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February 23, 2024

Real Estate Social Media Marketing (A to Z Guide)

Social media should be a non-negotiable part of your real estate marketing strategy. From building your network to getting eyes on your listings, social media is a must-have tool.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about social media marketing for real estate. We’ll start by reviewing what real estate social media marketing is and why it’s so important.

From there, we’ll discuss how to create a social media strategy for real estate and the ins and outs of content creation for different platforms. We’ll wrap things up with some tips for making the most of your social media strategy.

Are you ready to dive in? Let’s get started.

What is Real Estate Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing involves using social networks to connect with your target audience.

Think of this digital marketing strategy as a great way to engage with potential clients by creating content that appeals to them across various social media platforms.

Some of the most popular social media platforms for real estate include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube. However, there are also ways to leverage other popular platforms, such as TikTok and Pinterest, for real estate.

When you invest in social media marketing, you’re investing in the content creation process and the platforms to help you build and showcase your thought leadership in your local real estate market.

Why is this important? You unlock the ability to widely distribute thought leadership content without paying an arm and a leg (unlike paid advertising).

Plus, you get the opportunity to position yourself as the go-to agent in your community. Doing so helps you build followers and notoriety. Establishing a loyal fan base is valuable because it gives you an audience to:

But that’s not all. Let’s take a closer look at some more benefits of real estate social media marketing.

Why is Social Media Marketing so Important for Real Estate?

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From increasing brand awareness to community building, social media marketing has many benefits for real estate professionals.

Let’s take a moment to review some of these impressive benefits in more detail.

Increased Brand Awareness

Are you looking for a way to get your name out there without spending your entire marketing budget? Enter the ever-popular tool of social media.

One of the many reasons social media is a common marketing strategy (across all industries) is the ability to build brand awareness. So, how is this possible?

Most people spend hours each week on social media. With more than 5.17 billion users worldwide, that’s a lot of potential reach.

If you aren’t present on social media, you’re potentially missing out on reaching thousands (maybe even millions) of people due to the material volume of active users on these platforms.

In addition to sharing branded content on your social media channels, you can tap into social media marketing to drive traffic to:

  • Platforms where you publish your listings
  • Your website

This strategy works best when you include links to your website and other offers in your social media profiles, bios, and posts.

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Since many social media algorithms distribute content based on user behavior, focusing on driving engagement, including likes, shares, and comments, helps boost your content for better performance.

For example, with TikTok, you have the potential for your video to land on the For You Page and spread your content to users who haven’t followed you yet. Pretty neat, huh?

It’s important to note that every social media algorithm is different. So, keep that in mind as you craft your platform-specific social media strategies (more on that in a bit).

Boost Lead Generation

Social media has a greater impact than MLS for generating high-quality leads.

According to the latest technology survey by the National Association of Realtors, 46% of realtors believe social media is the most effective method for producing high-quality leads.

Meanwhile, only 30% favored MLS.

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By cultivating a community on social media, you can:

  • Get your listings in front of prospective buyers
  • Send high-quality leads to your website
  • Improve conversion rates

You can also use social media to attract attention to your listing services, putting you at the forefront of prospective clients’ minds when they are ready to list their current home or investment property for sale or rent.

Here are some ways to spearhead your lead generation efforts on social media:

  • Establish a consistent posting schedule
  • Share thought leadership content
  • Create clickable content
  • Prioritize social selling
  • Host live videos
  • Share contests

You can also use hashtags, collaborative Instagram posts, and organic search to push your content further and attract potential clients.

Expand Your Network

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Social media platforms are an excellent way to expand your network as a realtor. You can network with other professionals in the real estate space, such as:

  • Real estate photographers
  • Virtual staging companies
  • Interior design specialists
  • Home inspectors
  • Title companies
  • Brokers

Plus, you can also network with prospective clients by sharing helpful content and letting them know you’re available to answer questions.

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Need inspiration? Here’s a great example of the type of content (and messaging) you can post to encourage client networking opportunities.

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If you prefer a more personalized networking approach, you can also try private messaging (read: direct messages).

Introduce yourself and let people know you can help with their real estate needs. Try to connect over a commonality. That way, the conversation will flow more organically and feel less promotional.

No matter what platform you use, you should use social data to identify your audience’s key demographics, interests, and behaviors on each platform. With this insight, you can tailor your content and messaging accordingly.

Lower Cost

Social media is a fairly low-cost marketing option compared to other forms of digital marketing, like search engine optimization, for example.

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Although it’s possible to invest in highly-produced content for social media, a smartphone, and some free apps make it easy for any real estate professional to get started.

Although paid ads are an option on social media, they aren’t essential for having a successful social media campaign. We’ll talk a bit more about this later in this article.

How to Create a Social Media Marketing Plan

Now that you’re more familiar with the benefits of social media marketing for real estate, let’s get into the steps you can take to create your own social media marketing plan.

Step 1. Know Your Audience

The most important part of marketing is prioritizing your target audience. If you haven’t already defined your target audience, now is a good time to do so.

Start defining your audience by listing their:

  • Personal and professional aspirations
  • Interests and hobbies
  • Home search habits
  • Lifestyle habits
  • Family size
  • Location
  • Income
  • Age

Use demographic and behavioral factors to create a comprehensive buyer persona for your real estate social media strategy.

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With this information in mind, you’ll have an easier time developing your messaging and creating content that engages prospective clients more effectively.

Step 2. Set Measurable Goals

Once you’ve defined your target audience, it’s time to determine what you want to accomplish from your social media marketing efforts.

We recommend using SMART parameters to set your social media marketing campaign goals.

If you’re unfamiliar with SMART goal setting, it stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Bound

This tried-and-true formula is a great way to help you stay on track to hit your goals.

Include what key performance indicators (KPIs) you want to track, what improvements you want to see, and so forth. Remember, every goal should relate to a larger goal or mission. Take care not to set vanity goals or focus on vanity metrics.

For example, likes are great since they count as engagement and show social media algorithms that your content interests people.

However, buying likes or doing “like for like” just to see the number increase isn’t valuable. Engagement is great, but it’s all for naught if the wrong people interact with your content.

Step 3. Understand Your Competition

Next, it’s essential to scope out the competition.

Understanding how other realtors or professionals in your market leverage social media should give you a good idea of what people are doing right and where they are falling flat.

Conducting a competitive analysis can establish a starting point for your actions and offer insights on how to enhance your performance compared to others.

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Start by identifying your competitors and reviewing their social media profiles to see the type of content they share. This exercise should give you a decent idea of their strategy.

Try to assess the success of their content based on their follower counts and engagement metrics. Of course, true success depends on how effectively each realtor or agency sells homes. With that in mind, focus on the top sellers in your local market.

If this process sounds a bit intimidating, don’t worry. You can also stay on top of your competitors by using social listening tools.

This technology does all the heavy lifting to monitor mentions of specific keywords, usually related to a brand, on social media to make monitoring your competitors easy.

Some popular social listening tools include Sprout Social, Hootsuite, Determ, Talkwalker, Adview, and Synthesio.

Step 4. Define Your USP

An essential part of crafting effective messaging in your social media marketing efforts is to lean into your unique selling proposition (USP). Your USP sets you apart from your local real estate market competition.

For example, at Virtual Staging AI, we proudly display our USP on our homepage to let our visitors know that we are the world’s first virtual staging algorithm (developed at Harvard Innovation Labs) powered by artificial intelligence.

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Adding this snippet to our site helps us stand out among our competitors like Boxbrownie and Apply Design.

So, if you haven’t defined your USP, take some time to map out why customers should choose you over other professionals. List the specific factors that make your services unique.

For example, if you’re one of the longest-established realtors locally, that’s an important USP.

Your USP may also relate to your specialty, such as short-term rentals or luxury listings. It’s also valuable to call out if you partner with a reputable lender, real estate lawyer, or other professionals who can help facilitate the buying or selling process.

If you are struggling to define your USP, reference reviews and testimonials from past clients. Identify what they’ve appreciated about working with you.

Step 5. Set Your Budget

As we’ve discussed, one of the beauties of social media marketing is that you can do it on any budget.

With that in mind, define your budget from the start. Whether you want to bootstrap and rely on organic reach or invest in pay-per-click ads, the choice is yours.

The key is to determine how you want to allocate your budget for social media marketing and stick to it. Break down how much you plan to spend on:

  • Content creation
  • Marketing tech
  • Ad spend

Remember to align your budget with your overall business objectives and social media goals.

