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social media iconAre you trying to decide whether or not you should take the plunge into social media to promote your real estate business? A recent study shows that nearly 65 percent of American adults have social media accounts. Because of this, social media platforms are a great way to connect with potential clients.

While a social account can benefit your business, it’s not a decision to make lightly. If you’re ready to devote the time and energy to making it work, creating social media accounts could be one of the best things you’ve ever done for your business. If you’ve decided to take the leap, here are three steps to help you start off right.

1. The Logistics

The first thing to do is pick a date to launch your profile. Give yourself at least two or three months to plan the details of your launch, campaign, and strategy. After that, choose which social sites you want to be a part of. There are hundreds of different options available, so consider what you want your social page to do. Some of the top social media platforms to start with include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. Research these different platforms, so you can figure out what would be the best fit for your needs. Keep in mind, however, that it’s better to decide against using a site than to join, post a few times, and then lose interest. It’s a good idea to start with one or two until you’re more familiar with the process of creating content.

Once you’ve decided which platforms you’ll use, set up your goals. What do you hope to achieve by launching your social account? Are you looking to spread brand awareness, increase traffic to your website, or generate leads? Write out a plan with your goals and the steps you need to take to achieve them. Check in with your plan monthly to see what you’ve achieved and what you need to update.

2. Build Your Content

After you’ve finished with the logistics of creating your social pages, the next step is to make a schedule. It’s important to have a social calendar so you won’t be scrambling to figure out what you need to post. Next, find out what your competition is doing on their social sites. Pinpoint which of their topics are popular and which aren’t, so you can learn from their successes and avoid their mistakes. Figure out what you want to do similarly, and what will set you apart. Remember that your content can range from business related to polls to sharing something inspirational or funny.

After you’ve decided on the kind of content you want to post and created a schedule, create some guidelines to follow. Think about how you’ll respond to negative comments or remarks on your pages? Next, set the tone. Whether you are on one social site or five, be sure you have a consistent brand image from the start and across all your social channels. Set up engaging about pages with contact information, quality images, and appealing header images for each of your social sites.

3. Start Posting

Now, it’s finally time to start posting on your pages! Draft 10-15 test posts for each of your social sites and request feedback and edits from someone you work with or who is experienced with social networking. If you’re trying to figure out how you can develop content to post, here are some ideas. There are also a number of free scheduling platforms that can post content for you while you are busy juggling a real estate career. Check out Hootsuite, and SocialOomph to see what each has to offer.

Once you feel confident that you have everything running smoothly, spread the word. Add links for your social sites to your email signature, flyers, website, business cards, yard signs, etc. Finally, make sure you track your posts, interaction, and followers right from the beginning so you can determine what strategies are and aren’t helping you reach your social goals.

Congratulations—you’ve gone social! Just remember to be consistent, responsive and dedicated, and your social sites should thrive. If you need help managing your social presence, Homes.com Social is the key. A comprehensive social media suite, Homes.com Social is designed specifically for real estate professionals who are looking to connect and engage with their audience, giving you the ability to grow your followers and your business.

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