real estate marketing

New Feature Allows Videos as Cover Images for Facebook Pages

A few months ago, Facebook began beta testing Video Cover Images with a few featured big name Pages. Now Facebook is slowly rolling out the feature to everyone.

Via a pop-up displayed to Page Admins right in the Cover Photo area, the message is delivered that Pages may now use a 20-90 second video clip with dimensions of at least 820 x 312 pixels as their Cover Photo.

Video Cover Photos will auto-play on loop without sound, but viewers do have the option to play the video with sound by clicking a button.

Facebook regularly releases new functions via a slow roll-out, so while you may not have the feature just yet, keep an eye out for the pop-up letting you know.

 

How to add a Video as your Cover Image on Facebook

 

Before Getting Started:

  • If you do not yet have a video with the qualifying dimensions and length you will need to create one
  • You may use a video you have already uploaded as long as it is qualified
  • Make sure your video is relevant and branded, it’s better to have a relevant Standard Cover Photo than an unrelated Video Cover Photo

 

Step One:

Head over to your Facebook Business Page, hover over and click the camera icon in the top left corner of your Facebook Cover Photo

Step Two:

From the dropdown menu, select “Choose From Videos” to select a video you have previously uploaded to Facebook. Click “Upload photo/video” to upload a new video from your device.

If you select “Choose From Videos” but you do not yet have any qualified videos you will receive this warning message:

Once you have uploaded or selected your previously uploaded video, follow any remaining on screen instructions and click “Save”.

 

How to Create and Use Facebook Slideshows for Real Estate

As a Real Estate Agent you know the value of sharing your listings online- 92% of homebuyers use the internet as an information source. With Facebook’s massive Daily Active User base of over 1.2 billion people, the platform is an excellent place to display your listings to a large audience.

Sharing your listings and photos to your Facebook Business Page is a great start, but if you’d like to give your post that extra bit you can easily create a Facebook Slideshow right from your Page. A Facebook Slideshow is a series of up to 10 photos played in the video with a background music track. Users can use a Slideshow as a Facebook Ad, however you can also create a Slideshow and share it as a regular Facebook Post.

Feel free to get creative with your Slideshows! You can make them for any and everything, and they’re a simple way to create video straight on Facebook.

 

Here are some ideas for how to use Slideshows in Real Estate:

Listings: Share your listings a little more memorably. Arrange your favorite photos of your listing and add background music. You can’t add a text overlay in Facebook Slideshows, but you can always get around this by adding text to your images before uploading them to your Slideshow. Add facts about the listing on each photo for your viewers. When you post a Slideshow you also have the ability to “say something about this”, there you can add details about your listing if you’d like to stay away from a text overlay all together.

Open Houses / Events: Get the buzz going for your Open Houses and Events in advance on Facebook by creating a Slideshow with all the information needed and some relevant photos. For an Open House you can create an image with the Event details like time and date and follow it in the Slideshow with some photos of your listing. Canva is a great free image creation tool if you need to create an informative image for your Slideshow.

Educational: People in all stages of the Real Estate selling or buying process will follow your Business Page, you can show your knowledge of the industry and provide value to your followers by sharing informative and educational content from you personally to your Business Page. Think of an educational Slideshow as a PowerPoint that exists only in Facebook. Use an image creation program like Canva or Photoshop to create informative slides about everything from Home Staging to Home Inspections and more. If you’d rather share your educational content without worrying about creating images for slides, you can always go Live!

 

 

How to Get Started:

Step One)

Head over to your Facebook Business Page. Locate and click on “Share a Photo or Video” in the write something box.

Step Two)

In the pop up, select “Create Slideshow”

 

Step Three)

A window will appear, from this window you may create your Slideshow. First add your photos by clicking “Add Photos”.

Step Four)

You can select photos you have already shared from the labeled image galleries, or you can upload new files from your computer by clicking “Upload Photo”. You also have the option to take a photo with your computer’s camera by clicking “Take Photo”. When you have finished selecting the images you would like to include in your Slideshow click “Add Photos”.

