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Editor’s Note: This is the third of a seven-part series from Homes.com on how to manage your online reputation. Homes.com has put together a free playbook on the topic, which can be downloaded here. Watch for this series in RISMedia’s Friday Weekly Business Builder e-newsletter.

Social media channels are more than a collection of websites where users upload profile pictures and add friends. It’s prime marketing territory for you as a real estate agent. Not only can you use your social profiles to promote and enhance your business and image, but you can also get other people on board. If you make your customers happy, they’re likely to spread the good news on their social media channels, letting all of their connections know just who to turn to when searching for a real estate professional. Your connections aren’t just social media “friends;” they’re also brand advocates.

This is where the term “word of mouse” comes in. The more brand advocates you have, the better your online reputation will be.

So – how do you get more brand advocates? It’s simple, really; go where they are! That is, get on social media. While you may already know that being on social media is crucial to your marketing strategy, you might not be aware that your task doesn’t end there. You’ve got to engage with social media, too. Having conversations with past, present, and future consumers will help build your brand awareness and advocacy.

And, because consumers aren’t tied to a Monday through Friday 9-5 social media schedule, they post all hours of the day and expect near-instantaneous responses. The reason that interacting with people in this way is so important is because it takes the “big business” mentality that many consumers may have and replaces it with a more “human” feeling. Consumers feel listened to and cared about when connected with in this way.

The bottom line is that, over time, the more you engage with people on social media, the bigger and better your online visibility will be. As your fan-base and network builds, so will their conversations about your brand and those can turn into sales!

To see how to use the most popular social media platforms to enhance your brand’s image, download our free eBook here.

Erica Campbell Byrum is the Director of Social Networking for Homes.com.

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