Having active and engaging social media profiles is an important and valuable part of connecting with your ideal buyers. Most businesses understand the need to use social media, but if you’re struggling to figure out where to start, you’re not alone.
Having the right tools in place can definitely make managing your own social media much easier. There are a variety of free tools available that help you plan your social media calendar, create the graphics you need for your posts, and schedule publishing in advance to save you tons of time. We’ve outlined three of our favourites below.
Our Favourite Free DIY Social Media Tools
1. Trello – For Planning
Trello is a fantastic tool to use on your own or to collaborate with a team to organize tasks, images, and text related to any project you are working on. Build your own columns of steps within the process such as “Topic Ideas”, “In Progress”, “Ready for Review”, and “Scheduled for Publication.” Within each column you can have individual cards that outline the task itself, which can be used for each individual social media post. These cards can be dragged-and-dropped into the correct column as they move through your process, assigned to individuals on your team, and have due dates attached which send out quick reminders to anyone assigned to complete the task. It’s a very user-friendly way to stay on track with your social media schedule. Visit trello.com to learn more. Click here to view our complete guide on how to manage your social media using Trello.
2. Canva – For Creating Graphics
Canva is a super user-friendly graphic creation tool that has thousands of pre-designed templates to serve your needs. Use either the desktop version or the mobile app for convenient graphic making. Choose the appropriate social media network to access pre-sized templates that are custom to that platform. Export your graphics to your computer or download to your phone.
Creator Studio is a versatile social media scheduling tool that allows you to create your posts in advance and schedule them to publish on a certain date and time for both Facebook and Instagram. Rather than spending your time creating posts real-time (which is highly interruptive of an efficient work schedule), you can set aside 1-2 days per month to create and schedule all of your posts in advance.
Creator Studio is free and has no limits on how many accounts you can connect. It is currently just for Facebook and Instagram, but we can finally post and schedule to Instagram from a desktop computer!
These are just a handful of free tools you can use to get started on your own social media management. All of the above offer paid upgrades so as you grow, you can remain with the same tools and pay for upgrades as you need them, rather than starting over with something new.
If you need help getting started or have questions about your social media, please give us a shout and we’ll be happy to help!
To help you get started on what to post on your social media profiles, download our free 90-Day Social Media Planner. Inside you’ll find three months’ worth of prompts to create engaging social media posts. Click the image below to download your copy!
You’ve created your new social media profile and now you’re ready to watch those fans and followers start flooding in! How exactly do you start spreading the word to your customers about your social media profile? Here’s some tactics and tips to grow your online following and promote your new social media channels!
Spread the Word: How to Promote Your Social Media Profile
In a perfect world, promoting your new social profiles would be as easy as publishing a post and watching the likes roll in. Growing your online presence is going to take a bit of good-old-fashioned time and effort. Don’t worry – your effort will pay off! By 2021, there will be billions of social media users online. With that many potential customers, you can’t afford not to spend some time promoting your brand online. Here are some ideas for how to go about promoting your new social media profiles!
1. Add your social profile to your existing communication channels
Unless you’re holed up in an off-grid shelter (how are you even reading this?), you probably have an email address. If you’re serious about growing your business, you’ll also have a website. Adding your new social links to your email signature and website are great ways to generate social traffic.
In addition to your existing online interactions, you can mention your social profiles in your more traditional communications including your corporate answering service or mobile voicemail. Sending invoices and using letterhead templates? There’s a spot on that page for you to add your social tags!
Don’t forget your business cards! With their smartphone in hand, your new acquaintance just might be inclined to take a look at your social profile after being handed your card.
2. Inform your existing customers and followers
Sending a regular email newsletter? Have other social media profiles that are already promoting your products and services? Make sure to let your loyal fans and customers know that they can get even more information, images, and insiders on your new social media channel of choice.
Want to generate even more buzz around your new profile? Host a giveaway that new followers and existing customers can find on your new profile. The goal is to generate excitement for new and old fans alike. Promoting a new social profile can be exciting for everyone – don’t forget about your existing followers during your new launch!
