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When it comes to branding and marketing in the 21st century, social media has become the number one source for getting your message to the people you want to reach. Aside from branding, social media offers RE/MAX® agents multiple opportunities to enhance their results in areas such as sales, customer service, public relations, client retention, and research and development.

Consider your Facebook page. The goal is to connect with “fans,” get your brand message out to them, have them start talking about your message or their connections and then link up to even more potential clients. That’s the entire goal of social marketing – to use technology to build, maintain and grow on-going, positive relationships with clients and potential clients.

Here are six projected trends that all RE/MAX® agents and brokers should be integrating into his or her social marketing strategy in 2014.

1. Social Signals Are Running the Show. Social media plays an increasingly critical role in being found and search engine gurus are reporting that Google’s algorithms are increasingly relying on signals from social networks more so than traditional avenues like backlinks and other technical cues, because users are actively curating and engaging with the content there (Search Engine Watch). Pages with a high number of likes, shares, tweets and +1’s stand out because of a very high volume of social signals. Consumer activity on social networks continues to rise and content that they’re engaging with correlates with good rankings (Search Metrics). That is why writing, posting and sharing helpful (and local) information is key.

2. Use VisualsStudy after study shows that today’s tech-savvy homebuyer would rather see than be told, which is why creating videos and posting photos of properties is vital in growing your business. Use your social media sites to showcase your listings and be sure to include plenty of smiling faces and familiar local sites to show your love for the community too. Other ideas are to display fun snaps of your real estate team, showcase testimonials and offer staging tips from professional stagers.

3. Share and Promote Local Events and Businesses: Inspire local branding by using your social media channels to discuss the events happening in your area and the local businesses that people can patron. These businesses will appreciate you mentioning them and can be a great source of referrals down the road. You want to be the face of the neighborhood and have people at restaurants, coffee shops and schools know you, and the same holds true with social media – you want to be the real estate face people think of when they go online.

4. Optimize All Channels: Sure, Facebook may be doing wonders for you, but don’t hang your hat there and think that’s enough. Make sure your Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+ sites are doing their job as well. If you’re not already active on these sites, get to it. Your goal is to reach as many people as you can, promote your content and engage with your audience, create trust and build the ultimate online community. Going back to the visual element mentioned above, Pinterest is retaining and engaging users at two to three times as efficiently as Twitter was not too long ago and accounted for 3.6 percent of referral traffic.

5. Network Via Social Media Sites: Remember, social media is a two-way street. Yes, your goal is to get others to notice you, but don’t forget to keep an eye on what’s happening in the lives of those you are connected with. Be sure to monitor your news feeds, Twitter messages and photos on other social media sites to be aware of any big events happening in the lives of your connections. If you notice someone recently had a baby or a child is graduating or getting married – their housing needs are shifting and they’ll soon need a larger or smaller home as their family expands and moves out.  Send them a little congratulatory message to stay front of mind to be be sure they think of you if and when they decide to move.

6. Social Education: Visit the Homes.com booth at RE/MAX® R4 and attend our social media educational session, “Keeping up with Search, Social and Mobile” featuring Erica Campbell Byrum, Director of Social Media for Homes.com and ForRent.com on Tuesday, March 4th from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m!

RE/MAX® professionals trying to keep up with the perpetually evolving world of social media now have a tool that will make branding a whole lot easier – Homes Social! This comprehensive social marketing suite was designed to help agents and brokers manage their brand online, engage with more prospects, protect your online reputation, control the conversation and drive leads. For more details regarding packages, pricing and features, click here, call us at 888-510-8795  and watch the video below to discover how easy it is to brand yourself online with Homes.com Social!