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Your Local Knowledge Is an Asset -- But Only If You Show It Off

August 19 2015

social networks brick 2Realtor.com is collaborating with News Corp. sibling MarketWatch on "MarketWatch Property," a new site that tracks 21 major U.S. real estate markets. The site is looking for Realtorslooking for Realtors willing to be "Location Scouts" who contribute regular reports on the prices, trends, and metrics in their market area.

News Corp. isn't the only one aware of the valuable local expertise that agents possess. Last month, journalist Matt Carmichael shared how real estate professionals are his "go-to" sourcereal estate professionals are his when seeking knowledge of an unfamiliar area.

The above two posts underline just how valuable the detailed local info that agents offer really is. You can share that knowledge one-on-one with your clients, or even with the media--but did you realize there are plenty of other channels to broadcast what you know?

We're talking about the Internet, of course, and the way that social media can act as a megaphone for sharing your hyperlocal expertise with a larger audience. While each social network is different, there are some universal shortcuts for "getting local" that work across all platforms. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Act as a "scout" or guide

"Location Scout" is an apt name for MarketWatch to call its contributors. Take your cue from this moniker and play tour guide for your social audience. Share Instagram photos from your favorite new restaurant. Tweet about upcoming area events. Create a Pinterest "place board" of the best local sights to see.

Use local #hashtags

Any sizeable location will have its own hashtag. Find out what's commonly used in your area and start using it in your posts. This ensures that your content can easily be found by people searching for posts about your area. To determine your local hashtag, just search your town's name on your favorite social network and see what's most commonly used. This can range from a simple city name (#annarbor), a nickname (#a2) to area codes (#805) or zip codes (#90210).

Once you know your area's hashtags, start using them! And don't be shy to @tag the profiles of relevant local businesses and people in your posts.

Take advantage of geotags

That photo from your favorite restaurant? Make sure you geo-tag the restaurant via Instagram's "Add Location" or Facebook's "Add a location to post" feature. That way, anyone who comes across your photo will know exactly which restaurant serves that tasty plate you snapped a picture of. Same goes for any posts about a particular place. If you're posting about the great service at a local store, geo-tag them. If you're enjoying a live show at a local lounge, add a geo-tag to whatever statuses or photos you share.

Pinterest makes unique use of geotags. The site's Place Boards let you create map-based collections of, say, your favorite local watering holes or notable historic sites. Each time you pin to a place board, you can geo-tag where the photo was taken and it will appear as a clickable spot on that board's map.

Go public

You can hashtag and geo-tag until you turn purple, but if your photos are set to private, nobody but your limited friends list will see them! If you're using a social network as a marketing tool, be sure your posts are public to reach the widest possible audience.