Are you motivated by what you see? 

In today’s social world we are exposed to so much content it’s hard to keep up.  We know more about our friends, family and neighbors than anyone ever cared to know.  Information is at our fingertips in seconds.  I can find out information on just about anyone or business, on any social media platform right now, because the world is telling us in real time.

In many cases, I love the information highway and the fact that I can learn so quickly.  Learning when I want to learn, is how I want to learn.  Not when you tell me.  I often wonder how I made it out of high school not having a smart phone.  Good thing we had the library and read encyclopedias.

So, what do you really look at on social media? When I look at Instagram, I have access to real estate agents all over the United States and all over the world to see how they work.  Many agents are famous on Instagram. Some of us are famous on Instagram and sell real estate. Some of us are famous on Instagram and when we look up their numbers, they’re just famous on Instagram. I’m not knocking those that aren’t selling real estate but are famous on Instagram, However, if you’re famous on Instagram, hopefully you are using that platform to talk to the consumer and educate the consumer, so you can sell real estate.  We had to start somewhere!

If the truth be told, and you look up my numbers I’m not selling real estate. Do i have an answer? Of course, I am now a real estate broker owner of a company in Illinois. I’ve been selling real estate since 2001 and transitioned to an owner in 2017. What I learned from my previous brokerage, is that the managing broker really needed to be available to train and educate the agents in the office. Otherwise, the owner/managing broker, if they are selling real estate, they become the competition for the agents in the office. I am not saying that the owner shouldn’t sell, however if you are going to own a company, you may want to look at the model you want for your company. You may want to be the leader of your company and become the lead generator.  Then all the business goes under your multiple listing service ID.  Then the agents work for you and they go out and work with your clients or the business that you build with lead generation.  This model is where you’re the person that talks to the clients and manages the business.

Before opening my brokerage, CarMarc Realty Group, I encouraged my husband to get his license so I could run the company and he could work with our clients. As I’m writing this blog post, I currently have 26 agents including myself. I found that I need to be able to answer questions via phone, text and email.

Ask yourself this question, are you driven or motivated by what you see on social media? If you decide to be like other agents on social media, make sure they comply with your license law and the code of ethics. Just because someone has an awesome Instagram account, doesn’t mean they’re ethical.  Agents will often challenge me and say, Carrie, “this agent is doing it, why can’t I?” My response is “If that agent jumped off a building are you going to follow along?”  Or do you want to be your authentic you? Agents aren’t always successful online first.

Agents that generate leads or have a huge following on social media, might already have a huge network, allowing for lead generation to come easy.  Remember, you can’t beat what you copy. Emulating what other agents do on social media, may or may not be a great idea.   It doesn’t mean that you’re going to beat the other agent business, but you need to think about what you want out of your social media for real estate. You could be the most popular agent on Instagram and the most broke agent on Instagram. When I started selling real estate in 2001, I had an 11-year-old, an almost 3 1/2-year-old and I became pregnant.  My goal was to make a living not a killing.  Learn from other agents, can you emulate what they do, however, you won’t be your authentic you.  We didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, dig, delicious, stumbled upon, reddit, Instagram and Snapchat. We had to generate business, via the mailbox, networking, newspaper ads, and maybe a billboard.  For me making a living included, going to the swimming pool as often as I could with my kids every summer.  Therefore, I planned my day so I could be a parent that would spend time with my kids while they were young.

As of today, my youngest, who knows what a commission check is, is in his last year of high school. Now I can run a company, educate the agents in my office, help my agents close deals, train agents all over the United States, train office staff, and write a blog post and create videos and a podcast.  “I love what I do.”

Ask yourself this question, “what do you really want?”  Do you want to be like me, the agent on Instagram or do you want to be like you? I challenge you to sit down and write down your goals. I challenge you to come up with what you want out of real estate. That might change in 5 years.

You don’t have to do what everyone else does on social media. Remember, you can’t beat what you copy.  Your goal is to grow every year in business, not copy other agents, but a successful business while building your own brand.  If you’re motivated by what you see then you can’t be your authentic you!  Trust when I say, everyone knows when you are trying to be someone else.  So, Be your authentic you!

Real Estate Beyond Social Media

Social Media is one of the best ways to build any small business.  It’s easier and faster to generate a lead in today’s market than ever before.  In the early 2000’s I remember when we had to place a buy newspaper ads, door knock, put out doorknob bags, cold call and send direct mail marketing to compete in this industry.  We also built our businesses with our friends, neighbors and family.  Also known as your sphere of influence and relationship building. Some of us actually used a fax machine to send flyers.  This was the every day hustle for most real estate agents.

Today, I use Social Media to build relationships, connect with friends, colleagues, and education.  Social Media has changed the way I generate leads and close deals.
Although, social media has changed the game, real estate agents need to know the basics of the business.
Beyond Social media we need to understand the rules, how to work with buyers and sellers, how to explain statistics, know our markets, manage a transaction and follow up. You can be the best social media marketer, but if you don’t get the basic skills of selling real estate you will end up losing clients or building a successful business.
Every month I have the opportunity to teach approximately 200 new real estate agents. When your agents come to class the only thing they want is a paycheck.  In most cases the newbie agents signed up thinking they were getting a “Real Job”.  Someone forgot to tell them they were responsible for generating their own business.  I’m often asked if I can coach or mentor agents.  I am always happy to help you spend your money, but before I do, there are so many tools available to help with becoming a better agent.
  1. Take all the free training from your brokerage – if it’s not free,  why?  If you are paying monthly fees to have your license with a firm, why are spending extra money for training?  If you signed up for a 100% company, then I can see why you pay for training.  You signed up to make all the money when you close a deal, so the company holding your license needs to make money too.  Basically, 100% is 100% for a reason.  If the truth be told, 100% of nothing equals nothing.  You could easily be the broke agent if you don’t get training.  So educate yourself!  On-demand learning.  Join Marki and I in Real Estate Live with Carrie & Marki, where we educate agents on Facebook.
  2. Sign up for every free course provided by your local association.  It doesn’t matter who you sign up with, 100%, flat fee, or a split based firm, you can get the training if you seek it out.
  3. Sign up for every MLS class.  In my market our MLS trains you at no additional cost. You do pay for training in your dues, but you can show up to class for “FREE”.
If you take advantages of training you will be better off than agents that have been in the market for years.  Once we think we’ve learned it all, we stop learning.  Go get the education and keep learning.
Here’s what hard, we want to go from not understanding to understanding everything there is to being a real estate agent overnight.  It just won’t happen.  You have to become a learner of the business, work longer hours than a regular Monday through Friday job, and become an entrepreneur.
“It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert”  Malcolm Gladwall
My full time job will not accommodate your part time effortsMarki Lemons-Rhyal 
Do you want tips on how to start in your first six weeks of business?  Click here for my jump-start guide to beginning in real estate.
Follow me on Instagram and Instagram TV

10 Ways to Generate Content for Facebook Live & Periscope

Be your own broadcaster.  Take over your market place with your smartphone.  Don’t think you can do it?  Neither did I.  Before I open my own real estate firm, one video produced 1.9 million in volume.  I love proving that social media works, if you work it!  Start today and create content that people want to view.

10 Ways to Generate Content

Talk about the home buying process and the selling process.  This is the one that lead to 10+ transactions.  1,900,000 million in volume.  

  1. Share information about your market place. What types of homes are in your city?  Do you live or work in an area with a specialty home?  I happen to live in a city where we have Sears homes.  These homes were available for purchase via the Sears catalog.  How about the history of your city?
  2. Come up with information that the person moving to your city may not know.  Example: Do you know why highways have exits in the middle of the highway verses the outer sides? 
  3. What can you share that will create a “Click Thru, Call To Action, Share, ……..”?
  4. What’s happening in the cities you work in? Upcoming events, Farmers Markets, Things to know about the city, and the park district.
  5. Grab content from RPR – Neighborhood statistics, economic data, and city information.
  6. Do you have a real estate niche? Share that information in your live broadcast.  Luxury Real estate, 1st time buyers, commercial, how to prepare to own a home, home maintenance, the fastest way to pay down your mortgage or how to become an investor.
  7. Share information from your multiple listing service. Example: Breaking news – There are 125 pre-foreclosures in the city of _______________.  Go to a specific lead capture form to request a list from area.  Always share accurate information and reference the source.
  8. Explain the impact on your market place. Has it improved or declined.  How long does it take to sell a home?  When is the best time to list a home?  When is the best time to purchase a home?
  9. Check out Cloud CMA’s “What’s My Home Worth”? lead capture form. Talk about home value.  Then offer What’s My Home Worth link.
  10. How about a “Live” Session where your followers can ask you about Real Estate”?  Ask me your real estate questions live every Thursday at 7pm.

