Real Estate Social Networking: Top Social Media Sites for Realtors
Marketing is a critical piece of building a successful real estate business, but it can also be a deep dark hole to fall into. Without a strategy and a plan, marketing can become a time and money suck that leaves you with nothing to show for your efforts.
It's exponentially worse when you're talking about social media for real estate.
There's an art and a science to social media marketing for real estate agents, and the first step – deciding where to concentrate your efforts – can go a long way toward setting you up for success or failure.
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How to Choose Social Media Sites for Real Estate Marketing
Here's a trap that many REALTORS® fall into: choosing social media platforms based on trends and buzz. In a profession composed of extroverts, we want to be where the people are.
That works for personal social media use, but social media for REALTORS® needs to be more grounded in strategy. That means looking for social network sites that have:
- A large audience in the right age range
- An engaged set of users where you work
- A pool of users that want what you're selling
- The ability to target those potential clients and gather quality leads
You'll hear a lot of talk about platforms that provide opportunities for visibility and engagement, but name recognition doesn't pay the bills by itself. A lead generation component is key to getting a return on your social media investment, so if a site doesn't provide a good option for lead gathering – or it doesn't have an audience that will submit leads – it's a bust.
So, what are the social media sites for real estate agents with the best chance of success?
Focus Your Real Estate Social Media Marketing on Facebook
Facebook isn't new or sexy, but it has big data, a large pool of users, and the ability to target your advertising precisely.
That makes them an enormous winner as your home base for real estate social media marketing.
Here are some facts that prove Facebook is where your potential clients are:
- 72% of U.S. adults use Facebook on a daily basis
- Facebook accounts for more than half of all U.S. social media usage
- Over 68% of U.S. Facebook users are between the ages of 25 and 65
- 82% of U.S. college graduates are on Facebook; 75% of users with an income above $75k
Ads can be heavily targeted, provide great opportunities for lead magnets, and with a little strategy, you can really get a bang for your buck.
Since most Facebook users are tied to their real-life identities, it's also a great place to keep tabs on past clients, accrue satisfied reviews, and encourage referrals – all avenues for future business that are cheaper and more successful than cold lead generation.
For best success, check out our past blog articles on:
- Setting Up Your Facebook Page for Success
- Getting the Best Results from Facebook Ad Campaigns
- Quickly Growing Your Facebook Page, including how to post content and tips for interacting
Social Media Where Real Estate Agents Should Maintain a Presence
Some sites supply opportunities for real estate social media marketing, but they're time-consuming without a great return – a potential energy drain. Here are a few to use sparingly. Seriously – set a timer.
Instagram is such a visual platform that it lends itself well to an industry like real estate. It shares a large user base and sophisticated advertising apparatus with its big brother, Facebook.
Because of these factors, it's worth maintaining a presence – and, certainly, an advertising budget – on Instagram.
If your ideal client base skews young, then it's worth more of your time. As of October 2020, the largest single age group on Insta was 25 to 34 (32% of all users). Plus, data shows that 59% of adult Insta users do engage on the daily; 80% engage at least once a week.
However, it'll never be the powerhouse social network for real estate agents that Facebook is. Another 37% of users are between 13 and 25, and only 40% of U.S. adults report using Instagram.
LinkedIn is best thought of as a marketing tool if your clients lean commercial or if you deal with real estate investors. It's a good place to establish your expertise and engage in some thought leadership to attract your ideal clientele.
For residential real estate agents, LinkedIn provides less direct ways to gain new business that makes it worth your time. This is where you'll grow a professional network as a source of mutual referrals, new ideas, and collaboration.
Met an agent with the same niche on the other side of the country? Keep in touch on LinkedIn to swap marketing or lead nurturing strategies that have worked for you.
Virtually schmooze with local real estate professionals that don't represent competition: home inspectors, appraisers, mortgage brokers, moving and relocation companies, and others. When you find a professional you like to work with, forming a referral relationship can bring you both more business.
Keep your time here focused, though. It can be easy to convince yourself you're building your brand when all you're really doing is shouting into the void.
Sure Losers for Building a Real Estate Social Network
For real estate agents, some social media sites are just total duds. Here are a couple that you might be tempted to try…but shouldn't.
Twitter: The Land of No Leads
The problem with Twitter isn't that it's lacking in the right users; more than half of Twitter users are between 25 and 49. The problem is that Twitter isn't really serious business.
People are mostly there to talk about the latest eye-catching news and lambast the companies and public figures that they love to hate.
If you use Twitter on a personal basis, you can keep an eye out for opportunities to promote your real estate business. It can also be a place to keep your ear to the ground for economic and market trends.
Otherwise, it's probably a time sink.
Tik Tok: The Land of No Grown-Ups
Tik Tok's gotten a lot of buzz, and it's certainly a platform that encourages…creativity?
But 61% of Tik Tok users are between the ages of 10 and 29, so you're really wasting your time. There are also serious security concerns for personal information that make it best to steer clear.
Your Marketing Work Has Only Begun
Once you've chosen your social media platforms for real estate marketing and set up your accounts, that's when the real work begins. Be sure to read up on best practices for real estate social media marketing, including:
- Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
- Best Practices for Social Media Marketing
- Best Practices for Lead Generation
- How to Dress Up Your Images
- Best Practices for Serving Your Clients
When you engage in social media marketing, another key to success is producing new, helpful content. To establish yourself as a professional expert, you need to continually gain expertise. Making the most of your required license renewal CE is a great place to start.