The importance of social media is indisputable. These days, using social media effectively can be the difference between making it and breaking it as a real estate professional. But where should you get going, and where are you going to see a return on your efforts? Right off the bat, here are 7 things to think about and incorporate into your social media plan.

Determining Goals and Outcomes

Posting stuff on Facebook and Twitter is straight forward enough. But it's much harder to develop a workable social media strategy that makes sense for your audience, and doesn't overwhelm you in the process.

What are the primary goals you want to accomplish using social media? Do you want more people to follow you? Are you specifically targeting new listings. Or is social media a place for you to provide service and communicate with existing clients? Choosing what you want to accomplish with social media is your first step. It’s also one that many people tend to skip.

Content is King

Experts and novices alike all love to extol the value of creating ‘great content'. Ok, great. So what is 'great content', where does it come from, and how are you supposed to create a consistent flow of it while also running a agency?

Unfortunately, there's no single right answer. But this general litmus test should provide a decent idea of whether or not something qualifies as ‘great content’.

First, create a basic profile in your mind of three different types of people you'd like to be connecting with on social media. Put yourself in each of their heads, and read the post you’ve just written. Are you glad you found that post? If yes, post it! If not, ask yourself why and rethink.

Make it Shareable

The most shared and reposted content will be that which is genuine, valuable, and helpful to its readers. Concentrate on creating content that will be shared again by your audience in their own respective circles.

Social is Not a One-Way Street

When it works, social media has a community feel to it, with consumers and producers posting back and forth in equal parts. The famous 80/20 rule says you should devote 80% of your posts to sharing content from relevant sources and influencers, and reserving just 20% for posting about your brokerage. Don’t treat social media like a billboard to post updates only about yourself. Ask questions. Respond to comments. Repost things you find valuable. And be willing to let your own voice speak through your social. After all, it's yours!

Video is Here

Getting a bit more specific, let’s talk about video. The majority of brands and companies, especially smaller ones, will admit that they wish they were doing more with video. But the upfront investment of time, energy, and money can be hard to justify. Well here’s a statistic to motivate you.

Social posts containing video receive nearly 50% more views than their non-video peers, according to a recent HubSpot article. And with the spread of new video-specific platforms like Vine, Vimeo, and of course, YouTube, video is becoming even more shareable.

Tear Down this Wall

In the early days of social, social media and home websites tended to remain in separate silos. Obviously, this makes very little sense. Forbes recommends adding a prominent set of social media icons to your website’s homepage, to make sure clients and visitors are being piped into your social channels as well. This is a no-brainer, and takes just a couple minutes with a social icons plugin like this.

Send Traffic from Social to your Site

Now that you're linking from your website to your social media accounts, it probably makes sense to do the same thing in reverse. Most social media platforms will let you add links to your profile, or elsewhere.

But today, you can go even further, and embed your social media content right in your real estate brokerage’s website. There are many of free social media widgets and plugins out there that will let you add Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social feed to your site. There are even plugins out there that let you combine multiple social channels into a single stream.

How does social media play into your real estate brokerage and marketing strategy? We’d love to hear about tips, tools, and tricks you discovered, and see examples of what’s working for you. Let us know in the comments section below.