3. Use your personal connections
If you already have a personal social media profile, spreading the word about your new business profiles to your personal network is a great way to generate some initial followers and potential customers. While many of your friends and family might not be in the market for what you have to offer, some connections might be! Share posts from your business profile to your personal network and invite your friends and family to follow your new profile!
Ask your staff and colleagues to follow your new business social media profiles. While this might seem counterintuitive (your staff already know about your brand), social media success can be a fickle muse. While we hate to admit it, many social goers are more inclined to follow an online brand or influencer if they notice that others are already following that brand. Having a larger number of social media followers is an innate type of social proof for those who might come across you online. With that in mind, every follower counts!
4. Capture local business searches
Whether you know it or not, there are customers out there searching for the product or service that you have to offer. Your new social media profile could be just the introduction that they’re looking for.
Make sure that you have a Google Business Profile and are listed on other relevant online directories. Online and in-store shoppers are turning to Google now more than ever to find what they want. Making sure that your website, location, and social profiles are clearly displayed across the web is an all-important part of promoting your new online presence.
5. Utilize paid social media advertising
In addition to a Google listing, you’ll want to look at paid online advertising that promotes your new business profile. Whether it’s Google search and video ads, or story ads on Facebook and Instagram, paid advertising—even with a small budget—is a proven way to increase your follower count and push brand engagement.
When your new profile is created, be sure to follow and engage with other relevant 3rd party profiles. While this might seem like a strange approach at first, interacting with followers and other brands online shows that you’re ready to engage with your social fans. Gathering followers online requires engaging your fans! Make sure to reach out and interact with other accounts and followers regularly.
We get it… generating the right content for your social media feeds can be draining. Maybe you’ve got some amazing photos of your product but aren’t sure when or how to share it with the world. Maybe you’re straight out of ideas for what to post. We have put together a comprehensive list of social media post ideas that will help you reach your target audience.
Comprehensive List of Real Estate Social Media Post Ideas
Feature Your Products
Let’s face it: there’s a lot of noise when it comes to social media (no, not just noisy cat videos). Social feeds have never been more inundated with ads and promos designed to sell to scrollers. But what if your followers aren’t looking for an ad? Sometimes, all that a person wants is to see a pretty picture.
Give the people what they want! Instead of offering a promotion or a sale on a new home, give your followers information about your products.
Walk-through Video Tours: Post a walkthrough video or photo carousel showcasing an available home in the neighbourhood. Instagram is a great medium for vivid images of your homes.
Featured Neighbourhood: Try featuring a specific neighbourhood in your posts that has lots of green spaces and available lots.
Spotlight Local Businesses: Know of any nearby amenities or local small businesses? Social media is a great place to spread the word and interact with other businesses! Tag local businesses, developers, and official accounts in the surrounding area to appeal to a wider range of followers. You might even get tagged back in the future!
Uniquely You: Show your followers what it is that sets your product apart from everyone else’s. What about your brand is different from the competition? Remember how we mentioned the amount of noise on social? Followers are looking for something different – give it to them!
The Customer Experience: Showcase to all those social scrollers what it’s like to buy from you. What special processes, customer service, bonuses, and after-care can they expect when working with you? Show followers what they might expect if they choose you over everyone else.
Show Your Expertise
Showing off your products on social is easy, but in a world where all the information we could ever need is right at our fingertips, people are looking for someone to guide them through it all. Social media is a great way to show future customers that you know your stuff. If you’re open and generous with your expertise, your social followers will remember you for it!
Valuable Information for the Buying Process: In the new home industry, a lot of buyers are looking for help as they traverse the buying process. Providing information that is useful and timely for your target audience will help build your reputation and educate your customers on your products.
“If you’re a first-time homebuyer, there are government programs to help you get into the home of your dreams. Let’s talk about getting you and your family moved in today!”
Did You Know? Give your followers some cool tidbits of information about the experience you offer, your business, or some interesting hints and tips. Sharing lesser-known information with your customers is a great way to drive interaction. If you can make someone say, “huh, that’s interesting,” you’ll be miles ahead of the competition.
“Did you know that we build in 12 different communities across the city? We can build any style of home for any budget in any neighbourhood!”
Spread the Industry News: Changes to mortgage rates? New legislation for buyers? Sharing industry information with social followers helps educate your buyers (and can leave a great impression).
Answer Common Questions: The process of buying a home raises a lot of questions. Show your followers that you know the answers to those burning questions!
Differentiate Yourself from the Competition
Stand out on social media by letting your customers and followers know who you are. Doing so will help differentiate yourself from all your competitors.
Buyer Reviews and Testimonials: We know you’re great, and you know you’re great, but do your followers know how great you are? Sharing good buyer reviews and asking some of those happy customers for testimonials provides future customers with social proof that you are as great as you say you are!
Organization Milestones, Anniversaries, and Wins: Share your success with your followers and customers – if your organization snags that award, passes that 10-year mark, or reaches new heights, celebrate with your network!
“We are proud to announce that we’ve been awarded Best New Home Builder of the Year! Thanks to all of our amazing team members and wonderful customers for a great year!”
Behind the Scenes Teasers: Believe it or not, people on social like seeing the person behind the curtain. Show your followers a day in the life of your organization to help build a human connection. After all, we’re all just living our lives – why not give your followers a glimpse into what that looks like for you?
Get Your Followers Involved
There’s no better way to increase your social media following than interacting with your audience. If you want to stand out in the social media landscape, here are some ways to stay relevant with your followers:
Polls: Whatever platform you choose, sharing a poll with your followers is a great way to put yourself out there. Polls are perfect for helping followers get to know you, and for you to get to know them as well!
Use Those Hashtags: If you’re setting up weekly or recurring social posts, be sure to research and use dedicated hashtags so that followers can keep up with what you have to say. For example, use hashtags such as #budgettips, #tiptuesdays, or #weeklyresources.
Bonus Tips for Great Social Media Posts!
Use original photos whenever you can. Stock images are useful (and easy) but nothing beats a real-life photo of your products and service!
Whether you’re commenting or posting, be authentic. Show your customers and followers who you really are.
When it comes to scheduling your social media posts, post regularly – at least 3 to 4 times a week if you’re able. Believe me, the hard work will pay off!
These social media post ideas are intended to provide regular, engaging content to your real estate audience. Watch your followers and content flourish by setting up your social media posts for success! Be sure to track your followers and engagements when you start, as well as throughout, so you can gauge your growth and test what resonates with your specific audience.
Get 90 days of social media prompts free! Download our planner to help get you started!
You’re ready to up your social media game – you have some great ideas for posts, eye-catching visuals to accompany them, and you’re ready for new followers to flood into your feed. Now, you need a social media planning tool that can make managing and publishing your shiny new posts a breeze.
Why use Trello as a Social Media Planning Tool?
Trello is a collaborative project management tool that makes organizing your social media posts easy and satisfying! Trello is a visual board that keeps your projects moving: from idea to plan, and from plan to launch. Trello can be accessed anywhere, anytime, and is free to use!
Trello can help you up your social media game, but can also be used for so much more! No matter what project or campaign your team has on the go, Trello is great for staying organized and meeting those deadlines!
Curious to know how it works? Let me show you just how easy planning your social media can be with Trello…
How to Trello:
Step 1: Create a Board
To get started on your Trello journey, create your first Board. Think of your new Board as the homepage for all of the social post ideas, content, and deadlines that you need to keep track of. You can give your board a creative name and background, then invite your team members! In just a few seconds, you’ve already set up the virtual space that will help you and your team visualize workflows and content.
Step 2: Create Lists for Project Lifecycles and Stages
Next, add a few Lists to create a series of steps in a workflow that fits your project. Think of your lists as a pathway that your content and social posts walk through on their way to publishing. For example, you might make a List on the left-most side of your Board named Ideas. Here, you and your team can drop images, sayings, or hashtags as they come to you. The next list to the right of the first could be named To Do. When your collection of ideas steps into this list, your team knows that that content needs to be crafted into an actual social post. Once work gets started, the content then moves to the next list in line: Doing. Then, once the post is made and ready to get sent out, it moves to the list called Done.
Easy as that! Lists allow you to move your content down the pipeline in a visually satisfying manner. Who doesn’t like watching projects move from Idea to Done?
Step 3: Using Cards
With your lists created and your project’s lifecycle laid out, you need something to move down that line! Introducing meat of Trello projects: Cards.
