27 Tips For Making Your Social Media Posts More Visually Appealing

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The 5 most effective tools to up your marketing game

  • Real estate is a visually driven industry; incorporating video can improve your marketing strategy, create brand awareness and position you as a credible local expert.
  • With the increasing adoption of live streaming video, real estate professionals can engage at scale and establish a social media or online presence with the click of a button or the start of a stream.
  • Relationship marketing is key in this industry — it’s never been easier to connect with an audience and offer it behind-the-scenes access to who you are as a brand.
  • Video is shared 1,200 percent more times than links and text combined, and it drives a 157 percent increase in organic traffic from search engines (Brightcove). A powerful marketing tool, video is one of, if not the most, engaging form of content used today.Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text, and we remember visual content longer and more often. Accessibility to smartphones, Wi-Fi and apps with built-in social audiences provides individuals and corporations with the ability to market to massive amounts of digital eyeballs at little to no cost.The following tools can help you take advantage of the neuroscience of visuals and boost your brand awareness and exposure through streaming, video email and easy-to-create high-quality imagery.

    Facebook Live

    Facebook describes Facebook Live as a tool to “broadcast to the largest audience in the world with the camera in your pocket.” During Facebook’s F8 Conference, Chief Product Officer, Chris Cox, projected that over 70 percent of mobile traffic will be video by 2021.

    With over 1.65 billion active users, it’s no wonder this social network is an ideal platform for one of the biggest trends of 2016: live streaming video.

    An emerging powerhouse player within the Facebook ecosystem, live streaming is the great equalizer that empowers both the average individual and the largest corporation with the ability to reach relevant audiences on a monumental scale.

    One tremendous benefit over pre-recorded video: real-time engagement with viewers. Live streaming is experiencing rapid adoption by marketers, businesses and consumers alike primarily due to the unique participatory quality of the interactions.

    Facebook Live leverages the power of real-time communication and encourages an intimacy effect between streamer and participant creating deeper human connections. In a service-based industry like real estate, creating more meaningful relationships with your clients will guarantee future referrals.

    The best reason to leverage Facebook Live to grow your real estate business is that, at least for now, streams are rewarded both in placement and promotion within the newsfeed algorithm. Simply put: there’s a pretty good chance that if you use Facebook Live, people will see your content. Facebook’s official blog states:

    “Now that more and more people are watching Live videos, we are considering Live Videos as a new content type — different from normal videos — and learning how to rank them for people in News Feed.

    “People spend more than three times more time watching a Facebook Live video on average compared to a video that’s no longer live. As a first step, we are making a small update to News Feed so that Facebook Live videos are more likely to appear higher in News Feed when those videos are actually live, compared to after they are no longer live.”

    Facebook Live is available for both iOS and Android devices and can be accessed from personal profiles, business pages, groups and event pages. Applications for real estate marketing are limited only by your creativity.

    Savvy real estate agents are sharing valuable market updates, insider “best of” neighborhood shows, open house streams for out-of-state relocations and behind-the-scenes looks into their company culture. With its multi-demographic appeal and smartphone accessibility, Streamageddon could be near.

    Users have the distinct advantage of embracing this tool before the feed becomes oversaturated to gain more visibility and exposure.

    Pro tips:

    1. Create a post the day before going Live to build anticipation and give followers enough time to tune in.
    2. Prepare for your stream, but don’t read from a script; the unedited and “real” feel is a big viewer attraction.
    3. Make sure your Wi-Fi connection is solid and create a compelling title for your stream with hashtags and emojis to attract more eyeballs.
    4. Acknowledge your viewers by name, and ask your audience questions to maximize engagement.
    5. Tell your viewers to subscribe to your Live Notifications so they can be notified every time you go Live.
    6. Broadcast for longer periods of time to attract more viewers. Facebook recommends 10 minutes, but you can stay live for up to 90 minutes. (If streaming for over 10 minutes, consider a quick recap intro midway through to help the late joiners catch up the broadcast topic.)
    7. Do it consistently, and provide valuable content — don’t be afraid to be your authentic self.

    Blab

    A unique, group live-streaming platform, Blab combines live broadcasting with group discussions (imagine Google Hangouts marries Periscope).

    According to Blab’s CEO, the average time spent on this platform is 64 minutes, which is about 56 minutes longer than the average human attention span. Blab’s thesis: it’s easier for people to talk to other people than to a camera.

