Posts tagged social media
Real Estate Content Marketing 101
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The journey to marketing your real estate business begins here - with content.

A well-developed content strategy tells the story you and your business in a way that convinces your customer that you’re the real estate agent they should work with. And it forms the foundation upon which every other piece of marketing collateral is built.

In the digital world, content is essentially the carbon element from which everything is made.

In definitive form, content is, “the collection of words and images that make up your presence.” It’s the information and experiences directed towards an end-user or audience and is expressed through some medium, such as speech, writing, or any various form of art.

In plain speak, content is what you’re trying to communicate to your audience.

Now, three things are required in order to make content: 

  • Something to say

  • A medium in which to say it

  • A strategy

This makes content complex because it allows content to take on various forms. A blog article is a piece of content, a web page is content, a speech is content, images and video are content, Podcasts are content - just about anything expressed regardless of how it is being expressed is content. This is your something to say and how you’re saying it is your medium.

Now, we can spurt out all the content we want all day. We can create articles about home buying or styling but none of it will ever stick unless it’s expressed within a strategy.

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Why do we need a content strategy? 

Because every day, more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are uploaded to the Internet. 

Quintillion. That’s 18 zeros in case you were wondering.

Each minute alone:

  • Snapchat users share 527,760 photos

  • Users watch 4,146,600 YouTube videos

  • 456,000 tweets are sent on Twitter

  • 46,740 photos are posted to Instagram

With numbers like this, it’s no surprise why much of what we say doesn’t seem to hit the ears of our customers. This is why it’s so important to have a strategy - our content strategy.

So what makes a content strategy different from just say putting content out there? 

A content strategy differs because it delivers an objective.

It is the high-level vision that guides future content development to deliver a specific business objective. It’s a high-level vision, your core, from which every bit of content you make comes from.

Content marketing and strategy is a calculated marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Did you pick up on all the keywords there? Let’s break it down.

Content marketing is:

  • Valuable - people gain value from content

  • Relevant - your message speaks to the user

  • Consistent - you deliver not only a consistent message but schedule content consistently

  • Attracts - content marketing attracts your audience

  • Retains - content marketing retains your audience, keeping them coming back for more

  • Defined - you don’t speak to everyone, you speak to your defined audience 

Every leading brand in existence uses content strategy as part of their larger marketing strategy.

Why? Because it works. 

I could list a series of benefits as longer than my arm. Some of the benefits of using a content strategy include:

  • Increased sales - I can say with 100% confidence that you will increase your leads and sales

  • Cost savings - content is free to create. All it takes is a little bit of brain power and some time. Short on time? It’s affordable to outsource content at any budget.

  • Quality customers - content weeds out the wrong customers and leaves you with the right ones while building rapport with said customers

  • It’s organic - Organic marketing is always the best kind of marketing because it’s natural, unforced and like the word organic implies, it grows.

Let’s run through an example using two very different agents. One agent does not have a content strategy in place and one does.

Over here we have agent Joe. He’s your sort of agent who just sort of does the bare minimum to scrape by. He takes the listing he’s given and posts it up with nothing else in terms of support. He has no content strategy and simply adds a generic listing description:

 
 

NEW LISTING: 2bd/2ba in desirable neighborhood $200,000. This house won’t last long!

 
 

Click the listing and it takes you to your run-of-the-mill MLS listing on his broker’s website or on a software he’s paying for. 

How do you think this listing comes across to the customer? 

First of all, this 2bd/2ba caption says nothing to me as the buyer. It doesn’t speak to me, it doesn’t make me want to click. Then when I do, I see pictures that are low-lit, and off-center. I, a potential buyer, get no sense of value from this listing and when I do click for more details, it takes me to a location that I could just use Zillow to find more detail on. I, as a customer, am not enticed to work with Joe. I don’t feel like he provides me with any added value and feel as if I can do this on my own.

Bring on the #FSBOlife.

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Now meet Mac.

