Great news for all of us Twitter fans out there.
Twitter is relaxing its 140-character limit. The social network announced on Monday that links to media like photos, GIFs, polls, and videos will no longer count toward the 140-character limit Twitter has had since its inception.
Along with media attachments, a Twitter spokeswoman said the company is also testing not counting “@” replies toward a tweet’s character limit.
Here’s a graph from Twitter that explains the old structure of tweets and the new format:
These changes are in effect now!
Twitter announced these changes in May, and The Verge reported last week that they would be implemented on Monday, September 19.
If you need help setting up your Twitter account, feel free to contact us!
Article Adapted from BusinessInsider.com – To read the full article, click here.
We often see statistics about how important it is to have a social strategy in real estate. According to a recent NAR study, ninety-one percent of REALTORS® use social media in some way. With this much social noise, how can you stand out when consumers are scrolling through their newsfeeds?
If you search online for tips about increasing your social reach, you’ll probably find articles about posting useful information, following the 80/20 rule, and keeping your audience engaged by responding to their comments and questions. While these tips are important (content is always, always king), what are some new ways you can boost the number of people seeing your social posts? Here are five unique tips to help you engage with more social users and increase your social reach.
1. Offer to share or re-tweet your followers’ content
How often do you ask your followers to share your content? Why not return the favor? Ask your followers if they have something happening in your local area they’d like you to promote socially. Maybe a local moving business is hosting a grand opening or a furniture company is having a special discount over the Father’s Day weekend. Cross-promotional opportunities allow you to provide valuable content to your followers while connecting with new people through other companies. Plus, your followers will view you as a local expert since you’re able to share great content about your area.
2. Use hashtags to your benefit
Hashtags are one of the best ways to optimize your social posts. Including a hashtag (for example #realestate) makes your post searchable so others can find it, even if they aren’t following you. By tagging your post with a keyword like #laliving, #newhome, #househunting, #openhouse, etc., your posts will be grouped with others that contain the same hashtag. This is a great way to engage with people who have similar interests and encourage them to follow you. We recommend using 2-3 hashtags on Twitter and Facebook, and 5-10 on Instagram to help draw in followers. However, keep in mind that too many hashtags can overburden your messages, so make tags relevant and use them when you think it’s helpful.
Another great way to incorporate hashtags into your posts is to create your own and use it whenever you post about yourself. For example, if you like to post new listings or properties that have just sold on your social profiles, create a hashtag that ties-in with your or your company’s name. It might be difficult to find a hashtag that hasn’t already been used, especially if you have a common name, so consider things that would help define you as a brand. If your name is Jane and you work mainly with millennials, a potential hashtag could be #JanesMillennialListings. Brainstorm potential ideas before settling on one; remember, you’ll want to use this to group your posts together so people can see what you’ve done previously.
3. Create shareable content
Increasing your social reach involves more than just your social pages. If you have a real estate blog, you’ve already created the perfect opportunity for more people to connect with you. Make sure you’re creating inspiring content on your blog, so readers will be more likely to share it with their followers. Articles that are reactive, informative, and interesting are most likely to be shared. When looking for content ideas, browse real estate industry news to see which hot topics are trending. Try writing a piece about how a trending topic has affected you or your business. For example, live-video marketing has recently become more popular. Why not use this technology by hosting a live tour of your newest listing, all while becoming familiar enough about it to write a review?
In addition to this, according to Entrepreneur, “people are more likely to share content that will help define themselves to others, while 68 percent of people share to show who they are and what they care about.” Do you regularly work with millennials or empty-nesters? Create content that you think they could connect with, such as popular problems these groups come across when buying or selling their homes. For even easier social sharing, embed a widget in your blog that will allow users to post snippets from your article on their social pages and link directly to your article. Doing so will help drive more people back to your blog, which will help to increase engagement.
4. Give credit to your sources
Did you find a great, relevant article you wanted to share with your followers? Remember to give credit to or mention the original poster using an @mention. This is not just best practice, but it also helps to put you into the source’s line of sight. You could spark a relationship with this user, encouraging them to look back through your own content, or it could also inspire them to thank you publicly for your share, putting you in front of all their followers.
5. Stick with it and stay active
As a busy professional, this can be the most challenging tip to follow. To help you stay on track, at the beginning of each month, create a content calendar. Look ahead to see which holidays are coming up or if your community is hosting any events that you should mention. Remember, you still want to post content that your followers will find relevant.
While it can take time to see the results of your hard work, remember to stay consistent. Social media can have a great pay-off if you put in the effort but also give enough time for your followers to remember you.
Article Written By Joe Sesso, Real Estate Agent and National Speaker for Homes.com
Recently Instagram released some major updates that could create a big change in your real estate business strategy. While Instagram was once thought to be a social network that was only for pictures of fancy food and artful lattes, 85 percent of top brands now have profiles, and 60 percent of the 400 million active users log in each day, making it the second most-engaged social network second only to Facebook.
Because social media is constantly changing, it’s important to keep up with the current trends to make sure you’re connecting with your clients in the right way. The first, more business-oriented change is Instagram’s creation of a Business Profile option. The second is a new Instagram “Stories” feed, similar to Snapchat. Want to learn more about how these updates can (and should) change the way you connect with clients through Instagram? Find out more, so you can begin planning your new content.
Create Your Business Profile
Instagram is more than just a way to connect with family and friends. Since it’s known for its visual opportunities, many businesses use Instagram to connect and keep in touch with potential and current customers. In fact, according to Instagram, about half of their users follow a business profile in the app. However, more importantly, engagement with brands on Instagram is higher than any other social platform. If you’re looking for a social channel to connect with clients, Instagram provides a great opportunity.
How can you get a business profile? Before you choose to convert from a personal to a business profile, there are a few things you should know. Initially, Instagram is releasing this feature gradually, so if it isn’t available to you yet, check back in the near future. Next, in order to convert, your Instagram profile must be connected with a Facebook business page. Facebook provides a step-by-step overview of how to do this. Finally, your Instagram business profile must be set to public. Then again, if you want new clients to find you, your profile should be public anyway.
What are the benefits of a business profile? The main advantage of having a business profile is that you’ll be able to access your insights. If you want to increase your visibility or measure your interaction with followers, this can provide a huge advantage. The insights available include the number of unique accounts you reach each day, your impressions for each post and the average time of day your followers access the app. These insights can help you see when your followers use their app so you know the best time to post your content and what your followers are most interested in, which can help you plan future content.
In addition to insights, when you upgrade, you’ll also be able to add more contact information, which users can access through a new “contact” button on your profile. If a user clicks the button, they’ll see some new options, such as directions to your physical location, a phone number to reach you, your email address and your website. In addition to this, you’ll also be able to see how many unique accounts click through to your website, which can help you gauge the traffic you’re receiving from your Instagram profile.
Connect More Often With New “Stories”
The other new update is Instagram’s “Stories.” This feature lets users create a string of pictures and videos that is viewable to their followers for 24 hours. While this is similar to Snapchat, there are some key differences. While you’re able add text and doodle on the picture or video, Instagram lacks the filters and lenses that Snapchat users are used to. In business, though, this is not a key feature. Where Instagram prevails is that you’re able to see which of your followers have viewed each photo or video – just swipe up when looking at your story. Instagram Stories appear at the top of your home feed. To view them, simply click the person’s profile picture. When you’re ready to create your own story, click the (+) option in the upper left corner of the app.
Can Stories really help me as an agent? It depends on how you plan to use this new feature. Similarly to Snapchat, it’s important to first consider your goal. For instance, Stories would not be the most useful tool for lead generation, because only your current followers can see them. Instead, use them for engagement and retention.
This more personal feature is perfect for visually and emotionally connecting with your current followers. Share pictures of a new listing along with a quick tour of your favorite room, a picture of yourself at your favorite coffee house (Instagram photos with faces get 38 percent more likes), a video referral with a client who just closed on a home, etc. Stories gives you the opportunity to get closer and more personal with your audience. Plus, you can post multiple pictures and videos through Stories without clogging your followers’ feeds.
Instagram can be a powerful tool for your marketing strategy and a great way to connect with potential buyers.
Article written by Patty McNease, Director of Marketing for Homes.com For more information, visit connect.homes.com. Photo from connect.homes.com
Gary Vaynerchuk builds businesses. Fresh out of college he took his family wine business and grew it from a $3M to a $60M business in just five years. Now he runs VaynerMedia, one of the world’s hottest digital agencies and he also happens to be a Centennial Lending Group favorite. Today’s article comes from his AskGaryVee show.