Step Five)

If needed, you can rearrange the order in which the photos will display in your Slideshow by clicking, dragging, and dropping them in place on the bottom reel display.

Step Six)

Set the Aspect Ratio of your Slideshow. We suggest leaving it as it, but you do have the ability to change this if needed.

Set your Image Duration, this will be the same for every image in the slideshow. 3-5 seconds is good, if you have text on the images though set the length at 5 (as long as can be displayed).

Select your Transition, would you like a normal transition or a bit of a fade?

Step Seven)

At the top of the window locate and click “Music”. Here you may add background tunes to your Slideshow. You do have the ability to upload your own tracks, however Facebook provides plenty of sample music for you to choose from.

Scroll through, give them a listen and choose your favorite. The emojis at the top of the list of tracks are different categories. You can listen to a track by hovering over it to reveal the play button, and clicking play. To select a track simply click it (you do not need to click the upload button if you have selected a pre-existing Facebook track).

Step Eight)

When you are sure you’ve finished locate and click “Create Slideshow”.

In the window that appears add any text you would like to include where it says “Say something about this Slideshow…” when you have finished click “Publish”.

Posting the slideshow will take a moment and the post will not immediately appear on your Page. You will get a notification from Facebook once your Slideshow has successfully posted, typically this takes less than 5 minutes.

Using Video in your Social Media Strategy

In the last year on Social Media, the use of video has increased substantially. Early adopters and now all marketers are pushing for the use of video in a Social Media Strategy- if you’re going to be online, you should be on camera too.

On Facebook, video receives 135% more organic reach than a Facebook Photo, and there are estimates that videos will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2020. With so many platforms and options for producing and sharing video content it’s no wonder that video popularity is expanding.

Just in case you thought the focus on Mobile Friendly Pages and sites was overmore than 50% of videos watched online are watched using a mobile device.

 

Here are some important facts to consider:

  • 4x the number of consumers said that they would prefer to watch a video about a product or service than to read about it.
  • Facebook users spend 3x more time watching Facebook Live videos than regular Videos.
  • Facebook is quickly becoming TV’s biggest competitor as people spend more and more time on the social network, take advantage of that audience and get your content out there to be seen!

 

What Types of Video and Where?

Real Estate Professionals on Social Media have no shortage of platforms and video types to choose from. While video content is likely to outperform other content types on all channels, we heavily suggest using Facebook. If you have a large and active follower base on another platform like Twitter or Instagram you can of course post your content there, but Facebook has already cemented their position as the Social Media giant so your videos are most likely to get the most reach there.

Live Video: On Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram users have the ability to go Live and broadcast video to their followers in real time.

Instagram Live videos are only available for viewing as they are being broadcast and do not save to the platform, users do have the ability to save the videos to their phones however just in case you’d like to upload the file on another platform at a later date.

Twitter Live video is powered by Periscope, and while being broadcast is viewable by Twitter users and users on Periscope. When a user goes Live, the broadcast is automatically sent out as a Tweet and once the video is concluded the Tweet with the live broadcast will stay up, however users also have the ability to save the live video to their device.

Facebook Live videos are not only favored in the Newsfeed algorithm, but the numbers would suggest they’re favored by Facebook audiences as well. Facebook Live videos appear on the Newsfeed for fans, friends, and followers as a video is being broadcast, but they also remain as a post once the broadcast has concluded.  For how to steps and inspiration see our blog post.

Live Video

Record Your Own Video: Recording your own video and uploading it to YouTube (then everywhere else) is increasingly easy in our tech-heavy world. As high quality cameras become increasingly more affordable, it seems video editing programs are even getting more user-friendly. There is a built in video editor right on YouTube, but most computers also come with a standard video editing program that should be all you need to make great Real Estate content.

ownvideo

Use a Video Service or App: Using a video service or App can be an easy way to upgrade your video content. Keep in mind that most video services will charge a monthly or per video rate, one we have used before is GoAnimate. GoAnimate allows users to create simple animated videos from their pre-existing content with user input text. Think of GoAnimate as a sort of slideshow where you can edit the slides to be specific to your business.