As you determine your budget, consider whether you’d like to outsource your social media marketing efforts or attempt to do them yourself.

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Consider the cost of outsourcing the production of marketing assets versus the time to carry out the necessary tasks and purchase any essential social media tools.

Step 6. Choose Your Channels

Next, you’ll need to choose which social media channels to leverage in your marketing strategy. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube are great places to start.

Why? They are the most popular platforms among real estate agents and drive results (read: generate leads).

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However, don’t rely on this advice alone. Do some digging to determine which social media platforms are most relevant to your target audience based on their demographics, behavioral factors, and online presence.

As you weigh your options, consider the features, capabilities, advertising options, targeting capabilities, and potential for growth of each platform. Evaluate the choices of other real estate professionals, agencies, and services to stay ahead of emerging trends.

Many realtors find success by leaning into one platform to start so they can focus on building a loyal audience in one spot. However, you can repurpose and distribute most content across several platforms.

For example, you can repurpose static photos on Facebook and Instagram. Short-form videos are great for TikToks, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts. Longer videos make the most sense on YouTube or Facebook.

We’ll get into the specifics of creating content for each platform shortly.

Step 7. Experiment with Strategies

Creating a social media strategy that hits the nail on the head with your audience will likely take some experimenting.

Test out different types of content, such as video, live streaming, and informational posts. The goal is to see what best suits your brand. Also, experiment by posting at different times and frequencies.

Feel free to use a mix of educational assets and entertaining content, such as memes. You can also mix up your tone and messaging until you find a groove that drives the best engagement.

Step 8. Analyze and Pivot

Always remember that a successful social media marketing plan is a work in progress.

Your job isn’t over after you launch a campaign. Leaning into data and analytics will help you assess the success of your campaigns against your SMART goals.

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You can adjust your strategy accordingly as you determine what’s working and what’s not.

Pay close attention to what sort of posts garner the most attention and engagement, and lean into them (read: invest more time and effort in that particular strategy).

Creating Content for Real Estate Social Media Marketing

One of the best parts about social media is the opportunity to dive into your creative side.

That said, each social platform supports a variety of content formats. Some formats perform better than others.

Let’s review some of the best practices and considerations for real estate marketing on different social media platforms.

Instagram for Real Estate Lead Generation

Instagram offers several features that you can leverage to better connect with your audiences.

These include:

  • Broadcast channels (giant group chats that allow a user to send message blasts to those who subscribe to the channel)
  • Stories (which disappear after 24 hours unless you save them to a Highlight)
  • Images and videos that live on the regular feed
  • Direct messages for one-on-one interactions
  • Live streams for real-time engagement
  • Paid ads for promoting posts
  • Reels (short-form videos)
  • Link in bio

You can use each of these features to distribute valuable content and engage with your followers. Here’s a great example from a Nashville real estate photographer who uses all of Instagram’s features to promote his services. For instance, he doesn’t just post static images of the homes he photographs.

He pins images and creates Stories Highlights to showcase important content. He also adds a link in his bio to encourage leads to order his photography service.

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TikTok for Real Estate Lead Generation

TikTok is an excellent tool for realtors looking to connect with a younger audience. This platform is almost entirely composed of short-form videos, so it’s great for creating snappy educational content or house tours.

The primary benefit of using TikTok for lead generation is that its algorithm is great for distributing content to new viewers. The algorithm improves your chances of boosting engagement by reaching accounts that do not yet follow you.

Case in point: look at the views this Dallas-based realtor has amassed on this growing platform.

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LinkedIn for Real Estate Lead Generation

The culture on LinkedIn is different from the other platforms we are discussing in this guide.

LinkedIn is a tool for professional networking, so you should prioritize it for similar activities. It's a great place to showcase your experience in the real estate industry so prospective clients can see that you’re highly qualified in your niche.

Here, Luxury Presence, a digital platform for agents, uses LinkedIn's power to grow its following to nearly 50,000 followers. They do that by repurposing content from their blog and sharing industry insights with real estate professionals.

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Thanks to a consistent posting schedule and sharing high-value content, they’ve become a go-to resource for many real estate professionals looking to improve their online presence. There are a few more layers of LinkedIn to consider. You should optimize your personal profile, and if you own or manage a brokerage, you should also optimize a business page. Creating content relevant to the real estate industry benefits both types of profiles.