CONTENT FOR LIVE cj

Becoming a live broadcaster might be intimidating for many.  However, if you plan your live broadcast you’ll find live streaming to be easy.   Don’t expect your 1st videos to be perfect.  There are many that go live and are great off the cuff, However, if that’s not you, here are a few tips.

  • Consider pre-marketing your broadcast via email or social media. Announce when you’ll go live.
  • Make sure you have a strong connection – nothing like going live and you drop the broadcast.
  • Remind your viewers to subscribe to your broadcasts and share with their friends.
  • Write down talking points so you have something to bring your ideas back to memory.
  • Thank your followers and acknowledge them by name. You can do this before the broadcast starts, during the broadcast or at the end.  Do what make sense for your business.
  • Always thank people for watching and ask them to come back.
  • The more you go live the more followers you’ll get. So, “Go Live Often”.
  • The longer you broadcast you’ll reach more people. Look at your analytics and go live when your followers are online.

There is no magic formula for live streaming.   The results will be different for everyone.  Be your authentic you. Tell a great story and just do it!  Subscribe to my YouTube Channel.

Generate Leads with Snapchats New Feature

So, what is this new feature?  The new Snapchat feature allows your friends and others to see your exact location, literally.  My daughter, Lauren, figured out that the new feature let’s everyone know when she is at home in the house.  That might be concerning for many.  The great part is you can turn it off and switch to Ghost mode.   Setup Ghost mode or leave your location mode on.  The choice is yours.  Steps to allowing the world to see you or not!

  1. Pinch your screen while in snapchat. The first time you pinch you’ll see these steps:

See the World with Snapchat

2. Find your friends and select who can see your location.  Do you want to become a ghost or allow your family and friends to see you?  Real Estate and networking Tips below.

IMG_82123. Ghost mode prevents the world from finding you.  When in ghost mode you’ll have the ability to find those that turned off Ghost mode.  Turn it back on when you want people to see you.  Just don’t forget to turn it off.  Otherwise, anyone has the potential to find you.

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4.  If you add specific friends they have the ability to view your story.  A story built around a specific group of people.  Maybe your family, high school friends, real estate friends, your company, college friends, etc.

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5.When Ghost mode is turned off others will see your bitmoji.  That’s me below. My husband, kids and immediate family can always see me on the map.

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6. When in Ghost mode only you can view your location.  This image doesn’t appear on anyone else’s map.  You’ll have the ability to view others on the map but they can’t see you.

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This new feature might have you worried.  I would definitely turn it off when at home or when I’m out and about.  With social media we should be concerned that it’s so easy for someone to find us. However, if you are take advantage of the location feature, in our out of Ghost mode, it might help with your real estate business.  Think, when would you want people to know where you are?

  1. Open Houses – tell your network to find your next open house via Snapchat.
  2. Networking events – let others know where you are so they can connect
  3. Turn on the feature when showing houses so your family can find you.  This is a great safety tip.
  4. Are you member of an organization that has events?  As a Women’s Council Member, I can turn on my location so you can find me at the next events.
  5. Tell others when you’re in the office.

What other ways can you use the location finder?  Think out of the box and start building a business based on location.  If you aren’t 100% ready to turn on your location, create a new Snapchat account just for business and log out when your done with your event.  Or just don’t forget to switch to Ghost mode!  Let’s get snapping!  Follow me on snapchat with user ID: CarrieJoLittle

The Quickest Way to Capture a Lead

The Quickest Way to Capture a Lead with the Least Amount of Money.

In 2001, I became a REALTOR and the only thing that mattered to me was whether or not I would make money.  I wanted to generate a lead, with little to no cost, the fastest way I possibly could.   I walked my subdivision, went to laundromats, and apartment complexes with doorknob bags   I put flyers that said, “Warning Renting is Hazardous to Your Wealth”. Whatever i could to generate a leads with the least amount of expense.  When I talk to new agents, agents that have been in the industry for many years, and those that are redefining their businesses all want the same thing.  They want to generate and convert leads into closed transactions.

