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Social Media 101 for Real Estate Marketing


Amanda: Good Afternoon everybody and thank you so much for joining us. My name is Amanda, I'm the marketing director here at StateListings and today we're going to be talking about how you can use social media to better present yourself, your business, your listings.

Question and Answer:

Amanda: Before we get into that I just want to talk about why you would want to use social media for your business?

Amanda: So traditional advertising has probably helped a lot of you in the past, you know a lot of you are still maybe putting your open houses into the newspaper, I still see billboards a lot of the time that infamous bus bench ad, if It's healthy, you sell for your entire career, it can feel like It's kind of pointless to invest all your time into building and maintaining a social media presence because it really does take maintenance. But our world is becoming increasingly digital, I think that the last year and a half or so has really hammered that home for a lot of us and that online marketing is the new normal. The best thing about social media marketing is, a lot of the tips that we'll share today don't cost you anything, it can be the best free way to take your business to the next level. So one of the best ways that social media can help you grow your business is the ability to go beyond local, so newspapers and other forms of physical advertising, like your signs, are all limited to potential buyers who already live in or near your market. If you live in an area that attracts out-of-town buyers, so this is especially relevant for places like Florida, for New York City, for areas like Schaumburg Illinois, I know is a really huge center with a lot of headquarters for a whole bunch of corporations, meaning you probably attract a lot of out of town buyers. It's really important that you're getting in front of those buyers, otherwise, you're missing out on an entire potential segment of your market. 

Amanda: Social media also lets you leverage your network. A lot of you likely get referrals from past clients, but are your friends and family referring you to people? Are you sure that you're top of mind for those past clients and their friends are asking for agent recommendations.

Amanda: When you post your listings online, your friends, family, and your clients can get a daily reminder of who they should be recommending to their friends and it will only take them a click to tag their friends and get you a new lead. So this especially goes for sites like Facebook, like Twitter, where your friends are already on there doing other things and you're kind of meeting them where they're at and if you're able to get attention where you already have a network, so you're probably already friends with these people, you don't need to ask them to follow a whole new page like you do for Instagram or Twitter. On Facebook you can, we'll talk about creating a professional Facebook page, but you can also re-share it to your personal page to really leverage your personal network and make sure that you're getting those referrals. This one is likely not going to happen for every single listing you post, but with everything that you post on social media, there is that potential to go viral. You can run out of flyers, you can run out of you know handouts, add an open house, but you can't really run out of a social post, once you've sent out your message it can be shared over and over again. When your family or clients tag a friend under one of your posts, like If you have a really beautiful listing that would be great for one of their friends, that friend can tag another friend, if It's not right for them and soon enough you could have thousands of eyes on your listings, without you needing to do any additional work, without you needing to run to the print store in the middle of the night, just posting your listing once can really get it out there. 

Amanda: So now that we all understand why we should be paying attention to social media for our business. I wanted to run a quick poll and ask you if you're using social media for your business, what site are you using?

Amanda: So you should see a poll pop up on your screen. I wasn't fully expecting LinkedIn to be so popular, so I'm really interested if you're a person who clicked LinkedIn. I'll be asking a bit later on what kind of content you're posting and how often, so I'd be really interested to see what you're doing there. We have Mary is using Pinterest, that's really awesome, we'll talk a little bit more about how you can leverage Pinterest as well later, very smart and I think that that's one that doesn't really get the amount of attention that it should because there's a lot of potential there to reach a really, really specific kind of buyer. Like I mentioned, Facebook definitely expected that a lot of folks would be on that. I'm really surprised to see only 38% of people are using Instagram in their marketing, specifically because it's so easy to use in connection with Facebook, so we'll go over how to use that a little bit more later. Twitter I think it can be useful if you're selling a very specific kind of real estate, but it is a little bit more niche and LinkedIn, like I said I was a little surprised to see it that high, so I'm really curious to hear how you're using LinkedIn. If you'd like to share that in the comments and we'll also have another couple polls up for you guys soon, I'd really love to hear how you're using LinkedIn and for those 10% of folks who answered, who said they're using something else, let us know in the comments like I mentioned Mary said she's using Pinterest, I'd really love to hear what everybody else is using.

