There is no doubt that social media is an important, if not the most important part to a majority of successful real estate agents' careers. With the advances of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., we can share photos of our kids on the beach at the exact moment that it is happening for all to see. Meanwhile in 1836, little Jeoffrey has waited 6 weeks for a telegram to find that his friend Bartholomew has died of dysentery. Businesses have learned to take advantage of this new system, and any agent with listings is running their own small business. Facebook pages for your real estate business became a prerequisite, Twitter became a necessity, now Instagram and Pinterest are increasingly popular where agents post beautiful photos of their listings so 16 year old girls drinking Starbucks and wearing aviators can eat up their advertising. Anywhere you can advertise your business and listings seems like the best thing to do, right? Maybe. If we are talking about branding, then yes. I believe the more exposure you can get for yourself, the better. No publicity is bad publicity (except for murder). But if we are talking about advertising (and yes, branding can be advertising, but that isn't what I'm focusing on), as an agent, you would want to make sure you spend your time and money where you will get the most return.
I recently read an article explaining how Snapchat was the next big thing for agents to advertise their listings on. For those of you unfamiliar, Snapchat started as a company for horny teenagers to send nudies to each other safely because any photo or video you send on there will only last for no longer than 10 seconds before it is permanently deleted. Over the years, Snapchat has grown widely amongst users and now has a "My Story" feature where you can send your photos/videos to your "Story" and then anyone who has added your username can watch them over and over again for 24 hours. And then poof. It's gone. There's a new app similar to Snapchat called Periscope. It's gotten some traction, but I don't believe it has the strength to carry off very far. I could be wrong, but as an avid social media user personally and professionally, nothing really stands out to me about it. The app is all about sharing live video, which people can join and send chat messages for the streamer and the viewers to see. Anyone can join anyone's stream by searching a global map and clicking on the blue dot that marks where exactly the streamer is. And now, you can link the video directly to Twitter so your followers can watch you in real time. It all seems like a great concept but in actuality is extremely limited in terms of real estate advertising.
Similar to Snapchat, Periscope's videos delete themselves after 24 hours. But that isn't the main problem, and here is where I get into my main point for this ramble-fest. Age. Now, Periscope itself has a higher-than-most age user base than most social media sites (source). However, the app is not extremely popular and probably gets most of its traffic from Twitter. Now, Twitter has a much younger aged user base than the other social media giant, Facebook. (Surprisingly enough, Pinterest has an older user base than Twitter [source], maybe it's the Instagram for adults, who knows.) But, why wouldn't Periscope stream directly to Facebook as well? Maybe Facebook didn't give them approval because they were in the process of releasing Facebook Live, a fantastic new feature that every agent should take advantage of. This is not the point of this rant, however.
Let's go back to the article that I read about Snapchat being the next big thing for agents. The problem I see here is that more than half of Snapchat's user base is under 24. Now, I, a 22 year old, don't want to be accused of ageism, but I can pretty surely say that most people under 24 aren't looking to buy a house anytime soon. Not where I work, at least. If there is a magical land of millennials dominating the housing market with their Instagrams, Snapchats, and iPhones attached to their arm like an IV drip, sign me up! ...Maybe I should move to Portland, OR. Kidding aside, most young people cannot afford a mortgage with the student debt most of them have, and only about 1/4 of all millennials even have more than $1,000 bucks in a savings account, while another 1/4 of them don't even have a savings account (source). So, with the combination of Snapchat having your marketing photo or video (which can only be up to 10 seconds long) only last a day at most and only people who have Snapchat and added you can see it, no, I absolutely do not see Snapchat as the next new breakthrough for agents.
Why not focus your advertising on social media sites with older user bases? LinkedIn, Yelp, Facebook, Reddit, Pinterest, WordPress, all of these have users who are older by majority. All of them also keep your photos or videos on them forever instead of deleting them. Now this was not meant to be a "How Much Can I Shit on Snapchat and Periscope" article, but mainly to show that where you spend your time and money in advertising is dire. Why waste your time uploading snippets of an open house to your 14 year old fans that will vanish in a day when you can do an entire walk-through video during the same open house, stream it to the largest social media site in the world, and after it's finished, keep it on your page and even make an advertisement out of it. Maybe, just maybe, in terms of advertising, there can be such a thing as too much social media.
Author:Thomas Ricapito Phone: 914-804-3048 Dated: April 27th 2016 Views: 3,973 About Thomas: I got into real estate sales by accident in 2006. At the time, I recently earned a Bachelor's Degre...
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