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As a real estate professional, you are constantly being told to make use of social media to grow your business. Most of your colleagues think this only means they should use Facebook or LinkedIn as another place to advertise their listings and post a brochure about themselves, but there’s a lot more you can do to help grow your business.

Doing the basics makes sense. After all, the vast majority of your potential buyers are on social media, and most (94%) will search online for their new home. But social media is meant to be interactive; it is a place to build a positive reputation. Being savvy about this will set you apart from the casual realtor and enable you, over time, to get more listings.

Understanding the individual platforms is vitally important. Each has its own unique trending process that will increase traffic and engagement, which in turn creates potential leads. So how should you act online so that your network values you and is more likely to generate referrals? Here are a few tips:

Go beyond broadcasting your listings. Be interactive and engage with people on a one-on-one level, as well as in groups. There are tons of choices, so just get your name out there with the people you care about offline or with whom you would normally enjoy interacting. If your child’s school has a Facebook page, join it. Let people know who you are and that you care about your child’s school. When his classmates’ parents are looking for a home, they will have seen your name and they will know where to find you for help.

Be informative. Think of a few subjects that you are passionate about. Keep a list of interesting online articles on these subjects, comment on them, and share them. You could care about home design or remodeling, for example. Don’t be afraid to be controversial or political. If you are interested in issues regarding fair housing or rent control, post on those, too. Maybe you care about the local schools, which is obviously a huge topic for young home-buyers; post about it.

Be interesting and creative: Social media posts that utilize images are shared more often than a basic text post. On Facebook, that means be sure to include a dynamic featured photo (a beautiful home in the area perhaps) to go along with your content. For Twitter, that means not only a pithy and engaging tweet, but an image that would cause someone scrolling through the feed to pause. Share images of happy clients in their new homes, as well as pictures of your listing. The more personal you can make the conversation, the more likely they are to reach out.

Take advantage of locality. The ability to target based on geography is going to be your best friend. For Facebook, you can target your content to a zip code, alerting people of your valuable content as well as your expertise in a particular neighborhood. The same goes for Twitter, though the ability to target is better applied through the use of hashtags. Again, don’t stop with just stock information about the listings in a particular area—expand and include restaurants and attractions in the neighborhood that would draw people in.

Approach it with a slow, but consistent approach. If it is your first time being active on social media for business, there is no shame in exploring, experimenting, and taking it slow. The most important item on your list should be designing best practices in order to get the most out of your time spent conducting online business networking. Stay vigilant and consistent. Most of all, focus on starting a conversation.

While social media is clearly a great channel to get out the word and build demand for your current listings, all real estate agents understand that. If you want to leverage social media to set yourself apart, then use it to build a stronger network; and be useful to that network so that your referral network grows.

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