Amanda: So now that we know what everybody's using, let's talk about your options. All social networking sites are not created equal, I know that it can be really tempting to just try to create content once and then reuse it over and over again, but the same content will not work for every site and attempting to master every site at once is a great way to confuse and to alienate any potential followers. So if you haven't started your social strategy at all, choose one network to start and then when you expand, you'll need to create distinct content for each network, so It's a good idea if you're one of those 10% of folks who aren't using Facebook yet, maybe start there and then we'll talk about how to expand where content can be reused and where it can't.

Amanda: So let's talk about your options. Like I mentioned, the biggest one there is Facebook. There are 2.4 billion monthly active users on Facebook. It's the most widely used social platform in the US. One of the really big benefits of Facebook is that you are able to create a professional page which is separate from your personal account. Like I mentioned before, you'll still want to leverage your personal network when you're sharing on Facebook, but the ability to create some separation, so that you can have clients message you, without needing to message your personal account, so that you don't need to be personal friends with everyone you've ever worked with or every lead you've ever met. Can be really helpful for some separation there. In addition, Facebook allows live streaming video, which can be extremely useful. We saw this used really heavily last year, kind of in like March through June when the lockdowns were kind of the most strict, agents could go live to connect with potential buyers or if they had a vacant listing that they could get to safely, they could do a virtual open house. But I think that those new skills and the ability to use Facebook's live streaming video capabilities will be really helpful to agents as things open up and return to kind of the new normal and we'll talk a little bit about how to do that soon. 

Amanda: The next huge one is Youtube. It is the world's second most visited website after google. Folks come to Youtube for everything to be entertained, to be informed. Two of the most popular topics on Youtube are product reviews and how-to content. So this is a really great place to post any long-form informational content you have. In April we had a series where we taught agents how to create video content to promote their listings, to promote their real estate business. I really highly recommend checking that out on our blog if you weren't able to attend that series, but one of the things that we talked about is how creating informational content and being the expert is a great way to attract sellers and buyers, because when they go out looking for answers to their questions about the listing process, they're likely to find you who's being really helpful, who's answering any questions they may have, so that is a great place to showcase your subject matter expertise, to show that you're an expert and get more leads.

Amanda: Next up is LinkedIn. Like I mentioned it has 260 million monthly active users, so significantly lower than Facebook and Youtube, but It's much more targeted than those. It has a really heavy focus on professional networking, through connections and again there's kind of a similar opportunity to Youtube like I mentioned with thought leadership. On LinkedIn you can write and share thought leadership articles and several of these are hand-picked to be shared by LinkedIn and that can get hundreds of thousands of eyes on your article, likely not all of those will be your potential buyers, but they could know somebody in your market and that's always really awesome exposure and again positions you as that trusted expert that folks can reach out to for help and eventually to list their property.

Amanda: Next there's Twitter. The data on this is a little bit less accessible, so It's about 340 million monthly active users. Twitter is short-form, almost entirely text-based posts, so it does allow images and videos and they need to be under 280 characters, unlike pretty much every other site right now, Twitter posts are displayed chronologically, which means that Twitter is one of the top sites for really time-sensitive information for breaking news. I see a lot of press requests on Twitter, or just the most time-sensitive requests or time-sensitive information tend to be shared on Twitter, that being said the half-life of a tweet is 18 minutes. So while we'll talk about the best amount of content to post on different sites, most of them will be you know once or twice a day or two to three times a week. Twitter you can definitely post a lot more frequently because those posts are chronological, your posts are just going to get shoved down in everybody's feed, so It's a great place to share just those those really, really time-sensitive pieces of information.