Mac is advertising a nearly identical listing. Except his post is a lot different. It reads:

 
 

2bd/2ba dream home in Charolette’s hip new SoHo neighborhood. Just three blocks from the Saturday Morning farmer’s market in Pioneer Square. A fully remodeled kitchen includes granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and stunning iron, gas stove. Exterior updates include a new roof and security lighting. Move in ready with new, wood floors. Large, shaded backyard features a 50 sq.ft. deck and trellis. Only a five-minute walk to Charolette Elementary School bus stop. Click here for complete house photos and set up a walk-through today.

 
 

The listing features beautiful photos that entice me to see more. Photos are bright and clear and I the buyer begin imagining how my couch will fit perfectly in that corner. Or how I’ll place my favorite painting there above the fireplace.

I can picture myself living here.

Upon clicking the link, I’m sent to a self-owned website that tells the whole story of not only the listing but the agent as well. There’s information on how to set up an appointment as well as similar listings in the neighborhood. A featured article gives me a step-by-step checklist of the home buying process and I think to myself, “Wow. Mac sure knows a lot about this process. Plus he’s personable. This is someone I can get behind.”

So I submit my inquiry and immediately receive a text message or phone call that sets up an appointment to chat with the agent.

Bam. Mind blown. Talk about service.

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Which post do you want to engage with more? Better yet, which agent do you want to engage with more? I don’t know about you, but I’m really leaning toward Mac. He seems engaged in this work whereas Joe feels completely removed.

Both listings say basically the same thing, but Mac’s listing is the one that says, “I will jump over the moon for you!” without ever having to say it. Why is that? It’s because he was a content strategy in place that aligns with his business process.

Mac provides added value in the form of quality, attentive service but it was his quality content that first grabs your attention and makes him stand out.

This is a classic case of a proactive vs. a reactive agent.

I use this example because this is what I see everyday. A reactive agent vs. a proactive agent. And if you’re reading this article, I’m filled with so much confidence that you’re the proactive agent which is why we’re going to get your content strategy, digital strategy and process down pat.

Everything you do from here on out needs to revolve around a sound content strategy.

It is the framework around which everything you do will be built. It will be the structure of your entire marketing story.

Now, let’s begin to get a little technical here.

While there’s a framework to developing your content strategy, it is not a concrete step-by-step template. Every agent’s strategy is going to be different. That means that unlike math, there’s no equation that results in a right answer.

While some agents are empowered by this, others may not be. I encourage you to see this as a good thing because it means that if there’s no right answer then there’s no wrong one either. Meaning you can take this in just about any direction your creative mind can come up with.

Now while there’s no exact equation for marketing, there are certain elements of creating a strategy to serve as your guide in the process. You’ll find these elements will make your life a whole lot easier in developing a strategy and all quality pieces of content have them.

Which is why you’re here because we’re here to cut through the fluff and get right into building your content strategy.

There are five key elements to the content marketing equation. We’re going to focus on these components and getting them in place before we diving into developing out the arms and legs of your content strategy. Because everything we’re about to discuss is the elemental core of it. 

Content element number 1:

A business plan.

I’m not trying to be captain obvious over here. It seems like this is something I shouldn’t need to note but many a time I’ve run into clients who don’t have concrete business plans for how they want to conduct their company. Or even there’s no set direction for where they want to go with their business.

Then they try to use marketing as a bandaid to patch the iceberg size hole in their business.

Remember Mac from our example? Remember how he had a business process in place that allowed him to immediately reach out to inquiries as those leads came in? It’s these business processes that enable him to build rich content based around the process to engage and entice his audience.

The simple fact of the matter is that you have to have a business plan prior to developing a content strategy or any type of marketing strategy for that matter.

It’s going to be very difficult to build a content strategy for a business if there’s no business plan to begin with. You will be a reactive agent without one.

This includes having an intimate understanding of your goals, the unique value proposition you bring to the table and the details of your process. Be aware of obstacles and opportunities that may arise in the process and think a little ahead.

I don’t want you to freak out and think of documenting your business plan as this huge undertaking. This doesn’t need to be fancy. At the very least, the MVP that needs to be in place are your business goals, knowing who your target customer is and a documented flow of how you’re running your business. Again, this doesn’t need to be anything fancy. A simple word document will do. Having a written account of your process will help center you on those hectic days when decision making is difficult and will make it much easier to add new aspects to your business - such as marketing.