Gary’s favorite concept in real estate is owning the story around a home and the city or town around it. Where social media comes into play is that you can easily craft daily content about a home and the 10-20 mile radius around the area where you plan to sell property. If you want to win on social, you should also be putting out content to make potential buyers romantic about the local amenities since people often pick where to live based on utility (ie. convenience, commute time, school districts).
So, here are some tactics you can use on two platforms that I can see gaining popularity in the real estate industry. Realtors can use these tips to bring value to their audience and produce real results (aka, actually lead to housing sales and rentals).
I’ve hyperbolized around Snapchat for so long and it is so obvious to me where the market is headed. If you know me at all, you know where I stand on it: it’s a platform that people use with intent. Because the content disappears, you can be sure that users are really paying attention to what’s happening on their screens.
But, the value of the platform that most real estate people are overlooking is the emerging 30 to 45 year old demo on Snapchat. In the next 2-3 years, Snapchat will skew much older and age much like Facebook has. There’s a lot of value in being a first mover on the platform.
Just as interesting is Snapchat’s growth among the elite top earners within the 30 to 45 year-old demo, especially on the coasts. (It is very obvious to me that Snapchat has the attention of my “rich” friends right now.)
The one arbitrage tactic that is still available (and I think is grossly underpriced right now) is custom geofilters. For example, I think it would be incredible for a real estate agent to buy filters on top of all the hottest restaurants in Soho with some clever creative and copy. You want to take advantage of the fact that if they are out in the area, they probably like the neighborhood. For the cool, affluent 36-year old who can afford a 3 million dollar apartment in Soho, a real estate agent who is smart enough to create a filter on Snapchat is exactly the person who is going to win that business.
One of the great things about Snapchat is that the platform makes it very easy to create content. It doesn’t have to be “polished.” Because of the low barrier to entry, you don’t need a high-tech camera or to be blessed with amazing photography or video skills.
For example, you can easily produce content around the neighborhoods where you have listings and showing the actual properties won’t take up much time. You can do quick reviews of the nearby restaurants, schools, the back porch, the patio, the pool, or anything relevant that adds value to the consumer. Think about it: It’s a one person show that you can do without a production company and it doesn’t require the high skill cap and resources that are often needed for other platforms like YouTube. For the average real estate agent, Snapchat content is quite scalable. All you need is your phone and insights on what people are interested in.
FACEBOOK LIVE VIDEO
Now, you also know my stance on Facebook advertising. It’s an incredible platform that allows you to overlay a ton of rich targeting layers like age, location, recent life events, and interests. However, that’s not all that Facebook can offer. There’s a big opportunity to use Facebook Live, Facebook’s native live streaming product.
Live streaming is hot right now and with Facebook Live’s growing popularity, it’s definitely something realtors should move on. Feel lost on how you can use Facebook Live? Think about the ability to create a virtual open house at scale on Facebook–a platform where many real estate agents already have a foothold for potential buyers.
I can envision a hotshot real estate agent streaming live from an open house while talking to potential clients. Potential buyers will be able to view the house remotely and ask relevant questions that the realtor can respond to and show in real time. Think about all the house-showcasing programs that took television by storm in the late 90s and into the 2000s. It’s MTV cribs made even more compelling with live streaming.
Using Facebook to do live, virtual open houses is going to be a monumental move. I expect multiple people to email me over the next 24 months to say they sold a house to someone who was watching on Facebook instead of going to a traditional viewing.
Using Facebook to do live, virtual open houses is going to be a monumental move.
A lot of realtors are not using social to their full advantage. A lot of you lack the desire to adjust and innovate with the new tools at hand. You can’t be romantic about using the same methods to make a sale based on the industry standard. While you might be mapping to your demo now, we are 24 to 30 months away from Snapchat and live streaming platforms becoming the mainstream for the 30–45-year-old demo. So, I challenge you to start experimenting with these platforms to bring value and make that sale.
*Article and photo by Gary Vaynerchuk, April, 2016. To see the original article, click here.
