What’s a Hashtag?
While the hashtag is a well-known tool in real estate marketing today, it’s important to learn what the hashtag is and how it shaped social media as we know it. Webster’s Dictionary defines a “hashtag” as a word or phrase preceded by a hash mark (#), used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for it.
The # symbol was first used as a “hashtag” in the summer of 2007 by Chris Messina. That’s when the web marketing specialist walked into Twitter’s offices with an idea. He suggested the company start using the pound symbol to group related Tweets together.
This was the first-ever use of the hashtag:
Today, hashtags are powerful tools and have changed the way we use social media. Hashtags are most commonly used on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. They can help you get more followers and gain more attraction to your posts!
I’m excited that this week we’ll be focusing on what hashtags are, why it’s important to use them, and how to strategically use them in your social media marketing.
Why Should I Use Hashtags?
First and foremost, hashtags are a search tool. When you’re scrolling through social media, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and bogged down by “information overload”. Trying to find what you’re looking for by simply scrolling through your social media feed is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. With hashtags, finding information that’s relevant to you becomes so much easier.
Social media users can follow certain hashtags on their preferred platforms. Doing so makes it more likely that they’ll come across content that is aligned with their interests. As you’re trying to build your brand, I would recommend that you do the same. Following hashtags relating to Real Estate can help you learn what’s working for others in your industry and stay up-to-date with important industry information.
If you’re not sure how to follow hashtags on your preferred platform, take a look at the links below. We’ve composed a list of the popular social media platforms and their how-to guides on the subject.
How to Follow Hashtags on Instagram
How to Follow Hashtags on Twitter
How to Follow Hashtags on Facebook
How Do I Know I’m Using Hashtags Correctly?
You may have seen people you know use hashtags on their personal posts, but it might have never occurred to you that hashtags are key when it comes to posting about your Real Estate business. An industry-related hashtag will help you reach your target audience and connect you with your industry.
Hashtags can be generalized or very specific. The best practice is to experiment and be consistent with your social media usage. The more you use a specific hashtag, the greater your chances are to grow an audience.
Start by searching for industry-specific hashtags to get your foot in the door, then you can add hashtags to your posts that are relevant to you and your business. For example, some popular hashtags for the Real Estate industry are:
Once you get the hang of generalized industry-standard hashtags, you can dive into more specific hashtags. As an example, you could use hashtags that are specific to your location, such as #SeattleRealEstate or #CaliforniaRealtor. If you are with a brokerage, you could use their company name as a hashtag, such as #kellerwilliams.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you should use hashtags that are relevant to what you are posting. While it’s great to add general hashtags that are trending outside of your industry, you want to ensure that the right people are seeing your posts.
For example, let’s take a look at this post from TourFactory’s Instagram page.
In the body of the post, we used two hashtags, #realestatephotography, and #photography.
#Realestatephotography is a specific hashtag relating to our unique marketing efforts, whereas #photography is a rather general hashtag that could bring in viewers from anywhere. It’s important to get the right balance of industry-standard versus general hashtags, which is something you’ll learn more about in practice.
Sounds Good, Let’s #Practice Using #Hashtags!
There’s a lot of great information and analytics I can provide regarding hashtags and their use in your social media marketing. However, I understand that it can be a lot to take in. I challenge you to think about the information above and how you can use it to grow your brand. Try practicing the pointers above and let us know how it works!
I also encourage you to follow us on our social media platforms to stay up-to-date with our latest blog posts. I don’t mind if you want to steal some of our #hashtags 😅!
Next week, we will be going more in-depth with hashtags, different types of hashtags, and some best practices.
What are Stories, and Why Should I Use Them in my Real Estate Marketing?
Stories on Facebook and Instagram are a great platform for real estate marketing. As a real estate agent, you are surrounded by your products daily. You’ll always have a visual story to tell. That means more SALES and more CLIENTS!
Basically, stories are photos or short videos of 5-15 seconds, and they’re changing how we communicate both personally and business. Instagram and Facebook Stories are growing 15 times faster than feed posts, thanks to the 842% growth since they launched in 2016.
They’re only up for 24 hours, so there’s that element of intrigue. Moreover, stories are more advanced than regular feed posts and give you more options to customize them. For example, you can add text, music, or stickers to your story!
Why not take advantage of the amazing products you are already getting from Collabra Technology and use them in your real estate marketing, but in new and exciting ways? It’s so simple!
Let’s Leave it to the Pros: Facebook and Instagram Tell Us How It’s Done!
Let’s learn how it’s done. Look below for Facebook and Instagram instructions on how to add to your story.
Facebook Business page – click here.
Facebook Personal page- click here.
Instagram account – click here.
PRO TIP: You must have your Flashcard Listing Video downloaded before following the instructions above! Don’t have it downloaded yet? Don’t worry! Click here to learn how to download.
The final product will be a stunning listing video that automatically plays through for anyone who views your story! It will look similar to the images below:
Facebook Story Example Instagram Story Example
Benefits of Using Flashcard Listing Videos in your Stories
In our previous post, we discussed the benefits of using Flashcards Listing Videos in your regular social media marketing. To put it simply, using videos in your social media post attracts more viewers. The same applies to your Stories! Adding videos into your Stories brings you more brand awareness, gives you another way to interact with your followers, and make viewers pay more attention than just a normal photo.
Some of our long-term customers, Stratton and Lisa Cyrus with Cyrus Properties recently sang the praises of using our Flashcards Listing Videos in your marketing. Check out what they said!
Got It! What Else Can I Do with Stories?
Instagram stories offer the ability to connect with your audience in a more authentic way. It’s a fantastic way to not only show off your properties but also your personality. Today’s buyer wants to see the human behind the brand, and this platform allows you to market in a genuine and candid way.
Here are a couple of fun ideas on how you can use Stories to reach your followers:
- Create engagement with polls
Polls are a great way to interact with your viewers while also giving them a taste of your personality. The possibilities are endless when it comes to how you can use polls, but here are a few ideas:
Which Living Room do you prefer?
Do you like the Twilight or Daytime photo better?
Is anyone else as obsessed with this backyard as I am?
Use photos from one of your current or previous listings. Using your listing photos is a great way to get eyes on them in a very subtle, professional way while also promoting yourself to potential clients.
- Special “behind-the-scenes footage” of listings
Make your followers feel exclusive! You can promote yourself and your brand by telling your followers, “Follow me for special, behind-the-scenes footage of my new listings right when they hit the market!” Or, you could provide a fun shot of your listing getting staged, photographed, or at a showing!
Besides some ideas listed above, another interesting feature of Stories is that you can add any of the following stickers to your Stories:
- Text stickers
- Location stickers
- Event stickers
- Fundraising (“Donate”) stickers
- Music stickers
Using stickers in your Stories opens up so many opportunities to incorporate your authentic self in your real estate social media marketing. That is key when not only gaining followers but gaining potential clients!
Sounds Good! I’m in.
Successful Real Estate Marketing with the Inventory Link Page
Do you have a Real Estate listing inventory site? One that contains all of your past, present, and pending listings? If not, you are missing out on an important part of successful Real Estate marketing.
The internet has become an integral tool in the home search process. Last year alone (2019), NAR deduced that 44% of individuals who started to look for a new home began their search online. Real Estate agents who don’t have a website are missing out on important marketing opportunities!
Beyond having a landing page that shows your contact information, it’s important to show your potential clients your previous work. For example, they want to know what can you do for their listing. What types of listings do you specialize in? How many listings have you sold? There’s so much that can be said with even a simple web page! You can anticipate the needs of your potential clients with a stunning landing page that is customized to you, your brand, and your business!
However, don’t worry if you don’t have a website set up yet! Collabra Technology provides you with a FREE Real Estate listing inventory page that you can use in your marketing. What’s even better is that all of your listings that you’ve done in TourFactory, active or sold, are imported into this site. No extra work required! What could be simpler than that?
Pro Tip: Read the National Association of Realtor’s “Real Estate in a Digital Age” research report for empowering information regarding how to navigate the ever-changing real estate market.
How Do I Get My Inventory Link Page?
First, you’ll want to navigate to your “My Account” page within TourFactory and select “Inventory Links”. Next, within this section, you’ll be able to copy your unique inventory link URL. Now you’ll be able to select if you’d like your current listings, sold listings, or both to display. I recommend adding both, it adds additional content to your page.
After you’ve customized your settings to your liking, you can start marketing! With just a few clicks of your mouse, you’ve created a stunning Real Estate Listing Inventory page that can take your marketing above and beyond the competition!
Together, we’ve learned that the Inventory Link page that Collabra Technology provides is a perfect tool for sending to prospective clients to show what you’ve done in the past and how you can help market their listings using TourFactory technology. You can use this link within emails, text messages, on social media, the sky’s the limit!
Here’s a quick look to show you what your page could look like: