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As we’ve discussed many times on this blog before, social media has exploded in popularity. Starting mainly as a way to connect with friends and family members online, it has become not just an important part of any business’ marketing plan, but a necessity. With so many social media platforms encompassing every niche, hobby and industry, it has become less difficult for industry leaders to find and communicate to their appropriate audience. In fact, leading real estate agents are no exception!

The best of the best have taken their social media tactics to the next level by sharing videos online, promoting listings and offering advice among many of the popular social media platforms. After all, the main goal of real estate agents who advertise online is to both attract and engage two types of people: (1) those who are interested in finding an agent to help sell their home and (2) those who are shopping online for a home.

Real estate agents are able to successfully attract both with simple, effective social media practices. Let’s take a look at some of the popular ways that real estate agents are promoting themselves, their business and their listings through social media platforms.

  • Using photos to promote listings. Photos are crucial, in both branding and showcasing listings. For branding, it’s important that all of your social media profiles include the same profile picture. This way, you are easy to recognize on more than one platform. Likewise, photos are just as important for listings. Next to price, photos are the second most important factor in peaking the interest of a possible home buyer. In fact, Preferred Agents on Homes.com can upload an unlimited amount of photos per listing. This way, Preferred Agents can showcase as much of the home as they want, right on Homes.com.

    Another Tip! On Homes.com, listings are sorted by total number of photos. So, the more photos you include with your listings, the higher they will appear in your local search results.

  • Video is Viral. Video is another great way to promote your business and your listings online. Start by creating a simple YouTube channel and post virtual tours or walk-thrus of your listings. Next, start adding videos that discuss real estate trends and give advice. The better the content, the more it will be passed as a link on social media sites. Who knows, you may even be able to partner with other agents in your office and create a can’t miss channel!
  • The right social media sites. There are so many social media sites these days, which makes it even more important for you to participate in the right ones. However, the right site is not the same for everyone. If you’re new to social media, it may be easiest to start with a Facebook account. With Facebook, you can start interacting with local homebuyers and businesses online and learn how communicating thru social media works. For expert social media users, try to find a site that specializes specifically in real estate. For example, WellcomeMat is a social media site that specializes in marketing real estate agents and their listings by producing and sharing video and information.

    Other social media sites to consider include: Twitter, Tungle.me, Flickr, MeetUp, LinkedIn, FourSquare, GoWalla, and so many more.

  • Lending advice. There is no better way to connect online than by engaging your audience in a forum where you are the expert! Real estate portals, such as Homes.com, provide real estate agents a community that is frequented by prospective home buyers and sellers who are seeking expert advice in all topics relating to real estate. In return, these communities allow real estate agents to build relationships online by answering these questions and interacting. Plus, the Homes.com Questions and Answers community even provides agents the ability to sign up for email notifications when questions are posted in certain topics or locations. Joining the conversation on Homes.com is easy, create your FREE MyHomes Profile today!

Are you a leading real estate agent? Tell us your favorite social media sites and experiences.

SOURCE: Mashable.