Social media offers vast opportunities for real estate agents to connect with homebuyers and sellers. But not all social networks are the same.
Facebook, the world's most popular social network, is great for nurturing relationships with a large pool of potential clients. Facebook is a great opportunity to allow people to get to know you as a person, not just as a real estate agent. So, while it's still important to be professional and share valuable content, you can also share that adorable photo of your new puppy, or that funny video someone sent you. The people of Facebook want to see it all.
On LinkedIn, people are in a different mindset. They're focused less on casual socializing and more on professional networking. True, LinkedIn might not have the same suit-and-tie vibe as in its early days (there's a lot more personality shining through these days), but it's still a business-focused social network.
Just like Facebook, LinkedIn is also great for nurturing relationships—you just have to know your audience. On LinkedIn, people aren't looking for cute cat videos—they're here to focus on work, whether that's by expanding their professional network or browsing for interesting articles shared by industry peers. LinkedIn users are also beginning to use the platform for "at home" business, like searching for financial advisors to help them manage their money...and searching for real estate agents to help them sell their home.
In this blog post, we'll explore the different ways real estate agents can use Facebook versus LinkedIn.
Facebook is an incredibly useful tool for nurturing relationships with leads, prospects, and past clients. As soon as you meet someone, add them as a friend on Facebook. Take some time each day to scroll through your timeline and comment on people's posts. Look for opportunities to offer them home ownership-related help. And make sure you're posting stuff too, so they have the opportunity to comment on your content.
Increase brand awareness
Establish your presence on Facebook by creating a business page for your real estate team. On your page, publish valuable, useful content that is relevant to homeowners, buyers, and sellers. Boost the visibility of your content by using Facebook Ads to promote your content.
Promote listings and generate leads
Facebook Ads is a powerful platform for putting your listings in front of a qualified audience. The robust targeting options include the basics (age, location, job title), as well as life milestones (date of marriage, date of child's birth, date of new job), interests (which are determined by the types of pages a person likes), behaviors (such as recently viewing a listing), and more.
You can generate leads in other ways, too. If you've created a really great piece of content, like a First Time Homebuyer's Guide ebook, you can run an ad promoting a free download. Link to a form that people must fill out to download the ebook, and voila, you have a new lead generation campaign.
Build a network of high net worth people
If you want to break into the luxury real estate market, LinkedIn is the way. One of the benefits of LinkedIn is that you can easily identify high net worth individuals. You can search for C-suite executives in your area, see if you have any distant connections to them, and slowly make connections that bring you closer to reaching them. If you have a LinkedIn Premium account, you can send InMail—LinkedIn's direct messaging platform—even if the person isn't a direct connection. InMail tends to get people's attention, for the simple reason that not as many people use it.
Generate highly qualified leads
Just like Facebook, LinkedIn is a great way to generate leads. More and more people are turning to LinkedIn to find a real estate agent, so make sure you have a business page where you are posting listings.
You can also run highly targeted ad campaigns on LinkedIn. Because LinkedIn users are motivated to keep their profiles up-to-date, there is a ton of useful data available. You can create a target audience based on things like college degree type, company size, job title, and seniority. Using this type of data, you can create a target audience that aligns with the average income level you wish to reach.
Recruit agents and staff
At its core, LinkedIn is a recruitment tool. So use it that way! Post jobs and search for the perfect candidates to join your team.
Build a network of vendors
Because LinkedIn is mainly geared toward business-to-business (B2B) marketing, it's the perfect platform for finding great local lenders, inspection companies, contractors, real estate attorneys, and more.
Establish thought leadership
LinkedIn has a blogging platform where you can draft and publish your own articles. So take a stab at writing some articles and establishing yourself as an expert on the local real estate market.
As you can see, Facebook is more about reaching the general mass of consumers, while LinkedIn can be great for targeting a more specific income level. Which social network will be more beneficial to you depends on your unique business goals.
My advice is to start with Facebook. After all, it's the world's most popular social network. Everyone and their uncle is there. And it's a great tool for doing what real estate agents do best—building relationships. Once you've established a solid presence on Facebook, start venturing into LinkedIn, where you can really start to narrow down your target audience.
Wherever you end up with your social media strategy, make sure you're using each platform to its full potential. If you don't have the capacity to manage both Facebook and LinkedIn, start with just one—and do it really, really well.
Dave is the Chairman of Firepoint / Realvolve, a state-of-the-art customer relationship management (CRM) platform built expressly for real estate agents. Dave began his real estate career as an agent ...Read More