Social media tactics top agents rely on in their marketing plan

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Luxury real estate is built on relationships, and the best way to nurture relationships at scale is through social media. But the social media ecosystem is complex, and established platforms are facing challenges. In this fraught landscape, which social media channels can luxury agents rely on?

Courtney Keating

“Facebook and Instagram seem to be fairly deadlocked, with Instagram likely edging out Facebook,” observes Courtney Keating, Licensed REALTOR® at Sotheby’s International Realty – Wine Country – Sonoma Brokerage, “with YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter trailing behind.”

She adds that while TikTok is popular, she’s watching to see how its legal situation concerning data security develops and if it remains a preferred channel for the luxury real estate audience.

“I think it’s important to not have all your proverbial eggs in one basket — or all your social media presence in one place — so we do a variety of strategies,” adds Megan Sullivan, Global Real Estate Advisor and Co-Founder of the Select Client Team at Sotheby’s International Realty – Greenwich Brokerage. She includes several examples:

  • Instagram to engage with the community and broaden reach by working with local businesses with interesting content.
  • tik tok to create and distribute highly shareable short-form videos that may reach younger buyers or the children of prospective clients.
  • YouTube to serve as a central, evergreen repository of the brokerage’s video content and to post longer-form videos.
  • Facebook to discover buyers and sellers who may not be on the newer platforms and to create groups and business pages.
  • LinkedIn to connect with past, present, and future clients and colleagues and demonstrate thought leadership through market stats and newsletters.

Many agents feature some or all of these platforms in their marketing mix — but are there opportunities they’re overlooking or forgetting? Here are three that Keating and Sullivan make sure they don’t miss.

1. Debunk the myth that Facebook is passé

Daniel Casabonne and Gina Clyde – Sotheby’s International Realty – Wine Country – Sonoma Brokerage

Despite being a relative dinosaur in the social media world, Facebook continues to drive sales for luxury real estate. Still, Keating sees it as an underutilized channel.

“Agents who are less tech-savvy simply use Facebook as a platform to post photos and a quick blurb about their new listing,” she says, “but there are so many more opportunities within this platform to drive traffic.” For example, she cites using the Stories feature to link to Instagram Stories and create synergy between the two channels or linking to external websites such as the Matterport 3D virtual tour and relevant video content. Agents can also pay to advertise to specific demographics in specific areas, such as particular parts of the Bay Area depending on a listing’s price point, for example.

2. Instagram is all about video now

Joseph Barbieri – Sotheby’s International Realty – Greenwich Brokerage

Megan Sullivan

For Sullivan, Instagram is an intuitive way to keep her content current. “One of the easiest ways to optimize your social media is to document events throughout your day — whether you’re grabbing a coffee, having lunch, or shopping, tagging local companies on your story is a great way to boost engagement,” she says . “The businesses will often repost your content to their sites which may have different followers, and it’s a great way to broaden your reach.”

But she quickly reminds agents that the new Instagram algorithm prioritizes video content, meaning that static posts may get lost in the shuffle. “Instagram Reels, the short video feature, has gained a lot of attention recently and is perfect for sharing a quick house tour video,” she says.

3. Time to factor flow code into your tactics

Bob Pennypacker and Eric Ziedrich – Sotheby’s International – Wine Country – Sonoma Brokerage

While it’s not a social media channel in the conventional sense, QR code generator Flowcode has proven to be a powerful tool for Sullivan and her team. They use it to craft multichannel experiences for their prospects and followers, turning offline interactions into online engagement.

“An example would be a basic advertisement in a print ad. By adding a QR code, a reader can scan the ad and immediately be transferred to our flow page, website, social media channels, and more,” says Sullivan. “Not only that, but we receive valuable analytics.”

Becoming a well-oiled social media machine

Steve Archino – Sotheby’s International Realty – Greenwich Brokerage

Keating acknowledges that it’s easy for agents to neglect consistently maintaining social media content. She recommends four simple strategies to stay on top of digital marketing:

  • “Hiring a social media manager may be a lot less expensive than an agent thinks and can take that task off their plate,” she says.
  • Quality wins over quantity, so set a daily alarm or reminder to spend 10 to 15 minutes researching and creating compelling material. As Keating says, “Quality content engages the kind of legitimate followers that will enhance your business.”
  • If your brokerage has a marketing manager or team, consider scheduling a meeting with them. “They should be able to help guide agents in setting social media goals for the upcoming quarter and year,” she adds.
  • Finally, there’s no shortage of accounts and articles providing actionable best practices for social media marketing. As Keating notes, “It’s a great idea to check some of those resources out from time to time.”

It’s all about connectivity. Agents can synchronize their channels and synergize their content to reach audiences wherever they are, whether online or offline and create virtuous cycles of engagement. It adds visibility for agents and value for present and future clients.

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