Announcements

General Announcements from Solved Social Media

New Instagram Stories Features, and How to Use Them for Real Estate

Back in August of 2016, Instagram introduced Stories- a photo sharing feature inside of the app that functions very similar to your Snapchat Story. Users share photos and videos to their Stories and the content is only available for 24 hours. As more users give in and embrace Stories, Instagram has let out a few more features. Here is how you can use those features for Real Estate.

Live Video on Stories:  

Users sharing to Stories have always had the ability to include photo and video, however now users can officially go live using IG Stories. The broadcasts can only last up to an hour, and will disappear from the app when finished, creating a sense of urgency and intimacy around the live feed. While you are live, viewers can like and comment as much as they need and you can even pin a specific comment to the screen for everyone to see. The Instagram Stories Live feature has already rolled out across the United States and is on it’s way to international reach.

How to use it for Real Estate:

Much like Facebook Live, live Instagram Stories can be an excellent way to give a virtual tour to your followers, hold a question and answer session about a topic or property, and share industry knowledge with your fans. Remember that for Instagram Stories you will only have an hour and your videos will not save to the app, make sure you’re not spending too much time on these videos but instead use this tool to make your network feel appreciated and included as well as a way to save yourself valuable time. Be sure to give all your followers advance notice that you will be going live by sharing a photo or a story beforehand. In live video you will have the option to mention specific users and link back to their account on screen, using this feature tie in any other industry experts you may work with or if your office is active on Social Media, tag them as well.

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See More Links:

Currently only available to verified accounts, “See More” links at the bottom of stories will allow viewers to click on to more information regarding the video they are watching. While this feature is still in its test mode and being used to promote music, movies, and more, once released to the general public it will be an invaluable resource to Real Estate Professionals.

How to use it for Real Estate:

You may already be using Instagram Stories to share photo and video of your listings, but with the “See More” links you will be able to link to the listing itself in the bottom of your post. You can also share any blog posts, instructional videos, your website, home evaluation and more. Think of Stories as a way to create mini commercials for yourself and get creative with them! The example below could show an agent explaining benefits of Home Inspection while the “See More” link redirects to a blog post on the same topic.

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How are you using Instagram Stories to promote your Real Estate business?

Snap Inc: Making Moves and Growing Fast

Snap Inc. (formerly known as Snapchat) has been growing exponentially ever since its debut in 2011. Initially a simple app where users could send one another time sensitive images and videos, Snap Inc. has grown to revolutionize our personal augmented reality consumption, break advertising impression records for major companies, and has very recently released its first piece of hardware – Spectacles. In the last few weeks the company has had some big news for us consumers.

 

The first Spectacles are sold, and only available at Snapbots:

Never one for convention, Snap Inc.’s new Spectacles will only be available at sunglasses wielding vending machines known as Snapbots. Currently the Snapbots will show up to cities at random, where long lines will form full of hopeful Spectacle-starved Snap lovers, but there is no word on whether or not this model will change. For the time being anyone eagerly awaiting their chance at Spectacles can locate the vending machines by heading over to Spectacles.com/map. If you’re very worried about missing out however, consider signing up for an email alert by Snapbot Spotter.

I’m personally hoping the big box stores or malls will get their own semi-permanent Snapbots for the upcoming Holiday gifting season.

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Snap Inc. is Going Public:

This morning it was reported that Snap Inc. has filed for its initial public offering. The company is already valued at around $18 billion USD, but the switch could raise that to as much as $35 billion. Such a large figure could easily keep Snapchat in the top Apps for years and significantly grow its influence. The company has clearly been expanding and trying (successfully) to compete for a share of user’s time ever since its release- a move that attracted the attention of Facebook in 2013. Since Snap’s refusal to sell three years ago, the two social giants have been in tense competition with one another with Facebook even going as far as to create their own Snapchat-esque App (not available in the U.S.). Now that Snap Inc. will get this influx of capital we are all waiting with baited breath for the counter-punch to Facebook, and to see what new hardware this out-of-the-box company comes up with next!

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Twitter Rolls Out Welcome Messages

This week Twitter rolled out a change to their Direct Messages. Welcome Messages have been introduced for all users and Quick Replies have been added for larger businesses (hopefully soon to roll out for all of us). Twitter is boasting “Help without the annoying hold music”, the features are to ensure that companies provide responsive customer service and engage with their fans on Twitter.

By simply clicking “Message” on the Companies Twitter Account, users will be brought to an automated Welcome Message thanking them for their time and displaying some options. Below the message input area are the Quick Replies. Think of Quick Replies as automated FAQ’s. A company can set the questions and responses they need in order to better assist the customer in a timely manner.

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Twitter’s large focus with Welcome Messages and Quick Replies is to assist the business by allowing them to save time by easily and more efficiently performing customer service tasks via Twitter rather than a phone call, website, or other platform. However, there are more benefits to be had by companies utilizing Twitter’s new tools. A recent study shows that customers who receive responses on Twitter from businesses are 44% more likely to share their experience and 30% more likely to recommend the brand. For a Real Estate Professional that referral is an invaluable resource.

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Any user can set a custom Welcome Message today just by following the directions below, however please note that Quick Replies are still in Private BETA and are not available to the general public.

 

Set a Welcome Message for your Twitter

Step 1)  Make sure you are logged into your Twitter Account and go to www.dashboard.twitter.com

Once at the home page, locate and click on the your thumbnail in the top right portion of the screen (outlined below in red)

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Hover over the thumbnail and click “Settings” when the dropdown menu appears (highlighted below in yellow)

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Step 2)  Upon clicking “Settings” you will be brought to a Customer Support area. In the first row under Direct Messages, make sure to check off and enable “Receive Direct Messages from anyone”, without this feature turned on Welcome Messages are not available.

Check off “Support Account” to allow “Provides Support” to appear next to your name in search and compose suggestions.

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You also have the option to include support hours, if you are not available on the weekend we heavily suggest including hours.

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Step 3)  Once you have included all pertinent information, move on to the Welcome Message below the “Support hours” row. Enter your Welcome Message in the dialogue box and preview the content as it is typed. Please note that while there is not a 140 character limit here, messages over 140 characters may require the reader to scroll depending on their device. Be sure to read over your Welcome Message to be sure that it is clear and concise. When you have finished, click Save.

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After saving, your message will appear in the row as it will appear to any readers. If you would like to edit, replace, or entirely remove the Welcome Message, see the options below the grey preview box.

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Getting Spooky with Facebook and Fang-tastic Halloween Real Estate Marketing Ideas!

Halloween greetings Real Estate Professionals! To help us get in the spooky mood, Facebook is rolling out some festive treats for their users. Adding new themed reactions for a limited time as well as Snapchat-esque masks to their Live Video, Facebook has got us thinking about the benefits of businesses celebrating Halloween and even coordinating specific holiday marketing.

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A good marketing campaign has a stickiness factor, meaning that the ad stays with the viewer even after they have finished viewing it. Holiday ads have that extra bite, a clever advertisement can bring a smile to the consumer’s face, locking your name in their memory and keeping it there so that when they think: “I need a Realtor” they think of you. Holidays give you the Real Estate Professional countless ways to reach out to and connect with your audience, make sure you are taking advantage of this major benefit!

It isn’t too late to spread a little spook to your network for Halloween, especially with the help of Facebook.

 

Here are a few last minute Halloween Marketing Ideas:

1) Facebook Live Video with Halloween Masks

Give your fans a shout out via Facebook Live Video, but give it a Halloween Spin with the new Facebook Masks. Don’t worry if you don’t see masks on your FB Live Video just yet, masks will be rolling out over the next few days for people using Facebook Live on iOS in the United States, with the Android option coming later.

While it may be silly to give Real Estate advice in a virtual Halloween mask, you can offer a simple holiday hello, or make a special announcement. Host a pumpkin carving contest and ask followers to send you their masterpieces for the chance to win a prize, host a giveaway, offer a deal like a free home evaluation. Get creative and have fun!

 

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To record a Live Video using Facebook’s new masks:

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2) Treat Bags for Parents Only

How often do you get a line of leads walking up to your doorstep with arms outstretched for treats? Just once a year on Halloween! The focus may be on the children, but that doesn’t mean parents are unreachable. Give out candy to the kids (people always remember the house with the full sized bars) but make special treat bags for the parents as well. Fill your bags up with a few treats as well as your business card and a spooky print out with your contact information. You can include an invite to an open house, inquiry event, or even a coupon for home related services. Hand out your parent gifts while you hand out Halloween candy, or leave a special tray out labeled “For Parents Only!” Save yourself time and money by designing your own print out using Canva and printing it at home.

 

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3) Haunted Open House

Host a haunted house in a vacant home you’re listing in an area with lots of neighbors. Give trick or treaters and their parents a reason to tour the property with simple scares and the promise of candy at the end. Get some friends together with costumes to jump out of the ample closet space, hang spider webs from those soaring high ceilings. After the spooky walk through hand out a flier with information on the house, photos of it un-haunted, contact information, and an invite to a real Open House event. Make sure you display your creepy-creation as a “Haunted Open House” so attendees realize you are a Real Estate Professional and you aren’t confused for the new neighbors.

 

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Holiday marketing can be tons of fun and thanks to the popularity of Social Media combined with the ease of new technology, you don’t even need to leave your home to create and execute a successful Halloween marketing campaign. Take these spooky ideas and scare yourself up some leads this Halloween Season, and don’t forget: Christmas and Hanukkah are just around the corner!

Facebook Announces Facebook at Work

 

Social Media giant Facebook recently announced their new B2B social network geared at companies called Facebook at Work. While many offices have a “No Social Media” policy during work hours, Facebook aims to change that rejection into a full on embrace. So far Facebook at Work is just in Beta mode and not open to the public. Curious parties can complete a form registering interest with Facebook.

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What do we know so far?

  • Facebook at Work will be completely separate from your regular Personal Facebook account as well as your Business Page. When signing up with Facebook at Work users will need to create an entirely new account, this should quell some sure to come concerns about mixing personal and office life.
  • Rather than send out a Friend Request to connect with someone, users on Facebook at Work will have a “Follow” button. This follow is instant and does not require waiting for approval from the followed party.
  • Facebook at work will have “Groups” these groups can be public or private and can be used to differentiate departments, teams, or any distinguishing factor. In these groups users can post comments and share information with each other in one place.
  • The interface will be extremely similar to the Facebook we are all familiar with in that users can post updates, share photos and videos, and communicate with each other as usual.
  • Messenger will be included and is capable of file sharing, group chat, video chat, media sharing, and automated link embedding
  • There is currently an iOS app available for download (please note that without a Facebook at Work account you will not be able to log in) and an Android app is in the works
  • Facebook at Work will not be a free service.

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Can we use Facebook at Work for Real Estate?

Facebook at Work will be a valuable tool for many companies, however it will not be necessary for all. Large companies with an extensive employee database may find Facebook at Work to be the unifier they have been waiting for, as will some companies that lack a physical office location or have teams stretched over various regions, however smaller companies with an office of employees who see one another daily may not reap the same benefits.

If you do work with a large company, or if you are part of a team of Real Estate Professionals who do not operate out of a central office location Facebook at Work’s features could truly facilitate in-office communication. With Facebook at Work, users can create Events and invite other employees, group conversations can take place over Messenger, and important information that every employee needs can be distributed by one person with the touch of one button via an update, rather than sending out tedious emails or text messages. Facebook aims to erase your need for any competitive services by including every feature a company may need. Click here to learn more about Facebook at Work.

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Twitter Moments for Real Estate

For some time now Twitter has had Moments on display, a collection of curated tweets regarding some of the day’s most important happenings. Just this week Twitter announced that Moments have been opened up for all users to create rather than simply consume. As Twitter states “Creators everywhere can now tell stories with Tweets”, with Moments users can include anyone’s tweets in a sort of album with a title and description. Gifs, photos, videos, anything that a user can tweet can be included in your Moments, and all Moments have a Cover Photo. Twitter Moments have clear advantages for news and media outlets, however they can also be beneficially used for Real Estate in your Social Media strategy. In this post we will outline how Twitter Moments can be used by Real Estate Professionals, and how to get started.

 

  1. Organized FAQ’s

Use Twitter Moments to organize a Frequently Asked Questions section for your Twitter Followers. Select topics you receive questions about often and show potential clients that you are aware of and sensitive to their needs. You can gather existing Tweets from other users, or you can send out your own thoughts on the topic and organize them into a Moment.

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  1. Open House and Listing Announcements

Since Moments will present an organized collection of tweets, Real Estate Professionals can take advantage of this by marketing their Listings and Open Houses and then arranging them in a Moment. Tweet photos and information about your new Listing as well as contacts for yourself, details on the local area, and any interesting information that may be useful to your potential clients. Users can also search for tweets related to the neighborhood or local schools and include them in the Moment. Showing hometown pride from existing locals is a great way to get potential clients excited for a new home or area.

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  1. Special Moments

 As your Twitter engagement grows, ask clients to follow your account and even send short 140 character reviews of their pleasant interactions with you. When a deal is made, ask clients if you can take a share a picture. Use Twitter Moments to display these real life special moments with your followers and show potential clients that you are there to support the entire process. Gather up your reviews in their own Moment, once a sale is made show the entire process from your very first Listing Tweet to the day the papers were signed. Get creative with these special Moments, there are endless ways to show your unique self and your professionalism with Twitter.

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HOW TO GET STARTED

Currently, Twitter Moments are only available on Twitter.com, however the company states that the mobile compatibility will be released shortly.

 

Step 1:

Head to www.twitter.com and log in to your account. Once logged in you will be brought to the Timeline, locate and click on the icon of your profile image on the right side of the screen. A dropdown menu will appear, click on “View Profile”

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Step 2:

You will be brought to your Profile, locate and click on “Moments”.

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Step 3:

Upon clicking Moments you will be brought to a Moments area, once you have created Moments they will be displayed here. Locate and click on “Create new Moment” on the right side of the screen.

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Step 4:

You will be prompted to enter all pertinent information regarding your Moment, be sure to enter the Title, description, set a cover, and add Tweets. Users have the option to add Tweets they’ve liked, Tweets sent by a specific account, Tweets with keywords (Tweet search), and Tweets by link.

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Once you have filled out all of the required information and selected Tweets to attach to your Moment, hit “Publish”.

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You may receive a note to crop photos included in your Moment to optimize them for Mobile, if this is the case select the “crop” option to be brought to an editing screen. Once all your photos have been optimized click on “Publish” again to submit your Moment. Click confirm on the pop up message to complete your Moment.

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A New Look For Facebook Business Pages

Facebook recently rolled out a new look for Business Pages.

What’s different:

The Banner is now free of any buttons that used to take away from the aesthetic, and the Profile Image is off to the left hand side freeing up even more Cover Photo space.

In Addition, the Page Navigator that used to be somewhat hidden in the mass of buttons along the Cover Photo now has a Prime location on the left side of the Page directly under the Profile Image.

Users might be lost when looking for iFrame tabs, but there’s no need to worry- they’ve just moved to the right side of the Page.

 

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What Should You Update:

  • Make sure your Cover Photo hasn’t been affected and is still full visible. If your Cover Photo creatively relied on the location of buttons and the Profile Image, you may need to adjust.

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  • Check that your Call to Action is accurate, if you have yet to fill out your CTA be sure to do so as the feature is now much more prominently displayed

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  • As tabs are now more visible on the Page, make sure that all of yours are filled out and up to date, put tabs you would prefer people visit higher up on the list. Adjust this by clicking “manage tabs” when looking at the list of tabs.
  • The “Promote” button has moved to the bottom of the tabs list

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Instagram Basics for Real Estate Professionals

You’ve decided you’ve heard enough about this Instagram app and you’d like to give it a shot as a Marketing Strategy for your Business, but you have no idea where to get started. We can help!

The Lingo:

Profile- Each user has a profile which displays the photos that they post

Post- A photo put on Instagram by a user

Hashtag- Similar to Twitter, photos can be organized and searched according to hashtag

Double Tap- The action required to “Like” someone’s post, double tapping the Post marks the image or video as Liked by your profile

Tag- Can be used to mark other users in your photo, give someone credit in a caption, or to alert your friends in a comment thread

Explore- This section of Instagram will show you photos based on the things you most frequently like (double tap), if you’re liking photos of people in your client demographic this can be a great way to find more potential leads

Comment- It is important to interact with your fans, one way is by commenting on their photos, this leaves a small message from you under their photo

Direct Post- This is very similar to the Direct Message feature on Twitter, it sends a photo and a message privately to a specific user

Re-Gram: Reposting an Image or Video (usually done with a third party app) that has been posted by another user, when and if you Re-Gram be sure to always credit your source

Meme: A funny image, usually with text above or over it, many Real Estate Agents take advantage of Memes to show the more humorous sides of their personality with work-related, comical but appropriate memes

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Understanding Instagram:

Instagram is a Social Media Platform that focuses primarily on Photo and Video. A strong Instagram presence can strengthen brand recognition, cultivate an online following, and establish yourself as the go-to for Real Estate Information. For a Real Estate Professional, Instagram can be an invaluable way to share:

  • Listings
  • Interesting Parts of a Property (a garden or large closet)
  • Parks and Schools in your Active Area
  • Photos of your Active Area (landmarks and fun)
  • Photos and fun with your Agents (humanize your Agents by letting your fans get to know them)
  • Videos of your Listings
  • Advice and How to’s

While Instagram’s web-based platform has been severely improved since its inception (you can now like, comment, edit your profile, and more) you still cannot upload new photos and video to the platform.

In order to create an account as well as upload new photos and video, you will need to have the Mobile App.

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Hashtags on Instagram:

Hashtags do more than just sit at the bottom of each photo you post, they’re used to sort posts in searches as well as enhance the “Explore” section of Instagram. It is essential not just to use hashtags on all of your pictures, but to make sure that your hashtags are relevant and effective.

Some of the popular Real Estate Hashtags on Instagram are:

#RealEstate #Realtor #LuxuryRealEstate #RealEstateLife

If your photo or video is also related to a more fringe aspect of Real Estate you can include that as well:

#InteriorDesign #SplitLevelRanch #OceanView #SeaSide #MountainHome #Remodel #HomeFlip #Home

Take advantage of popular hashtags to bring more people over to your profile, for instance: #MotivationMonday or  #ThrowbackThursday

When using these popular hashtags be sure that you are putting your own personal flavor in each post rather than posting a photo or video that isn’t related to your industry.

A Real Estate Professional can use #MotivationMonday to make a statement that motivates Clients or Agents. Take a look at the below example:

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Interacting on Instagram:

Interacting with potential followers is an extremely effective way to grow your fan base on Instagram. Search for posts with hashtags relevant to your demographic and like and comment on the posts. Commenting something as simple as “Nice shot!” or “Love your profile!” tends to warrant a follow from the fan, whereas simply liking a post will not have the same effect.

Stay in touch with users once they do follow you. Be sure to scroll down your newsfeed, liking, commenting, and interacting with your followers. If you’re more friendly and active, you are more likely to maintain your follow numbers.

If you see a follower has an experience you can relate to or a question you can answer, be sure to lend a hand! Even if that person is not in the market for a home right now, you will be the person they think of when they eventually do need a Real Estate Professional.

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Popular Instagram Apps:

While Instagram does include a photo editor in the platform, sometimes the things you would like to accomplish are not available, or you would like to add a little something extra to your photo before posting. There are plenty of free and paid apps to accomplish things like creating collages, overlaying text or adding special effects to images. Here are a few examples:

Afterlight: A popular Photo Editing App including filters, frames and textures Click Here

Layout from Instagram:  Created by Instagram, this app allows users to include multiple photos in a collage as well as apply special effects to any image  Click Here

Quick: Easily overlay text on any image in your library Click Here

Facetune: Edit and Adjust lighting, red eye, or blemishes when posting a portrait of a Client, Agent, or yourself Click Here

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Remember:

Don’t be too much of an online Salesperson, Instagram Users are looking for interesting content and interesting personalities, use this platform to showcase your creative self!

Posting Listings and Mini-Tours are great methods of including sales material in your profile, but they shouldn’t be the only things you post.

Share client memories (is an anniversary of a sale coming up? Tag your past client in a #ThrowbackThursday post about the sale), show off your Market knowledge with small videos explaining Real Estate Industry terms, Mortgage Rates and more.

Be sure that you stay active, interact with followers and potential followers by liking and commenting, and don’t forget to follow back!

 

 

Updating Information on a Facebook Page

There is no need to worry about outdated information staying on your Facebook Business Page because you can always make necessary adjustments to your “About” section. The “About” section houses some of the most important ways to reach you including your phone number, website, and address. As with any changes to your Business Page, you will need Admin Access to proceed.

Step One:

Go to www.Facebook.com and log into your Personal Account. Once logged into your Account, head over to your Business Page.

Locate and click on “About” below the Profile Image

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Step Two:

You will be brought to a “Page Info” area, from here you can make adjustments to any of the information stored and shown on your page by hovering the section you wish to change and clicking “edit”, you will be prompted to input any necessary information upon clicking “edit

Be sure to click save before exiting or your changes will not be updated.

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