By Brian Buffini

If it seems as though everyone is on social media, you’re right. Facebook has more than one billion users, YouTube has more than 800 million active users, Twitter and Instagram each have nearly 300 million active users and Pinterest has more than 70 million active users. Small businesses across all industries are finding ways to incorporate social media into their marketing strategies. However, social media is more than a way to build your brand; it’s also a smart way to connect with your clients and emphasize your expertise. So here are some expert social media tips for sales reps.

Provide value

Regardless of the social media site, it’s important to ensure that what you’re posting is valuable to your clients. Look for interesting real estate related articles that offer tips for buyers and sellers or information about mortgages, as well as articles about events in your local area. If you’re among the 12 per cent of real estate agents who maintain a blog, share a link to your post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

Keep the medium in mind

Each social media platform focuses on a different type of content delivery. For example, you wouldn’t post a text article to Pinterest just as you wouldn’t post cute cat videos to your LinkedIn page. Adapt your posts to where you’re posting them. Facebook is perfect for longer text and multiple images, Pinterest is ideal for images and Twitter is for short blurbs of text.

Include your clients

When you tag or mention your clients in your posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, you’re helping to expose your business to the people in their networks. When you close a transaction, take a photo of your clients or the home and post it to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or even LinkedIn (with their permission) and tag or mention them. You’ll introduce yourself to their networks and may prompt potential buyers and sellers from their networks to contact you.

Encourage your clients to share your posts

The more interesting or engaging your post, the more likely your network is to share it with their connections. Keep “shareability” in mind when you post and be sure to thank your clients and connections when they share it.

Social media is often confusing. With so many social media sites gaining popularity, it can be difficult to know what to post where.

To learn more, click here to download The Social Media Survival Guide, a short printable how-to to help you navigate each social media site.

  • Carolyne L

    Relative to: (do we presume too much, in our industry? Not meaning to criticize – just commenting about possibility of overstepping business relationship boundaries.) Are we in fact “greater than the sum of the parts?” (attributed to Aristotle, Gestalt, et al.)

    The article states (in part): [Tips regarding Social Media Promo and Interaction] …
    “When you tag or mention your clients in your posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, you’re helping to expose your business to the people in their networks. When you close a transaction, take a photo of your clients or the home and post it to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or even LinkedIn (with their permission) and tag or mention them. You’ll introduce yourself to their networks and may prompt potential buyers and sellers from their networks to contact you.”
    =====

    Is my client database odd? It is said that we attract clients of like mind… Has anyone surveyed “the other end of the marketplace?” (The people who are bent on privacy?) Those who don’t publicly broadcast that their long time marriage has broken up and for why…

    And that they got fired or otherwise lost their job and must sell their home and what a good job their agent did finding them a lesser one or a greater one (maybe they don’t even tell their kids yet?) but the info can be seen on social media offered up by their zealous agent? Announcing a sale? And almost certainly don’t want the maybe critical church folks to know. And then there’s the in-laws who don’t understand at all. And even the distant cousins… maybe in another city. Social media brings everyone closer.

    And what about the gossip guru’s? Or their jealous friends who don’t approve the Jones’ purchase of an upscale house? The ones who would say: “Did THEY win the lotto?” Buzz at the golf club.

    And, the new car in the driveway. It’s better than his boss’ so what does that say? (I had an instance where the new high-end car a client inherited couldn’t be driven to work because it might upstage his boss’ Chevy, who thought upscale cars were outrageous, meaning no raise that year. And a lawyer who drives a Jag, but only on weekends so his staff or a client doesn’t see it in the office parking lot. True)

    Social media congratulating client on his new house purchase, or boat, or car and such? Can’t help but wonder what percentage of the business falls in these (privacy) parameters. Maybe more than real estate people might think?

    Only my, very few in number, younger clients use social media. They grew up with it. But what no one ever taught them? PRIVACY. And yes, they don’t mind sharing their private lives among the world-watchers. They think nothing of posting their private information and sometimes that of their friends and relatives. Not meaning harm, just “talking.” Kind of like he said, she said situations. That’s much different than doing their own real estate research online so they come prepared to buy or sell. That’s beyond smart; it’s totally wonderful. Except much of what they’ve learned doesn’t always apply in real life, in their particular wants and needs or bucket list.

    A European colleague in her 50’s was told by her mum to stop posting so much family business online. In her 80’s, of course, but very alert and just got an iPad. Thinking daughter’s posting she would be away on holidays might invite burglars. Or posting on social media about all sorts of family weddings and gifts received, showing great sound systems installed, etc. older folks just don’t understand the “sharing concept,” to the degree of social media, sometimes. But doesn’t for one minute mean they are stupid. They are just “private” people. There’s a whole big difference.

    Speaking of privacy: years ago my secretary’s teen junior high student brought homework to be done. A project meant to establish what percentage of the parents’ income was required for mortgage payments. WOW! The earth moved!

    Because in order to figure out the class project, the teen had to know the salaries of the parents. And they were to work out the percentages details with their friends on social media. YA THINK? And these weren’t stuffy parents.

    But they had never discussed their private income with their teens. How to make a child odd man out at school? Was that a good project? And the teacher who happened to be a neighbour, as was a local banker where the mortgage was, oh, my! the whole subdivision now would know the parents’ income. The teen saw no problem. But the parents were furious!

    There really are people who say of those – that don’t approve of social media – they must have something to hide. Really. Not? Where does privacy fit into the new world order?

    Recently a lawyer actually told me if clients are not social butterflies they must have something to hide. He is very social savvy. I would never refer clients. How about it’s just called respect maybe, for privacy. Privacy almost doesn’t exist anymore.

    Do you want your boss to know you bought a house better than his? Or know what percentage of your income goes to your mortgage? Or for your office colleagues to know your real estate details? Or that you are going to be HIS new neighbour? Or, golly… YOU just bought a cottage or a yacht (and HE doesn’t have one). Do you want him to know the size of your mortgage or the great rate you got? Business friends and relatives thought your house was paid off, already. And now they express their surprise – yes, on social media.

    As with all things; there’s at least two sides and sometimes more to every situation story, and a dozen words in an ill-prepared tweet can destroy people’s privacy, even unknowingly.

    DISCLAIMER: do you use one in your marketing, getting permission to “broadcast,” specifically on social media? (Nothing to do with meeting “advertising standards requirements”), to the world, not just YOUR business, but that of your (now interconnected) client lifeline database? So they all can now make new friends and communicate with each other (about what a great job their agent did).

    Whatever you post, once online, is there for the whole world to see. Some people do need to be a little more discerning what they post about their children, for example. Do you really want the world to know your son got picked for DUI?

    Social media can be wonderful, no question about it. I have surveyed my client base collected over 35 years (almost exclusively over age 50), who, 9 out of 10, prefer not to engage with my “other clients” in any interactive way online.

    They are, simply put, not interested in sharing THEIR business with others on my or even their own databases. (They often belong to interactive clubs, but private information is never divulged.

    Many, but certainly not all, are business professionals, corporate presidents and vice-presidents, bankers, doctors, lawyers, accountants, and self employed small business people. They have made it abundantly clear that they don’t participate in social media, including their real estate business dealings. No, they are not snobs, they just grew up not sharing their private goings on.

    I understand perfectly and stand on my head to preserve their privacy, their wishes, and certainly their direction. It is part of what I built my reputation on. And that word did get around. And did bring me their friends and relatives. My sig file on all correspondence said if all:

    “Small company – but we’re BIG in Brampton – where it’s the LITTLE things that count – and our reputation is on the SOLD sign.”

    To each his own, of course. But there are times where social media business database building is not appropriately handled, and perhaps without knowing, agents even lose clients? (By talking too much, all in the vein of “sharing.”)

    I really enjoyed Tina’s millennials article (it’s worth reading), and nearly posted my almost overlapping thinking comment relative to social media in the here and now, there …

    Carolyne L 🍁