Post by Daniel Morris | Date: 02-11-2022
There are over four billion users on social media today. That number is expected to rise to over six billion by 2027. Currently, the two largest demographics on social media are Millennials and Gen Z. Combined, they make up a little over 67.5% of the total user base on social media today. Why would this matter to a real estate agent? Because Millennials are the largest group of home buyers in the country and Gen Z will be next to follow. It is important for you to get ahead of the competition and go where the market is trending - and that is on social media.
But which social media platforms are the best for real estate? We identify the best platforms for agents and how to properly utilize them to grow an audience. Coming up with content for each platform is critical to the success of your marketing efforts. What will work for LinkedIn may not work for TikTok. Each platform is unique and your content should vary based on which social media app you are using.
We go over the key statistics and app features for you to make informed decisions on your social media marketing. Whom you work with now - and will work with in the future - matters when coming up with a strategy for your content. Each platform distributes content in a different way. It is important for you to understand how users interact with each social media platform.
Understanding the demographics of each platform is also critical to the success of your marketing efforts. There are a lot of false assumptions about the key demographics on social media today. The first step in creating high-quality content for your brand is to identify your target audience.
Who is your customer?
In order to create effective content on social media you need to consider who makes up your customer base. This is where you will need to create a buyer persona. The buyer persona for your business will shape how your content is created and distributed. When developing a buyer persona, you want to take in your audience's age, location, job, income, and challenges they may face.
Most businesses have multiple buyer personas. Even though you sell real estate, you work with all different types of people. You can create a buyer persona for a first-time home buyer and another persona for a seasoned investor. Each piece of content that you produce on social media should speak to one persona at a time. This way your message is not confusing and is valuable to your target audience. This is how your content can resonate with people.
As you go through each platform, think of the buyer personas for your business. Is my clientele likely to be on Facebook or Instagram? How should I deliver my content on TikTok versus YouTube? Each platform serves a different audience. Your marketing efforts will be more effective when you take this into consideration.
Facebook: The king of social media
Facebook is still number one when it comes to users with over 2.9 billion. In fact, if Facebook was a country it would be the largest in the world! There is an incredible opportunity to reach people and develop an audience on Facebook. You may want to understand the demographics of the platform before you start posting content and friend-requesting everyone you know. While Facebook’s user count is impressive, the growth of the company has apparently started to plateau. The monthly active users are down a little bit from July 2022 to April 2022 (2.934B compared to 2.936B). In fact, Facebook has only grown its user base by 8% since July 2020.
Let’s take a look at some statistics on the platform. While the largest demographic is users who identify as male and are between the ages of 25-34, Facebook still has a slightly older audience - compared to other social media platforms - with approximately 41% of all users being over the age of 35. You can start to shape your target audience on Facebook when you look into these statistics. The platform appears to be for all ages but its slow growth may indicate that younger users are not on Facebook as much as people who are 35 and older.
What devices are people using to visit Facebook? Over 81% of users access the social media app via mobile device. As you will see in our review of the other social media platforms, prioritizing vertical content should be part of your marketing efforts. The majority of users visit the app via mobile. This means that you need to optimize your content for the cell phone.
Personal vs Business Page
Like most social media platforms, you have the ability to create a personal and business page. And also, like most social media platforms, each page will provide different tools to a user. It is important to understand the differences between a personal and business page on Facebook.
Facebook’s algorithm has shifted towards organic content between family and friends. Your personal page is a great way to connect with friends on Facebook. As a realtor, you can have a “business profile” on Facebook without creating an actual business page. This is the easiest way for you to create a non-paid post for your connections to see and engage with.
So why create a business page at all? Because Facebook has the most robust advertising platform on social media today. You can choose a target audience based on location, age, gender, interest, and occupation. Facebook has been mining data for years and advertisers have reaped the benefits. Creating an effective ad on Facebook is much cheaper than your traditional forms of advertising like radio/TV commercials and billboards. You can create lead capture forms on your ads as well. This will help you understand where your customers are coming from and what ads are working for your business.
What your strategy should be for marketing on Facebook?
We recommend using Facebook to stay in contact with your sphere of influence. The app is all about organic connections with people that you know. It is a great way for you to stay in touch and top-of-mind with people that you have done business with in the past. Referrals are a huge part of your business and Facebook is a great way for you to stay in touch with your connections.
With that being said, we highly recommend utilizing Facebook’s advertising platform. Marketers have cited Facebook as the number one option for advertising on social media today. They cited that Facebook has yielded the highest return on investment. Another factor for marketers is that Facebook’s platform also caters to Instagram. Being able to leverage two social media channels in your advertising is a clear benefit to anyone who has a business page. You can build brand awareness, sell services, or distribute valuable content with Facebook advertising.
Instagram: Not just photos anymore
Instagram is a photo and video-based platform. With the development of Reels, Instagram is perfect for short-form video content. There are over 500 million daily active users on Instagram today. Making it one of the largest social media apps on the market. But what kind of audience is on Instagram and how are they engaging with the app today? Let’s take a look at some of the key statistics on Instagram’s platform:
So what does that tell you? That the largest audience on the app is between the ages of 18-34 and they are viewing video content. And what does this mean for your marketing plan on Instagram? Create short-form videos.
Our recommended feature to use on Instagram
Reels are a great way to post video content. You can post a Reel in 15, 30, 60, or 90-second duration. Keep in mind that Instagram Reels are formatted for vertical videos. Meaning, if you are going to post a Reel, make sure that your videos are taken wide enough that you can crop them in to fit vertically.
A service that we offer at Visual Marketing & Design is Social Media Videos. These are property videos that are filmed with a smartphone and professionally edited to be showcased on Instagram and TikTok. We’ve prioritized the vertical format for these platforms to ensure that your videos are optimized and ready to post.
How to use Instagram to grow your brand
We think that this platform is perfect for your to post your short-form video content. The introduction of Reels has been a complete game changer as well. Not only can you post fun engaging videos for your followers but you can engage with people outside of your sphere. Reels allow people outside of your followers to view and engage with your content. This presents a great way for you to grow your audience on Instagram.
Instagram and Facebook also have the best advertising platform on social media today. You can create a custom ad that will target your key demographics. Advertising on Instagram tends to be very successful due to the high engagement on the platform. We think that any agent with a marketing budget should consider advertising on Instagram and Facebook.
LinkedIn: Become a thought leader and grow your team
LinkedIn is the ultimate B2B networking platform with over 800 million users. If you think about all the social media platforms that are out there today, LinkedIn stands alone as a professional networking tool. Other apps like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are used for multiple purposes - personal life, influencer, and consumer-based goods. LinkedIn, for the most part, is unchallenged when it comes to professional networking. But with that being said, how do you use LinkedIn to grow your real estate business? We think there are two ways to use LinkedIn - and it is not to post your listings.
Become a thought leader in your industry. LinkedIn is a professional networking platform. Considering LinkedIn’s audience, we should think about how you can add valuable content to their feed. In most professional networks, you share ideas, thoughts on your industry, and personal insights with your colleagues. Consider LinkedIn to be a huge business networking platform where you can share your opinions and insights with other professionals.
Why would you want to become a thought leader in your industry? How does that benefit your business? Because when you are a thought leader in your industry you attract all kinds of talent to your brand. Become a valuable source of information and increase your reach to bring in highly qualified people to join your team. By having a following on LinkedIn you can attract talent for administrative help, social media marketing, or buyer’s agents. The most successful people in today’s world did not get to where they are by themselves - they hired the right people
Posting on LinkedIn
We researched and found a valuable article: The LinkedIn Algorithm Explained + How to Make it Work for You. There are some great insights in this article, so let’s break it down and explain how you can post engaging content that will elevate your brand.
The first thing to consider when posting on LinkedIn is the time of day. You want to post when other people you know are on the platform. LinkedIn’s algorithm is all about engagement. The more people that engage with your post the more likely it is that people outside of your network will see it on their feed. That is why you want to make sure to post when you think your network is on the platform.
LinkedIn will take your posts and put them into one of three buckets: Spam, Low Quality, and High Quality. How to avoid being marked as spam?
Consider this to separate yourself from low-quality to high-quality content:
How do you get people to engage with your post? Try commenting, liking, and engaging with people that you follow right after you post your content. This is an effective way to get your network to actually see your post on their feed. You can also tag someone in your network - just make sure that they are online and likely to respond to your content.
One of the most important aspects of posting on LinkedIn is to avoid forgetting about your post: post and ghost. In this article, the author talks about the golden hour of your post. The first hour of your post is the most critical. It is important for you to stay online and be active during that time. This is why we recommend that you engage with other people's content when you go to post on LinkedIn.
TikTok: Fastest growing app on social media today
TikTok came out to the US in 2016 but really started to take off in 2019-20. TikTok now has one billion users and is the fastest-growing social media app on the market today. The platform is for short-form videos that can be posted in 15s, 60s, and 3m intervals. The algorithm is rooted in procuring user content based on their engagement with other people’s videos. This content is posted on a thread that is called For You Page (aka “FYP”).
How the FYP works
TikTok’s mission is to “inspire creativity and bring joy”. They designed the FYP to motivate each user to do just that. The content is recommended to you based on your phone settings (language/location), engagement on videos (likes/comments), and specific hashtags that you have searched on their platform. Consider the FYP to be curating content on your behalf.
With a basic understanding of TikTok’s FYP functionality in mind, we now have a baseline of how to create content for our audience. We recommend that you create niche content on TikTok. If you are going to create an account on TikTok, make sure that you separate your personal and business life and create an account for each. Users come to see your content based on their interests and interactions with other people’s content. You want to send a clear message of what your content is about to the user when they go to visit your profile.
Looking into the numbers and coming up with a strategy
You would think that the app would draw a much younger audience due to the fact that it is new to the social media industry. And yes, while the largest demographic is 10-19 years old, the percentage of users ages 20-49 is not that far off. If you look at TikTok’s user base, you can see that the percentage of users is almost evenly split for 10-19, 20-29, 30-39, and 40-49. One of TikTok’s major misconceptions is that the platform is only meant for kids. It’s not and the numbers say otherwise.
