We’ve all seen hashtags in social media posts, but do you really know what they are and why they are important for your real estate business’s social media marketing efforts? No? Well don’t worry, let me explain.
If you’re not sure what hashtags are (or should I say #hashtags), then I recommend watching this comedy sketch so that Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake can bring you up to speed and share a laugh into this social media trend that’s somewhat crazed.
Video credit: The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon
In a nutshell, hashtags are useful tools to help categorise your posts so that it is easier for your target audience to find them.
For real estate agents, hashtags could include things like #yoursuburbname, #realestate, #homeselling, #propertysales, #realestateagent or #realestateagency, to name just a few. This way, when users search on social media for real estate information in your area using any of these hashtags, your post will show up, exposing that user to your social media profile and business website.
You can interchange your hashtags to match the topic you are writing about. For example, if a recent post on your blog is about home decor trends, you could use #homedecor or #interiordesign as your hashtags. If you were writing about the current state of the real estate market in your city, #realestatetrends and #yoursuburbname would be more appropriate. Be sure to use the hashtags for every suburb that you represent in order to maximise your potential reach.
Do some keyword research
Before you start just throwing hashtags before every other word in your post, though, it is important that you do ample research into each hashtag you wish to employ. For each social media platform on which you plan to use a particular hashtag, do a quick search for that hashtag to see what comes up. You want to ensure that the content you are providing is in the same vein as the other posts using that hashtag.
Find that happy medium
When you are conducting your research, you are sure to notice that some hashtags are more popular than others. With popular hashtags, you may notice that a new post appears virtually every second. While it is great to know that a hashtag is popular, your posts are likely to get lost in the shuffle as new posts are added.
On the contrary, other hashtags are used less often, so they receive fewer posts. While this may seem appealing because your posts will get more time in the spotlight, fewer posts also mean that this hashtag likely attracts fewer viewers as well. If there are no results for a particular hashtag, that means that it is not used at all, so you would be better off choosing something different.
The goal is to find a balance between over- and under-populated hashtags, giving your posts a chance to be seen by as many users as possible without getting lost in a constantly flowing stream of information.
Types of hashtags
There are three main types of hashtags: content, trending and brand-specific. Content hashtags are those that are directly related to the content you are sharing, like #homesforsale or #realestateagent. They let social media users know what your post is all about so that they can find the information they are looking for quickly.
Trending hashtags are ones that are especially popular at the moment. This could include things to do with upcoming holidays, like #australiaday or #anzacday. Incorporating these types of hashtags into your posts can show users that your information is topical and current.
For example, you could create a post around decorating your home to host an Australia Day party. These types of posts, while not specifically about real estate, establish you as an expert for all things home-related.
Brand-specific hashtags are those that relate only to a particular brand or organisation, like #simeonmanners (the name of the real estate agency) and #worldofdifference (their brand tagline).
You could let your satisfied clients know that they should use this particular hashtag when posting positive comments about your business, such as in real estate testimonials or reviews. Other users would then see these posts and know that your business has a lot of satisfied customers.
Creating your own hashtags
Creating your own hashtag can give your brand a sense of continuity across all social media channels. This way, when users are looking for your posts, they know to use a specific hashtag. However, it is important to note that it doesn’t matter how witty or creative your hashtag is if no one knows about it. You’ll need to promote your hashtag across your social media channels so that users know about it.
At events, ask your customers to post or comment about the event and your real estate agency using the hashtag to help raise awareness and capture learnings as the event unfolds. Be sure to include the hashtag on ALL of your own posts as well. Then, over time, your customers will begin to associate your unique hashtag with your brand.
Custom hashtags also present a great way to promote off-market or a property listing before it’s formally marketed. Hashtags can also highlight services you might offer to anyone listing with your agency such as #propertyvaluereport.
Whenever you post a new property listing, you should also use #yoursuburbname alongside #propertyforsale or #propertyforrent, or possibly highlight a special property using #propertyoftheweek.
And when one of your properties sells at auction, you might consider promoting the results using #auction or #auctionswork, in line with several other real estate businesses, nationally. The more specific your hashtags are, the more likely they are to attract the audience that you are looking for.
Don’t stop learning
Although it may seem like the world of hashtags simply sprung up overnight, it has been growing and developing for many years. As social media user preferences constantly grow and change, so too must your use of hashtags. They are now so much more than merely a way to categorise your posts. They also provide innovative opportunities for your agency to drive conversations, gain public support and generate attention for your listings.
It is impossible to learn everything there is to know about hashtags immediately, so let our experts help you gain a better understanding of what hashtags would work best for your personal brand or real estate agency. We regularly help clients develop their own hashtags so that they can expand their reach across all social media channels. Reach out to us today to learn more about our social media marketing services and how we can help your real estate business thrive in the digital world.