The second content element is...

A general marketing plan.

Once you know your business plan and your goals under a unified mission, it’s much easier to make strategic decisions in terms of your marketing. Such as which goals to prioritize and what message you want to deliver in each piece of content, as well as what techniques you want to use in pursuit of those goals.

For this we ask ourselves three questions:

First question: what are our marketing campaign goals?

A campaign is a new push in our marketing. In essence we’re asking what do we want to see happen as a result of this effort.

Examples could be: as I result of this campaign, we want to seem more credible. Or our goal is to share a listing. Perhaps we want to collect the contact info of ready buyers.

Question two: what are our financial goals?

In other words, what is the ROI we expect to see from this campaign. In what ways will we be saving time and money?


Not sure how to get started with your content strategy?

Download the 30-day Content Calendar & Planning Guide


For example, we collected rich data about families ready to buy via a call-to-action placed on a blog post. We know that these leads are most likely buyer ready. Therefore we will be putting a little more time into crafting a more personalized message for them since we’ve already shifted through the chafe. Or we can use this hot email list for creating look alike audiences on our Facebook ads, thus saving us on time and money spent on an ad campaign.

Question three: what are our business growth goals in relation to this piece of content?

The goal is for each piece of content we create to further supports our business goals. So with question three we’re asking where in our business do we see this strategy supporting the goals of our business plan.

Is this strengthening one of our weaknesses? Extinguishing a threat? Capitalizing on a new opportunity? Essentially, we’re addressing how the goals in our business plan and our marketing campaign relate.

Content element number three is…

Know your ideal audience.

We can’t develop content unless we know who it is we’re talking to.

Many real estate professionals - and marketers for that matter - freeze up when creating content. It’s easy to get in our own way wondering, “I don’t know what to say! I don’t know what to write!” Of course you don’t know what to say because you probably don’t know exactly who it is you’re talking to.

You wouldn’t talk to a kindergartener the same way you would an adult. Same goes for your customer.

Very different language will be used and different conversations will be had dependent on who you’re talking to and where in the buying process they are at.

So the question is: do you know who you’re talking to?

That’s because when developing content we need to be thinking about their needs, fears and desires as a whole as well as their needs, fears and desires in the current moment. We want to map out content strategically that will support them through their home buying or selling journey.

Our fourth content strategy element:

You must establish your brand.

Your brand is more than just your logo.

A brand is the expression of who your business is and sets the expectation for your customers of what they can expect from working with you.

It’s the cohesive ideas and messages you want to communicate about your business defined by a number of different design & content elements such as your name, tagline, key message, color scheme, photography and much more.

It’s the feeling and emotion behind the narrative of your company.

Think of a big brand, any brand. Chances are you know exactly what they’re about and who they cater to solely based on the essence or aura they throw out there into the world. That’s because every message they create echoes their brand.

Brand is vital in developing your content because the tone of voice is a big part of both content and branding.

For example, we’ll compare content from two agents that are killing it with their content but in completely different ways.

First we have Alyssa Morgan Jansheski, a luxury agent in Miami.

Alyssa leans heavily into an influencer-vibe with her content to appeal to an international audience. Her tone of voice throughout her website, social media and marketing channels is luxe, authoritative and perfectly coifed.

Compare this to Colin J.J. Cameron of Small Town Agents.

Not only is Colin’s tone completely different than Alyssa’s but he utilizes a completely different medium as well - video. Every video on STA’s YouTube and Facebook channels uses humor even when showcasing listings. But even though he uses humor every video is still incredibly informative.

As you can see, these are two completely different brands and ways to do content. Neither of these approaches is better than the other, but both these agents know exactly who their brand is. And each creates content perfect for the audience they aim to reach.

Moving into our fifth and final content element…

A channel plan.

A channel plan is defining which platforms you will use to tell your brand story.

Let’s quickly touch back on our previous example using Alyssa and Colin. Alyssa relies more heavily on using Instagram and professional photos while Colin uses phone-shot videos via Facebook & YouTube.

And both create amazing content with their chosen channel plans.

Picking content channels and mediums depends heavily on what we discussed above: knowing your goals, marketing expectations, brand and target audience. Different audiences are more active on different channels.

Alyssa more likely uses Instagram to capture her audience because Insta has become a big platform for all things luxury and she can hone in on her target audience and building influence using hashtags. Meanwhile Facebook is more local friendly, which is where Colin creates much of his content. He’s able to reach those local audiences more effectively and post long-form videos.

Okay, you took in a lot today. We’re going to cut it off here and give you a moment to digest. It’s common for people to overthink this process when developing it out, but really it’s more of a brainstorming activity or what I like to call a brain dump where you just let everything stuck up in your head flow to paper so you can see it and start making sense of it.

Look for consistencies to align your criteria, process and objectives with each content element to create a cohesive and consistent brand conversation. Then go back and refine for documentation purposes. Try not to overthink it.

Start simple and then refine. The key to developing good content is just to begin.

If you’re not sure how to get started with developing a content strategy, DOWNLOAD THE 30-DAY SOCIAL CONTENT CALENDAR to start your brainstorm.


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Ashley Taylor

Ashley is the co-founder and marketing + tech brain behind Shore to Summit - an education & marketing service platform for real estate professionals.


A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting Your Real Estate Facebook Group
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Facebook Groups have quickly become THE social media marketing hack to connect with and foster relationships with your target audience.

And for good reason.

Facebook Groups are an engaging way to create genuine relationships with people in your community. And because groups are rarely ever about actual real estate know-how, the agents who maintain them find Groups to be a fun way to market their business.

Facebook Groups 101

// What are Facebook Groups?

According to Facebook:

Facebook Groups are the place for small group communication and for people to share their common interests and express their opinion. Groups allow people to come together around a common cause, issue or activity to organize, express objectives, discuss issues, post photos and share related content.”

In other words, a Facebook Group is a community group designed to bring people together around a particular topic or interest.

Groups can focus on anything. From online running groups to celebrity fandoms and movie critics, there are Groups for everything under the sun.

// What makes Facebook Groups different from Facebook Business Pages?

The main difference between Groups and Pages is the level of interaction and engagement.

Facebook Business Pages are meant to be informative while the goal of a Group is to be interactive.

Pages are meant to be a public, informational profile about a particular businesses, public figure or entity. Groups on the other hand focus on a topic and the interactions between the individual community members about that topic.

To put it plainly, Business Pages are the equivalent to your business card while Groups would be the natural conversation you might have with someone over a cup of coffee. The business card provides the customer with your professional information while discussion over a shared connection promotes feelings of know, like and trust.

For example, Nikki Klein is a Boca Raton realtor who has grown quite a local following using Groups.

Here you can see her Facebook Business Page alongside the Facebook Group she run called Boca Raton Moms Connect:

Facebook Business Page

Facebook Business Page

Facebook Group

Facebook Group

While her Business Page is all about her real estate business, Nikki’s Facebook Group is about the community she serves - moms in Boca Raton.

And that’s the key to Groups. Facebook Groups are about the community - not your business.

Successful Groups like Nikki’s make it a hard rule of thumb to only post about their business when necessary - which is rarely. Rather they rely on building organic relationships with Group members and just like relationships made apart from the Internet, members in turn learn to know, like and trust first.

Unlike with a Page where people think they’re going to continuously get pitched to, Groups are much more unassuming which leads to people more inclined to join.

Remember: Groups are all about the community behind your topic, not promoting your business.

// Why should I start a Facebook Group?