On April 16th, 2016, in my Cubs T-shirt, I went “live” on Facebook and talked to my followers on the steps to home ownership.  The live event was only 2 minutes.   In that 2 minutes I talked shared on:

  1. The steps to purchasing a home
  2. If you’re a college graduate you can purchase after graduation – yes, there are rules.  Talk to a lender!
  3. How I can negotiate your down payment.
  4. If you’re paying rent you are paying a mortgage.  Just not your own mortgage.

I didn’t look my best.  However, the consumer often needs to see that we are real people.  Even if, we can’t see because of the sun, if we have chapped lips, and no makeup there is an opportunity to generate new business.

From this short live video I’ve closed 6+ deals.  In the first 24 hours one of my high school friends sent a private message on Facebook that he was already approved to purchase.  This buyer closed in June and the other 5 deals closed before the end of October.  The first days I build what are called organic leads.  Leads that come from people that are already on my Facebook Business Page.

Take advantage of Facebook ADS.  Below is a short video on using your email list to target your database.  I don’t finish the ad, however, I show how to build the custom list using your network.

 

 

Snapchat, Instagram or Messenger Stories – And the Winner is?…….

A few years ago, my kids started using an app called Snapchat.   Of course, I had no idea about the app until over hearing on the news that Facebook wanted to buy it.  And yes, if Facebook wants to buy an app, I needed to download it and try it.  My daughter, Lauren, said, “mom, there is an age limit”.  She almost had me.   I’ve been using Snapchat for a few years.  The only reason I used the tool was to keep up with technology and to keep up with what my IMG_5490kids use for social media.  And yes, my teenagers are using Snapchat more than any other social media.   Snapchat launched in September 2011 and any millennial or i-generation user has a 6-year jumpstart on many of us.

Snapchat, Instagram or Messenger?  Each of these apps give the user the ability to build a story board. But with three options, where should we build our stories?  If you’re not familiar with either of these apps, anyone using these apps can build a story where the message self-destructs in 24 hours.  Each of these apps have history.  Instagram is known for images and 60 second videos.  Messenger is Facebook’s private message tool.  And Snapchat is the first app that create the self-destruction message, then in 2013 they added the 24-hour story board.

Snapchat has dominated stories in their App since October of 2013.  Instagram launched their version of stories in October of 2016.  And on March 9th, 2017, Facebook released their version of Stories.  Anyone using Facebook Messenger can build stories similarly to what Snapchat and Instagram are already doing.

Instagram stores

  1. Build a story
  2. Create private messages for people you select in your Instagram contacts
  3. Features a live streaming option
  4. Upload recent photos to your stories
  5. Add current photos
  6. 15 second videos
  7. Add a filter
  8. Build a story with the hands-free option
  9. The boomerang app integration
  10. Add text, emoji’s, write with a highlighter or color
  11. Re-purpose your videos and images on other social sites

Messenger stories+

  1. Build stories
  2. Create private messages for people you select in Facebook
  3. Upload photos from your mobile device
  4. Filter categories
  5. Add text, emoji’s, draw and write with color
  6. Integrated their “Write Something” feature
  7. Take photos for your story
  8. Add 15 second videos
  9. Make phone calls with messenger
  10. During the call use filters
  11. Re-purpose your videos and images on other social sites
  12. Chat in groups

Snapchat Stories

  1. Build stories
  2. Create private messages for your Snapchat followers
  3. Use filters
  4. Snapchat also has fun filters – a few change your voice
  5. Discover – learn, read or listen to news and shop.
  6. Build your own geo-filters
  7. Add emoji’s, write, draw and add text with color
  8. Add your bitmoji character
  9. Call feature
  10. Build snapchat groups
  11. Build reusable stories
  12. Re-purpose your videos and images on other social sites

And the winner is………

The winner is where your network is!  If you weren’t an early adopter of Snapchat, start building stories for your network.  If your network is on Facebook, start there.  If you’re a real estate agent here are a few ways to begin building your story:

  1. Talk about the communities you serve
  2. Home ownership tips
  3. Steps to purchasing a home
  4. The fastest way to get your home sold!
  5. How to reinvest your tax refund.
  6. Do you work in the luxury market? Share hidden secrets
  7. Remember when sharing not show another agent’s listing without permission. If the home was yours you wouldn’t want an agent walking through showing your valued possessions.  Think before you add content to a story.
  8. We want to know interesting tips but we don’t need to know the details of your last inspection.
  9. Show us your park district or your favorite restaurants.

When you look at the 3 apps, Snapchat is the clear winner for building stories.  Their filters are higher quality, the functionality of the tool is much easier to use, and Snapchat is for the next generation.  This is where they are and it’s clear they want to watch short videos.

All 3 apps can serve you well.   When messenger launched their version of stories I used it immediately.  I have a much larger following on Facebook. Therefore, I could see immediate results.  People are engaging on Facebook messenger because I use Facebook.

Not sure where to begin?  Follow me on Snapchat, Messenger and request me as a friend on Facebook messenger.   Pick one and get started!

Did You Know Your “Friends” Are Hiding You on Facebook?

What you share on Facebook could hurt you!  Yes, it’s true.  Your network has the option to “HIDE and UNFOLLOW” your posts.  “Say it isn’t so”, you say.  Well, if you fall into one of these categories someone has already hidden you.  Are you sharing:

facebook unfriend.png

If this is you, rest assure, someone has hidden your posts, unfollowed you, or unfriended you.  I am never opposed to a great debate on politics, a heated topic in the news or asking for a bit of help to pick my next meal.   But many times, we go too far when we’re not in a face to face setting.  Social media is a great way to hide behind the screen. On social media, we are willing to say things that are inappropriate or harsh because people aren’t in the same room.  So how can we make Facebook a great place to build a business and connect with our networks?

Facebook still holds the rank of being the #1 Social Media platform.  It’s also a great way to connect with friends, family, businesses, people you might do business with and more. Although, there are many reasons our networks “HIDE and UNFOLLOW” us, let’s focus on business.  Before the idea of social media when a business wanted you to purchase their products they used traditional strategies to entice us to act and buy.

  1. Cold Calling
  2. Television Commercials
  3. Direct Mail
  4. Billboards
  5. Door-knocking +

Today, if you have a home phone you’re probably not answering it, if you don’t recognize the number.  Television commercials are skipped because we recorded our favorite program and can fast forward to the next scene.  Direct Mail, although still affective, hits the mailbox then finds the recycling bin before we get back in our homes.  Billboards are now digital and move to fast for most of us to view it before they switch to the next ad.  Don’t even think about Door knocking at my house.  I am not buying or donating unless you’re the local kid fundraising for sports or school.

Are you marketing on Facebook using one of these five traditional sales tactics?  If so, expect to be hidden.   This is what I am experiencing on Facebook.  Recently, those that want my business are doing these four things:

  1. Tagging me in their upcoming events – If you’re tagging your friends on Facebook for an upcoming event it’s like taking over their space.
  2. Sharing only business related content – Business as usual, you say. Sharing only business content is like being on a pitch to sell something 24 hours a day.  Really, I’ll let you know when I want what you’re selling.
  3. Using Messenger to ask me to LIKE their business pages – recently when I add someone as a new friend I receive an autoresponder that says, “Thank you for your friendship, please like my page.” Yep, I unfriend you!
  4. Sending a private message and, without a relationship, asking for the sale. I call this the “messenger – COLD CALL”.  I already have a relationship with loan officers, inspectors, and attorneys.  Please tell me why your private message will make me choose to work with you.

What does this mean?  It means people are door knocking on Facebook.   If you want someone’s business get to know them on Facebook.  Engage in their posts and don’t go in for the hard sell.  Consider attending a live networking event at an association, maybe a Women’s Council event, a chamber, or a real estate networking event.

Don’t lose your Social Media Connections. If you want to build a strong network on Facebook, engage, connect and share relevant content.  Use your Facebook business pages for business and occasionally, re-share your business content to your personal page.  Your personal page is meant for you to be personal.  You wouldn’t attend a Super Bowl Party and only talk business.  So why would you only talk business on your personal page.  Is there a perfect day and time to re-share or post on Facebook? The more friends you have on a personal page the more often you can re-share your business content.  I try to share from business to personal once a quarter.   This is my reminder to my network that I am in the real estate business.  Social media means just that, media where you can be social.  With that in mind, let’s be social and build a strong network on Facebook.

Generate new likes on Facebook – Facebook made a few updates.  Click MORE under the banner on your business page to invite your current friends.

What Do You Want From Social Media in 2017?

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Back in 2008 I remember our 20-year-old administrative assistant telling me I needed to be on Facebook.  My answer was, “No, I don’t need Facebook,  I am already on Myspace against my will.”  My goal for MySpace was to watch my 17-year-old son.  At that time, I only wanted to make sure he wasn’t posting anything that would keep him from getting a job.  So, what did I want out of social media? in 2008, I wanted to protect my son.

Our office admin insisted that I try it.  Facebook provided the ability to post listings on a personal page.  It was the coolest way to advertise with out spending a dime. Back then, I didn’t know what I wanted out of social media. What I did know was my friends were on social media and it was a great way to connect.  I signed up for Facebook in 2008 and it was the best decision I ever made.  Even if you’re not sure what you want from social media, I can help you think about what you might want.

Let’s answer the question, what do you want out of social media today? Not sure? Let’s look at a few ways to determine what you want.

  1. Do you have social media accounts?
  2. Are you a producing real estate agent?
  3. Do you have time to post and engage on social media?
  4. How many connections do you have on social media?
  5. Are you actively using social media?
  6. What are your social media goals?
  7. Are you an influencer on any of your social media pages?

Depending on how you answered is how you will determine what you want out of social media.  If you don’t have social media accounts, your goal is to open Facebook, LinkedIn or both.  Facebook is the #1 social media platform where you can connect with friends, family, your network, clients and businesses. Once you’ve created your Facebook account build a Facebook Business Page. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and gives you the ability to build your online professional identity.

If you are a producing real estate agent your goal is to build your social media presence, use advertisement, create your own content and add live video to your marketing campaign.   If you are not social savvy start with posting content 4 to 6 times a week.  Building a presence is the 1st step. The 2nd step is to focus on creating video content.

When will you add social media management to your business plan?  No time to post?  Consider using Hootsuite to schedule your social media.  Or take 30 minutes each week and schedule your social media posts on your Facebook business page.  Business pages have a social scheduler.

Connections are the key to your social success.  If you are well connected on social media the likelihood that you’ll generate a lead is stronger.  If you aren’t well connected you have homework.  Consider adding your social media platforms to your business cards, direct mail and website.  Start by inviting your sphere of influence to follow you on social media.   Add social planning to your week.   New connections on Facebook is a great place to start.

Active users on social media will build a stronger digital footprint. The more active you are on social media the stronger your footprint. When you engage with your network and the more they engage with you pushes your posts to the top of the newsfeed.  The more you share and communicate the longer you’ll sit at the top of your networks newsfeeds on Facebook.   Those that comment, share, create videos and “Go Live” dominate Facebook.

Social media goals are easier to achieve than you think.  There are so many ways to build a social media presence in real estate.   Real Estate have always had the ability to have conversation in person and social media isn’t much different.  Think about what you really want from social media.  Is it to:

  1. Build an audience
  2. Generate leads
  3. Share your listings
  4. Re-direct potential clients and current clients to your website
  5. Create content that encourages someone to act?
  6. How about all the above?

Look at the first five and build them into a marketing action plan for social media.  As real estate professionals we must building an audience.  Download my free checklist for social media marketing today.

Social Media Checklist

Influencers on social media are those that are able influence others online.  Getting someone click, share or respond online.  Your goal is to become an influencer on social media.  Create short videos showing your expertise in real estate.  Are you an expert with 1st time buyers, luxury, market stats, etc?  Whatever your expertise start building that content today.  Be the go to person on real estate education for the consumer.

What you want from social media will be different from your competition.  Don’t try to do whatever one else does on social media.  Create a plan that works for you.  Get started today.

Hashtags, A Pound Sign and Why I Need them?

Hashtags were created for Twitter by Chris Messina.  When he proposed the idea to Twitter the response was, “These things are for nerds. They’re never going to catch on.”  Since the adoption of #hashtags, Words with a Pound sign in front of them, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+ and other social media platforms have started using hashtags to group conversations or subjects.

So what is a Hashtag? First, a hashtag is the Pound (#) sign on your phone or laptop keyboard. A hashtag is also a word or a phrase to group a conversation or your content.  When using a #Hashtag in a social media post it becomes a hyperlink that takes you to the results of that tag.  A hashtag, when searched, allows people to search for specific content on a specific topic, brand or conversation.  It filters online content for those that share the same information as you.  My branded #hashtag is #CoffeeWithCarrie.  Marki Lemons-Ryhal also an instructor uses #ReMarkitable.  If you search for either of these phrases with the pound sign in front of the phrase, you’ll find every post made that is grouped in this conversation.    Check out my Instagram account and add the #CoffeeWithCarrie hashtag.  You’ll see all of my grouped posts on Instagram.

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Hashtags can be used to brand your business and create engagement among your customers and followers.  A great way to build the conversation online.  When you tag your content with a hashtag you’re adding it to a specific conversation.  That hashtag is now a search link that puts your post in a specific category.   By using hashtags it immediately spreads your reach beyond those that actually follow you.

There aren’t really “Rules” to how many hashtags you should use.  However, let’s think about your network and people using a specific hashtag.  If you use too many hashtags it might take away from your key message.  If you use a hashtag that isn’t searched often you won’t be found.  Should you tag a business with their hashtag in your post?  Yes, if it’s relevant to their brand.  But don’t take a hashtag to steal followers.  It’s just bad business.  Let’s look at the top social media platforms and apply #hashtags:

Start Implementing #Hashtags in your Business Today!

  1. Create a simple hashtag
  2. Start using the hashtag each time you post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram.
  3. Research your industry to determine the top used hashtags. Add these hashtags to your posts.
  4. If you are using a newly created hashtag to brand your business, add that hashtag to your YouTube channels, live streaming platforms and direct mail. Tell your network to use your hashtag find your posts and engage in the conversation.
  5. The number one way to lose followers is to not engage with those followers. Make sure you are checking social media daily.  Yep, I am sure most of you went, “really Carrie, daily”.  Yep, daily.  It’s easy when you turn on notifications and maximize your smartphone apps.  Ok, If not daily, then schedule time to check your updates.   Make a point to engage with your followers just as you would your actual clients.
  6. Check out the top used hashtags for any industry at top-hashtags.com or click now for the top real estate hashtags.

 

Facebook

Twitter Google+

Instagram

2 to 3 hashtags 1 to 3 hashtags 2 or less is better. This is the only social media site that will suggest #hashtags if you allow permission. No rule.  Consider adding 2-4 #hashtags then revive your post a few days later by adding new #hashtags to the comments.

 

Don’t Discard Facebook for Real Estate – Analyze Your Data!

So my kids say, “Facebook is for Old People”.  That may be true, based on my kids idea of OLD.  However, per Facebook there are 1.59 billion users as of December 31, 2015.  New users are joining Facebook by the second.  Pew Research also shares stats on who is actually using Facebook.    Ages 18 to 65+ are using Facebook. I may need to share these stats with my kids. If all ages groups are using Facebook than I say real estate agents may want to consider using Facebook for business.

Per Realtor.org the average age of a REALTOR® is 57.  I am not 57 years old, however, I do understand what my age group uses.  My age group, 35 to 45  is using Facebook more than any other social network.  As much as I use other social tools I’ve found that I receive actual leads that result in a real estate transaction from engagement and marketing on Facebook.

Based on research my followers LIKE what I share, comment on my posts and Share what I publish.   Do you know your insights on your Facebook business pages?  Do you generate leads from Facebook? Do you have a Facebook business page?

  1. Check your insights on Facebook.  Click your page then select insights.

Carrie Little Facebook Statistics

Carrie Little - Facebook Insights

View your data daily, weekly and monthly.  Should you make adjustments? Are you engaging with your followers?

Carrie Little Facebook Overview

2. What’s your conversion rate for Facebook? Are you generating leads? Are you even Tracking your Leads? If not, start asking your clients how they found you.  Check social media analytics to better understand what’s working and not working on Facebook.

3. If you need a Facebook business page.  Create one today.  Log into Facebook and click Create page. Click here to watch the Facebook Business page setup.

4. Once you have your new Facebook Business Page start adding relevant real estate content.  Remember to always give credit to your sponsoring broker when your intention is to generate a lead.  Consider using the Hashtag when adding  your sponsoring broker. This is an example of how my post actually appears when I share a listing on Facebook.

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5.  After new relevant content let’s get your friends and followers to LIKE your page.  Watch this short video on how to use Facebook to generate a NEW LIKE on your business page.

Building a Facebook is easy.  However, building a business Facebook business page will take time, work and consistency.  The page won’t grow over night but with consistency, relevant content and asking for the NEW LIKE you’re Facebook page will grow.