If you are a real estate agent who has a blog and are not using Pinterest as part of your social media marketing strategy then you are missing the boat! If you ask most real estate bloggers who have adapted Pinterest as one of their social networks, more than likely you’ll hear rave reviews of just how good the traffic can be. One of the unique things about Pinterest is the length of time in which something that is shared can drive traffic. When you share something on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other social site there is usually a good rush of interaction over the first few days and then your exposure quickly dies down. This is not the case with Pinterest – in fact, it’s quite the opposite!
Pinterest is the number one source of social media traffic to my combination blog/real estate site. One of the reasons for this is the “shelf life” of the pins you share. Pinterest sharing is an endless cycle that continues to generate more traffic when the content is exceptional. Outstanding real estate content on Pinterest can be shared for months and months even years.
There are a number of ways to ensure that Pinterest will become an important place for real estate social media exposure. The first piece of advice is to be sure that your mindset is not on your real estate listings. I see this mistake all the time from real estate agents. Very few people are going to share them unless you are marketing a luxurious mansion. Instead, show off your knowledge as an agent.
Here are some quick tips to make Pinterest work for you as a REALTOR®:
- Like any other social network make sure what you are sharing is quality content.
- The most shared pins are those that are “tall” and not squares. Pay careful attention to this.
- Reciprocate with others. Social media is not just about sharing your own content. The best social media marketers readily share other people’s content.
- Don’t just share real estate content. Make sure your boards are well rounded with other appealing content.
- Make listings a small part of your focus. Most people couldn’t care less about the 3 bedroom ranch you just listed. Unless the property is a glamorous luxury home it won’t get pinned.
- Apply for “Rich Pins“. This adds html mark-up to your pins that make them stand out from others.
- Join the best real estate group boards!
Why Join Group Boards?
Once you have gotten your feet wet on Pinterest it will be time to really ramp up your exposure. There is no better way of doing this than by joining some of the top Pinterest real estate group boards. Group boards allow anyone who has been invited to collaborate together. They typically have rules that must be followed in order to keep the board on topic and focused.
The beauty of group boards is they typically have a massive following, far more than an individual would have. Why does this matter? The keyword here is, again, EXPOSURE. When you share your best content to group boards it gets seen by far more people. The opportunity to have your content shared by a focused group of people, like real estate professionals, goes up exponentially. This creates opportunities for you to grow your following very quickly. If you share something interesting on a group board many of the people looking at it could end up following you.
What Are the Real Estate Groups to Join?
So what are the best Pinterest group board for Realtors® to join? Below are some of the largest and most active real estate boards found on Pinterest.
- Pinterest Real Estate Group Board – This is one of the largest real estate boards found on Pinterest with just under 12,000 followers and 300 members. This board encompasses a variety of real estate topics from general sales advice, financing, staging, home improvement, marketing, technology and social media. Invited members are highly influential in the real estate industry and often are seen in other social networks. There are some strict rules including not being allowed to pin listings, market reports, news or local information. There are over 7,100 pins!
- Real Estate/Home Improvement/Realtor® Advice – This board is similar to the above mentioned board and has many of the same rules that need to be followed. There are currently 8,300 followers and 102 members. There are 2,400+ pins.
- Real Estate/Mortgage/Social Media – This is an up-and-coming board that is just starting to grow in size and stature. There are just under 7,000 followers with only 15 active posting members. Let’s get this one growing people! There are 700+ pins.
- Buying a Home and Mortgage Advice – This is another excellent group board not only for real estate agents, but mortgage professionals as well. Much of the content focuses on home buying along with finance and mortgage topics. The board is quite large with just under 16,000 followers and 140 members. There are 1,600 pins.
If you have not added Pinterest group boards to your social media arsenal, I would highly recommend you do so. By joining these boards, your content will be exposed to a large, active group of people currently using Pinterest as part of their real estate content marketing strategy. You can join these real estate boards by emailing the respective owners. This information can be found by visiting the boards. Just remember to make sure you are respectful of the group board rules!
Other Pinterest Resources Worth a Look
Use these additional resources to learn how to use Pinterest well as a real estate agent. Once you have some of the ground rules down for Pinterest, you will find it a fantastic place for drawing web visitors back to your blog or website. Best of luck on your Pinterest journey!
Written by Bill Gassett – nationally recognized real estate leader who has been helping people move in and out of the Metrowest Massachusetts area for the past 29-plus years.
This post and picture was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall.