Social media has exploded over the past 10 years with new platforms coming on the scene providing different ways to share content. As REALTORs, it’s important to have an active online presence, but trying to push content out across all available platforms can be a huge time sink. From Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to Pinterest and Snapchat, it’s hard to know the best types of posts to share and where to share them.

Understanding Your Goals
Before investing too much time in social media, think about why you want to be using it. For a real estate agent, there are a few specific goals you should have in mind:
1. Staying in touch with your clients to maintain relationships for both repeat business and referrals.
2. Providing valuable content to prove your position as an expert on the market and the go-to agent for your network.
3. Driving traffic back to your website so people will see your property listings.

Choosing Your Platforms
With these goals in mind, selecting the best platforms for your business becomes a lot easier. According to Pew Research Center, 79 percent of Americans use Facebook, making it a must-have channel for agents because most of your current and potential clients are already active users.

From there, if you have time, consider investing it in producing one article of your own per week on your agent website—even if it’s one or two paragraphs with a link to a larger article from your favorite home magazine. This will give you additional content to share to channels like Facebook and Twitter and make it easy to drive people to your site, one of your primary goals.

The real estate business is highly visual, making Instagram another excellent choice for Realtors to share images of property listings. While Pinterest is a little more difficult to target your specific audience, you could consider curating a few boards of various home types and design ideas to help clients better identify what they’re looking for in a new home.

The most important part in choosing your channels is making sure you have the time to share content regularly. If you can’t commit to a few posts per week on each social media platform, then you’re better off limiting to one channel like Facebook.

Making a Content Plan
When choosing what content to post, remember that social media is just that: social. People aren’t looking to follow you only to be sold to. You need to provide valuable content beyond your property listings. Once your followers trust you as a content expert, a few promotional posts won’t feel overbearing. Use the 80/20 rules as a guide: 80 percent useful, fun and informational posts and 20 percent promotional content.

Your content can include links to articles about the real estate market, home design and décor ideas, DIY tips if appropriate for your client base, and posts about what’s going on in the city. From there you can add in Facebook Live property showings, albums of home listings and fun client photos at the closing table or at their new homes with a “SOLD” sign (with client permission). By sharing your successes, you have a higher chance of clients sharing those photos, which could result in referral business. Be sure to also share client congratulations from your personal Facebook profile as well so you can tag clients in these posts for even greater visibility.

Additionally, Facebook makes it easy to target people in your market with boosted spend. Consider allocating budget to ensure your content is reaching your followers or other people in your market. Even a $5 spend per post can make a big difference.

Managing Your Accounts
Unless you have a person on staff who can manage your social media for you, it may seem overwhelming to keep up with regular content posting. By selecting several articles a few weeks in advance, you can schedule out some of your content, lifting the burden of daily posting.

Facebook allows you to schedule directly from your business page. Tools like Hootsuite can make it easy to manage multiple profiles in one place for a small fee, enabling you to schedule all of your posts and engage with follower comments from a single dashboard. For your website, WordPress is a great option for scheduling your own blog posts, including property listings.

Make Your Business Even Stronger
Having an active online presence is just one way for you to grow your business as a REALTOR. Selecting the right agency can help you go even further. At Benchmark, you keep more of the money you make on each sale, and what you do pay goes to funding relevant industry training and resources you’ll actually use. If you’re interested in joining the Benchmark team, take our quick online assessment to find out if you’d be a fit and learn more about our agency today.

1. Pew Research Center Social Media Update 2016: