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While social media is an integral part of our daily lives, learning how to strategically manage each social platform to benefit your business takes time and skill. By the time you finally figure out how to truly incorporate a particular site into your business, a new one magically appears out of thin air, making it difficult to keep your social strategy up to date.

As real estate professionals, time is money. In a perfect world, you would spend your time with prospects and clients; however, understanding the importance of having a strong social presence, you tell yourself, “Here we go again,” and learn to use each new social platform. We have come up with four questions you should ask yourself before creating yet another social media account.

  1. Is your target audience using this social network?

Social networks differ from site to site. For example, in the U.S., 68 percent of Facebook users are adults, followed by 28 percent on Instagram and 21 percent on Twitter. Each site has created its own style and niche of engagement and audience behavior. The key is to figure out where your target audience is and create a strategy to reach, connect, and engage with those individuals.

  1. Does it fill a need?

Each social platform has its own style to engage with its unique audience. For example, Twitter requires users to communicate in less than 140 characters, while Instagram is heavily image-based and Facebook is built around others’ comments and clicks. Each site is designed to keep users on-site and discovering new content to engage with. Before opening a new social account, determine if it will fill a need that an existing account does not, along with the audience base you’re targeting to reach (Tip: Most networks will either allow you to sync your list of followers across accounts or upload your email list if you already have a large following on a previously established social account.)

  1. Do you have the time?

Keep in mind that each account you have can easily require a couple of hours of your time weekly. Creating the initial profile can be relatively simple and quick, but you want to create and maintain brand cohesiveness with other accounts on different platforms. Additionally, content creation is a time-consuming aspect of any profile. Each profile needs to have a continuous flow of fresh content to stay top of mind. Furthermore, a profile that is left unattended is viewed upon negatively, because consumers often feel this is how you run your business and expect your social networks to be a source of communication.

  1. Do you have the budget?

In social media, just like everywhere else in this world, money is power; in this case, money could mean more engagement. Yes, you can organically grow your social presence online, but investing in your social accounts is the smartest and quickest way to see your fan base grow and engage with your brand. Each platform differs on how you can advertise with them. Before running any form of advertising, make sure you establish a goal; for example, are you looking to gain more followers, promote a listing, or increase traffic to your website? These are important questions you should be asking yourself before investing in any form of social ad spend. (Tip: Make sure to set aside a marketing budget just for social ads to avoid overspending.)

After answering these four questions and deciding that creating a new profile is beneficial, ask yourself one last question: Is it best to spend your time creating content, monitoring engagement, and frequently posting on all of these sites, or should you focus on other marketing tactics? It all comes down to what is best for you and your business.

If you decide you need help creating and maintaining your social accounts, Homes.com has a solution for you. Our social media specialists take care of everything from account setup to creating engaging posts and managing your Facebook Ads. We will even manage your online reputation and monitor how your business ranks in search results, so you can focus on selling real estate.

For more information, please visit connect.homes.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.