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SOCIAL MEDIA HANDBOOK ////////////////////////////////////////////////




1 . G E T T I N G S TA R T E D. . . . . . . . . . . . 3 • Introduction


4 . S O C I A L O V E R V I E W. . . . . . . . . 2 1 • Facebook

• Social Networks Explained

• Business Page vs. Personal Page

• Social Media Overview

• Advertising Best Practices • Setting Up Facebook Ads

2 . C O R E VA L U E S. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 • Best Practices 3 . C R E AT I N G C O N T E N T. . . . . . . . 1 0 • The 80-20 Rule • User-Generated Content • Brand/Style Standards • Industry Guidelines • Tips & Tricks • Creating Engaging Headlines • Using the @properties blog

• Instagram • Hashtags • Instagram Stories • Setting Up Ads • Creating Clever Content • LinkedIn • Twitter • Social Networks to Watch • Pinterest • Snapchat

• Image Size Cheat Sheet



getting S T A R T E D




SOCIAL MEDIA HANDBOOK ////////////////////////////////////////////////

weird unique

What makes you makes you

and therefore 4

makes you

stand out. - Dan Schawbel

Author & Personal Branding Expert


As you’re reading this, you might be wondering: “How will social media grow my business?” The answer is: social media alone will not grow your business. But you will. You will grow your business and social media is one of the many important tools in your marketing toolbox that will help you do it. As digital media continues to complement - and in some industries, replace - traditional media, we in real estate are the lucky ones.

Real estate is all about relationships and social media is a great place to create and nurture relationships. 5 Social media is, simply put, online word of mouth. A strong social media presence will not replace your print advertisements, handwritten note cards and client appreciation events, but it can fuel them and strengthen your overall brand. A study done by Smart Insights last year found that only six percent of businesses thought their online and offline marketing strategies were effectively integrated. That’s a lot of opportunity left on the table when 75 percent of people say their number one use of the internet is to find information about goods and services. Even if you have a robust offline audience, that audience is probably already online engaging with brands and having conversations. That’s why it’s essential for every brand and business to have an online presence that is custom-fit just for you. There is no one-size-fits all approach and what works for your competitor will not necessarily work for you. The pages that follow include some of @properties’ overall brand guidelines for social media, but also some tips, hacks and best practices that you can take and incorporate into your own social media presence whether you are just getting started with a brand new Facebook page or you’re a social superstar ready to take your digital game to the next level.


S O C I A L N E T WO R KS E X P L A I N E D W I T H H O U S E S Every social media network has its own strengths and weaknesses and because of that, each platform is useful for different conversations. In the graphic below, we’re breaking down each platform’s core purpose for the real estate mindset.

FA C E B O O K I like houses.

I N S TA G R A M Here’s a photo of the house I bought.



I just bought a #house.

My skills include selling houses.




Here’s a video of my newest listing.

Everyone I know is at this open house except me.

YELP You’ll love this real estate company.

PINTEREST Here are some interior staging ideas.



Although there is seemingly a social media channel for every communication goal, there are some that are more popular than others: we call them the big four and they are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. 1. Facebook has over 2.2 billion active users daily and is home to 40+ million business pages, raking in $9 billion in ad revenue in 2017 alone. That is a huge opportunity -- it means that not only are brands buying ads, but people are clicking on those ads and it’s generating leads and revenue. 2. Instagram, also owned by Facebook, claims about 1 billion active users and is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms available. In an industry where visual content – beautiful design, photography and video – is paramount to our success, Instagram presents the unique opportunity to position your brand creatively and show its unique personality. 3. LinkedIn is known as “the professional social network”, and is most commonly used for business-related networking, including job searches. Approximately half a billion people worldwide are using LinkedIn for professional networking and those people are your past, present and prospective clients. People search LinkedIn before they hire business vendors, contractors, sub-contractors and professional services – including real estate. 4. Twitter is the fourth wheel of the perfect social media plan. It is an interactive, conversational platform where engagement is crucial. Twitter is not about pushing out an endless stream of content and listings, it’s about making connections with people who could become future leads or referral sources. We will dive into more details on the Top 4 later in the handbook, but first let’s talk about creating content and engaging your followers.








SOCIAL MEDIA HANDBOOK ////////////////////////////////////////////////





It’s easy to get caught up in social media “FOMO”

There are thousands of real estate brokers in

– fear of missing out – when there are new social

Chicagoland, but there is only one who has your

networks added on a regular basis. When you’re

experience, expertise and unique perspective.

just starting out, focus on 1-2 networks where

While it’s good to draw inspiration from other

you can cultivate a presence and engage with

brands and social feeds, the best ones are

your audience. The most important part of social

unique and focused on what makes you different

media is being social – and that means spending

from your competitors.

time being present.


P O S T C O N S I S T E N T LY A N D A VA R I E T Y O F C O N T E N T At the core of social media is connecting with people, building new relationships and nurturing existing ones. Think about what kind of content your clients want to see from you and how it will impact their lives. The best and most valuable content is informational, educational, entertaining and useful to your client or prospective client. While it’s great to post listings, closed deals, and other content that promotes your business, what your clients really need is content that positions you as a real estate expert - articles, guides, infographics, market data.








SOCIAL MEDIA HANDBOOK ////////////////////////////////////////////////


C R E AT I N G S O C I A L C O N T E N T Before you start posting to your social network of choice - and we will help you make that choice later in this handbook! - think about the types of content that you want to share. It’s natural to want to share your listings - after all, your goal is to get those properties in front of as many people as possible! But the golden rule of social media is the “80-20” rule. 20% of your content can be promotional (listings, deals, branding, advertorials) and 80% should be informational, educational and entertaining. Luckily, there are plenty of different ways to promote your content in both categories. 11

T H E 8 0 / 2 0 R U L E - 2 0 % M A K E I T A L L A B O U T YO U Listings When you post your listings, make it unique! Would you want to follow a brand on social media if the only content they posted was links to their products for sale? Instead, use your photography and listing videos to show potential buyers what their life could be like if they bought that specific home. To keep your listing content fresh and varied, pick a beautiful photo of the home to upload and tell your followers why you love it! Your feed will be full of beautiful photography that lets the viewer imagine themselves in a home - and your feed won’t feel like a sales pitch. As an added bonus, you get up to dozens of posts with only one piece of content and it won’t feel repetitive.

Sharing your recent successes is a great way to show your fans and followers that you’re keeping busy, but be careful to avoid seeming self-congratulatory. When you post your completed deals to your social media feeds, describe them as you would describe them to a friend or family so that readers who are not real estate savvy will relate.


Recent Deals

social tip! Frame your recent deals in the context of a greater market trend or story (“Logan Square is on fire this month! I was thrilled to help my client find the perfect buyer for this loftstyle new construction with a private terrace” vs. “I sold this property above asking price in only three showings.”)


Branding Ads Think of your social media feed as if it’s a magazine. Sure, magazines have lots of advertising, but the best stuff is in the articles, photo spreads, product reviews and content. Whether you see your ad in a magazine and want to upload a photo of it to your Instagram feed, or want to post your brand new digital ad to your Facebook timeline, do it sparingly and think about what value it brings to the audience you’re trying to reach when you post.

Open Houses Posting open houses on your feeds may seem like a natural fit, but this type of content is actually perfect for advertising. On Facebook and Instagram, you can hyper-target the audience that you want an ad to reach: select your audience based on their zip code, browsing behaviors, and personal interests. You can even set an end date for your campaign so that once your open house date passes, the campaign will automatically stop -- no need to go back and update a post or delete copy to keep your feed current.

Press Hits If you’re featured or interviewed in a traditional or digital media publication, that is great free content! Share those links to your social feed or use an easy design platform like Canva to highlight the best quotes from the article and graphics to promote your media coverage.

T H E 8 0/2 0 R U L E - 8 0 % M A K E I T S H A R E A B L E A N D E N G AG I N G When you’re sharing content that your followers find informational, educational and entertaining, they’re going to be 12

compelled to share it with their friends and followers...who may in turn share it with their friends and followers, thus growing your sphere of influence.

Photographs Along with photos of your listings, you may want to intersperse seasonal and lifestyle images into your content schedule to diversify your feed. Here are several sources to find affordable (or even free!) stock photography to use in your marketing. • Stocksy – affordable stock photography from photographers around the world. • Pexels – free stock photography. • Unsplash – free stock photography. • Pixabay – free stock photography.


Infographics People are visual creatures, and sometimes seeing information presented visually can help us absorb and retain it better. Plus, we all know that attention spans are short on social media. Instead of typing a long-winded story, present your topic. Examples: • Example 1 • Example 2 • Example 3

GIFs Whether you pronounce it “giff” or “jiff,” animated graphics are all the rage online right now. Static content still has an important place on the internet, but content that is dynamic and interactive is winning over algorithms and news feeds. Here are a few resources to help you make your own if you’re feeling up for a challenge! • Giphy’s GIF Maker – for turning videos and YouTube links into GIFs

• Licecap – for screenshot GIFs

Articles Don’t worry - you don’t need to become a published author to do this one. All you 13

need to do is follow some accounts on social media that you like, and be generous in sharing their content. Think about what kind of brands you want to be aligned with and information you want to be known for. Where can you find that information? Follow those accounts.


• Gifmaker.me – for stitching together a series of images into a GIF

social tip! We love the resources on Canva, which make it possible to create professional-looking graphics on the fly from your mobile phone or desktop. You can even make engaging infographics to present market info or neighborhood stats in a sharable, digestible format.

• If you are the first one to know about breaking news and current events, follow some local business publications and repost articles about the local real estate market and trends. • If you love food and cooking, follow your favorite local food bloggers and share their recipes and restaurant recommendations in the neighborhood where your business is focused. • If you love interior design and decor, share some of your favorite images and DIY tips from home decor brands. • If art is your passion, tip your followers off to great local art festivals. Be sure to tag the source of the articles on social media - and those accounts will be more likely to follow, engage with, and share your content too!


U S E R - G E N E R AT E D C O N T E N T The good news is that you don’t need to create all of your content from scratch. Although some of your content should be unique and original, social media is also about sharing the love. It is called social media, after all! One of the best ways to engage your followers is to involve them in the content that you’re creating. • Ask a question Prompt your friends/followers to engage with your posts by asking a question. “What neighborhood do you live in?” isn’t likely to inspire responses, but if you ask people something slightly controversial, you’ll be more likely to get participation. We don’t mean politics or religion of course, but think about things that people have strong opinions about related to the home and ask your followers to weigh in! 14

Examples: • Which front door do you prefer? • How much space is too much space? Too little? • We’d love to know! What does your dream house look like? • If you had to recommend 1 restaurant in XYZ city, what would it be? • Are you in on the white kitchen trend or do you prefer something more traditional? • What’s the best part about living in your neighborhood? • Share your clients’ successes If your happy clients post photos from their closing, share those to your accounts too (it’s always good to get permission from your clients first). A picture is worth a thousand words, so let those success stories speak for themselves! • Spotlight a local business Align yourself with a like-minded local business (interior designer, home stager, home renovation company, home improvement company, etc) with a quick video Q&A or informal review. • Post an image of the business or service provider and tell your followers why you love them. Your network will love seeing that you’re well connected and that you know all of the right people to help them through the most important transaction of their lives. As an added bonus, the local business will likely crosspromote from their own account and you will both benefit from the exposure. The main thing to remember is that social media is meant to be social. As you’re sharing all of this great content, be sure that you’re also setting time aside to engage with other brands, businesses and individuals: like, comment and share content for good social media karma.


B R A N D / S T Y L E S TA N DA R D S INDUSTRY GUIDELINES Include @properties in your social media posts. If you are advertising a listing or your business in an organic or paid social media post, you must include the name of your brokerage. According to the Illinois Association of REALTORS™, the most common Code of Ethics violation in social media advertising is the broker does not include the name of their firm in the advertising. The Code does allow for this information to be contained in a link. However, the Real Estate License Act does not have a “click-through” provision so the name of the broker’s firm should be included in the front page of any social media post.

Here are two examples:


Logo Visibility: • When you create your social profiles, be sure that @properties’ brand name and logo is present and visible. • On Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, a best practice is to have the @properties logo displayed prominently on your cover photos. • On Instagram, you should have “@properties” somewhere in the bio on your profile. • If unable to use the @ symbol in your page title, write “atproperties” in lower case. @properties Brand Treatment: • @properties should always be spelled in lowercase, beginning with the @ symbol. • If unable to use the @ symbol in copy, write “atproperties” in lowercase. • When using the @properties logo, the @ symbol should always be red.



or an Instagram caption. You want people to click, engage with your posts and spend time consuming your content. Here a few ways that you can encourage behavior and engagement with your social media headlines. • Promise a specific benefit - what will the piece of content within deliver?


Your social post headline should be engaging - whether it’s a blog post, a Facebook ad

social tip! Your social post should be engaging. You want people to click and engage with your posts.

