As a real estate agent, brand recognition is vital to your success. Building your brand involves many different moving parts, of course, including building your website, blog, social media sites, online advertising, YouTube videos, and more. It's an ongoing, ever-growing process. The more content you have out there, the bigger your brand will become, and the more influence all of these moving parts will have on potential clients.
Speaking of influence, one of the most dynamic and trendy new methods to build yours is using TikTok. TikTok, for the uninitiated, is a relatively new social media platform that allows users to create and share very short videos. To say it's gotten popular in the last couple of years would be a rank understatement, as TikTok videos have exploded in popularity and into the public consciousness.
In this article, we're going to take a deep dive into the platform, what it is, and how it works. More importantly, we're going to show you how you can use TikTok to build your brand and supercharge your influence using their easy-to-make videos (and 100% free platform). So sit back, relax and take plenty of mental notes while we show you.
How Real Estate Agents Can Use TikTok To Build Their Brand and Increase Their Influence.
What, exactly, is TikTok?
Like Instagram and many other social media platforms, TikTok allows the user to create very short videos using a wide variety of filters, visual effects, and sound effects. At first, the platform only allowed 6-second videos. That was later increased to 15 seconds, and today you can shoot videos up to 60 seconds if you like.
In short, TikTok is a video creation and sharing social media platform that anyone can use to create videos and share them with the world. Almost any subject is allowed although they do have rules and restrictions against the usual content (pornography, violence, etc.) For a real estate agent, TikTok presents another platform to use as a branding mechanism and build your sphere of influence.
In short, TikTok is a video creation and sharing social media platform.
How does TikTok work?
TickTok is a bit different from other social media platforms that rely mainly on videos for entertainment. For example, as soon as you have downloaded and opened the app, a TikTok video will start to play even if you haven't selected one. If you don't like it, you can tap the 'home' button, and another video will start. These are videos labeled 'for you' and auto-chosen based on the data you gave TikTok when you signed up.
Next to the home icon is a magnifying glass icon. Tap it, and you can search for things using keywords, hashtags, and trending topics. You can also pause a video while it's playing by simply tapping on the screen and, if you want to go to the video creator's TikTok site, you can tap on their icon to the right. Like Instagram, you can also give the video a 'like' by clicking the 'heart' button. You'll see comments too, which you can click on to read and/or leave your own.
How To make a TikTok video
To make TikTok videos for your real estate brand, click the 'plus' sign at the bottom of the app's home screen. Then follow the next few steps:
- On the recording screen, choose your options, including flip (front or back camera) speed, beauty, filters, timer.
- Next, choose any visual effects you want to use. Green screen, shake, clones, etc. Keep in mind that you don't need to use any effects, either.
- Next comes choosing music from the sounds library. (You can also record your own.)
- You can then review your video and add text or 'stickers.'
- When you're happy with your TikTok video, click 'Next' to create and caption your video post. Remember to proofread because once sent, you can't change anything. Start with lower trending hashtags first, or your TikTok videos will get lost in the crowd.
Now select a Cover image. This will be the thumbnail image people see when searching on TikTok, so make it interesting. Once that's done, simply post your TikTok video!
Also, remember to 'cross-post' to your other social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. This option is at the bottom of the Post screen.
Pro TikTok tip
After you've posted, you can click on the video, and you'll see three dots (...)along the right-hand side of the screen. Tap it, copy the link, and you can share it on Facebook, Twitter, Messenger, Instagram stories, your email, and even with a QR code. This cross-pollination of your TikTok videos is a great way to increase your branding and influence.
Try using TikTok first
The instructions we gave (above) will help you to create your first TikTok video. That being said, we highly recommend you take a few hours to get to know the app and all its functions as much as possible before you start posting. Remember, while many use the TikTok app for fun, this is for your business, and so should be approached more seriously (even if you plan to post fun videos).
The good news is that, if you've ever tried Instagram, Snapchat, Flickr, and dozens of other apps, you should be able to get the hang of TikTok quite quickly. We recommend that more than learning how to use the app (which shouldn't take long) you start;
- Exploring your feeds to see what people you 'like' are posting
- Search Hashtags that interest you outside of the real estate industry
- Find as many videos that you like as possible and study them a bit
- Follow 2 or 3 dozen TikTok profiles that post similar content
While many use the TikTok app for fun, this is for your business, and so should be approached more seriously.
Check out what other real estate agents are posting to TikTok
They say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. In the case of creating TikTok videos, imitating what other real estate agents are doing, at least in the beginning, isn't a bad idea. It can inspire you at the very least and maybe show you what not to do as well.
We suggest searching #realestate and following a few of the folks there whose work you enjoy and would like to emulate. You don't necessarily have to (or should want to) copy what they're doing exactly. Still, it's a good starting point for your videos and can give you the 'seeds' you need to sprout your own, excellent TikTok video ideas.
How to understand the millennial demographic
OK, time to take a deep breath. Unless you're a millennial (and even if you are) understanding, this primary demographic isn't as easy as it sounds. Indeed, most marketers will tell you that it's one of the most challenging groups to market to. That being said, understanding millennials is a must because they make up a considerable percentage of the population of the United States (25%!) and are one of your biggest demographics.
Here are a few facts that define Millennials:
- Since 2015, 87% of working millennials have taken management positions
- They start their own companies and brands more often than other demographics
- They adopt technology earlier than most
- They have tremendous buying power (Nearly $4 trillion.)
- They will support your company if doing so helps support a cause
- They don't trust traditional advertising
- They rely on Social Proof to make buying decisions (Online reviews.)
- They LOVE social media
We hope you agree that this information about the millennial demographic is golden. You should keep all of these facts in mind when you're building your TikTok empire and creating your TikTok videos.
Understanding millennials is a must because they make up a considerable percentage of the population of the United States.
How Can You Use TikTok to brand yourself and increase your influence?
One of the critical factors you need to keep in mind when using TikTok to build your brand and increase your influence is that, for the time being, it's mainly used as a form of entertainment. The last thing that you want to do is try and "sell" yourself using TikTok because most users will be turned off by that, ignore your videos, and you won't be very successful.
The good news is that there are many different ways you can use TikTok that are entertaining. When you do it right and put a smile on viewers' faces, you'll attract attention to your brand (and the homes you're listing) and put a 'human face' to your brand that can increase affinity for it significantly. Below are a few of the best TikTok video ideas that you should be using.
Create Behind-the-Scenes TikTok videos from your office
Viewers love to see the "real you." Taking TikTok videos of the more mundane happenings in your office is a great way to show them. Birthday parties, awards you've been given, what your work area looks like. Get your colleagues in on the act and do something silly like a 'dance-off.' The sky's the limit!
Film Home Highlights and puts them to music
Shoot 1 or 2-second clips of the best things about a home, put them together, add some cool music, and voila! You've got a TikTok video that entertains and shows off your newest listing! It's easy, fast, and, for folks who are shopping for a new home, might be the thing that gets them to contact you.
Share Videos with trending hashtags that apply to the real estate industry
This is key. Remember, it's not all about you, it's all about your viewers. Share stuff that they might like, and you'll have them eating out of the palm of your hand. Why? Because sharing is caring!
Create TikTok videos that feature your kids, your pets and anything fun
There's nothing more entertaining than, say, your toddler giving your dog a big old hug, or your cat chasing a laser light and falling off the sofa. (Safely, of course.) That's the kind of entertainment that can boost your brand and your influence greatly. Call it the 'cuteness factor.'
A Few Helpful TikTok Video Creation Hints
By now, you should have a good idea about how TikTok works and how you can use it to brand yourself and create a strong sphere of influence on the platform. Below are a few more tips you can use when making your videos to increase that branding and influence even more.
Use the Right Hashtags
One of the most popular ways that TikTok users search for new videos to watch is by using hashtags. What that means for you is that, with every video that you create on the platform, you should be using the right hashtags so that people can find your videos.
Hashtags significantly amplify the reach your videos have. The reason why is that users will follow certain hashtags they like and, if yours has that hashtag, they'll automatically see it in their feed. This will, in turn, increase the likes and followers that you have. Hashtags are also a great way to find your competitors, check out their TikTok videos, and, as we discussed earlier, get excellent ideas for creating your videos at the same time.
Keep in mind that you can also create your own hashtags and use them on all of your TikTok videos. Not only that but, once your audience grows, you can ask them to start using your hashtag when they post. Using your hashtag to, for example, create a challenge, is a great idea, and can help it to possibly 'go viral.' (Anybody remember the "ice bucket challenge"?)
Hashtags significantly amplify the reach your videos have.
Make it Personal
We mentioned this earlier about children or pets. Anything that you can post about yourself that shows your real personality can be very endearing to viewers and create a strong affinity for your brand. It doesn't have to be polished or perfect and, in fact, we recommend that it isn't. Originality should be the driving factor, not a polished product.
Make Your Property-Focused TikTok Videos Stand Out
Sure, you can show the basics of every property you have to offer. Still, a genuinely engaging TikTok video will show the more unusual, funny, or unique aspects of a property. The cat door in the mudroom, for example, or the skylight in the bathroom. The funny shape of the oak tree in the back yard or the odd colors used in the den. Anything that makes it stand out (in a good-ish way) will make for a more memorable and shareable TikTok.
For the time being, TikTok is still offering Pro accounts for free. After you switch, you can see how many views your videos have, trending videos, statistics on users, and a lot more, so it's well worth it. To do it:
- Go to your profile page, open the "Privacy and Settings" tab
- Choose "Manage my Account", then tap on "Switch to Pro Account" and follow the steps they give you.
Get Started Building Your Real Estate Brand and Becoming a TikTok Influencer!
Now that you know a thing or two about TikTok, it's time to get started! We hope you enjoyed this article, and it gave you a lot of actionable information you can use starting today! As TikTok continues to grow, you can ride their wave and use the platform as another tool to build your brand and your influence. Good luck!