In addition to connecting with prospective clients, you can use LinkedIn to connect with other professionals in your industry, like:

  • Real estate lawyers
  • Fellow realtors
  • Home stagers
  • Inspectors
  • Lenders

You can refer business to one another when you build professional relationships with these individuals.

Facebook for Real Estate Lead Generation

Facebook is a great platform for sharing various types of media. It combines various functionalities, including photos, short-form video content, text posts, live streams, business pages, groups, and more.

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Something notable about Facebook is that people across every age group use it. The distribution of users by age group on Facebook is much more even than other social media platforms, like TikTok, which has a larger participation from younger individuals.

Access to an audience encompassing all age groups is valuable since it reaches more prospective clients.

YouTube for Real Estate Lead Generation

Creating high-quality and engaging videos is the key to success (read: lead gen and conversions) on YouTube.

With that in mind, you can create a few specific videos on YouTube to market your real estate business. These videos could include:

  • Market updates and trends
  • Neighborhood overviews
  • Guides to local hot spots
  • Home staging tips
  • House tours

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Use CTAs throughout your videos to encourage viewers to subscribe to your channel and provide their contact information for more property updates and real estate news.

For example, your video can use clickable elements to provide the links viewers need to take these next steps.

It’s also important to remember that Google is a search engine, which means you can leverage SEO by optimizing your videos' titles, descriptions, and keywords to increase visibility and attract more viewers.

4 Tips for Leveraging Social Media for Real Estate Marketing

Are you ready to jumpstart your real estate marketing strategy with social media?

Here are a final few tips you can implement to take your social media marketing efforts to the next level.

1. Pair with Owned Media

Social media isn’t owned media. That means you don’t own your accounts across social media platforms. You can receive a shadowban (which hides or mutes your content). Or someone could hack your account.

That’s why complementing your social efforts by producing content on owned channels, such as your website or via email marketing, is so important.

Here are some simple areas where you can invest in owned media:

  • Landing pages
  • Blog content
  • Videos

2. Leverage AI

AI is a valuable tool for social media marketing, especially for generating content.

As a real estate professional, you can benefit greatly from generative AI for copywriting, topic ideation, image generation, and virtual staging.

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Virtual staging AI is particularly helpful for creating staged renderings of homes to showcase the potential of your listing. You can use this tech to create lookbooks to feature on your social channels.

3. Create Trendy Content

Although original content is important, social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok have short-form videos that allow you to pair your content with trending sound bytes.

If you’re looking to take advantage of trends on social media, make sure you put your own twist on each piece of content so it is relevant to your brand and audience.

If you’re using an idea from another creator, be sure to give credit as due. Remember to check for any copyright issues before hitting publish with certain sounds, pictures, or memes.

4. Plan Ahead

Planning and preparing your social media content ahead of time is a major tip for staying on track. This approach will keep you from scrambling for assets to post at the last minute.

One way to be proactive with your social media marketing is to create content in bulk. Batching your content creation can help you build a reserve of social media assets. Queuing up posts will also help you stay consistent in your posting.

When done right, it’s time-efficient and cost-effective. What’s not to love?

How Will You Make a Social Media Splash?

And there you have it. The A-to-Z guide for real estate social media marketing.

We’ve covered a lot of material today, but if there’s one key takeaway, you should leave with this: never underestimate the power of social media marketing to generate leads.

Why? It’s one of the best ways to expand your reach (think of those billions of active users waiting to engage with content) without breaking the bank.

Plus, research shows that social media is a proven tactic that realtors leverage time and again.

With that, here’s the short and sweet version of how you can make a splash on social media:

  • Learn who your audience is, what they enjoy, and what problems they have.
  • Set goals so you know what you are trying to accomplish (and when you’ve achieved it).
  • Create high-quality content that provides value, offers entertainment, or sparks emotion.
  • Find and stick to a regular posting schedule to build up a following.
  • Share your content in the right place, at the right time, in the proper format.
  • Use hashtags to improve your reach and participate in trends (where appropriate).
  • Share your authentic journey, the highs and lows, and be genuine in your interactions.

Bookmark this guide for whenever you need a refresher on all things real estate social media marketing. Until then, set up your profiles, create content, and hit publish