Amanda: Next there's Instagram, which has about a billion monthly active users and about 500 million users open Instagram stories per month. So Instagram posts can be photos, they can be several photos, they can be short videos. Instagram is really great for visual heavy content, so if you are an agent who sells luxury properties, there's not really an option you need to be on Instagram, showing off those really beautiful visuals. One of the best things about Instagram is that stories and photos can be cross-posted to Facebook. Instagram and Facebook, I'll say is my one exception to the you need unique content for each platform rule, you can absolutely repost any video, any photo that you post to your Facebook page from Instagram. Like I mentioned earlier you can also post stories, these are short disappearing photos or videos that your audience can watch, it was kind of Instagram's answer to Snapchat. Those stories again like I mentioned can be photos, they can be videos, you can't do the multiple photos in a post like you can on the feed, it just wouldn't work, you can add text to them, you can also add polls, which can be a really fun way to encourage engagement. They disappear after 24 hours, but they can then be highlighted on your brand's page, those will last beyond the 24 hours if you choose to highlight them. Because of the temporary nature, folks don't expect such a high production value for Instagram stories specifically, so that can be a great way to just post them behind the scenes content, post some silly polls, just things that really engage your audience without a whole lot of additional energy required. Finally, videos tend to perform slightly better than photos on Instagram, especially now that Instagram has launched Instagram reels, which is basically their answer to Tiktok. You're kind of noticing a trend they tend to release new features that are inspired by other popular social media apps at the time, so Instagram reels function extremely similar to Tiktoks, so this is another opportunity to really easily reuse content across platforms. 

Amanda: So Tiktok has about 689 million users as of January and 100 million of those are active monthly. I believe, it's probably around 800 million by now, as having trouble finding some more recent data for you guys, but Tiktok has experienced explosive growth since last year, specifically around January of 2020, the numbers were much lower and just to kind of highlight how explosive that growth has been, the pew research center found that 48 of 18 to 29-year-olds in the US use Tiktok, so we're going to talk about your ideal audience a bit later. If your ideal audience is in that age group, Tiktok presents a really interesting and unique opportunity to meet that audience, where they're at, and where they're spending most of their time online. Tiktoks are short-form video content, they're usually funny or they're music or dancing related, that same study found that most users on Tiktok are there to find entertaining content. So you really need to find a creative way to grab attention in 15 seconds or less. There are 60-second Tiktoks and some folks have even received a three-minute feature, but a lot of those the videos that perform well are still at that 15-second mark, so you need to figure out where you can highlight those short entertaining bits of information or just funny stories that have happened to you as a real estate agent and like I mentioned those are extremely similar to Instagram rules, that's my other exception to the different content for different platform. If you edit your Tiktoks in a separate app from Tiktok, if you edit in Tiktok they'll be watermarked, I don't suggest doing that, you can use a different video editing app either on your phone or computer and then post to both Tiktok and Instagram reels. The one I use specifically is called Inshot, that's available for iPhone. I'm not sure if It's available for android. They have like a free option, as well as a premium option, and both of those can be extremely useful If this is the kind of content that you really want to invest in. 

Amanda: Finally there's Snapchat, that has about 382 million monthly active users.  90% of Americans, 13 to 24 use Snapchat and 82% of users are under the age of 34. 72% of Gen-Z Snapchat users aren't reachable by tv ads, so we're seeing a pretty big move away from live television especially with Gen-Z, I think it started with millennials and has just been increasing. So if you want to reach those first-time buyers who are really young because Gen-Z are getting to the age where depending on their job, they may be thinking about their first home, Snapchat is the place to be. It's definitely more niche than some of the other sites we'll discuss, but It's worth looking into. Like Instagram stories, It's short-form video content or photos that disappear after a certain amount of time or disappear after they're viewed once, you can send messages directly to other folks as well as post on your Snapchat story. Snapchat also works with brands and creators to have kind of shows that are available only on Snapchat for viewers to watch.

