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Social media is defined as “a website for social networking in which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages and other content.” But for marketing purposes, social networking has become much more than status updates and photo albums. Getting a message across to your audience is the main goal of marketing your business and what better place to reach them than on the social channels they use every day?

Social advertising allows real estate professionals to not only connect with clients and prospects, but to also gain exposure to their own family and friends. Jimmy Mackin, named one of the top 100 influential people in real estate for 2013, provides a “how to” on optimizing this valuable tool in his “Generating Leads with Social Advertising” presentation from NAR 2013! Homes.com has highlighted the key points for each social network to help you make the most out of advertising on social media.

Facebook

There’s no arguing that Facebook is a heavy hitter in the social advertising world, as 76 percent of its user’s login daily and are spending an average of 8.3 hours a month sharing content with friends and family. This presents real estate professionals with more opportunities to have your ads seen, ultimately building your brands image by establishing a relationship with your audience.

Facebook has come a long way in since the introduction of their traditional ads, you know, the ones that are rarely clicked on that align the right side of the screen. Promoted Posts are far more effective because they are positioned in newsfeeds, where users focus most of their attention. Since promoted posts are mixed in with the content their friends are sharing, users will repeatedly see the advertisement and feel more compelled to share it with their friends.

For your post to provide the most value, there are a few key characteristics that you must remember. The first and most important is identifying your target audience. Facebook allows you to narrow down very specific demographics, rather than spending money on users in which it will provide little to no value.  The second, including an image that will grab the attention of your target audience.  Posts with photos are liked 2 times more than posts with only text, be sure that it clearly represents the message you want to convey.

Finally, you must  realize that social advertising requires you to invest both time and money. Instead of spending three hundred dollars on one campaign, start out slow and try different types of ads to see which ones actually work. The problem that many real estate professionals face is that they simply don’t allow enough time for the ad to work, you’ll have to continue spending a few dollars here and there as time goes along.

YouTube 

Everyone uses YouTube, which is why it’s the second largest search engine in the world. Recently, YouTube has required its users to watch an advertisement before you can view the your content. If you can create an advertisement that provides value, not just to your clients, this would be a great place to share it. According to NAR’s Digital House Hunt study consumers are searching for local neighborhood information, the home buying process and virtual tours.

Since YouTube is a pay-per-view or pay-per-click platform, real estate professionals are able to advertise content for only a fraction of what other outlets would cost. Another upside to using YouTube is that it can generate traffic to your website without your audience clicking on the ad, meaning free leads being driven to you!

LinkedIn

This unique professional networking site allows you to select your target audience based on their occupation. Are you wondering why this would be helpful? Imagine you have a luxury home for sale, the most realistic target market would consist of those with higher paying jobs. Rather than spending time and money targeting a broad demographic, use LinkedIn to promote a listing to those who can actually afford to purchase it. Once again, it’s important to consider who your target audience is to get the most “bang for your buck”.

Twitter

According to Mackin, “Twitter is how news is brought to the world”. As one of the most highly used social networks, Twitter indeed serves as a great advertising outlet. Here you can target demographics just like any other network, but you can also specify an audience by who they follow. Mackin highlights one tool that is unique to Twitter that is called Twitter Cards. Twitter Cards immediately provide you with a potential clients Twitter handle and email, allowing you to capture leads with a simple click of a button.

Homes.com has made this full presentation available for you to view, so that you can discover how to reap all the benefits of social advertising. To maximize your use of social media, check out the Social Media tool from Homes.com.