    Group participation and the dramatic appeal of not knowing what will happen next during a live broadcast is what appeals to users and keeps viewers tuned in.

    The advantage this platform has over some others is that it allows for real-time engagement, interactive host rotation and easy social shareability. Blab is becoming the live version of a blog or webcast, and users love the participation and immediate feedback.

    After logging into the desktop or app version with your Twitter or Facebook account, you can begin to discover topics and start your very own broadcast within seconds.

    Blab’s most unique feature is the ability for up to four people to co-host a live broadcast simultaneously and rotate the guests in and out of the “seats.” You can record your Blab and even if you lose your signal, the Blab continues until you can join again.

    Best of all, there is no third-party software or app required to record a Blab, and you can stop and start recording at any time. Once recorded, your Blab will be delivered to you in audio and video format allowing for easy repurposing to other social platforms.

    Because you receive the audio file, consider using the Blab as a supplemental podcast, and if you blog, consider turning your blog content into a live discussion.

    The best way to begin Blabbing is to “lurk” in some live Blabs, participate by commenting or asking questions, share out Blabs and then practice going live with another person.

    Blab can be an excellent conduit to connect with and learn from industry influencers. If you are a top real estate producer, live streaming can provide free exposure at scale and help your recruiting efforts by building your credibility.

    With the potential to host market updates and client and influencer interviews, Blab might be a worthwhile platform to integrate into your current online marketing strategy. Remember, any platform will help you to reach a new audience of potential customers as you share relevant content that is valuable and helpful to their needs.

    Pro tips:

    1. Marketing an upcoming Blab is important. Create an image for your Blab, and post to social media or email to your database with hyperlinks to the Blab. To notify your network, you can tweet a link or share to Facebook when you start your Blab.
    2. Don’t forget to tell viewers what to do. Ask them to “tell a little bird” to tweet out the link and ask for follows and props or “feels,” which are like hearts for Periscope or likes for Facebook.
    3. Engage with viewers (which can be a bit challenging sometimes to talk and respond to questions at the same time) by taking a few seconds to make sure you are responding to questions, so your viewers don’t feel ignored.
    4. Remember to hit the record button if you want to save your show so you can repurpose your content later.
    5. Just like other social platforms, you can grow your network by following fellow Blabbers.
    6. For some advanced users, think about the possibilities of “dual streaming” or using Facebook Live or Periscope while you’re Blabbing.

    BombBomb

    With video converting 72 percent better than any other form of content, 2016 is the time to jumpstart your conversion rates by integrating video marketing into your arsenal. Sending video messages to your clients is a surefire way to set yourself apart from the competition, and it has never been easier or more affordable.

    Video is powerful because it allows the recipient to visualize and experience your body language, facial expressions and tone of voice.

    Body language is key to communication and impossible to experience over a text message or an email. It’s always easier to engage and convert leads into closed deals with a face-to-face connection, and BombBomb helps make this possible.

Bomb is a website and mobile app platform that allows you to shoot video, email it to your database and track analytics. The platform sends over 126 million minutes of video every year and is used in over 42 countries.

A survey of BombBomb’s customers revealed that video emails versus traditional emails received 81 percent more replies and converted 68 percent more leads. With stats like these, it’s clear that BombBomb has cornered the market on easy-to-use video email apps.

BombBomb conveniently integrates with most CRMs, which means you can easily shoot and send videos to anyone in your existing database as well as create automated email video campaigns. You can also incorporate pre-existing YouTube and Animoto videos into your emails.

The system offers templates for every occasion, and for a fee, designers can create a custom email template for your business that reflects your personal brand. Each time your message is viewed, a notification will be sent to you, and the recipient has the option to respond with a traditional email or their own video message (even if they don’t have their own BombBomb account).

The team at BombBomb is also keen on innovation and has just added a new feature called “animated previews,” which can replace a video’s static thumbnail image.

According to BombBomb data, animated GIFs are shown to deliver a 48.9 percent increase in play rate. The customer service team at BombBomb is bar none and touts a 99 percent customer satisfaction rating, and you can check out its behind-the-scenes culture and brainstorms on its blog.

There’s no need to be concerned about a script or fancy equipment or lighting; in fact, it might surprise you to learn that the perfectly edited videos on YouTube could be sabotaging your ability to build trust with viewers.

