8 rules of social media you should never ignore

With all the noise, controversy and inaccurate news generated by social media, it’s hard to believe there are actual rules that users are supposed to follow. In addition to general guidelines about what is appropriate in the social media space, there are also very specific ones for each channel. And there are rules for Realtors using social media for their businesses, written by the Real Estate Council of BC.  If you use social media for your real estate business, follow these guidelines carefully.

1. Facebook: In order to follow the rules of the Real Estate Council of BC, you need to adhere to the following guidelines. Your profile must include: your name, the name of your brokerage and your team (if applicable), and the name of the personal real estate corporation you are associated with (if any). Any advertising claims such as “we are the top selling team” or promises of giveaways for listings must also include any qualifying statements for descriptions. You must also ensure your privacy settings limit access and content posted by others.

2. Twitter: Your profile should include your name and brokerage. Alternatively, you could include your brokerage name in the background of your Twitter page. You do not need to include your brokerage name in each tweet.

3. Google Plus: It’s best to include your brokerage name on your cover photo or on your profile photo. If you don’t, you must include it in every post.

4. YouTube: On the Your Channel section of YouTube, you can put your brokerage name in the About section. On the YouTube Video page you can put the name of your brokerage/personal real estate corporation/team in three areas: 1. title; 2. description; or 3. introduction.

5. Craigslist and Kijiji: It is important to ensure that the name of your brokerage is prominently displayed and easily readable on any Craigslist and Kijiji posting. Review the posting rules of these sites thoroughly. You could be banned from using these sites if you contravene their guidelines.

6. Foreign language publications: According to the Real Estate Council of BC, translations of brokerage names into other languages are not acceptable, including on social media sites. Your name, brokerage, personal real estate corporation or team must match Council’s records.

7. Pinterest: Any photos of a property that you post on Pinterest must include your brokerage name on the photo itself. This will avoid a contravention of the rules if, for example, your photo is re-pinned on another individual’s board.

8. QR codes: These are the square barcodes which, when scanned by a smartphone, link directly to more information such as a website. It is important that the name of your brokerage is prominently displayed and easily discernible on any link provided by a QR code.