Amanda: Finally there's Pinterest. Like I mentioned, I think that there's a really big opportunity here that we don't dive into that much with Pinterest, but it has 322 million monthly active users and 72% of those users are women. It's used to save or pin links like products, recipes, and tutorials from across the web. Unlike on other sites, this is not a great place to post your open house, to post your listings, It's a better place to build connections and build an audience of your ideal customers. So for example, if you sell a lot of fixer-uppers or if you look, you're looking for folks who want to flip a house or they want to put more work into a house, Pinterest is a great place to start creating boards of tutorials on how to do different decoration projects for your home so that you can build up an audience that way.

Amanda: A lot of the time when I talk about social media I get asked which is the best one? And the answer is, the best one is wherever you're best able to reach and connect with your target buyers. There is not a one size, fits all best platform. For right now we're going to talk about Facebook for a lot of these, although I will branch into how you can use that content on other sites, we'll just be starting there because It's the most popular site, as you saw it has a wider age range than most of the other networks we've touched on and it also has the widest range of functionality. So a lot of what we'll talk about can be applied to other sites, but Facebook's a good general place to start, however, if you're aiming for a really specific demographic, I've highlighted how some of these sites can be used to reach different audiences, so try experimenting with new platforms once you're comfortable with your primary platform.

Amanda: When you're choosing the best platform for you, the first question you need to ask is who your ideal client is? 

Amanda: I know we all want to sell to everybody, we want to say oh well, I'm the best option for everyone and while there's no need to turn down clients, It's still really important to know who you're most successful when you're working with. So that you can focus on attracting your ideal client while continuing to serve everyone else. So for example, if you are really skilled at helping folks who are downsizing, you probably know what their life looks like, you might know what they care about, what they're worried about, for example, what they're going to do with all of their items or how they're going to buy and sell at the same time, you can create content that really specifically addresses their concerns. You can also think about how you can solve their problems and you likely know where they're spending a lot of time online, so as we've been talking I've been highlighting, oh you know this site is great for folks who are looking for this specific thing, you'll know for your ideal client where they are spending that time.

Amanda: So let's talk about how to make a good first impression. I just realized I don't have a poll for this, but I want to know when is the last time you updated your social media profile? Was it yesterday? Was it a year ago? How often do you change your profile photo? Your header photo? How often are you checking to make sure everything on your Facebook page is accurate? So when you do head over to your social media profiles to update them let's talk about what you should make sure is there.

Amanda: At a minimum, your profile should include your full name, a photo of you, which does not need to be a professional headshot, if you don't have one, but it should be high res and well lit. Resist the urge to over filter and face-tune yourself as this can make the image look fake as well as grainy. We're all humans, you don't need to have like this really, really perfect facade, just a photo of you that makes you look approachable. You also need a way for your clients to contact you. Like I mentioned, Facebook can allow buyers to message you without leaving the page, which is awesome. You can also share the best email or phone number and you can reinforce your contact information with a banner image or with pinned posts where that's allowed, so for example on Twitter and on LinkedIn and on Facebook, you can have a large banner image on your page, so that's a great way to reinforce your contact information, you'll also want to link to your website if you have one and then finally you really need the name of your brokerage.

Amanda: So I want to know if you are using for example a Facebook page, are you checking your social media messages? And if so, who is checking them? 