There are also Apps that will allow you to create short videos from video or photo files straight from your Mobile device. Ripl will allow users to add text and motion to image files which you can then share directly to your Social Media. Ripl videos are much smaller (think GIFs) but they’re easy to make and extremely aesthetically pleasing.

We are not affiliated with either company and cannot provide support for either product/service, however we have utilized their services in the past.

Ripl

 

Getting Started with Video:

Write out a plan of action for your video before getting started. Preparation can save you from mistakes, especially when going Live.

  • Set a goal for your video

In an optimal situation what will this video provide for its viewers? What will it provide for you or your company?

Example: “This video will provide viewers with information on Reverse Mortgages, it will serve to show myself/my company are knowledgeable and will attract leads.”

 

  • Choose your platform and video type

Decide where your video will be hosted. You can create a video using a service, or create one at home and upload it to YouTube before sharing it to all of your Social Media accounts. You can also go Live from Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

 

  • Write a script

Even if you are going Live, you want to prepare a script. Make sure your subject is something you are knowledgeable on, and that your script is colloquial and easy to read. If you are going Live rather than recording your own video yourself or using a service, you may need to go off script from time to time, but having a plan or outline in place will save any embarrassing Live moments.

 

  • If you’re going Live, give your fans some notice

Since Live video is so popular (especially on Facebook), as long as you have an active audience to your Page, you will probably at least have a small group of viewers watching your Live video, but if you give your followers a little notice you can increase your numbers. Make up a quick graphic with Canva or Ripl for a clean professional heads up.

 

  • Share your video and stay up to date on comments

If you’ve created the video yourself and uploaded the file to YouTube, be sure to share your video on all of your Social Media accounts. You may get comments or questions on your video after you have shared it to your Social Media platforms (especially Live video), make sure you stay on top of these comments and provide answers to any questions within a reasonable amount of time. There is nothing worse than a lead slipping away due to slow or no response.

Sharing a Link on Your Facebook Business Page

As an active member of the Facebook Community, you may have to share a link on your Page every once in a while. Maybe you have a video on YouTube or on your Website, perhaps you would like to share a listing from the MLS- whatever the link may be you can certainly share it with your Facebook fans.

 

Step 1) Make sure you have the link you would like to share on hand, I usually leave the page open in another window while I log into Facebook. Copy the link to the webpage, you can do this by highlighting the URL in your search bar and typing “Control” (or Command) and “C”.

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Step 2) Open Facebook and head over to your Facebook Business Page. Once on your Page locate the “Write something” box.

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Step 3) Click into the box where it says “Write something…” and paste your link. You can paste by typing “Control” (or Command) and “V”.  You should notice that a link preview will start to automatically load below.

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Step 4) Once the link preview fully loads, you can delete the link text from the dialogue box and type anything you would like instead.

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Step 5) You can further edit your link preview. To change the title or link description text simply hover over the text and click. This will turn the area surrounding the text into a dialogue box where you can make necessary changes.

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Step 6) If more than one photo has been included in your link preview but you would like to share only one of these photos you can remove images by clicking them.

Similarly if you would like to add more photos to your link preview you can do so by clicking the “+” icon.

If you would prefer no image included, you can hit “Hide”.

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Step 7) Once you have finished making your edits, hit “Publish”.

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Once the post has been published, it should look something like this:

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Step 8) *Optional*

To give your link front and center visibility on your page you can “Pin it to the Top” of the page.

To pin the post to the top of your Page, locate and click the downward facing arrow at the top right side of the post box.

Select and click “Pin to Top

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After clicking, you can verify that your post is pinned to the top by checking for the blue pin icon.

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Removing a Board from Your Pinterest Account

Perhaps you are moving locations and that local board is no longer relevant to your business, maybe you’re getting out of Residential and focusing only on Commercial Real Estate, so you don’t need that big board of Backyards. Whatever the reason, there may come a point where you would like to delete a board from your Pinterest Account. If you have created this board on your own Account, then you do have this ability.

While I would suggest attempting first to repurpose the board- can you perhaps rename it and salvage some of its use? If you find that this board is just no longer in line with your needs, you can see the steps below to remove your board.

There is also the chance you do not own this board. Are you a collaborator to any board? If so you will not have the ability to delete the board in full, however you can remove yourself as a collaborator and thus stop the board from appearing on your Pinterest Account. Scroll below “Deleting a Board on Your Account” for step by step instructions on removing yourself as a collaborator.

Deleting a Board on Your Account

Step One)  Log into your Pinterest account, locate and click on the thumbnail of your profile picture in the top right portion of the screen.

Step Two)  Select “My Profile” from the dropdown menu.

Step Three)  While viewing your Profile, locate the board you would like to delete. Hover on the board and click “Edit”.

Step Four)  Please note that while in this window you can edit the board. If you would like to change the boards name or make it “secret” (visible only to you, the account owner) rather than delete the board entirely, you may do so here and click “Save”.

Step Five) If you are sure you would like to delete the board, locate and click on “Delete board”

Step Six)  When the window appears, click “Delete board”.

 


Removing Yourself as a Collaborator on Pinterest

Step One)  Log into your Pinterest account, locate and click on the thumbnail of your profile picture in the top right portion of the screen.

Step Two)  Select “My Profile” from the dropdown menu.

Step Three) Locate the board you wish to remove from your Profile. You will know this is a collaborating board if there is a circle in the bottom.

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Step Four)  Locate your Profile on the list of collaborators, click on “Leave” to the right.

Step Five)  When the pop up window appears, click “Leave”.

Publishing Job Posts on Facebook

Typically when you think of a Job Posting site, Facebook is not the first place that comes to mind, however they hope to be- and it makes sense. Facebook is already the social media giant, with 1.23 billion daily active users on average so why not try to cultivate some job applications there?

With this new feature you can. Pages will now have the ability to post Job Listings and receive applications from potential candidates. Applications will be sent by Facebook via Messenger, and will come pre-populated with the applying user’s Facebook information, however they can alter and update it as needed.

In a competitive and slightly unexpected move, these posts are free for employers to publish and there is no limit to how many posts a Page can have. This feature will be part of your “Write Something” box, and will slowly roll out to the U.S. and Canada so if you don’t see the feature just yet don’t panic.

 

How to Get Started

Step One: Head over to your Facebook Business Page and locate the “Write Something” box. Look to the bottom and click “See All”.

Step Two: Clicking “See All” should reveal more options, locate and click on “Publish a Job Post”

Step Three: In the pop up window you will be able to include all necessary information for your Job Post as well as a Live Preview.

Be sure to fill out all information and make your post eye catching. The image will default to your Cover Photo however you may want to pick something that will stand out more to someone searching for a job.

Step Four: When you have finished click “Publish Job Post”. A window will appear letting you know your post has been approved and that it will appear on Facebook.

Step Five: Your Job post will appear on your Pages Timeline.

Multi-Photo Posts for Instagram, and How to Use Them for Real Estate

Instagram can be a valuable tool for Real Estate Professionals who have access to home photos and are comfortable making posts from a Mobile Device. While Instagram may not be as popular as Facebook, you can still make your presence known, and hopefully snag a few leads.

Just this week Instagram released a new feature giving Users the ability to share multiple photos at a time in one Instagram Post. For Real Estate Professionals with many Listing’s photos, this is a huge improvement. Where you used to have to take the time to post all of the images you’d like to share on IG separately you can now share them all at once with all necessary hashtags in one place. This will save you time and make it easier for your fans to see everything you want them to see without having to click over to your profile. The less steps required for your fans to get what they desire, the better.

Ideas for Use in Real Estate:

  • Multiple Photos of One Listing
  • Before & After Images of Staging Services
  • Including Information & Contact Info as a Photo
  • Show Off Multiple Photos From a Single Event

 

How to Get Started:

Step One)

Open the Instagram App on your Mobile Device. Locate and click on the “+” button just like you would to make a regular post.

Step Two)

Choose the “Select Multiple” option on the right side of the screen. Then choose the photos you would like to include by tapping them.

Step Three)

The order in which you tap the images is the order in which they will be arranged in your post, that number will be displayed on right side of the image thumbnail. You may select up to 10 images, but try to only include pics you deem necessary. To un-select an image simply tap it again.

Step Four)

Once you have selected the photos you would like to use you will be able to edit your images and apply filters. The filter you choose will be applied to all the images in your post, however if you would like to edit and filter your images separately tap the individual image.

Step Five)

In the dialogue box be sure to write out any copy you feel is necessary. Remember to include relevant hashtags to boost your impressions and to aid in more organized results.  Once you have finished writing out your caption, hit “Share”.

Step Six)

Check that your post looks the way you would like it to appear, you can scroll through the different photos by swiping left.  Fans will know that your post has multiple images by the dots below the post. There is a dot for each image included, and posts can have up to ten images.

Why Should Your Social Be Mobile Friendly?

Facebook reported over One Billion Mobile Daily Active Users for December 2016 and this number is only expected to rise. Thus far, there has been a 21% increase year over year in Mobile users. This means that there is a significant portion of your Facebook audience that exclusively accesses Facebook via their Mobile devices, in fact over 55% of Facebook users ONLY log in via Mobile. First impressions are important and you want your Facebook Business Page to appear professional, neat, and optimized for all users- not just your Desktop followers.

If you have ever used Facebook on your Mobile device you may have noticed that Business Pages and Profiles display a little differently on your phone than they do on your computer. For starters, late last year Facebook added Call to Action buttons to the top of Business Pages. These include the options of Sign Up, Call Now, Send Message, Send Email, Book Now, Watch Video, and many more. With a professional looking Facebook Business Page you should certainly take advantage of this feature, especially if you’re trying to focus on those Mobile Users.

cta-button-choices

In the Mobile display, the Call to Action button is large and displayed front and center on your Business Page. Users already on their phones can easily place calls or move on to your website to schedule an appointment via this button. Time spent consuming digital material on Mobile is now significantly more than time spent on Desktop in the United States. 42% of the total hours of average digital media consumption are spent on Desktop while 51% is spent on Mobile screens. Open your business up to these hours of use by optimizing for Mobile.ctadisplaymobile-copy

In addition to missing out on a prime location for your Call to Action button, if your Page has not been optimized for Mobile the graphics on your Business Page may be cut off or cropped wrong on Mobile devices even though they look perfect on your computer. Please see the below examples:

     (Desktop)

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(Mobile without Optimization)

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(Mobile with Optimization)

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This difference in display is due to the change in dimensions for Facebook Cover Photos, on Desktop the optimal size is 828×315, however on Mobile the optimal size is 828×462 with the area visible on Desktop centered. Professional photos and graphics are really the way to go when it comes to your Facebook Business Page. Save yourself the frustration of trying to figure out the exact placement and design of your Cover Photo, and get that professional look right away.

Five new Facebook profiles are created every second, you want not only to access all of these users, but to also stand out from the crowd. If you are creating the Cover Photo yourself, you will want to keep your design simple with minimal text, bearing in mind that any contact information can be added to and displayed on your Facebook Page. You don’t want to weigh down your Cover Photo with too much information, be sure to keep it short, sweet, and to the point.

The most recent round of aesthetic changes to Facebook Pages can even affect your Profile Photo. Minimum dimensions of a Profile Photo are 180×180, however the optimal display will be 360×360 using a .PNG file rather than a .JPEG. This difference can result in your logo appearing cropped short, too small, or not loading at all.

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Every day 90% of Facebook’s Active Users access Facebook through Mobile, and over 55% of users ONLY ever access Facebook via the Mobile app. If your Business Page is not fully optimized for Mobile and Desktop users, you could be missing out on a significant portion of Facebook’s Daily Active Users, and most importantly you could be missing out on a lead.

 

Bonus Optimization Tips:

You’ll want to include your Phone Number and Address on your Business Page, not only will this help you appear in search results on Facebook, but adding the address helps Google pay more attention to and index your Page in local search results.

Do not leave your “About” section blank, you have the option to include a short and long description of your services. Make sure to complete both.

Use consistent branding, stick to the same logo, similar visuals and language on all of your sites and platforms to avoid any consumer confusion. For example, you don’t want to be using an outdated logo as your Profile Photo just in case someone searches you, sees the old logo, and thinks that Page is for a different company than the one their looking for all because of outdated information.

How to Edit the Information Displayed on Your Pinterest Business Profile

At the top of your Pinterest Business Profile near your Profile Photo is an About You – a short description of yourself and the services you offer, near this is a link to your website if you have one. Every once in a while you may need to adjust this area, maybe you’ve decided to focus on re-branding and need the About You and Profile Photo to match the rest of your marketing, perhaps you’ve gotten a promotion, new designation, or even moved locations. There is no need to worry about any outdated or incorrect information on your Pinterest, here we will outline how to edit the info displayed on your Business Pinterest Profile.

 

Step One)

Log in to your Pinterest Account at www.pinterest.com/login

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Step Two)

Locate and click on the thumbnail image in the top right corner, when the dropdown menu appears select “My Profile”.

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Step Three)

Once you are on your Profile, locate and click the gear icon.

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Step Four)

Clicking the gear icon will reveal a Business Account Basics area, to the left you will see a menu.

Locate and select “Profile”

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Step Five)

Once in the “Profile” edit screen, you will see you have the ability to change your Business Name, Picture, URL, About You, Location, and Website. Make any desired changes to your information here, be sure to click “Save Changes: before closing the screen.

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Here is a video displaying the steps described in the guide above: 

 

How to Change Your Cover Photo on Facebook and Twitter

An aesthetically pleasing and professional cover or banner image is an important part of your Social Media branding as a Real Estate Professional. Having a custom banner made with your specific information or creating one yourself can leave an excellent first impression on a potential new client, that’s why it’s so important to know how to change your cover image as well as all the specifics that go into creation.

Pro Tips:

  • Make sure you are working with larger images as to not stretch and blur the photos in your cover or banner.
  • Use legible fonts and a color scheme that is easy to read.
  • If it is not a state requirement, do not include your contact information. Facebook prefers users look to the page itself for any information needed.
  • Adhere to any guidelines set forth by your state law or your companies policy, if you are having your banner created always let your designer know what you know.
  • Implement designs that are both desktop and mobile friendly

 

Facebook

Cover Photo Dimensions: 828×465 visible on mobile, 828×315 visible on desktop

Step One)

Log in and head to your Facebook Business Page, on the cover photo locate and click on the camera icon.

Step Two)

A dropdown menu will appear with four options:

  • Choose from Photos– choose a photo you have already uploaded to Facebook either as a previous cover photo or any other image upload.
  • Upload Photo- upload a photo file from your computer.
  • Reposition– adjust the placement of your cover photo.
  • Remove– will remove the current cover photo and leave the space a blank grey, this does not delete old cover photos it simply takes them down.

Choose the option that applies to you, typically “Choose from Photos” or “Upload Photo”.

Step Three)

Once you have uploaded or selected your new cover photo, you will have the option to drag and position the cover. As soon as you are satisfied with the position of your cover photo be sure to click “Save”.

 

Twitter

Twitter Banner Dimensions: 1500×421

Step One)

Head over to Twitter.com and log into your profile. Once you have logged in, locate and click on the thumbnail in the top right corner of the screen, when the dropdown menu appears click on “View profile”.

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Step Two)

Once on your profile, locate and click on “Edit profile”.

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Step Three)

Click on “Change your header photo”.

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Select “upload photo” from the dropdown menu that appears. Select the file from your computer and adjust as needed. Be sure to click “Save Changes” when you have finished.

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