Social media can act as an excellent prospecting tool for real estate agents. The industry as a whole is investing more money into digital channels every year, and it’s important to get the most out of your investment.
Growing a social media following and increasing your post engagement are two simple metrics you can watch to evaluate your strategy. If your pages are growing, it means that you’re building an asset that you can use to market to in the future. Use your channels to retain existing clients, and introduce yourself to potential clients.
Before we dive into our five tips for growing a following on social media, it’s important to learn the basics of photo editing to take full advantage. Sharing the right content on the right platform is important for reaching new audiences, so even having a basic understanding of photo editing goes a long way.
Start by learning the best image dimensions for each social network. Square images work well on Facebook (1200 by 1200 pixels), portraits do best on Instagram (1080 by 1350 pixels), and wide photos (1200 by 675 pixels) fit properly on Twitter. All of these dimension templates can be found on photo editing apps like Over, which is a great place to learn simple photo editing tips. Format your photos to fit each social network, add your logo, website, or text as an overlay, and post away.
Getting to your first 1,000 followers is a great starting point if you’re new to social media, here are five ways you can grow your social media following as a real estate agent and cross that benchmark.
1. Mention other local businesses
If you want to grow your social media following, you need to get your page in front of new audiences regularly. One of the best ways to do this is to work in partnership with other local businesses, especially those that share a similar customer base with your brand.
This tip could be used by any local business, but it works extremely well in the real estate industry because agents are typically very connected and familiar with their communities. Agents should constantly be looking for ways to cross-promote their page, whether it be with their favourite home inspector, painting company, or mortgage broker. Tag them in your posts and privately inform them that you’ve given them a mention, and you’ll likely see your post shared directly on their page (to their audience).
2. Offer exclusive content on your social channels
If possible, offer your followers distinctive content on different social media platforms. This isn’t a necessary step, but it gives people a much stronger reason to follow you on all of your social media. Use your channels to offer content to your potential and existing customers that they can’t find anywhere else. This means going beyond posting only your active listings. Highlight customer testimonials, take videos that show property features that stand out, highlight community happenings and events, and all-around present yourself as the local expert.
When you post distinctive content on each of your social channels, this also offers you the opportunity to promote yourself to your existing fans. Tell your Facebook followers how they’ll benefit from following you on your other channels, and why the content you’re creating differs from what they already see on Facebook. If you do this you’ll be able to bring people into your other pages and stay top of mind.
3. Use your Stories to grow on Instagram
Instagram is unfortunately one of the most challenging social media platforms to grow a following on, but Stories should be your secret weapon. 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day, and a large portion of those views come from business accounts. Potential customers are keen to click and view this kind of content because it has an expiration date, lasting at the most for 24 hours. Here are some ways you can grow your following with Stories.
-Use hashtag stickers to get featured in more feeds
-Use location tags to reach people in your area
-Use the mention sticker to tag others and get featured on their stories
These strategies can really accelerate your follower growth, especially when people begin to share your Stories with their own followers. Be sure to return the favour when someone tags you in a Story that could benefit your own following.
4. Run a branded giveaway
You’ll be surprised how many followers you can grow just by giving away some swag. We love giving away branded merchandise for several reasons. First, if your branding is well done, it can entice people to enter any giveaway or promotion you’re running. Second, when you post the giveaway, your brand stays front and center throughout the contest period. And finally, when a winner is announced, there’s a very good chance that the lucky winner will share your branded goods with their audience, so you’ll reach even more people once everything wraps up.
If you’d like, you can also run a small giveaway with another local business. Like we discussed in point number one, this is a great way to automatically get your brand in front of another local audience, as your partner will also be sharing the giveaway on their social media.
5. Engage in a small paid growth campaign
The fastest way to secure a following is to run a targeted advertising campaign, which can be accomplished without a large budget. Even spending a dollar a day can add up over time, especially if your targeting is set up properly. If you decide to run a paid growth campaign, be sure to set realistic goals for yourself and analyze your performance weekly at a minimum. When something isn’t working, it’s crucial to stay on top of it and swap out what isn’t working, whether it be a design issue or a targeting miscalculation.
There are plenty of digital advertising opportunities on social media, but getting familiar with Facebook advertising is a great place to start. Agents can run Instagram campaigns through Facebook as well, so you can tackle two platforms at once.
Growing a large social media following doesn’t happen overnight, but real estate agents should have a plan in place for continuous growth. If you can work out a system including some of these five strategies, you’ll be on your way to a larger prospective audience and better retention numbers.