Tuesday
July 22, 2014

2013 Appstravaganza: Social Apps

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2013 Appstravaganza: Social Apps

Five of the best social apps to expand your marketing efforts.

1. Instagram

The thing about selling real estate is that it’s all about the photos. So Instagram is a natural boon to agents. What’s great is that it’s also a time-saver when it comes to marketing. Don’t wait for a professional photographer to shoot images, and then have to upload them all to your site. Snap a photo of a home, add a cool photo filter, and post to Instagram in seconds. You can use the power of a visual to get the word out about a new listing immediately. Pittsburgh-based Coldwell Banker agent Tim Gyves also uses Instagram to network with like-minded contacts. “It’s helped me do more than tweet links to listings,” he says. “[I’ve gotten] to know people who share similar appreciation for architecture.” Here’s another plus with Instagram: You can enable the “photo map” feature, which will show the location of your photo. If you’re uploading a lot of photos in a particular neighborhood, you can establish yourself as the neighborhood expert. www.instagram.com

Price: Free.

2. HootSuite

Want to post an announcement about a new listing or open house, even while you’re busy with a client? The best thing about HootSuite, which allows you to post to many different social media accounts from one platform, is that you can schedule posts for specific times. So if you know you’re going to be out of the office when your listing officially comes on the market, you can schedule announcements and promo posts on all your social media accounts from HootSuite hours or even days in advance. You can also create lists of people you follow: clients, agents, buyers, sellers, and so on. https://hootsuite.com/

Price: Free.

3. Vine

It’s like Twitter for video. Vine lets you create six-second looping video clips that you can post to Twitter and Facebook. The app includes tools to help you edit your video as seamlessly as possible. Of course, selling a home in six seconds is pretty difficult. Realtor.com® asked agents about how Vine could be used for their business, and some suggested it’s a good platform to showcase your knowledge of your market. Post short tips for buyers or sellers, or announce a sale you recently closed. It also could be used to highlight a particular feature of a listing. It’s worth noting that Instagram also has a video option now, which lets you film and upload up to 15 seconds of video. Some of REALTOR® Magazine’s followers on Twitter said they prefer Instagram over Vine. https://vine.co/

Price: Free.

4. Foursquare

If you really want to establish yourself as a local expert, try checking in at various places and sharing your location with your contacts. If they see that you check in often at places in a certain neighborhood, you’ll give the impression that you know the area very well. Become the “mayor” of a certain restaurant or bar, and you’ll look even better. You may find that people start coming to you for advice on living in your area. https://foursquare.com/

Price: Free.

5. Flickr

Obviously, Flickr is a great place to post listing photos. But it can be so much more than that. There are real estate-focused groups where you can network with other agents or clients. One powerful aspect of Flickr that is often overlooked is the potential for search engine optimization. Flickr images often pop up in search results, making the site another path from Google to you. Make sure your Flickr photos have specific titles that use key searchable terms. Throw a link to your Web site in the photo description to increase your chances of people going there. Before you know it, you may be generating leads! www.flickr.com

Price: You can get three types of Flickr accounts: free, ad-free ($49.99 a year), and Doublr ($499.99 a year). The free account gives you a terabyte of storage space for photos and videos, but you will see ads on Flickr. Ad-free gets rid of the ads, and Doublr doubles your storage space to two terabytes. You also have the option of putting rights restrictions on your photos so they cannot be legally used by other parties.