In 2022, social media (specifically TikTok) become the preferred search method for Gen Z, surpassing the ever-mighty Google.

It’s a trend that will likely grow stronger this year. According to HubSpot’s 2023 Social Media Trends Report:

  • 87% of social media marketers think consumers will search for brands on social media more often than on search engines in 2023
  • 24% of consumers aged 18-54 already use social first when searching for brands
  • 36% of Gen Z consumers use social media to search for brands

Add to this the fact that 58% of users turn to social media to search for people, and it’s safe to assume consumers will be searching for real estate agents on social platforms (especially Gen Z and Millennials). 

So, how can you ensure your profiles show up in social searches? Start by following the steps below.

Optimize Your Profiles for Social Search

Optimizing social media platforms for social search can help increase the visibility and discoverability of your content. And with the rise of consumers turning to social media over Google, it’s a step you don’t want to ignore.

As social platforms and algorithms continue to change, it’s important to think through building a strategy that optimizes for search. A great starting point is choosing relevant keywords, increasing accessibility, and capitalizing on hashtags within your niche.

Erin McCool

Associate Marketing Manager, Social Strategy, HubSpot

Here are six ways to get started optimizing your profiles across social media platforms:

1. Use relevant keywords and hashtags

By incorporating relevant keywords into your social media copy, you increase the chances of your profile being discovered in search results. To identify the most relevant and popular keywords for your niche, use tools like Google Keyword Planner or Answer the Public

Including a few relevant and specific hashtags can also increase discoverability. For instance, using niche hashtags such as #austinopenhouse rather than broader ones like #openhouse can improve the searchability of your posts. 

Keep in mind you don’t want to go overboard with keywords—aim to strike a balance so copy sounds natural.

2. Optimize your profile bios

Ensure every profile is complete with a username that’s easy to search for. Your profile description should include relevant keywords that accurately describe what you do and the location(s) you serve. This makes it easier for people to find you when they’re searching for specific services in your area. 

To maximize the impact of your profile bio, focus on creating a concise and compelling message that conveys your unique value proposition. Don’t forget to include links to your website or other relevant resources that can help visitors learn more about your business or brand.

3. Keep it consistent across social platforms

Maintaining consistency across all social media platforms is essential for social search optimization. Whenever possible, use the same username across all your social media accounts. This helps your audience easily identify and connect with your brand, making it easier for them to find you online. A consistent social media presence also enhances your credibility and professionalism, which can positively impact your online reputation.

4. Use subtitles and text overlays

Use the same keywords from your caption in your subtitles and text overlays. This reinforces the relevance and context of your content and can help improve its discoverability in search results. (Added bonus: subtitles help with viewer retention). 

Just like your caption, don’t overdo the keywords to keep your content natural-sounding and engaging.

5. Tag your location

Tagging your location is a simple way to optimize your content for local search. By adding your location to your posts, you make it easier for people in your area to find your content and connect with your brand. 

In addition, tagging your location can also help your posts appear in location-based search results, which can be especially useful for real estate agents targeting specific markets.

6. Add alt-text

Adding alt-text to your social media posts is often overlooked in social search optimization. On some platforms, alt-text is auto-generated. But you can manually write custom alt-text on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. 

Alt-text, or alternative text, is a short description of an image that’s read by screen readers for visually impaired users. But Alt-text can also be used to optimize your images for search engines. When writing alt-text, include relevant keywords and a concise but accurate description of the image.

Key Takeaways for Agents

As social media’s influence on search continues to soar, it’s more critical than ever for businesses to get on board with optimizing their profiles and content for social search. 

After all, in a world where Gen Z is turning to TikTok over Google, and over one-third of their peers are already using social media to search for brands, it’s clear that social media is where the action is happening. 

As a real estate agent providing services to your local market, taking the time to optimize your social media presence can make all the difference in staying competitive and capturing the attention of your target audience. So, don’t get left behind – start optimizing your social media profiles and content for social search today.