As if the real estate industry wasn’t already moving fast enough, there’s the added pressure of maintaining a constant social media presence to build your brand image. But between daily postings, keeping listings current, and responding to comments, reviews, and questions, managing a social media profile for a real estate agent could well become a full-time job in itself.
However, the potential benefits of social media to a real estate agent are far too great to ignore. Which is why you should be glad it’s 2017, a time where Facebook and other hubs are such an integrated part of daily business operations that dozens of solutions exist solely to enhance and streamline your social media strategies.
Here are our top 5 picks for real estate agents who want the social media payout without the time and resource taxation:
You don’t have to hire a graphic designer to get all-star designs for your social media posts. Canva is a free online design tool that makes it simple to create attractive infographics, banner images, thumbnails, and enhanced photographs in minutes.
In addition, you can purchase high-quality images for as little as $1 to use in your social media graphics. This tool is a must-use to give your posts a professionally designed edge without a professionally designed price tag.
Sharing content on your social pages doesn’t mean you’re limited to your own imagination. Feedly provides an excellent resource hub of shareworthy content that you can tap into for free. You can set up your own curated newsfeed that displays articles relevant to your industry, and push them to your social media pages directly from your smartphone.
It also allows you to collaborate with your real estate team (if you have one) to help you create a master curated content strategy.
Hootsuite has been making waves in the time management sector since 2008, but its need in the real estate industry is becoming increasingly stronger as social media’s impact grows. Hootsuite gives real estate agents the ability to schedule social media posts ahead of time to ensure they never miss an opportunity to share with their audiences.
You can manage up to three social media pages per Hootsuite account for free. If you need more posting flexibility, you can test-drive a higher functioning plan for 30 days free, and pay as little as $19 per month after that.
You might have great ideas or plenty of content to keep your social profiles full, but that doesn’t do you any good if you can’t remember to share them. Asana is a stress-free task management tool that lets you program your entire content strategy as “to do” items. You can assign tasks to your team members that remind them to post something on social media on the date(s) you indicate, as well as communicate with your team on deadlines, projects, and other details.
This saves you from losing conversations in your inbox and keeping social media-related messages in one central location. You can also see at a glance upcoming content ideas and progress on those ideas.
If the above tools still don’t allow you to manage your social presence and sell real estate, consider letting the professionals at CityBlast handle your social callings for you.
For less than $2/day, CityBlast can take remote control of your social channels and share content on your behalf. They find and create the content, you approve, and the rest is magic.
Two decades ago, social media was an unknown. A decade ago, businesses were just beginning to figure out how to leverage its powers. And today, there have been a multitude of solutions and advancements made in social media management that there’s no reason why you can’t execute a top notch strategy for your real estate brand.
*This article was written by Ben Shepardson. To read the original article, click here. *Main Picture courtesy of Realty Biz News
Do you want to boost attendance for your next open house?
Have you thought about using Facebook Messenger ads to engage prospects? This is a great way to get the conversation started with potential buyers.
Social Media Marketing is all about creating relationships with your potential audiences. With a messenger ad, you can get the conversation started immediately and answer any questions your potential buyers may have and get them excited about attending one your open houses.
Messenger ads provide a personal experience for customers and prospect while providing them instant access to contact you with any questions!
In this article, you’ll discover how to create a Facebook Messenger ad.
What Are Messenger Ads?
A Messenger ad is a Facebook news feed ad that opens inside the Messenger app when users click the call-to-action (CTA) button. The ad will let users jump inside your Facebook page’s Messenger tab to ask you a question, get feedback, or claim a reward.
Messenger ads look similar to a typical ad in the desktop news feed. The ad below uses the Send Message CTA button, but you could use any of the CTA options, like Contact Us. The Messenger icon will appear next to any CTA button you choose.
The Messenger symbol appears next to your chosen CTA button.
Because Messenger ads are high touch, the best way to use them is when there’s a short window of time where people can message you. For instance, if you’re launching a new product but the cart is closing soon, run a Messenger ad and ask if anyone has questions. Target your ad to people who landed on your website but did not fill out the form to contact you or get more information.