Amanda: So it looks like about 78% of you are currently checking your own messages, which is great, but we like I mentioned we have about 15% of folks who are not checking their social media messages. There are likely a lot of folks who might be trying to reach you about any listings you've posted, people will try to contact the folks that they're looking for in really strange ways, you might get this in as comments, but you might also get this as direct message requests. One of the reasons I really like Facebook for real estate agents, like I mentioned is the message option, but in your page, you can set up an autoresponder and you can set it to respond at different times. So for example, if you message the MyState or the NewYorkStateMLS Facebook page when we're open, there's a really quick autoresponder that writes back right away, letting you know that we'll get to the questions shortly, but if It's an emergency and they really need to talk to somebody, it also has our phone number and then if It's outside of business hours, our autoresponder lets somebody know that we will be back, nine to five, Monday through Friday and if their request is urgent, they can send an email and also they can call our phone number as soon as we open. That way you're making sure to set expectations with anybody who messages your page when their message will be answered and giving them an opportunity to contact you kind of more urgently If you are not checking your Facebook messages constantly. 

Amanda: Bonus points for your social media profiles are to make really full use of the additional areas that are available on your profile. The first one, like I mentioned, is to use your profile header wisely, Facebook. Twitter and LinkedIn allow large branded images at the top of the page and if you're not really taking advantage of these. you're missing out on an opportunity to really control what a visitor sees the first time they come to your page, it is a really large portion of the screen right when they first land there, so It's important that it really works for you. There are free online editors like Canva, so It's like Canvas without the s, that you can use and they have the appropriate sizes for each social media site built-in already. So if you're not really interested in fiddling around with photoshop, that is a great way to get a professional-looking header without needing to purchase additional software. The profile header allows you to highlight additional information, like I mentioned you can put your contact information in there, as well as recent sales, new listings, branding, or I'll frequently see agents share in their header what their open house will be. In addition, you can create a pinned post with additional information at the top of your page, Twitter and Facebook will allow you to pin one of your posts. For example, if you again if you want to reinforce information like your contact information or if you wanted to share what listings you have for sale and just make sure that that's the first impression buyers are getting. It's really important to make full use of your pinned post.

Amanda: A lot of folks on Twitter, because again your bio on Twitter is extremely limited and your pinned post is still limited to those 280 characters. What you can do is you can create a tweet that starts sharing the information you want to share and then you can reply to that tweet with more tweets to create a thread and then you can use that as your pinned post, so that folks can click into it and see all of the tweets below it and kind of expanding the information. So Catherine was asking what a pinned post means essentially on certain sites? Like I mentioned on Twitter and Facebook, once you've created a post, there will be an option in the top right corner, usually, you can click the menu, there will be an option that says pin this post and that means that even if you post something else afterward, your pinned post stays at the top of your page. So like I mentioned, when somebody's looking at your Twitter profile, it appears chronologically but pinned makes sure that you are able to keep the most relevant tweet that has all your additional information right at the top of your feed. So sites like Twitter and Instagram only allow you and Tiktok as well, allow you one link, you can't link to anything or sorry, Twitter will allow links in your posts, but Instagram and Tiktok don't allow links in comments or in the description of your images or rather they won't be clickable. 

Amanda: So It's really common to say that the link to whatever you're talking about in your post is in your bio because both of those social media services allow one link in your bio, folks used to have to essentially like post their most recent Youtube video for example, as a link in their bio. The problem with that is, if somebody's seeing that post much later, the link has probably changed and they just can't access what they're looking for, which is why services like Linktree or Beacons have showed up. So what they do essentially is you create an account and they create a landing page that has all of your additional websites on there, so for example your Facebook page, your Instagram, your Twitter, your Tiktok, so that you have one link that you can post in any bio that leads to all of your different social media. So if I made one for myself, like I said my name is Amanda, it would be linktr.ee/Amanda and when somebody clicked on it, they can see my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok, everything else they need to. I do think that they're very helpful for sharing links and I think kind of the benefit is that they're intuitive and they do allow you to label everything where you're sending folks, I don't have the metrics off the top of my head with folks familiarity using linktree, but especially with you know that continued use of just one link allowed in your bio, I imagine we're going to see a lot more use of Linktree going forward. There are multiple additional services. but Linktree and Beacons are the ones that I see used for most frequently, both of those have free and paid options.