• Use numbers - market data and statistics can help increase engagement. • Ask a question - people will click through to find out the answer. • Create urgency - compel readers to take action. • Trigger curiosity or emotion. Examples: • 54% of people from the city are planning to move to the suburbs in the next 6 months. Are you? • OPEN HOUSE! This colonial won’t be on the market long thanks to a stunning interior renovation. Don’t miss your chance to come see it in person! • What’s behind these closed doors? Enough space for your growing family. 16

• Living in this spacious home means more breathing room when your in-laws come to stay.

U S I N G T H E @ P R O P E R T I E S B LO G @properties offers @home, a blog with original real estate, lifestyle and neighborhood content. Subscribe on the home page to get updates via email every time there is a new post.

Here are several ways that you can use @properties’ blog content: Share on social media - @properties creates three fresh, unique posts every week. Share them to your social networks with your own commentary to further spread your knowledge with your community. Use in an eBlast - If you see a blog post you like, repurpose it into an eBlast. Be sure to paraphrase it in your own words so it reflects your brand and personality. Make it visual - Use a tool such as Canva to make quality graphics, free of charge. Pick a quote or tip you like from a blog post and incorporate your own branding to bring it to life.


Add it to your blog - Syndicate @properties’ content on your own website. Simply add a canonical link to the bottom of YOUR post to the original post. This tells Google that you are not plagiarizing the content. Copy and paste the post, give credit to the original author and then state: “This post originally appeared on @home, an @properties blog.” Link that sentence to the original content.

Content Resources: How to Write a Headline that Won’t Get Ignored - Orbit Media Seven Social Media Marketing Musts For Real Estate Agents - Forbes What is Engaging Content and How to Create It - Neil Patel



I M AG E S I Z E C H E AT S H E E T Social icon

Rounded square Only use blue and/or white. For more details check out our Brand Guidelines.





Profile Image

400 x 400

110 x 110

400 x 400

400 x 400

Shared Image

1200 x 628

1080 x 1080

440 x 220

1200 x 628

Shared Link

1200 x 628


440 x 220

1400 x 1800

Ad Image

1200 x 628

1080 x 1080

440 x 220

1200 x 628

Cover Image

820 x 120


1500 x 500

1584 x 396

FA C E B O O K P R O F I L E I M AG E 400 pixels x 400 pixels 18

FA C E B O O K COV E R I M AG E 800 pixels x 120 pixels

FA C E B O O K S H A R E D I M A G E , S H A R E D L I N K , & A D I M AG E 1200 pixels x 628 pixels


I N S TA G R A M P R O F I L E I M AG E 110 pixels x 110 pixels

I N S TA G R A M S H A R E D I M AG E & A D I M AG E 1080 pixels x 1080 pixels



1500 pixels x 500 pixels

400 pixels x 400 pixels

L I N K E D I N S H A R E D I M AG E , S H A R E D L I N K & A D I M AG E 440 pixels x 220 pixels


TWITTER COV E R I M AG E 1584 pixels x 326 pixels TWITTER P R O F I L E I M AG E 400 pixels x 400 pixels

T W I T T E R S H A R E D I M AG E 1200 pixels x 628 pixels


TWITTER SHARED LINK 1400 pixels x 1800 pixels

TWITTER A D I M AG E 1200 pixels x 628 pixels








SOCIAL MEDIA HANDBOOK ////////////////////////////////////////////////


FAC E B O O K Facebook has been subject to a lot of controversy -- although it offers a great

Use Facebook:

way to reach people en masse, marketers and business owners are always struggling to keep up with rapidly changing algorithms that affect who sees their posts in the Facebook news feed.

• For personal branding. • To stay in touch with your sphere.

The truth is, Facebook is a social network -- which means it runs on

• To reach new audiences.

engagement from users. They only way the algorithms can determine if your

• For inbound marketing -

content is worth showing is if it has reactions, comments, and shares.

lead generation.

Algorithms mean nothing if you are creating content that is fun and engaging, because your followers will react, comment, or share.

B U S I N E S S V S . P E R S O N A L PA G E S One of the most commonly asked social media questions at @properties is: “should I have a Facebook business page?” There are pros and cons to both, so you’ll need to consider them before you make a decision. 22 The benefits of using a Personal Facebook page: • If you already have a Facebook presence personally, your sphere is already there. • You’ll only have one page to manage instead of two.

The benefits of a Facebook Business page: • Excellent advertising capabilities – create hyper-targeted ads for your brand and listings. • Receive better data and analytics (what types of content perform best and who sees it). • Prioritize the content you want people to see in the left hand sidebar. • Room for growth – personal pages have a 5,000-friend cap. • Professionalism and credibility accompany a Business page. • Grant an assistant or team member admin access – no need to share your password and personal data. • Separate your personal life from professional life. Some clients may become friends, but you might prefer to keep some independent.

Two Facts to Consider: 1. If you have a Facebook Business page set-up for advertising purposes only, people who see the ads may click through to your Facebook page instead of to the link in your ad. If there is no content on the page, you will most likely lose that lead/engagement altogether. 2. The people in your sphere who want to follow your business updates will “like” your page, so you’ll stay on their radar. Those who don’t have probably already “unfollowed” or muted your posts in their feed so you’ll not actually be losing any reach.


A DV E R T I S I N G B E ST P R AC T I C E S Facebook advertising continues to be one of the most cost effective and efficient ways to brand yourself online. It’s no longer optional for successful brands to advertise on Facebook. Although Facebook advertising is extremely userfriendly and simple to set-up, you can’t “set it and forget it” if you want to get the most bang for your buck.

Make Your Facebook Advertising Interesting Think about all the ads you see on a regular basis. Now how do you make yours stand out? You want your Facebook ad to be a unicorn in a sea of penguins. Before you hit “publish”, ask yourself: • Is my ad copy concise, simple and to the point? • Does my ad include high-quality, attention-grabbing images? • Does my ad evoke a positive emotion? • Did I fully consider who I want the audience of my ad to be?

Monitor Your Facebook Ad Relevance Score Facebook’s ad targeting capabilities are some of the most sophisticated that you’ll find in the digital space. This means that if you’re advertising to your target audience’s personal interests, behaviors and demographics, they are guaranteed to see it. If your ad is not relevant to your audience however, it will not be served to users. Facebook says: “On Facebook, we try to show people the ads that are most pertinent to them. That’s why we’ve always used relevance as a factor in determining how we deliver ads. Taking relevance into account helps ensure that people see ads that matter to them, leading to a better experience for people and businesses alike.” 23

The bottom line? If your ad relevance score is lower than five, you need to make changes to your Facebook advertising or target audience. Looking for your ad relevance score? Find it in your Facebook Ad Manager account.

Show a Clear Value Proposition Your ad needs to give consumers a reason to click on it to learn more about your product and service. What value are you offering the consumer? Will you save them time? Will you help them save or earn money? Can you educate them? Make sure your value proposition stands out in the headline of your ad.

Include a Strategic Call to Action Even if you’re advertising simply to generate brand awareness, you want people to remember who you are and what your value proposition is. The copy in your call to action is critical -- and there is no exact science to it. Think about what action you want people to take when they see your ad. Make sure your headline is stated as clearly and succinctly as possible.


H O W T O S E T U P FA C E B O O K A D S When setting up your Facebook ad, there are a lot of boxes to check. Are you targeting the right people? Is your ad engaging? Are you running the right type of ad? It can get a little confusing, so we’ve put together a guide to help you keep all of the details straight.

Determine the best way to set up your ad

Facebook has two options: Ads Manager and Power Editor. Ads Manager is best for most agents. Power Editor suits larger teams who are running multiple campaigns for different clients. 24 For this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to use Ads Manager.

Choose your objective Decide what your goal is. Is it to drive people to a listing? Engage with your posts? We’re going to say that the goal is to drive traffic to your website -- more specifically, to a listing detail page.

Name your campaign Facebook ads have several pieces to them. Think of it as a stacking doll. The campaign is the outside, the ad set is the next layer, and the ad itself is the final piece. You can have multiple ad sets within a campaign, and multiple ads within each ad set. The purpose of having multiple ad sets would be to target different audiences within the same campaign. For example, if you have a listing at 123 Main Street and you want to run an ad specifically to people who live within the same zip code, you can set up an ad set for that zip code and then create an ad within that ad set that uses language neighbors are familiar with. You could then create another ad set targeting an audience in a different zip code and then tailor the ad as you see fit.


With multiple ads within an ad set, you can play around with copy and creative. Try a few different images, a few different phrases, etc. and keep an eye on what resonates most.

Of course, at the end of the day you can also keep it super simple with one campaign, one ad set, and one ad. The campaign is all-encompassing. In your Campaign Name, try to include as much detail as possible. Think about including your client name, the listing address, the website page you’re promoting, or the objective of your campaign.

Name your ad set Once you’ve named your campaign, you’re ready to create your ad set (also referred to as ad group). When naming your ad set, get even more specific. Budget, schedule, audience targeted, placement, etc. are all great ad set names.


Choose your audience One of the greatest advantages to Facebook advertising is the opportunity to choose exactly who will see your ads. You can create a custom audience and show ads to your sphere of influence, or you can create a new audience using Facebook algorithms. Here, we’ll show you how to create a new audience using Facebook. Start with the location. You can drop a pin at your listing address and select the radius that you want to advertise to, or pick the zip code in which you want people to see your ad. If your ad is too broad, it may hurt your relevancy score and affect placement, so get as specific as possible. You can select the age range and gender of the people who you want to see your ad.

and add about 15 years on each side. For a listing ad, think about the demographic of your ideal buyer: is it a great starter home? Next to an elementary school? Perfect for empty-nesters?


For a branding ad, consider the age of your average client

social tip! Facebook Relevance Score tells advertisers how their ads are estimated to resonate with audiences. Once your ad has run for several days, check in to make sure you have a score of seven or higher!


Pick your detailed targeting

In addition to targeting by geography and personal demographics, you can target your audience based on personal interests. In this section, you can also target your audience by income. This is highly 26

recommended for listing ads, or if your business is solely in luxury real estate. Adding more options will make your audience bigger. The meter on the right sidebar of your setup screen that will show you exactly how defined your audience is.


Choose your budget and schedule Facebook allows you to set a daily budget or a lifetime budget. • A daily budget is best if you want your ad to run continuously throughout the day. • A lifetime budget is best if you want to run your ad for a specified length of time -- Facebook will pace your spend for you. If you’re new to Facebook, a budget of $5/day for a month will give you a good sense of how your campaign is performing.

When choosing your schedule think about if you want your campaign to be open ended and run continuously OR if you want to customize the start and end date. If you create an ongoing listing campaign, remember to update it when you go under contract.

Choose your ad format Facebook has five different ad types for you to select from. Once you decide which type of ad to select, you’ll need to upload your creative assets. 27

• For a branding ad, a single image ad is often the most straightforward. • For a listing ad, the Carousel image allows the user to showcase up to 6 of the most beautiful photographs of the home.

Set up your ad To finish setting up your ad, create your ad copy and choose the landing page that your ad will direct to. • For a branding ad, send the traffic to your website. • For a listing ad, send the traffic to your @properties listing detail page. Your ad copy should be concise, descriptive and “show” the reader instead of tell. Instead of saying the home is beautiful and centrally located, talk about its luxe finishes and the 8-minute walk to the nearest Metra stop. Remember - use your headline space for the call to action! Once you hit confirm and publish, Facebook will review your ad and it should be live within 24 hours (but usually much sooner). Check your ad’s status, make edits to your ad, and view performance and analytics in your Facebook Ad Manager.


FA C E B O O K R E S O U R C E S For additional information about Facebook and Facebook advertising, the following articles are especially helpful. The Real Estate Agent’s Epic Guide to the Ultimate Facebook Business Page - Inman Stop Failing on Facebook - 8 Ways to Rake in the Facebook Leads - Inman 7 Killer Tips for More Effective Real Estate Facebook Ads - Wordstream How to Write a Call to Action that Converts - Unbounce Facebook Campaign Naming Convention - Jon Loomer How to Boost Facebook Posts, Better - Hubspot Facebook Ad Formats for Different Business Goals - Facebook



instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms with over 200 million active users


I N S TAG R A M A picture is worth a thousand words. And really, who has time to write

Use Instagram:

a thousand words? Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media

• For personal branding.

platforms with approximately 500 million active users.

• To stay in touch with your sphere.

In an industry where visual content - beautiful design, photography and video - is paramount to our success, Instagram presents the unique opportunity to

• To reach new audiences.

position your brand creatively and to show its unique personality.

• To engage your community.

You can do all of these things using Instagram. Use Instagram Stories to take your followers behind the scenes, post informational content, and reach new audiences with creative hashtags.

H A S H TA G S While hashtags may be losing their gusto on other channels, they’ve proved their weight in gold on Instagram. Like-minded and interested individuals search through hashtags on Instagram to find accounts to follow and engage with. This is done with a “you get what you give” mentality, meaning if you want users to engage with your content, you’ll need to engage with theirs.

account and begin to follow them. Like and comment on the images of others using those same tags and look into following the accounts you notice doing the same on your page. Reciprocity is your ticket to Instagram success.


Pick a handful of hashtags that truly resonate with you from the perspective of your

social tip! If you want users to engage with your content, you’ll need to engage with theirs.


They either post a handful tags at the end of their post, or they post those same tags as the first comment. Both ways work, but typically adding the hashtags in a comment creates a more streamlined read for the everyday users. We recommend having a ready to go list of 15-30 hashtags in a note on your phone. Choose your go-to tags based on the content you’ll be posting. Here are some ideas


Using hashtags on your photos: Instagram users use hashtags in one of two ways.

social tip! We recommend having a ready to go list of 15-30 hashtags in a note on your phone to make posting easier.

to get your started:

#Hashtag Examples Luxury Homes/Designer Homes

Real Estate

#luxury #luxuryrealestate #design #designer #dreamhome #details

#forsale #openhouse

#interiors #home #dreamhome #maison #luxuryhome #moderndesign

#luxurylisting #homeoftheday

#dreamhouse #luxurydesign #residence #exteriordesign


#milliondollarlisting #luxurylistings

#realestatemarketing #realty #re #findmeahome #realestategoals #buying

Location Specific #chicago #chicagorealestate #NorthShore #northshorerealestate


@properties #atproperties #lovewhereyoulive #lovewhereyouwork #atbalance #thelifeweshare

#selling #newhome #homebuyers #realtor #homes #forsale #realestate #rent #buy #house #homesforsale







#chicagohomes #[Neighborhood] #[Neighborhood]life

Amenity Specific #views #familyroom #bathroom #kitchen #condoliving #homedesign

Broker Life #realestatelife #realtorlife #realtor #broker

#propertyforsale #homebuyer

#homeinspo #homelovers #interiorstyling #houseandhome #beautifulhomes #homesofig

Chicago #chicago #chitown #choosechicago #chigram #explorechicago #chicagolife #chicagogram #insta_chicago


I N S TA G R A M S T O R I E S Instagram Stories are most successful when the content is personal and inviting. Create stories to take your audience behind the scenes of your business and brand -- that means showing your personality, too! • Feel free to talk directly to the camera, take the viewer through your open house or give a quick glimpse into your daily life. • Instagram Story Highlights are a great way to categorize your stories and extend their life. • To create a new highlight, select the “+ New” button on your profile page and select the archived story images you’d like to add and then give your story a name. You’ll now see it appear on your profile page. For Instagram Story inspiration, be sure to follow along with @atproperties.

H O W T O S E T U P I N S TA G R A M A D S Fun Fact: Instagram uses Facebook’s advertising platform. So, while your ads will ultimately run on Instagram, the setup 31

and creation is all done through Facebook. Because of this, the first step in setting up your Instagram is ensuring that your Instagram account is tied to your Facebook Page. • To do this, go to “settings” on your Facebook page and select “Instagram” from the left-hand column. • Next, click “Add your Instagram” and begin to fill in your Instagram login credentials. When you’re finished click “Confirm.” From here, everything will be the same as setting up a Facebook ad. Please see the Facebook Ads section of this guide for setup instructions. When it comes to placement, Facebook will automatically select “automatic placements” which will run your ad anywhere from Facebook to Instagram to FB Messenger. If you’d like to tailor your ad to Instagram only, select “Edit Placements” and uncheck all platforms but Instagram. Typically, to reach maximum audience, we recommend keeping automatic placements on, but there are times when Instagram-only ads are warranted, such as when you’re working to grow a following on the IG platform.


C R E AT E C L E V E R C O N T E N T For Design • Canva: A user-friendly tool for those without graphic design experience to create dynamic images for their social media presence. For Creating Movement • Flipagram: Useful for taking images and turning them into videos complete with a background track. • Boomerang: A 1-second video loop that allows you to show a fun or funny moment. Really great for action shots. For Editing Photos There are a multitude of apps for photo editing and you really can’t go wrong with any of them as long as you give your feed a cohesive look. Here are some of our favorites: • VSCO • A Color Story • Snapseed • Afterlight For Getting the Timing Just Right • When to Post: This app analyzes the activity patterns of your Instagram followers and makes that actionable insight available, telling you when you have the most captive audience. I N S TA G R A M R E S O U R C E S : How to make Instagram Stories like a Pro - Hubspot 7 Instagram Best Practices to Build Your Audience - Sprout Social 32

The Complete Guide to Instagram Marketing - Buffer Ten Tips From The Top Commercial Real Estate Accounts On Instagram - Forbes 5 little known ways agents benefit by incorporating social media tool into their business - Inman


LinkedIn is known as the professional social network, and is most commonly used for business related networking, including job searches. In plain English? If you’re looking for a social network to post photos of your dog and talk about your last vacation, LinkedIn is not the place to do that. While LinkedIn is all business, it’s also an incredibly important place to have a social presence because your clients are there. 33

WHY LINKEDIN? In between job searching and consuming industry-relevant content, people are on LinkedIn to connect with like-minded professionals. People search LinkedIn before they hire business vendors, contractors, sub-contractors and professional services -- including real estate professionals. Everyone with a LinkedIn profile can give or receive reviews. This is a great place to endorse your legal and financial services colleague, and ask them for their endorsements so that prospective clients searching will see how great you are. It’s also a great place to share the occasional listing. Of course, be mindful of your audience and try not to oversaturate a business-driven feed with countless links to listings. LinkedIn is also a key platform for your own professional development. Join groups and pages dedicated to all aspects of the real estate industry and you will have a built in support group anytime you encounter a professional situation and need advice or input. You can also consume content relevant to real estate to enhance your own continued education or to learn more about a client’s line of work -- it may give you some insight into their needs and desires, especially if someone is making a move as they climb the corporate ladder or relocate due to their profession. LinkedIn also notifies you when someone changes jobs, is promoted, has a major work anniversary or milestone -- and these are great opportunities to reach out to congratulate someone and reconnect.



social tip! Approximately 500 million people worldwide are using LinkedIn for professional networking and those people are your past, present and prospective clients.

Use LinkedIn: • To enhance your professional reputation online. • To give and receive referrals. • To connect with likeminded real estate professionals. • To consume content for professional development. • To better understand and connect with your clients.

What to post on LinkedIn: • Industry news and articles • Professional developments and accolades • Key listings


TWITTER Use Twitter:

All too often Twitter is the first social network to go when you’re short on

• To search for relevant

time and resources. Twitter is missing the massive advertising opportunities of

conversations to join.

Facebook, lacks the visual panache of Instagram and is devoid of the professional

• To meet like-minded people

credibility that LinkedIn offers.

in your community. And yet, Twitter is the fourth wheel of the perfect social media plan. Twitter is

• To share content from your

an interactive, conversational platform where engagement is paramount to all

favorite users -- they will

else. Twitter is not about pushing out an endless stream of content and listings

likely reciprocate!

-- it’s about making connections with people who could become future leads or referral sources.


in a keyword for just about anything, such as: “apartment in Lincoln Park” or “move to Chicago” to find out what people are talking about. You can insert yourself into these conversations as a helpful resource.

Try it! Search “(insert city or neighborhood) condo,” “moving to (insert city or


• Twitter has excellent search capabilities -- you can use Twitter Search to type

social tip! Twitter is about making connections with people who could become future leads or referral sources.

neighborhood” or “(insert city) home” and see what turns up! • Remember to keep your introduction soft -- if you respond with “I’m the top-producing broker in Lincoln Park!” 34

you’ll probably scare them off. Instead, start with “I’ve lived in Lincoln Park for 14 years and love the neighborhood. How can I help you?” You might make a friend for life. • Using Twitter, you can also identify people and brands to connect and align with. If you’re interested in holding a client appreciation event in partnership with a local restaurant, Twitter is a great place to connect and converse with that business so that when you call them with partnership details, they may already know your name! Once you start making these connections and engagements, be generous with sharing other people’s content. Whether it’s your favorite restaurant, favorite mortgage lender or a life coach that posts daily inspiration, people appreciate sharing and will often reciprocate, giving your own content a broader reach.



SOCIAL MEDIA TO KEEP ON YOUR RADAR PINTEREST Like many of the popular social networks, Pinterest has experienced growing pains. While it used to be the #1 driver of website traffic, video is supplanting writing and photography in a lot of corners of the web. If you already have a Pinterest account, populate your boards 1-2x per week so your content is always fresh and seasonal, but the opportunity for engagement there just isn’t as deep as it is on other channels.

S N A P C H AT Snapchat, as fun as it may be to see the @properties Love filter at your favorite summer festivals, is not much of a destination in and of itself—and who knows where it’ll be next week. Pinterest was once the social media darling but now, people are fleeing for greener pastures. If you already have a following on Snapchat, go ahead and flex your snappy skills, but if you’re thinking of launching something new, we suggest you stick with the channels where you already have momentum (hello Facebook, hello Instagram) and ramp up your efforts there instead.


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@properties Social Media Handbook  

Social Media Guide for Brokers

@properties Social Media Handbook  

Social Media Guide for Brokers