Consumers prefer watching unedited videos that capture your true persona, which is why live streaming resonates so deeply with our human need for authenticity. People want to work with the real you and up to 84 percent of consumers trust people more than brands.

Pro tips:

  1. Snap a thumbnail photo before you shoot your video, and smile before the video starts.
  2. Include the person’s name as if you were talking with him or her live.
  3. Send thank you messages immediately after you meet with a client or prospect — before you even get back to your home or office. People will be impressed with your speedy follow-up.
  4. Use BombBomb to update your clients regularly on the progress of their transactions or confirm appointments with a quick video. It’s often harder to cancel when you see the person’s face.
  5. Send LinkedIn video invitations or a meeting requests with a personal message.
  6. Sending a quick Happy Birthday video to your clients will be something that sets you apart from the usual calls, texts or Facebook posts.
  7. Set up video auto responders, and personally welcome new website registrants with your video message.

Canva

With 20 percent of our brains used purely for visual processing, one way to maximize your visual content strategy is by using eye-catching graphic design. If you are creating ads for social media platforms or designing marketing collateral, selecting the right image can boost ROI and create higher conversions rates.

Saving time and money are the two biggest challenges for any busy real estate professional, and Canva.com provides an ideal solution.

Canva is a free website that is described as “amazingly simple graphic design software” for the ultimate beginner to advanced user.

Log in with your Facebook or Google Plus account to get started and begin creating marketing pieces that represent your brand with compelling graphics, high-impact typography and pre-sized formatting.

Canva offers an extensive library of stock images that you can purchase for $1 or upload your own photos at no charge. Select from beautiful fonts, icons, shapes, banners and more to embellish your designs.

The platform is easy to use and offers design templates for Facebook cover photos, Instagram posts and listing flyers that are created with intuitive drop and drag functionality. Once your design is complete, download a high-quality PNG, JPEG or PDF file in minutes.

Real estate professionals are using Canva to create open house invitations, property listing flyers, social media posts, engaging blog title images and e-books without having to worry about changing dimensions or outsourcing the project to an expensive professional designer.

Pro tips:

  1. Canva.com is Canva’s blog that shares ideas, best practices and inspiration.
  2. If you actively create videos and post to YouTube, use Canva to create a great thumbnail image.
  3. Canva offers beautiful infographic templates — a great idea for a visual market update!
  4. If you plan to upload your own images, make sure they are copyright-free. Here are some options that you can use to find these:
    • Pixabay.com
    • Pexels.com
    • Morguefile.com

Bitmoji

I know what you’re thinking — really, an emoji app recommendation? Bear with me on this one! The Oxford Dictionary named “emoji” as the 2015 Word of the Year.

An emoji is defined as “a small digital image or icon used to express an idea, emotion, etc., in electronic communication.” Buffer’s blog post shares the science behind why our brains react the same way to viewing an emoji as when we see the same expression in real life.

Emojis are processed by the brain just like other forms of nonverbal communication such as body language and emotion. We even have a special place in our brains reserved specifically for facial recognition (which is why watching faces is so compelling).

Since the addition of the emoji keyboard on smartphones, these characters have been adopted into the mainstream text lingo of today.

According to Emogi’s 2015 report, over 92 percent of online users are using these adorable visual icons, so why not create your own personal emoji?

The Bitmoji app is free and makes it easy to create an expressive cartoon avatar that looks just like you. Download the app and create your lookalike emoji choosing from a wide variety of face shapes, hair styles, eye color and clothing styles.

Access the Bitmoji keyboard that offers hundreds of funny, romantic or snarky themes that you can add to any text.

Snapchat recently acquired the Bitmoji maker Bitstrips for a reported $100 million this year, which solidifies that emojis are here to stay.

Incorporating this trend in digital linguistics can help you communicate your personality and reveal the real you — this is important to your clients. Although this might not directly grow your business, it will bring a smile to your clients’ faces and help you stay on the relevancy scale.

Pro tips:

  1. Data shows that Instagram bios and posts that contain emojis have higher engagement rates than those with just text (you can even hashtag emojis).
  2. Using emojis interspersed within your posts can create a fun riddle for readers to figure out what words are being represented by the images; this equals engagement.
  3. Incorporate emojis into your social media comments, titles for live streams and even your bio or calls to action to attract more eyeballs.

My hope is that these five tools will become part of your marketing arsenal, and now you are equipped to use them optimally. If you have any other tips you’d like to share, please feel free to weigh in below in the comments section.

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