Social Media For Realtors

Creating a Facebook Canvas for Your Listing

Facebook’s Mobile Daily Active User base continues to grow each year with the most recent numbers being reported at 1.09 billion per day on average for September 2016. With such a large segment of Facebook using the site solely on their phones, it could be extremely beneficial to offer a post that is specifically geared for Mobile Users.

Last February Facebook introduced Canvas a full screen experience that can be created on a desktop but is only view-able by mobile users. Canvases can include photo carousels, call to action buttons, photo, embedded video, and text. A Canvas can be used as a Facebook Ad or just as a Facebook Post. Due to the immersive style of the Canvas and the heavy visual component, it is a great way to bring your listings to life for your mobile network.

Tips Before Getting Started:

  • Gather all display information you will need for the listing
  • Gather all images and/or videos together- homes, logos, etc
  • Make sure all images and videos are clear and crisp

 

Step One:

Log into www.facebook.com and head to your Facebook Business Page. Once at the Page look to the dialogue box, locate and click the Photo/Video icon.

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Step Two:

Upon clicking a menu will appear, locate and click on Create a Canvas

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The option will appear to select a canvas, click on the + to the right hand side

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Step Three:

Upon clicking a page will appear with the option to Get started with Start with a tour, Open a blank canvas, or Download a layout or to Get Help with Tips and Best Practices and Examples.

Feel free to explore here as much as you like, check examples for inspiration, see if there is a layout you already like. Today we will be starting with a blank canvas so when you are done exploring, locate and click on Open blank canvas.

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A window will appear with the different content blocking options, Button, Carousel, Photo, Text Block, Video, and Header. Select the one you wish to start with and click ok, we will begin with a Header.

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Step Four:

Once you have clicked on Header a design window will appear. Select the color theme you would prefer and then upload the photo you would like to use as your header image. As you are adding to your Canvas, look to the right to see a preview.

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Step Five:

Add your next content block by clicking 7 in the top left of the design window, we are going to add a Text Block.

Step Six:

Once you have selected the Text Block option, a dialogue window will appear. Enter all relevant introductory information you wish to share (we will put photos below) in this box.

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Step Seven:

Now that your text and logo have been added, if you have a video to include you may put it below.  Click 9in the top left of the design window and then select Video, if you do not have a video to include skip ahead to the next step. Once you have clicked on Video an upload window will appear, please note that you cannot use a video link you must have the video saved to your computer to include it in the Canvas. You can choose whether to fit the video by width or height, this is an aesthetic decision but I typically prefer the fit to width option. Once successfully uploaded, the video will appear in the preview window to the right.

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Step Eight:

Even if there is no video you definitely want to be sure that you are sharing quality, clear images of your Listings. Home seekers are more likely to view a home after they see it online first, this ensures both you and the potential client that they are in fact interested in the property at least aesthetically. The more information you provide, the better chances you will have of targeting just the right person.

Again to add another component locate and click on 11 in the top left of the design window and then select Carousel, if you have more than one image to display you can place them here in a photo carousel which users can swipe through rather than scroll down.

Choose the layout of your images, again I will be using fit to width, this option will allow you to make each of the uploaded images a link rather than just an image.

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Notice the numbers at the top left of the upload box, if you would like to include more than 2 images simply click the + to add more.

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Locate and click on the Upload Image button to add photos to your carousel. Be sure to include a link with each picture. You can use the online listing, your website, landing page, a virtual business card, or the site that works best for you.

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Step Nine:

For our final component we are going to add a Call to Action button to the Canvas. To begin, locate and click 15 in the top left of the design window and then select Button. Once the Button window has appeared you may edit the text in the dialogue box. Below the dialogue box be sure to add the link you believe would be most beneficial. You can change the design of the button using the option below the link box.

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Step Ten:

Once you have completed your Canvas, locate and click Save in the top right portion of the screen

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As soon as your Canvas has saved, click on Finish

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*PLEASE NOTE* Once you have finished a Canvas you cannot change it, review your Canvas now to be sure it is exactly as you wish it to appear. Add more components if you feel they would be beneficial to your Canvas. If there is a component you would like to remove locate and click the three dots and select delete.  19 If you would like to move the component up or down, use the arrow keys to the left.

Once you are sure your Canvas is perfect, click finish

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Step Eleven: 

Your Canvas may not initially appear with a cover image, be sure to click Upload Image and add a cover photo. You may include any text you see fit to go along with you Canvas post. When you are done click Publish

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Make sure to check Facebook from your Mobile Device to be sure that the Canvas is exactly as you imagined, remember Canvas is only for mobile and will not be view-able from a desktop or laptop.

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Checking Pinterest Notifications and Messages

You use Pinterest all the time to check for new recipes, look up design ideas, and your Business Account serves as a source of inspiration for potential homebuyers in your network, but how do you make sure you are staying up to date with all of you pin-connections? Simply check your notifications and messages. You should check your Account notifications and messages at least once a week to ensure you don’t miss communication with anyone, and Pinterest will send you some pin ideas for when your own creativity well is running dry.

In the notifications section you will receive alerts regarding:

  • Personalized pin recommendations
  • Who has been liking and saving the same ideas as you and who is following your boards
  • The ideas people you know have been saving and liking
  • Which new boards people are creating and following

In the messages section you will receive:

  • Messages
  • Pins fellow users send to you
  • Group board invitations
  • Comments on your pins

Please see the steps below to check your notifications and messages:

Step 1)

Head to www.Pinterest.com and log into your Business Account

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Step 2)

Once you have logged into your Account you will be brought to the home screen with a search bar, tabs on either side and suggested pins below

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Step 3)

At the top of the screen, to the right of the search bar locate and click the message icon

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Step 4)

To see your notifications, click on the Notifications option on the left, scroll within the window to review your notifications

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Step 5)

To check your messages, click the Messages option on the right, If you have any messages they will be located within the window. You can view your messages by clicking on them.

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If you would like to send a message to a friend, you can do so by clicking the New message option in the top center of the window.

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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!

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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3 More Tips to Boost Audience Engagement

You have already sent out your Email Template to all of your email contacts, and your Pages have been receiving relevant daily content, but you would like to interact even further with your audience on Facebook. No need to worry! Here are 3 more ways you can easily boost your engagement on Facebook!

 

 1) Create Events, and share them regularly

A Facebook Event is a calendar-like invitation created by a Facebook user that can be either public or private and is sent to other Facebook users to inform and remind them of the date, time, and details of an actual live or virtual event. Sharing your upcoming Open House as an Event is a great way to let followers know what you have to offer and when. If you’re going to have a Live Video Event, one way to let your network know in advance is to create a Facebook Event. For more information on how to create an Event, click here. If you would like ideas on how to use FB Live Video for Real Estate, click here.

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2) Include your Social Media on all other marketing

Now that you have Social Media Pages set up and being posted to regularly, you’ll need to be sure that all of your marketing includes your Social Media. Be sure to have Social Media Call to Action Icons installed on your website and in your email signature. We also strongly suggest having links to your Social Media listed on your Business Card. Make sure to shorten your Facebook Business Page link by creating an @Username. For a step by step guide on how to install Social Media CTA’s on Your Website, click here. To learn more about Social Media CTA’s in your email signature, click here. For more information on how to change your Facebook @Username, click here.

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3) Post images when you update

Users are three times more likely to read your post if there are images included, post quality photos of your Listings, Office, and Agents if applicable. When the opportunity presents itself, ask happy clients for a photo in front of their new home and share these to your Pages. Be sure to ask clients if they would like to be tagged, and always ask before putting someone’s photo online. While you are on your Page posting eye-catching images, make sure that your Banner Image and Profile Picture are crisp, cropped well, and aesthetically pleasing. If you would like more information on how to post a listing with photos, click here. For a step by step guide on how to change your Profile Picture, click here.

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Adding A Facebook Business Page @Username

The Facebook @Username is the name that will appear directly in the link to your Business Page. It should be optimized to be easily searchable, related to your unique branding, and if possible it should match your other Social Media Usernames. You will not be able to add an @Username, and you may not see the option to do so until your Page has reached at least 25 likes.

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While the Facebook @Username is not a new feature, it is now being displayed directly under the Profile Image as part of the recent Facebook Business Page Update.

Before changing your Facebook @Username, here are a few things to consider:

  • If you already have a Username and wish to change it, you can do so in the “About” section of your Page.
  • The @Username must not already be in use by another Page
  • Alphanumeric characters or a period only, however please note that a period will not be considered part of the Username, so “Smith54” and “Smith.54” are the same name
  • You must be an Admin to the Page to change an @Username
  • There is an alternate method to adding an @Username, if you do not see the prompt under your profile image check out the other method at the bottom of this post

 

Step One:

Head over to your Facebook Business Page and locate the @Username under your Profile Image. If you have not yet created a Username you will see “Create Page @Username”, however if your Page already has a Username, it will appear here. If you already have an @Username but wish to change it please go to the “About” Section of your Page (located under the @Username) and make changes under “Username”

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Step Two:

Click “Create Page @Username”, upon clicking a window will appear. Enter the Username you would like for your Page and select “Create Username”.

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If the @Username you have entered is available, a confirmation window will appear. If the name is not available you will need to enter a new Username.

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Alternate Step One: 

If you are unable to locate the @Username under your Profile Image, you can still add one in the “About” section of your Page.

Head over to your Business Page, locate and click on “About”.

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Alternate Step Two: 

You will be brought to an “About” section, locate the “Username” tab. Hover over the tab and click “Edit”.

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Alternate Step Three: 

An editing window will appear, enter your desired @Username and click “Create Username”.

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If your @Username is available and the adjustment is successful a confirmation window will appear.

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Adding a Social Media CTA to Your Website

 

In this age every legitimate business needs a website, a central online location to display all of your information and ways to contact you. Including Social Media Icons on your website is an essential part of growing your Social Media network and boosting client confidence when they look at the site.

More than on a static website, Social Media allows a Real Estate Professional to put that personal touch in each post. Share your unique perspective with website visitors as well by including Call to Action icons on the website.

Not all websites are created through the same means, and because of that please take your specific needs into consideration:

  • If you use a drag and drop creator like Wix or Foursquare to create your website, there should be a Social Media section in the site creator that will allow you to add the URL’s to your Social Media Pages to the site.

 

  • If you need to create the code by hand for the website, but do not know how to code yourself, use a free service to create code for Social Media Icons and then paste the code into the backend of your website. You can use sites like AddThis, NiftyButtons or SimpleSharingButtons. For this example we will use AddThis.

 

  • If you have a web developer you can send them the code you have created to implement, or have them write icons in by hand for you.

 

Using AddThis to create “follow” buttons that redirect to your Social Media Accounts.

Step One:

Create an AddThis account, I signed up using Facebook rather than enter my information manually.

If you already have an AddThis account, log in and click “Follow Buttons”

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Step Two:

Click “Go To Dashboard”

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Step Three:

Choose “Header Follow Buttons” for floating buttons that will appear at the top of your site

Or choose “Inline Follow Buttons” to add buttons to the footer or sidebar of your site

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Step Four:

Fill out the required information. As you are making edits, the buttons will appear in the Live Preview box at the top of the Page. These buttons are clickable so be sure to test them.

Title- text will appear next to buttons, typically “follow” but you can change to “Follow Me On Social” or something more personal.

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Follow Services: Choose which services you would like to include from the grey icons, we suggest Facebook Twitter and Pinterest as those are the sites we will be updating for your daily. Add these by clicking the green “+” that appears when hovering the icons.

Add *YOUR* Links:

Scroll to the bottom of the Page and input your links as needed. Do not input the full URL, put only what comes after the “.com/”

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To remove any services you do not want to include as buttons (Google+ for example comes prepopulated) scroll to the bottom of the Page and click the “x” on the right side.

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Step Five:

Choose your theme from the four available options. When you are finished be sure to save!

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Step Six:

Copy and paste the code into the backend of your website as described. You can get more assistance if needed in the links at the bottom of the Page.

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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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