Cards are super-customizable and can be created and edited by members of your team. You might create a card called Create Facebook Page and drop it under your To-Do list. Now, when you’re tempted to watch Netflix instead of working, the Create Facebook Page card will be staring at you, judging you ever so quietly in that To-Do board…
Cards can be as simple or complex as you like. Each card can be given a description and can be assigned to specific team members or groups. Have an entire list that needs to get done? Cards can be equipped with To-Do checklists that are oh-so-satisfying to mark off. Add files, images, comments, colour-coded labels, and due dates to each and every card that you create.
Drag and drop cards between lists and watch as your hard work pays off! You’ll love seeing those happy little cards go from Ideas to Done!
Step 4: Segment Tasks with Labels
Soon, you’ll be a Trello wizard, and when you are, you might find that you have more cards than you know what to do with. Have no fear: each and every card on your board can be marked and organized by adding Labels. Labels are colour-coded to help segment the tasks that you need to complete. Have a larger social campaign that requires multiple posts on top of your regular content? Label it with its own colour and watch those big projects move down the line!
Step 5: Your First Power-Up
Your labels and lists will make you feel like a social media superhero, and now, you can get a Power-Up to match! Power-ups are customizable integrations that you can add to your board for even more convenience. If you are using Trello for free, you can add one Power-up to your board, but there are countless others that can help you get the most out of your new project management system.
Let’s take a look at one of your free Power-ups: Calendar!
Adding a Power-Up is easy: find the menu button to the right of your board, press “Add Power-Up…” and search for “Calendar.” Then, press the green button to add the Calendar Power-Up to your board.
That’s it! Now, you’ll see a small button on the top right of your board that will open up the Calendar view. All of your cards with a due date will now appear on the Calendar for at-a-glance scheduling!
There are hundreds of Power-Ups that you can add to make your Trello board your own. Google Drive integration, custom fields for cards, and Maps integrations are just some of the limitless possibilities that Power-Ups offer.
Ready to Power-Up Your Social Media Planning with Trello?
We can help you get your social media campaigns scheduled and organized using Trello. Setting up your new board is easy, but will go a long way in helping customers and new followers find you.
Let’s get started putting some life back into your social media using Trello!
Now that you have a free social media planning tool, here is a 90-day social media planner to help get you started!
There are few things more aggravating than learning you gained a new follower on social media, only to find that same person unfollowed you a few days later. Why? Because you didn’t follow them back. Unfortunately, this is a common tactic and doesn’t gain the right social media followers.
Many businesses will send out mass follows with no consideration for who they’re following. Their sole purpose for doing so is in the hopes you’ll follow them back. It may gain a high volume of followers in the beginning, but over time they will unfollow when the content doesn’t interest them. So why waste the time?
We have some tips on how to earn followers that will engage with your social media. Doing this the right way will take more time, but it will pay off in the long run as you’ll generate an audience of supporters and evangelists for your business.
Tips for Gaining Social Media Followers
Follow people in your real life network
Your existing customers
Your suppliers / trades
Those in industries that support yours
Other businesses with like-minded ideals
Support others publicly
Give a shout out to another business that did something inspiring or whose product you love
Engage with other companies’ or individuals’ posts by liking, commenting, and sharing wherever possible
Offer value when someone asks a question
Optimize your bio
Ensure your bio is written in a way that makes it clear who you are and what you offer
Use keywords and/or hashtags in your bio description
Explain briefly how you solve your audience’s pain points in your bio description
Be sure your profile photo is professional and represents your brand
Include your social media link in your email signature
This one seems a little obvious, but it can help you gain new followers as you communicate via email.
Use an email signature builder to design a more visually appealing signature that contains your social media links:
Post content that solves your audience’s pain points
Offer high-value content that gives your audience what they are looking for
Solve a common problem
Show them what working with you or buying from you will be like
Show them what they’ll gain
Ask them relevant questions and engage with their responses
Your audience will enjoy being a part of your social media experience as much as you will if you offer continuous value and have fun connecting with them. Offer up some behind-the-scenes posts so they can experience your world and learn more about how your product or service is created. With all of these efforts, your social media will be more successful as you gain the right social media followers.