Amanda: All right so now that we've talked about the why and the where. Let's talk about what kind of content you should be posting. So before we get into this, I want to know what kind of content you're posting? do you, I know some folks have said they post their listings, they post open houses, are you sharing anything that isn't directly related to your business? And again if you're sharing something that isn't already listed here, please share your ideas in the comments. I know we could all use more ideas of what to post.

Amanda: So it looks like most of you are posting your listings in open houses, which is great. Facebook is a great place to share those and make sure that everyone knows what's going on. 60% are sharing articles about real estate and it gets kind of less as we go down the list of behind the scenes or funny posts or other content. It's great to post your listings, but you need to make sure that you're being a person when you're posting content, so we're going to talk a little bit more about how the folks who are just posting listings in open houses or their own articles, we can talk a little bit more about how to vary up that content and make sure that you're interacting more like a person.

Amanda: And then finally I want to know how often you post? Daily? Two to three times a week? Weekly? Every few weeks? Or even less frequently than that. 

Amanda: So this one surprised me a little bit. I expected most people to be posting at least a couple times per week and it looks like actually, only about 25% of you are posting more than once per week, most folks are posting weekly, but there about a quarter of you are only posting every few weeks and even more are posting even less frequently. So we're going to talk about how that can affect you as you build an audience and what kind of content you can throw in there to make sure that you're posting a little more frequently and really building up your audience.

Amanda: So the reason that I was so surprised that so many folks posted less frequently is that, one of the most important things that you can do when trying to build an audience is to make sure that you're posting consistently. When you're starting out on a new social platform, evaluate what time you have available and determine a posting schedule. Like I mentioned, weekly is the bare minimum, so I think we had about 50% of people who weren't posting weekly yet, that is your lowest bar. That doesn't mean that you need to be posting constantly or all of it needs to be really high effort content, but you do need to make sure that you're kind of popping up, showing folks that you're alive. For platforms other than Twitter, once or twice per day is your maximum. You want to make sure that you're not really flooding folks. If you show up over and over again in people's feeds, especially if you're posting really self-promotional content, you're going to come across as really spammy and lose followers, so about once per day is really the sweet spot, if you're focusing hard on social media and building an audience, but in general, every other day or three to four times per week is a great starting place for most platforms. 

Amanda: Again that doesn't mean that every day needs to be a new ad and in fact, you'll get more engagement if not all of your content is self-promotional. A great way to increase your posting schedule or increase the frequency with which you're creating content is to decide what kind of post you're going to post every day or each day that you're posting every week, so rather than trying to come up and scramble with ideas for new posts, you at least know the overall type and you can go from there. So for example a lot of folks will post Motivation Monday and post a success related quote every Monday morning, that can just be a really nice little boost to your followers feeds, especially if you accompany it with a good looking image, you can search Motivation Monday on google to find some great motivational quotes and if you have access to Canva like I mentioned before, you can even make your own Motivation Monday images and brand them to your business, so that if folks share them, you make sure that your logo goes with them. That's pretty low effort and is at least one of your posts every week out of the way. In addition, you can schedule a post about upcoming open houses on Thursdays or Fridays, so that any folks who are searching for a house really know what to build their weekend around. In the comments, if you have any other kinds of posts that you schedule, let us know. Different markets and different platforms have different best times to post, so for example on LinkedIn, a lot of folks are on that during business hours, so your post will perform better Monday to Friday, generally around the afternoon, but this changes really wildly like you mentioned, based on your market, based on the site that you're using, how frequently you're posting, what you're posting and there are great sources that update this more frequently than I'd be able to, so I really recommend checking out places like Hubspot and Hootsuite really frequently post kind of what the best time to post for each network is. That doesn't mean that you have to be online at those times or you have to remember every time you want to make a post, services like Buffer and Hootsuite allow you to schedule out your posts so that you won't forget or like I mentioned constantly need to be online, you can schedule everything from a week to even a month in advance and some go even further than that. It's also really important to have an appropriate tone when you're posting on social media, like I've mentioned before, you need to act like a person, these are social networks and so if you're acting like a sales robot, nobody's gonna want to socialize with you. It's definitely okay to post more direct sales content occasionally.

