There are literally hundreds of social media platforms for real estate investors to choose from. With all that we have on our plates, the real question is which platform is going to have the greatest impact and help your business grow?
As investors, our focus should be on reaching and connecting with homeowners who are looking to sell or buy real estate. I would also include real estate agents here since they can be a massive source of leads to motivated sellers. Secondary to that mission would be to surround ourselves with other professionals like contractors, lenders, inspectors, etc.
Nine Platforms to Consider
Here are the nine most popular platforms worth considering: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google My Business, Twitter, Snapchat, Clubhouse, Parler, TikTok.
Now that we know who we’re looking to connect with, let’s break through this crowded space with a few criteria that will act as a measuring stick and make the choices clear.
Social Media Platform Criteria
- Demographics – Is our ideal audience here?
- Popularity – How many users are on the platform?
- Ease of use – Do you need to “figure it out” or can you hop into it right away?
- Available marketing tools – Does it have multiple ways to put your business in front of the right audience?
- Third-party integrations – Can you easily schedule posts using tools like Canva, Hootsuite, Social Champ, etc.?
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google My Business, Twitter, Clubhouse, Parler,
There’s no point in putting time and effort into a platform if no one cares about your message in the first place. The only demographic that matters here is: age. We want to target platforms with an audience old enough to own a house or be in the market to buy a house. This moves TikTok and Snapchat to the younger end of the spectrum. While those networks, especially TikTok have been adopted by users aged 40+, they do not make up the bulk of users on those platforms. So, therefore, not they are not ideal and don’t make the list.
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google My Business, Twitter,
Where are all the people? When you take the time to make a post, it has to count! That means we want to have as many eyeballs on our content as possible. While Clubhouse won’t get us eyeballs, it will get us ears. Clubhouse’s main limitation right now is that it is ONLY available for the Apple platform. Once the platform is available for Android apps, this will become an incredible platform to put us front and center with agents and wholesalers or other business team members.
Parler had a rush at the beginning but still doesn’t have the audience or features yet to make it worth the effort.
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google My Business,
With time being one asset we never seem to have enough of, the last thing you want to do is try to figure out a social media platform.
Twitter is one of those social platforms that still has people scratching their heads about how to use it. You either get Twitter or you don’t. If it’s been a while since you were on Twitter, it’s worth another look. They recently increased the number of characters from 140 to 280 in 2021. This platform is massive, and ungated similar to Instagram, but the content moves very quickly and you may find yourself having to post multiple times a day to get seen. It can feel a bit like whispering into the wind and hoping someone hears you. For this reason, I’m removing it from the list.
Ease-of-use could easily disqualify Instagram. As they roll out add-ons like carousel posts, stories, IGTV, and now Reels it can be a lot to keep up with. What keeps Instagram in the game for me is that the content is not gated so even if all you master is how to post on your main feed, you can still build an audience and make connections.
Google My Business can also leave people wondering what it’s good for. GMB doesn’t meet most of the criteria as a social media platform, but it’s frequently lumped in with them. Once you get signed up to use the platform, it works very much like Facebook for posting. It has messaging but doesn’t collect an audience. These might appear as limitations, but GMB does some very unique things that other social platforms don’t and deserves to be on the list of platforms we invest into.
4. Available marketing tools
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google My Business
To make the biggest impact, I want to see multiple ways to connect with my audience including paid ads, direct messaging, and targeting options. The platforms still on the list meet the demands of advanced online marketing. Each one has multiple ways to connect with the audience. Facebook pulls ahead of all the others on this point as they have rooms, live streaming, events, groups, business pages, personal profiles, paid ads, stories, and direct messaging.
Google My Business doesn’t have as much as Facebook, but they integrate directly into Google, the number one search engine. If you want your business found, then putting some focused effort into GMB will help you build your business in your local market. GMB also has paid ads and several unique calls-to-action you can choose from. And because it’s Google, the tracking and reporting capabilities are robust.
Both Instagram and LinkedIn exceed the criteria for marketing tools. Both have paid ads, and direct messaging. LinkedIn has groups as well.
5. Third-party integrations
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google My Business
Third-party integrations include chatbots and post schedulers. These tools can save you some serious time, and chatbots can help you qualify leads. Some scheduling software is integrated with Canva which eliminates having to download your artwork. This integration alone can save you a lot of time and hassle when it comes to posting.
All the remaining platforms have integration with post schedulers. Instagram is the most restrictive platform when it comes to post schedulers. Many of their features like Reels, carousel posts, and stories are not able to be scheduled and posted automatically. Again, because of the popularity of this network, if all you can manage to do is post to your main feed, you will still get major benefits from the platform.
The Overall Winner
We’ve got four remaining contenders, but if you only have time for one platform, there can be only one winner.
Facebook is the thousand-pound gorilla in the world of social media. As we’ve gone through the list you can see why it deserves to be the number one choice, but for me, it isn’t. Despite all of its wonderful tools and features, it takes money and advertising to really make an impact and draw an audience made up of homeowners. Business page posts are only shared to about 1% of the people following your page, so you won’t notice much engagement unless you have a massive audience.
LinkedIn is focused primarily on professionals. You’ll find our real estate agents here, but it will be harder to connect with homeowners.
Google My Business, is the platform that can get us major exposure on the Google search engine so homeowners can find us. As with all things SEO, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be listed in the search results without going through some account optimization to ensure that you’re hitting all the right algorithms.
If I only have time for one platform, Instagram is the clear winner. For me it comes down to these critical features:
- Giant user base: Even for those located in more rural areas. It’s easy to geotarget your content to attract a local audience.
- Ungated: Anyone can find your content. 100% of your posts are visible to anyone following your page or your hashtags
- Several FREE ways to use the platform: Reels, carousel posts, IGTV, and Stories are features that attract different types of users. If your grid isn’t reaching them, you might reach them with Reels. If not Reels, then stories. You can also cross-post and share Reels or stories inside your grid.
- Hashtags: These are extremely powerful on Instagram because you can “follow” a hashtag and only see related posts. You can also add hashtags with all of these features.
- Audience: Homeowners and agents are here! It’s a platform with something for everyone.
As long as your content is providing value, you’ll be able to carve out an audience that will help you grow your business.