You could also run a Messenger ad when new programs become available or are going away or the price is going up for a listing. Use the ad to urge potential customers to take action because the programs are ending or the price is rising.
This type of ad works perfectly with a scarcity model and tight timeframe. Here’s how to get started.
#1: Create a Custom Audience
Before you place a Messenger ad, you’ll want to create a custom audience of the people you want to target. For example, you could include people who have landed on your promotion/landing page from previous Facebook ads or social shares but didn’t opt in or purchase.
To create a custom audience, head to Ads Manager and go to the Audiences section (choose All Tools > Audiences).
Go to the Audiences section of Facebook Ads Manager.
Then click Create Audience and choose Custom Audience from the drop-down menu.
Click the option to create a Facebook custom audience.
You have four options for creating your custom audience. You can upload a customer file or create a list of people who viewed your website, use your app, or engage with your content on Facebook.
Choose the source you want to use for your Facebook custom audience.
Suppose you want to create a custom audience of people who are on your email list but haven’t reached out to make contact with you yet. To create this audience, choose the Customer File option and upload a list of emails from the people who are on the list. You can then retarget this audience with a Messenger ad, letting them know that the listing is increasing in price, or the open house is this Saturday, for example.
You might also want to create a custom audience of people who engaged with videos but didn’t contact you or request more information. You can target both custom audiences with your ads. It’s up to you.
#2: Set Up the Messenger Ad Campaign
Now you’re ready to set up your campaign. Go to Power Editor and click Create Campaign.
Click Create Campaign in Power Editor.
Select the Traffic campaign objective. Messenger ads are “destination” ads (as you’ll see later on), but rather than sending people outside of Facebook, you’ll be sending them right to your Messenger inbox.
Choose the Traffic campaign objective for your Facebook Messenger ad.
Next, give your ad set a name and make sure the Website or Messenger option is selected.
Choose the Website or Messenger option under Traffic.
Now set your budget and select your custom audience. For example, I selected a group of people who watched a webinar and engaged with videos on the webinar topic but didn’t purchase the master class.
Select your Facebook custom audience and set your budget.
From here, fill out the ad set as you normally would. Under Placement, uncheck all placements except the news feeds. Note that Messenger ads don’t work with Instagram.
#3: Create the Messenger Ad
After you give your ad a name and connect it to your Facebook page, head to the Create Ad section inside Power Editor.
First, choose the option for a single image or video or for multiple images or videos in a carousel. Then upload your media.
Choose the format of your Facebook Messenger ad.
Next is the Destination section, where you would normally select Website URL and add a landing page URL. For a Messenger ad, you have the option to add a message to accompany your ad. When users click the CTA button in the ad, Messenger will open and display your message text along with a copy of the ad. (Note that the Message Text field is optional.)
Message text will appear in Messenger along with your ad when users click the CTA button.
The example below shows what an ad looks like inside the Messenger app after someone clicks it. For this ad, I entered the same copy in the Text and Messenger Text fields when creating the ad.
This is what the ad looks like in the Messenger app.
Filling out the Message Text field can be beneficial to remind people who have responded to your Messenger ad. Closer to the open house, you could send another message to them without having to run another ad. The ad image would remind them they’ve interacted previously. Powerful!
The rest of the ad creation process is similar to a regular ad. Fill in the Text, Headline, and News Feed Link Description fields as you would for a regular ad. Additionally, make a selection from the Call to Action drop-down list.
Enter the text, headline, and news feed link description for your Messenger ad.
When you’re finished, review your ad and then click Place Order.
Preview your Messenger ad and when you’re happy with it, click Place Order.
Once your ad is up and running, you’ll get notified as soon as someone sends you a message and you’ll be able to respond in real time.
When users click the CTA in a regular news feed ad, they’re sent to a landing page to register for a webinar, download a freebie, or even purchase a product. With a Messenger ad, clicking the CTA opens a thread in Messenger, where they can start a conversation with you. This gives you the opportunity to answer their questions, develop a relationship, and potentially generate more potential buyers to show up at your open houses.
This article was written by Tammy Cannon and adapted from the Social Media Examiner. Click here to view the original article.
Do you use Instagram to market your real estate business? If not, start taking your marketing to the next level by running Instagram ads!
Instagram advertising gives real estate brands an effective way to increase visibility and connect with their customer and prospects. In this article you’ll discover how to create these ads for your blossoming real estate business.
1. Connect Your Instagram Account to Facebook
Before you can start advertising on Instagram, you need to connect your Instagram account to your Facebook page. By doing this, you can create your ads in Facebook Power Editor.
To get started:
- Go to your Facebook page and click Settings in the top-right corner.
- In the left column, click Instagram Ads.
- Click the Add an Account button on the right.
- Go to Instagram Ads in your Facebook page settings.
- If you have an existing Instagram account, select Add an Existing Account. Enter your Instagram username and password and click Confirm.
If you don’t have the ability to edit and create Instagram ads just yet, fret not. You will soon, as Facebook and Instagram are still rolling out this feature.
2. Select an Instagram Ad Type
For Instagram ads, you can choose from three advertising objectives: clicks to your website, mobile app installs and video views (videos may last up to 30 seconds in length).
Within these objectives, there are three key ad types that you can capitalize on. These are image, video and carousel ads. Image ads are standard photos with a button driving users to click. Video ads are the same as image ads but with video. Carousel ads are a series of images that users can browse. Carousel ads let brands tell a richer story in one ad unit.
All of these ad options can drive results depending on what you want to accomplish with your real estate advertising.
3. Target the Right Audience
If you create an ad for a specific audience, you need to make sure that it will be seen by only that audience. For example, if you create a real estate themed ad geared toward working moms, you don’t want it to be shown to high school students or stay-at-home dads. Leverage the targeting features on Instagram to accomplish this.
For those experienced with Facebook ad targeting options, the majority of these tools are also available for Instagram ads. These include location, demographics, interests, actions and more. Set your audience preferences to best utilize your advertising dollars.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to use all of the targeting options available to you. Use the targeting options if you want more control over who sees your ads, so you can ensure you’re delivering a marketing message that will appeal to them.
4. Use Attention-Grabbing Imagery
Instagram is known for its rich and attractive images. If you want to create Instagram ads that drive results, take the time to design irresistible visuals to catch people’s attention.
Remember that the audience on Instagram is savvy enough to recognize stock photos, and that they will be less likely to engage with that type of content. Capture photos yourself or invest in a photographer/illustrator to create great content for your advertising.
5. Include a Call to Action
With Instagram ads, currently there are no stipulations about the amount of text you can have in a photo, unlike other social networks. This gives you the perfect opportunity to create ads that are text-heavy and communicate stories. You can also include calls to action directly in your photos or video.
Whether you tell your audience to post a selfie, click a link, subscribe to a newsletter or tag a friend in the comments, being able to use as much text as you want in your visual gives you an opportunity to drive action more effectively.
6. Leverage Popular Hashtags
From #ThrowbackThursday to #MotivationMonday, Instagram is filled with hashtags that are used by both broad and targeted audiences. This gives you an opportunity to inject your real estate brand into the feeds of people using these hashtags and make a connection with them.
One popular hashtag on Instagram is #ThingsOrganizedNeatly. Users post photos like these.
With the emergence of Instagram ads, you can build a rapport with your prospective audience in a whole new way. Once you attract an audience with your real estate ads, it’s important to keep your followers engaged. With the right approach to Instagram marketing, you can drive great results for your brand and truly stand out from your competition.
If you need help setting up your Instagram for advertising, CLG Marketing Team can help! Contact us today for your free consultation!
This article was written by Josh Fraser, Marketing Specialist at HomaASAP. Article and photos attained from Social Agent Today.
Chris Scott from the Paperless Agent and his team are always teaching amazing marketing content and this article was too good to pass up. If you want to know the secrets tp getting found online by Google, read on…
Do you have an online search strategy?
A recent poll of our readers found over 75% of real estate professionals don’t have a strategy for getting found by their customers online, through the most popular search engines… and for those who said they did, most were using methods the search engines stopped using to rank search results over a decade ago. If you fall in either camp, keep reading so you can learn some simple, effective strategies to get on Google… and stay there.
Why is a online search strategy important?
Back in 1982, if a past customer wanted to find your contact information, chances are they used the Yellow or White Pages to get your information (unless you were faithfully sending out past client communications via mail or they had your business card on file).
Today, when a customer wants to find you, they go online and search for you. In fact, the first thing most referred customers do is go online to research you before contacting you. A recent study by Google found the majority of real estate consumers research their agents extensively before working with them. And you already know what they think when they can’t easily find us, or if what they find makes us look unprofessional or lacking in competence.
Those online search results our customers and referrals see are the first impressions they have of us. That first impression either works to our advantage or it works against us. And this is why we want to make it easy for people searching to find us, and for that first impression to convey trust and confidence.
The Myth of SEO & 200 Signals
“So how do I get show up on Google and other search engines?”, you ask. The strategies, tactics and practices to get found on search engines is called Search Engine Optimization (commonly referred to as SEO). Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation on SEO. The most commonly circulated myth about SEO is if you choose the right keywords, create blog posts including those keywords, and share it on social media that you will, in time, get higher placements on the online search engines.
The truth behind getting Google and other search engines to find you is far more complicated. Google has at least two hundred “signals” which indicate potential relevance to a specific search. And while content is an important signal, so are things like location, mobile experience, and authority. Google doesn’t make all of the signals known to prevent people from manipulating search results.
With so many signals, and the technical nature of implementing them, it’s not realistic for the typical agent or broker to get ranked on Google for top keywords or to dominate the first page of search results… unless you use a special strategy that can leverage other websites, social media, and your exclusive content.
A realistic SEO strategy for real estate professionals is one that will, in order of importance, get:
- You found specifically when someone searches for you.
- Your listings to show up on the first page of search results when someone searches for them.
- Your site or landing pages to show up on the first page of search results for highly specific, neighborhood searches.
Let’s take a look at how we can achieve each of these objectives using simple methods, tools, and technologies.
How to Show Up on Google
Try this: take a second to google yourself. There’s a good chance the person searching for you will type in your name and possibly your company name, or location… or even terms like “real estate”, “realtor”, or “realty”. So you’ll want to replicate these searches because that’s what they are going to do.
The search results you see create the first impression of your online identity (also called your online reputation). As the person searching starts to click on each of the search results, they begin to make interpretations of what they see, and make judgements on your competence, ability, and trustworthiness.
As you examine each search result, ask yourself “does this information build confidence with the reader?” If a past client referred a friend to you, and that friend Googled you, what impression would that person have of you? Would they think you’re a professional who understands the market? Would they consider you someone who could market their home to potential buyers to get above average asking prices? Would they consider you someone who has strong negotiation skills to get them a good deal? Or are there gaps in what’s represented between your online reputation and offline one?
How can you get more search results to convey confidence to show up when someone searches for you online? Here’s a list of low-cost and free tools that won’t take you all day to setup:
- Purchase a domain with your name in it (mine is chrisascott.com) and direct it to an about.me page. About.me pages are simple profile pages you can setup once and have a continued, professional presence online. If you author a good, descriptive bio and link your social media accounts, chances are good that your about.me page will land on the first page of search results within several weeks when some searches for you.
- Make your LinkedIn profile 100% technically complete. Did LinkedIn.com show up when you searched yourself? For most, the answer will be yes. By getting a technically complete profile, you’ll attain All Star status… and according to LinkedIn, professionals with All-Star statuses are 40x more likely to get business from their networks on LinkedIn. To make your LinkedIn profile complete, do the following: place a quality photo on your profile; craft a strong headline; include your industry (or job function); add your Postal Code & Location; draft a descriptive Profile Summary; have a minimum of 3 jobs or roles listed in your experience; list at least 5 skills; include your education; and get a minimum of 50 connections. All of these steps must complete to attain LinkedIn’s All-Star status on your profile.
- Claim and update your profile on home search sites. If you take the time to claim your profile on home search sites that have a lot of visitors, such as Realtor.com or Zillow.com, it’s likely your profile will come up when someone searches for you. When it comes to information on any profile site, “the devil is in the details” as the old adage goes. Those small details of making sure the right information is in the right place, taking the time to author a quality bio, and getting recommendations for your profile are what make the difference between building confidence with a reader… or tearing it down. Here’s an example from my business partner Garry Wise.
Marketing Real Estate Online
Between the U.S. and Canada, an average of 673,000 searches happened each month on Google for the term “houses for sale” over the last year. It would be great to have your website show up in searches for “houses for sale” or “houses for sale in [city]” where the city was your local area. But with so much competition from sophisticated firms with deep pockets, it’s near impossible for the typical agent or broker to rank high for this type of search term.
So what can you do? Even though you may not get your site ranked for the most popular searches, you can still compete. How you can compete is where the larger firms cannot, on the individual property address of a specific home. In this case, getting found is not a matter of quantity, but quality. Who searches for a specific address (such as “1114 East Cesar Chavez Austin”)? The two people who matter the most: the home’s seller (your client) and the serious buyer interested in the home.
In the case of your seller or future sellers, it’s important they see you’re producing the result of getting their home in the most widely used search engine in the world. It affirms you’re doing more than simply placing the listing in the MLS to market the home. And home buyers searching for specific addresses are further down the purchase process and closing to making a decision… which is why we want to get in front of them and help answer questions about the property… besides, who knows more about that home… you, as the listing agent, or one who has never been to the home?
How do you market listings to get online?
There are two parts to market your listings to get on Google and other search engines. The first is to create a property landing page on your website. The second is to get visitors (or traffic) to that property landing page.
A property landing page is a webpage containing information about the property. What’s important about the property landing page is making sure it has the right Search Engine Optimization mechanics on it. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of complying with certain technical details so search engines can better understand what a webpage or website is about and determine the site’s relevance on the topic. Having a page or site with relevance and authority will rank higher than those that don’t. Authority and relevance determine the order in which those search results will display.
What SEO mechanics do you need to have in place? While going into complete detail on SEO mechanics is the beyond the scope of this post, here are some specific steps you can take:
- Include the property address in the Page Title, Description, File Name and H1 Tag.
- Include lots of professional photography and have the address in the file name and “alt” tag of the photo.
- The search term, in this case the address, should make up between 2-3% of total word count… and ideally there will be at least 500 words on the page.
- Add an embedded map of the location using Google Maps.
- Add a property tour video to YouTube and embed the video onto the page.
- Don’t forget to include a Call to Action for people who have questions about the property.
The second part of the equation is getting people to visit your property landing page. This shows search engines your page is interesting enough to draw readers and a potential authority on the topic. In this case, the “topic” is the property’s address. To get early traffic to the property landing page, the most effective means is to run a Facebook Ad to people who are likely to move in your area. For a total budget of only $30, you can get enough people to visit the page to demonstrate relevance on the topic.
Additional things you can do get a few visitors is posting the link to the property landing page on Twitter, Craigslist, your blog, and email it to people you know. But the most effective way to do this, we found at our own brokerage, has been to run a Facebook Ad.
The only time this hasn’t worked at our own firm is when we’ve taken on Expired Listings that were on the market for a while. Usually those listings have been syndicated to most of the big home search sites, and it’s really hard to catch up once they’ve been syndicated for a while. Here’s an example of a Facebook Ad we used for a recent listing:
Neighborhood Searches for Search Engines
When you want to get pages on your website to show up in online searches, WHAT people are searching for plays an important role. The keywords, or search terms, is the technical name given to the words or phrases people enter into a search engine. This is the WHAT being searched for. When we optimize for a property’s address, the property address is the “keyword” or phrase. Another example is “houses for sale”.
While getting individual properties on the first page of search results is great, it’s almost impossible for most agents and firms to rank for a keyword phrase as broad as “houses for sale”. But it is possible to get pages ranked for local searches with less competition. An example might be a specific neighborhood, subdivision, or area of town. Examples of local keyword phrases in my area are “French Place Austin” and “East Austin Homes for Sale”.
People searching for specific neighborhoods indicate an interest in the location and may be interested in buying or selling. Getting a page on your site to show up for a specific neighborhood search also establishes your expertise in that market.
If you want to get a page to rank for a local area or neighborhood, you can use the same SEO mechanics listed earlier in this post… but rather than using the property address, you would use the local area name as the keyword.
A great way to do research on a keyword or phrase is to use Google’s Keyword Planner, which is included in Google Adwords. The Keyword Planner is free to use and only requires that you setup a Google Account. You don’t have to run ads through he platform to use or benefit from it.
The images below are taken from the Google Adwords’ Keyword Planner and show the monthly search results for the search term “french place austin” for searches occurring specifically in the Austin area (not nationally or globally). While there are only 40 searches, the term is not highly competitive and is a page our firm can get placement for.
Using Google’s Keyword Planner for Real Estate Searches
If you wan to use the Keyword Planner tool, the process below outlines how you can find and research keywords to rank for neighborhood searches.
After setting up a Google Account (you probably already have one), you can access the Keyword Planner (if it’s your first time using Google Adwords, you may be required to go through a setup process). Select the “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category” option.
In the “Enter one or more of the following:” text box, you can enter the keywords you want to research. Since we want to get found on searches for local neighborhoods, we’ll enter a specific part of town, followed by the words “real estate”. In the targeting section, you’ll want to specify the local area where you live. This will keep the opportunities more relevant and give a more realistic expectation of local traffic.
The query returns a chart showing the volume of searches for all the ideas for search terms in addition to the one we entered (“east austin real estate”). We can see “east austin real estate” has about 40 monthly searches and medium competition.
If we scroll down, we can see there are additional keyword ideas offered by the platform. These additional keywords can be topics we add or address in the content of our neighborhood page: east austin homes for sale, homes of sale in east austin, homes for sale in east austin, east austin homes, east austin real estate for sale, and houses for sale east austin.
This brings the total number of monthly searches to 160 monthly searches. This doesn’t mean we get all those people visiting our site, it just shows how many people could potentially come to the site if we place high enough in the search results.
Related Searches on Google
Another easy way to get search term or keyword ideas is to go directly to Google, search the term and scroll to the very bottom to see if there any related searches suggested. If they make sense, we might want to add content to our neighborhood page to address the topics related to our search.
In the example below, we might consider adding information about the east austin real estate market or info about east austin condos to supplement our neighborhood information page. In doing so, we’ll make the page more relevant to searchers and search engines.
Search Strategies for Real Estate Conclusion
Using these strategies, you can address multiple goals at the same time. You’re able to get found when past clients, referrals, and people in your sphere search for you online. You can get your product (your real estate listings) in front of the people who matter most… your sellers and serious buyers. And you can begin to own local searches to get more exposure in your neighborhood farm area.
If this is all new to you, start with getting yourself found online, and then move on to getting your listings online. The last step is to start adding neighborhood information webpages on your site. There’s always room for ongoing improvement to better dominate searches for you, your listings, and your local areas.
If you Google yourself at least once a month, you will see the changes take place and gather ideas to make improvements to the information available. Also, take a look at your listing pages on your website to how many of the SEO mechanics mentioned in this article are covered. With time, you’ll show up on more search results, get your listing found by more people, and dominate farms areas online.
If you need any help with formulating your online search strategies, CLG Marketing is here to help! Just send us a note by clicking here.
This article was written by The Paperless Agent. To read the original article, click here.