Amanda: When you have a new listing, It's really important to let the folks who are following you for your listings know, however you should aim for two to three informational or funny posts per sales post and when you're posting that direct sales content, you should focus on how it benefits your followers, for example, if you're posting a listing, you already know the best features, so share those, share the perfect kind of buyer who you think would do really well in this home. Those informational or funny posts can talk about a little tip that you use for staging houses that folks may not have thought of, that they could use right now to brighten up their living room, to really open up their space, it could be as small as that or like I mentioned, those Motivation Monday posts would also count as your kind of non-sales content, again these are social networks, so It's really important to interact with your followers, ask questions and be a resource that gives you another opportunity for that thought leadership, as well as just really building up your reputation and your trust with these people, so that when they have a friend who needs a referral you are top of mind.It's really important to be friendly and to be personable, depending on kind of your personality, even a little bit irreverent is okay, keep it appropriate and keep it clean, but It's okay to crack a joke every once in a while. Like I said you're not a sales robot and be authentic, potential leads can tell when somebody is trying to sell them, so if you try to act like you aren't when you are, that's a really easy way to lose trust.

Amanda: So I told you that you need to post every day or you should try to aim to post every day. That can seem really overwhelming, so let's talk about where you can get that content from. It is okay to repost from other sources with credit, as long as they don't specifically prohibit this. So if someone says on their site, please don't share, don't do that. Listen to them, but many other sites are more than happy to have you share their articles, you can subscribe to real estate news lists, to get interesting articles to choose from, I personally really enjoy sharing realtor.com shares celebrity home sale news, so for example if a celebrity lists their house in the Hollywood hills for four million dollars, they'll post a picture of it, they'll post who's selling it, as well as some interior photos and I don't know about you guys, but I really love looking at those and your audience probably will too. It's even better if you can share some insights about why you think that listing is worth what it is or maybe isn't. I also really like the lighter side of real estate because they share really funny real estate related articles.

Amanda: To create content, you can also use Canva like I mentioned before, they have lots of social media templates that can help you really quickly create those Motivation Monday posts, as well as maybe add some text or anything else you might want to add to your photos of homes you're selling or anything else you're looking to post. It's also really great to ask questions of your audience on social media, to increase engagement and make more opportunities for you to have conversations with followers who could turn into leads, so for example if a homeowner is considering repainting before they list with you, you can set up a poll to see what your followers like better, this gives people an opportunity to engage and gives your homeowner some really good information. If you have a buyer looking for a specific type of home, consider posting asking if anyone is looking to list, this is a great way to get those seller leads, most importantly keep it real, it is both easy and fatal to your account to lose credibility on social media, you should always be realistic and accurate about the state of the market. That doesn't mean that you have to be extremely pessimistic, but for example I saw some posts going around in march of last year saying, now is the perfect time to sell your home, which comes across as incredibly toned down. It's okay to say, you know, to acknowledge when the market is acting strangely or when there are some interesting hurdles to overcome but It's not okay to kind of oversell the market when that's not accurate. It's also okay to be human, It's really important to be authentic and personable on social media and it'll help you find more engaged followers who will be your ideal customers. It's also just more fun if you've made a silly or relatable mistake, that's appropriate to share, that's definitely a great candidate for one of those behind the scenes posts. And finally, you're a community expert, so widen your content to include posts about the areas you serve, especially again last year, we saw a lot of agents sharing the pictures of the great take outs from local restaurants, they were getting to try to support them through lockdown orders or just sharing great things to do in their area to really help sell the neighborhoods where they were working, as well as their business. 

Amanda: This kind of follows into another question we got, just how do we make sure we're balancing between posting on your personal page and business page, you should be posting like I said about once per day on your business page and It's appropriate to share one or two of those posts per week to your personal page, but don't flood your personal page, because you're pretty likely to lose some friends over that.

Amanda: Finally before we end today, we're going to talk a little bit about Facebook live. So Facebook live is a way that you can stream live video to your Facebook audience, your page visitors will see the video in your feed, your followers will receive a notification that you're going live, as well as a link to view and then folks who are viewing can comment in real time or react with different reaction buttons. You're able to select the audience for the video, so you can keep it to just your followers or you can allow it to be shared more widely. One of the best things about Facebook live is, it automatically saves your live as a video to your page when you're finished broadcasting. So there's no need to download it, to edit anything, it just automatically goes up, so anybody who missed your video can still come back and see that in your page. Facebook live is really versatile, which means that it can be used from everything from a quick announcement to a virtual event. You can consider creating a schedule and promoting it. March to June of last year, we here at MyStateMLS went live every Tuesday and Friday at 11 A.M eastern standard, just to keep in touch with our agents and really help support everybody. The regular timing then agents knew when to log in and join us and we could build up an audience and we were able to share that in our emails, on resource pages as well. If you can create a series of classes based around a specific topic, like for example, a first-time buyer series. A Facebook live series is a great opportunity for this. You can also go live when exciting things are happening, you don't need to schedule every live stream specifically, because that video will get saved your page and folks who weren't able to join live will still be able to see the video. You can promote coming soon listing, so if you're you just signed the listing paperwork with a new listing and you're putting it in and you're very excited, you could consider going live and showing off the property or if you there are current events that you want to appropriately comment on or if you want to share exciting news, you can start a live video to share with your audience. Facebook live, like I mentioned, is an awesome venue for virtual open houses. We saw this really frequently last year and frankly I think that this is one of those kind of new skills that agents learned during 2020 that should really be applied across the board going forward. The idea with a virtual open house is, you schedule it just the same as you schedule a regular open house and then go live on Facebook, as well as having visitors, please make sure that you get your home sellers consent obviously, before doing so, but it is a great way to reach an audience that might not be able to come to an in-person open house. So it'll get you more leads as well as get you more potential buyers for your sellers. This would be from your professional Facebook page rather than from your personal. So prep the home and your presentation the same way as you would for an in-person open house, then make sure that you're advertising on your social media, any emails you send out. I've seen brokerages do pages on their website with upcoming virtual open houses that are great and then one of the best tips I have for your virtual open house, is when folks walk into a physical open house, you can ask them to sign in, you can ask for their email, their phone number, the best way to get this for a virtual open house is, you can't really prevent folks from joining, is to create a flyer or a brochure with more information from the property and offer to email it to viewers and this gives you an opportunity to collect their information and add them to your lead list and at the specified time go live and begin the walkthrough, you can begin in front of the house, but I really recommend starting at the most interesting part of the house, because It's social media, there are a million other things going on on their feed, you want to make sure you grab attention quickly, the best example I saw of this was a house where the fridge door produced ice cubes shaped like boats, that is an awesome place to start your virtual open house and you can kind of more so, than an in-person open house, you can really direct your audience's attention, make sure that you're highlighting the best aspects of a property and consider even going there the day before, to really plan out what you're going to say and how you're going to present the house. Finally engage your audience, you are live, so encourage them to ask the same questions they would at an in-person open house, if It's something that you don't want to answer in a video that's going to be saved to your page, maybe you know kind of private information about the property that the homeowners wouldn't want saved, again that's another opportunity to ask for their contact information so that you can reach out to them and as well as add them to your lead list.

Wrap up:

Amanda: That's all we have for today. I hope that we've given you a pretty exhaustive overview of how to get started in social media. Thank you so much for joining. Have a great rest of your day and we will see you next week. Thank you so much. Bye.

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