The benefits of adding a Facebook Group to your online real estate presence are well worth the effort. Let’s quickly list out a few:

  • Community - Groups put you in contact with your direct community, expanding your reach to people you might not have met otherwise

  • Credibility & authority - Groups are a great way to showcase your expertise without coming off as bragging

  • Learning - You get more than you receive. You’ll learn a wealth of information about your audience that in turn improves your content, communications and sales tactics

  • A fun way to market - You get to choose the topic of your group. Many agents find this gives them more incentive to interact and honestly enjoy fostering relationships because it doesn’t feel like a job

  • Endless leads - A well chosen group topic can spell endless leads for you to put your self in front of

  • Referrals & WOM - People in your Group community truly get to know you. This is a chance to build those relationships into your biggest fans

  • Network - Fortune has it that the people in your group are part of amazing businesses themselves and are open to networking

  • Website traffic - With a captive audience at your finger tips, groups can spell out tremendous traffic for your website

Facebook Groups open the door to interacting with your online local community. You get to meet amazing people centered around an interest you enjoy. But as the Group owner, you have center stage.

So while you’re busy working, sleeping, watching your kid’s soccer game or taking that overdue trip to Paris, your Facebook Group is networking on your behalf.

// Knowing when to get started with Groups

Before starting a Group of your own, I highly encourage you to join a few first. Seeing how a group runs will not only give you an idea of how they run but gift you with ideas on how you might want to format yours.

You’ll also see if this is even a good option for you.

While Groups are one of the more fun ways to market, they take time and effort to build. They also take a thick skin - as with anything on social media - Groups leaves you exposed to trolls and the nasty sides of the web.

Sit down with your calendar and schedule in a couple hours a week to posting content and interacting with members.

A good way to work in Facebook Groups is to replace one or two hours a week you would have otherwise spent prospecting and instead dedicate that time building your Group.

Remember Nikki with the mom Group in Boca? She has closed $14million in sales thanks to her Facebook Group.

With numbers like that I would say Groups are worth the time investment.

Getting Started with Facebook Groups

Getting started with Groups is free to do. All you need is a Facebook profile to begin the process.

// How to choose a Facebook Group topic

First things first, what will your Group be about?

What I like about Groups is the endless possibility of topics. From exercise groups to community events and local interests, your Group can be about anything.

Choosing a topic can be a bit difficult. While we want to choose something fun and interesting, we also need to make sure the audience numbers are there to support the Group towards growth.

Otherwise you risk capping the group out at only a few dozen or hundred members. We want to ensure the topic is one that can grow.

We also don’t want to make our group too broad where we’re pulling in people from all over the world. While it’s great to have a group with thousands of followers are, it doesn’t do anything to help your real estate business.

Here’s the winning topic formula:

YOUR CITY/GEO-FARM + YOUR INTEREST/HOBBY/TOPIC

The possibilities are endless with this formula along. For example, I live in South Florida and I love to scuba dive. I could make the Facebook Group ‘South Florida scuba divers’.

I fully support and encourage using your favorite hobby or interest as a great place to start a topic brainstorm.

Why? Because you’re going to voluntarily show up to perform that hobby anyway. Being able to consistently show up for your audience is where quality marketing takes hold.

Your day is full as it is. The last thing you want to do is add one more work task to it. So don’t. Instead engage in that activity you love. Not only will you meet new people within your community to join you on these leisurely pursuits, but you’re doing something good for your business in the process.

Here are a few ideas to get your brain going:

  • [YOUR CITY] Garage Sales

  • [YOUR CITY] Mom Meetups

  • [YOUR CITY] Beer Lovers

  • [YOUR CITY] Runners

  • [YOUR CITY] Crime Watch

  • [YOUR CITY] Bookclub

  • [YOUR CITY] Green Thumb Gardeners

  • [YOUR CITY] Volunteers

  • [YOUR CITY] History Buffs

Your assignment right now is to make a list of at least five Facebook Group topic ideas.

// Think of a name

Don’t underestimate the power of a name. It can mean the difference between being found and disappearing into Internet limbo.

If you follow the formula above of [YOUR CITY] + [HOBBY] and can get the name to a T, stick with it. This will be a dead ringer for organic search results within Google and plainly spells out what your group is all about.

If it’s taken, you may want to either narrow your topic down even more, add a personal take or rethink the topic all-together.

For example, if ‘Boise Mom Meetups’ is taken maybe narrow in more by focusing on working moms. Group names such as ‘Boise Working Mom Meetups’ or ‘Boise Mompreneurs Unite’ not only capture the audience but also connect more powerfully with the target audience.

// Create the group

Alright, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of setting up a group.

Login to your Facebook dashboard. In the top navigation bar you’ll see ‘Create’. Click on ‘Create’ and then click on ‘Group’ in the dropdown bar.

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A pop-up will appear. You’ll need to add a little bit of information about your Group.

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Input the name of your Group and add a couple friends who will be interested in joining the Group. You can always add more people later but during setup you have to at least add one person.

Next you’ll be asked what type of Group you want to create.

  • Public: Anyone can find the group, see who's in it and what they post

  • Closed: Anyone can find the group and see who runs it. Only members can see who's in it and what they post

  • Secret: Only members can find the group, see who's in it and what they post

I recommend creating a Closed Group.

Your audience will still be able to find your Group but all posts will be kept private. This creates a level of exclusivity that entices people to join your Group because in order to see your content they have to. Otherwise they could absorb your content without actually joining the Group.

A Closed Group also gives you another level of control in monitoring the Group and keeping it safe & enjoyable for your members.

The last step on this page is to check the box for ‘Pin to shortcuts.’ Your Group will now be pinned to your Facebook dashboard for quick access.

Only thing left to do is click ‘Create’ and voila! Your new Facebook Group is born.

Optimize Your Facebook Group for Business Success

Congrats on your shiny new Facebook Group! Now it’s time to optimize it for business success.

Jumping into your Group for the first time, this is what you’re going to see:

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You can get pretty creative with customizing out your Facebook Group but there are a couple place you’ll want to put your focus on first.

// Group Description

On the righthand side, click on ‘Add a description.’

The description shows when people join your Group so we want to make sure this is filled out and entices people to join.

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Below the description is an area called ‘Location.’ You’ll 100% want to add the location to be included in local search results.

// Cover Photo

Now we need to add a ‘Cover Photo’

You’ll want to add a photo that relates to the topic and tone of your topic.

Scroll on over to one of many free photo stock shops. You can try Pexels, Freepik & WikiCommons just to name a few.

Download a high-resolution version of the photo you choose. The Facebook Group dimension size is 1640 x 856 pixels and your image will need to be able to fill that space, otherwise you risk it looking pixelated.

Once you’ve chosen & downloaded your photo, click on ‘Upload Photo’ and add your replace the default photo with your chosen image.

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I found a beautiful image of Harpers Ferry from Wikicommons and uploaded it to my new Group. You can drag the image around and resize it to fix it appropriately in the frame.

Once you get it to a place you like, click ‘Save Changes.’

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At this point, the basics of your Facebook Group are set up and it’s pretty much good to go!

// Advanced Facebook Group Optimization

We don’t want to stop optimizing just yet. There are a few more advanced ways you’ll want to optimize your Group.

Beneath the Cover Photo click on ‘…More’. A dropdown menu will appear. Then click ‘Edit Group Settings’.

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Let’s walk through a few key settings and put them to work for us.

Group Name

Under ‘Group Name’ you’ll be able to edit your group name if for some reason you ever decide to do so.

Now, next to the name you will notice a blue icon. This is the icon that will appear next to your Group. However, this is the default setting and most Group moderators never bother to edit it. Click on the arrow next to the icon and choose a new icon that matches the tone of your Group for an extra boost to stand out.

Group Type

There are a few different ‘Group Types’ to choose from that will affect the layout of your Group.

  • General: Grow and manage your group with the standard set of group features

  • Buy and Sell: Create and manage sale listings

  • Gaming: Link group to a game & host tournaments for members

  • Social Learning: Organize posts into a unit or series of units that members can see

  • Jobs: Get templates with job salary, location and hours. Show a list of all open jobs

For most Groups, I recommend staying with the ‘General’ settings until you build your Group out more. Once you have the hang of Groups, you may decide to organize your Group more specifically if it falls under one of the above categories.

Description

We’ve already filled out the ‘Description’ but it’s possible to optimize it further.

The description is a good opportunity to add more information about the Group including what members can expect, weekly posting events, promotion opportunities, rules and even a little introduction to you.

Tags

Tags help Facebook categorize your Group and help people find your group who may be looking for it.

Linked Pages

This is a BIG opportunity to promote your business.

You can link your Business Page to your Group as a moderator. You’ll then be able to post, comment and interact with Group members on behalf of your business. Also, your business will be displayed prominently across the Group’s main pages.

Another big benefit is ads. By connecting a Business Page you’re able to promote your Group with ads if you decide to do so.

Web Address

Right now your Group URL looks something like this:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/316036766003767/

This does nothing for you in organic search. Click on ‘Customize Address’ and create an SEO-friendly URL.

For example, once I filled in the Web address my URL is now

facebook.com/groups/harpers.ferry.garage.sale


And that’s it! You’re all set up.

Time to let the real fun begin of promoting and engaging with your Group. Once members begin to accumulate, you’ll start seeing engagement take off.

So tell me, do you have a Facebook Group you want to share with our community? Leave a link below in the comments.

Save Time Marketing Your Real Estate Business with Social Media Scheduling Apps
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“There just aren’t enough hours in a day.”

“Marketing is a full time job in itself!”

I hear this from nearly every one of my new real estate agent clients during our first week of working together and I empathize with you completely. In my ideal world, days would be at least 36 hours long. Unfortunately, we’re stuck with cramming 36 hour days into only 24.

With such hectic days, it makes you wish you could clone yourself just to knock out those pesky tasks you only mildly enjoy so you can focus on your bread & butter. If you’re here, my guess is marketing may be one of those tasks you would rather delegate to your cloned self.

Today I’m tossing one of my favorite marketing hacks at you: social media scheduling apps.

Social media scheduling apps that let you bulk schedule your social content so you can set it and forget it.

Personally, while I love Instagram and social media, I’m more excited to interact and engage with my audience than I am to post. Posting stresses me out and makes me feel like I’m wasting valuable time I would rather use chatting with you guys. I get caught up wondering what to post, when to post, did I even post at all this week!

Bring in social media apps, which take away the guess work.

Using Apps to batch social media posting

Social media is an interactive, lead generating machine. It should be treated as more than just some box you check off and be on with your day. It’s important to be intentional with the content we’re posting, when and why. This means having a content calendar for what we’re posting and when.


Not sure how to get started with your social media strategy?

Download the 30-day Content calendar & Planning Guide


But we don’t want to stop everything we’re doing on a Tuesday at 3pm just because data dictates that’s an optimum time to post.

Instead, we’ll use the process of batching to post content consistently.

Batching is a productivity and time management tool where you group similar, reoccurring tasks together and knock them out all at once. It allows you to maximize your time and brainpower for concentration while decreasing distraction and the brain-drain that comes with shifting from one task to another.

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Social Media Batching Tools

Before we can begin batching out our social media, we’ll need to put together our toolkit.

There are a couple different social media schedulers out there to choose from but these are the ones I use and love.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the original players as far as social scheduling apps go. It’s also one of the most robust. Hootsuite lets you manage up to 10 social profiles all from one place.

Later

Later is another scheduling app just like Hootsuite, except that Later is optimized for Instagram. There are a couple features Later has that you won’t find in Hootsuite, such as the ability to preview and edit the visual look of your Instagram feed beforehand.

Both Hootsuite and Later have free and paid accounts to suite your needs and budget. I’m partial to using Later just for Instagram while keeping Hootsuite for everything else.

Again, these are my personal favorite schedulers. If there’s one you use and love that I didn’t mention, please share with us in the comments! We’re always open to new things.

Gather the content

Next it’s time to gather the content.

It’s smart to get in the mindset of thinking of everything around you as a potential piece of content. Have a place to collect pictures, quotes, information, reports, videos, news and all other manners of content. I suggest using Google Drive or DropBox.

The purpose for gathering all our content in one place is so we’re not scrambling to come up content at a moment’s notice. This is also the sort of task you can delegate out to an assistant or intern when the time comes.

Write your captions

Add context to your content.

An image, listing link or video title can only do so much. Captions are what will entice your audience to engage with your content. This is a great opportunity to show off your personality and enforce your brand story.

Add Hashtags

The last step in the puzzle is to add relevant hashtags.

Hashtags are the filling system of social media. When you add #DCrealestate to a caption, it signals to the social media platform that this piece of content has to do something with real estate in Washington DC and is more inclined to showcase your content to that appropriate audience.

The verdict is constantly influx with how many hashtags to add to any given piece of content but it’s best to use more local-specific hashtags than broad or national hashtags.

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Now you know how to quickly market your real estate business using social media scheduling apps.

But I know it can still be a little confusing figuring out exactly what sort of content to post and when. That’s why we’ve put together the 30-day Content Calendar & Planning Guide to spell it out for you exactly.

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The Most Underrated Instagram Feature You're Probably NOT Using
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Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms with over 1 billion monthly active users.

Chances are, you’ve either jumped on the bandwagon or have at least thought about it. Maybe you haven’t joined because you feel like you’re late to the party. Valid. With over 95 million new uploads a day, it’s not unreasonable to feel lost in the noise.

But what if I let you in on a new Instagram feature virtually no one’s using? A feature that will help you stand out from the crowd, reach an untapped audience, appease the algorithm gods and takes only seconds to set up.

I’m talking about the Instagram alt text feature.

At the end of 2018, Instagram launched a new feature to make the app more accessible to visually impaired audiences.

With more than 285 million people in the world who have visual impairments, we know there are many people who could benefit from a more accessible Instagram.
— Instagram

You may be wondering why this matters. Of course, I’m going to tell you.

As the Internet continues to mature, it gets smarter. We’re seeing algorithms adjust heavily for ADA compliancy. It’s as if Google, Facebook, Amazon and all the other web heavy hitters sat down together and asked, “Okay, how can we make the Internet more accessible for impaired audiences.”

When a person with a visual impairment interacts with Instagram, a screen reader reads the content aloud to them. What the alt text feature does is allow you to fill this in for the end user, otherwise AI is used to give a vague description of the image.

Taking a few seconds to fill out the alt text feature is the difference between the end user hearing, “a man in a room,” and “ Portland real estate agent Oliver Jackson showing a new 2 bedroom 2 bath downtown listing to a young couple.”

Not only have you just provided a delightful experience to a new audience member but you’re attaching that description to the image as well.

In this day and age, the best companies embrace diversity and disability. Every customer they’re not reaching is a customer they’re losing.

A few do’s and don’ts of the alt text feature

DO start using the feature today. As we know, digital marketing takes time to build. Implement this strategy today as a simple way to get ahead of the curve.

DON’T keyword stuff your images. Keyword stuffing has been a big SEO no-no since the beginning. Use keywords where it makes sense or risk being penalized.

DO use descriptive keywords. Use your keywords to enhance the description of the image. Rather than saying something like, “Patricia Newman leaning against a balcony rail.” Say, “Real estate agent Patricia Newman leaning against an oceanview balcony of the Miami skyline.”

DON’T add long-winded descriptions. Instagram caps the description at 100 characters. Keep it short, sweet and rich in visual imagery.

DO think about the end user. What’s in the photo? What would the viewer focus in on? Make it descriptive and tell them exactly what’s there.

DON’T stop there. Think about other ways you can make other areas of your web presence ADA compliant.

Research is still out on the exact benefits of utilizing the alt text feature but it can’t hurt to be one of the few who masters this easy Instagram strategy first.

How to add Alt Text to an Instagram photo

Adding alt text to an Instagram photo is a fairly simple process.

Photo courtesy of  Instagram

Photo courtesy of Instagram

Step 1: On a new post, tap ‘Advanced Settings’

Step 2: Tap ‘Write Alt Text’

Step 3: Tap ‘Write Alt Text…’ next to the photo and write your description

Step 3: When finished, tap ‘Done’ at the top right corner of the screen

Step 4: Tap the back arrow ‘ < ‘ in the left corner of the window to return to posting your photo

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