By Mitch Levinson
Chicago real estate agents and homebuilders, are you using social media as part of your marketing strategy? If your answer is no, it’s most likely because you’re overwhelmed by all of the different social media outlets available.
Sometimes it’s hard to know which ones you should actually be using. And, even if you did know which ones to use, how could you ever know what to post? Even if you are using social media sites, I bet you still struggle with what content to share.
It’s natural to be a little intimidated by the social media universe, however, agents and builders need to get comfortable with these networks because that is where the bulk of your consumers are looking for you. The key to using social media marketing effectively is choosing a few good networks that you want to be on and can feel comfortable using, and then putting your effort into doing them well. As a rule of thumb, I suggest that both agents and builders be active on a blog, Facebook, Twitter and at least one other network.
Here’s a list and brief overview of the most popular social media tools Chicago real estate professionals can or should be utilizing to connect with potential buyers:
- Blog: Blogs are not only a great way to create fresh content for buyers and share more information on your new homes and listings, but to also increase your ranking in the search engines.
- Facebook: Facebook recently topped more than one billion users. If you don’t have a page for yourself as a real estate agent or for your homebuilding company, you are missing out on a large portion of potential buyers who are looking to “like” and connect with you.
- Twitter: This microblogging tool is the perfect way for both agents and builders to quickly share listings, housing news, events, photos and more throughout the day.
- YouTube: Do you have video tours of your listings, homes and communities, or maybe you have a cool new ad? Upload your videos to YouTube to make them go even further!
- Google+: While Google+ is nowhere near as popular as Facebook, agents and builders should not count it out. Since Google+ is integrated with everything Google has to offer, including search engine optimization algorithms, creating a profile and sharing content on this site can help boost your rankings.
- Pinterest: This is not a girl’s only social media site. Even though the overwhelming majority of Pinterest’s users are female, more and more men have joined the site. Show off your creative side by creating and pinning to boards featuring your homes and communities as well as activities and trends related to the home.
- Instagram: Picture based social media and networking tools are all the rage right now, and Instagram is one of the most popular. Agents and builders can easily take, modify and share photos to not only the app itself, but also to Facebook and Twitter.
- Houzz: This photo driven site is dedicated to just homes and home products, making it the perfect outlet for builders to share their photos.
In a world driven by customers who are searching for and engaging with brands in more ways than ever before, it’s important that real estate professionals create and implement a social media strategy that highlights what you have to offer.
Mitch Levinson, MIRM, CAPS, CGP, CSP is managing partner with Marketing RELEVANCE, publisher of Chicago Real Estate Forum and the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to New Home Sales.” He can be reached by phone at 847.259.7312 or email at [email protected].