankings.
Tip #2. Create your own boards. Don’t just pin your posts to existing boards. Creating your own boards about the things that you appreciate in a home (think: fireplaces, herb gardens, and gorgeous front doors) to help build a following.
Tip #3. Don’t forget to include your contact information in your pin description. (You’d be surprised how often this one gets overlooked!)
Tip #4. Use text sparingly. Many agents successfully use Pinterest for giving advice to buyers and sellers, but they do it by teasing the topic with a great photo and headline, then linking to a blog for the heavy lifting.
Tip #5. Use the Pinterest search bar to help decide where to pin your post. It will show you which hashtags are in use, and you can see how many users are interacting with each hashtag.
Grab a cup of joe and dig into great real estate content. Realtor Paul Sian uses an eye-catching image to encourage readers to click through to a blog filled with solid info for buyers, sellers, and homeowners.
Along with the headline, the facial expression of the woman in the following photo taps right into a question many sellers have. From there, Pinterest users can get the info they need via an easily accessible link to the website.
Here’s a post topic that will surely get the attention of busy, hardworking homeowners — and those who aspire to be one. The Wellington Home Team definitely knows what customers care about and uses those motivations to nurture leads on Pinterest.
TikTok’s got a reputation as the place for Gen Z only. But don’t let first impressions fool you.
TikTok has a massive base of 1 billion users, with nearly 79 million in the US. And while the platform’s demographic is weighted toward the younger population, it still gets plenty of users in the 30 to 49 bracket.
Since the rise of TikTok during the pandemic, realtors are increasingly swearing by the channel as THE PLACE to generate and convert new leads.
Whether you want to promote listings, offer advice, or boast about your latest wins, you’ll want to make it just a little quirky if you do it on TikTok.
Tip #1. Go for engagement, not followers. TikTok’s algorithm is attuned to views, comments, and likes so you’ll want to use the most attention-grabbing videos and headlines to engage and keep users.
Tip #2. Tell stories. Simple listing posts highlighting a home’s features just won’t cut it on TikTok. Find and tell a story about the home that will resonate with users.
Tip #3. Pepper your listing posts with insights on the community and neighborhood. Put homes in the context of the area they’re in to help make your content more impactful.
Tip #4. Use music. TikTok videos are multi-media and what users hear is just as important as what they see. (Make sure you understand copyright issues before posting songs that belong to someone else.)
Tip #5. Use TikTok’s Discover feature to find trending hashtags that match user interests and sounds that will put a little extra ‘oomph’ into your message.
This video from the Heider team does double duty to tell viewers some of the records they broke while enticing would-be buyers with beautiful photos of the homes sold.
This is one virtual home tour that absolutely catches your attention. By pairing a video tour with trending music, TikTok makes it easy to elevate your listings marketing. The short style content makes the video easy to digest and not scroll past.
This listing video came in at $2.9 million views. $2.9 million views! By showing off the unique features of the house and the neighborhood, this realtor was rewarded with tons of new followers interested in swooping up a house just like her viral showcase. Home envy for the win.
Now that you’ve got plenty of examples for the kinds of posts that work best on each of today’s most influential social media marketing channels, let’s take a good look at some of the ways to keep it kosher on social media.
Here’s a quick round up of the top social media marketing do’s and don’t for real estate agents.
✅ Do help (don’t sell): Social media is about building a connection over time and as such, it requires a soft sell. Use the 80/20 rule. Aim to be helpful with at least 80% of your posts, and promote yourself no more than 20% of the time. Give people the inspiration and information they want, and when they’re ready they’ll connect with you.
✅ Do create a social media marketing calendar: Like all things lead conversion, consistency is the name of the game when it comes to social media marketing for real estate. Create a calendar including the topics you want to cover and schedule your posts at regular intervals.
✅ Do scope out the competition: Before you get started, it’s a good idea to research what your competitors are posting. You’ll be able to see what works for them by the number of views and likes they’re getting. This will help spark your own ideas for the type of posts that will work best for that channel and how to alter your content to play to your own unique strengths as a real estate team or brand.
✅ Do include calls to action: Remember to include calls to action in your posts along with contact information and links to your website and any other social media accounts you use regularly.
✅ Do join groups: Joining relevant groups in the channels where you want to establish a presence will give you insight into what users want and help you organically grow your follower count.
✅Do use #hashtags: Hashtags are a great way to get found by leads searching for real estate information on social media.
✅Do be authentic: Social media is the next best thing to meeting someone in person. And just as you would in person, you’ll want to put your true personality forward on social media.
✅Do use social media analytics: Most channels allow you to capture plenty of info on your connections and how well your posts are received, so you can make adjustments to your content where needed.
❌Don’t bite off more than you can chew: Social media takes time. It’s better to be well represented on a few channels than to be here today and gone tomorrow on many.
There’s not much anyone can do about the increasing pressure on paid lead sources and advertising costs in real estate.
But by showing up authentically and consistently on the social media channels you and your prospects care most about, you can nurture organic relationships that will stand the test of time.
Remember, social media marketing is a marathon. Not a sprint.
Just as you consistently show up for the folks in your database, you should also be prepared to show up consistently for your social media followers who may still be thinking about whether they want to be included in that group.
And when you’re ready to elevate your lead nurturing strategy, Follow Up Boss can help.
With Follow Up Boss, you can instantly create social media profiles on each of the prospects in your database, seamlessly connect social media leads with a high-value email sequence, and automatically distribute incoming leads to the right agents on your team. Try it free for 14 days and find out how easy it can be.