Getting in early on a social media app like TikTok is ideal. It’s like buying low on Amazon or Apple, you have an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the world’s fastest-growing social media app. All you have to do is establish a niche and create content that will cater to that audience.
TikTok has the best built-in editing software for video on social media today. You can speed up, slow down, and add music, captions, and voiceovers with ease. The app is built for creativity and for individuals to express themselves. TikTok has the easiest and most compressive editing platform on social media.
Not only is the editing platform robust, but how you post content is unique as well. TikTok has created a brilliant way for you to create content off of other people’s videos.
You can create a duet. Duetting a video is where you create a video reaction to someone else’s content. Your reaction will be posted next to the original content creator’s video. It is a great way for you to engage with other people’s content.
Another popular feature is called stitching. When you create a stitch, the original creator’s video is played first and then you interrupt that video with your comments and content. It is a great way for you to react to someone’s videos on your own platform.
Create a video reply to comments on your content. Instead of responding to a comment in text form, you can create a video reply. The video will be posted on your profile as a new piece of content. The original comment will appear on your video - so there is context to your new post.
Duetting, stitching, and video replies are somewhat unique to TikTok. These features have contributed to the explosion in the user base over the last four years. It encourages everyone to connect with content in a unique and creative way. You can express yourself on TikTok in a way that is completely different from every other social media platform.
YouTube: Number one video search engine
You know a company is popular when you use it as a verb, right? Ever hear someone say “Just YouTube it”? That’s because YouTube is the world’s number one video search engine. We can see why Google had to buy the social media company back in 2006. YouTube is the original video-based social media app and now boasts over two billion users worldwide.
In fact, YouTube is so popular in the US that 81% of consumers say they use the platform - that’s incredible! But what kind of content is best-suited for YouTube? Here is where long-form video content comes into play. If you look into the demographics on YouTube, mature users (over the age of 65) prefer to use YouTube over any other social media app out there. We have also found that this audience would prefer to consume long-form content over short-form.
This is where your content should start - on YouTube. Long-form content is a great way for you to be able to go into detail on a particular subject without having to be conscious of time restrictions. It is a way for you to give a presentation to an audience and show why you are an expert in your industry. Because after all, while short-form content is great, it is difficult to go in-depth on the subject matter in 60-90 seconds.
Embedding videos on your website
Posting your videos to YouTube and then embedding them on your website is a great way to distribute your content. You can take users from your website to your social media channel for more content. An effective way to market yourself is to have each social media channel serve the other. Drive people from your social media channels to your site and vice versa. Plus, having your videos embedded from YouTube will decrease your page load time and help your SEO.
How to use these platforms for your brand
Each platform has a different audience. Each audience consumes content in a different way. But that does not mean you have to create different content for each platform. Instead, you need to focus on repurposing content to be optimized on each platform. Your message on Facebook does not have to change on Instagram - but the way you deliver it does. We have some helpful tips that will get you up and running on social media:
Market reaction videos. Post a video reacting to the latest statistics
Informative videos on the process of buying and selling in real estate
Document your process. From listing a home to scouting properties for potential buyers. Hire a videographer to document your process and explain your strategy to your audience
Hire a videographer to follow you at any event you may be sponsoring or hosting
These are just some ideas for you to develop content for your social media pages. Come up with a content strategy plan once you have identified what type of content you want to post on your platform. By creating a plan you holding yourself accountable to create content.
Repurpose your content
There is this false belief that you have to come up with something new on every post on social media. Not only is this false, but it is also impossible for you to keep up that type of cadence. This is where need to think about repurposing and reposting older content.
Each video you make should be repurposed into smaller clips for distribution on other platforms. For instance, we recommend that your videos start as long-form content on YouTube and then are repurposed into 30 to 90-second clips for Instagram and TikTok. Use the short-form content to promote your YouTube page. Each social media channel is an opportunity for you to promote your brand and provide avenues for users to consume your content on other platforms. It is not realistic for you to make three separate videos for YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. Create one video and then chop that up for distribution. This is a way more effective use of your time.
Don’t be afraid to repost some of your old content. Did you know that only less than 20% of your followers will see your content? In Oct of 2022, the average reach rate on Instagram was 13.29%. This means over 85% of your following never saw your post in the first place. This is why reposting older content is not only acceptable - but should be part of your marketing process. As long as you post high-quality content, reposting old content allows others to see things that they may have missed in the first place.
Reposting your content is the same thing as running a commercial. Large brands create commercials and then distribute them on cable and streaming services. You should treat your business like….a business. It’s perfectly acceptable to repost your content as long as it adds value to the viewer. We suggest that you wait about 3-4 months before you repost and pick content that had high engagement from your audience. Keep in mind, if you are going to repost some of your content, make sure that it was something that created a lot of engagement with your following.
It is important to repurpose your long-form content into micro content for other platforms