Incorporating Social Media Into Your Marketing Strategy
Successful real estate professionals make the most of their resources. They get quality leads and turn more of them into prospects and ultimately sales. They use their time wisely and market efficiently. Today, that means using digital marketing strategies including social media.
For those who have arrived a little late to the social media party, or those who perhaps have not been as attentive to it as they intended, here are some thoughts on incorporating it into an overall marketing strategy.
Get Signed Up and Make it a Priority
The first step into effectively incorporating social media into a marketing strategy is to sign up for accounts on popular platforms. Keep in mind, these should not be personal accounts for family and friends, but for a real estate business. Choose from accounts like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter and more. The social media landscape changes frequently so stay connected.
For real estate brokers and agents, social media can be much more important than a vehicle to stay in touch. It is a valuable, powerful tool to help build a business. It should be treated that way. Sufficient time should be devoted to it to keep your social media accounts fresh, vibrant, interesting and pertinent.
Use Social Media as a Funnel
Your social media should eventually funnel leads and prospects to your website or a blog. Use social media to get potential buyers or sellers to take the next step. “Learn more about [city's] most popular neighborhood” or “What home buyers should know about [city]", or even “Take two minutes and view a virtual tour of this amazing home”. Once there, invite them to make contact.
Often, real estate agents will place "coming soon" or "my current listings" on social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram. They will also include a link in the social media post to their own website, or a the brokerage website, where the home is located for additional information. These are certainly welcome, but make sure that they aren't the majority of your posts to keep your content varied and engagement up.
Make Generous Use of Images
Social media is more visual than ever, especially YouTube and Instagram. Get quality photos, use virtual tours and consider narrating your own videos. Only use the very best images to promote a house for sale. Consider making short 90 second to two-minute videos on buying and selling tips in your area. Perhaps get real estate-related professionals to answer questions you pose regarding moving tips, homeowners insurance advice or on how to get financing. The associated professionals can also help you gain followers through cross-promotion.
Position Yourself as the Expert
Writing a blog about a real estate related topic each week can help position an agent as the expert and a resource for potential buyers and sellers. Promote a new topic each week on your social media accounts and ask for topic suggestions. "Tease" your social media readers to read more about a particular subject by clicking on a link which will lead them to your blog or real estate website.
Blogs should also contain “share” buttons so users can easily pass along blog information to others. Be sure to use localized keyword phrases in your content to help those using search engines to find you. Phrases like "Real estate in [City/Area], "[City/Area] real estate agent." and "Homes for sale in [City/Area]" etc. may help you show up higher in search engine listings for those keywords.
Make Your Social Media Newsworthy
Every day in your community people are asking “I wonder what they are building there?” or “What's going in there?” Build your social media to be the “go to” source for real estate-related news in your area. Stay on top of zoning change applications, new residential and commercial developments and more. Followers love to share this type of news.
Promote your Social Media in other Marketing
Encourage people to join your social media pages through other marketing like flyers, business cards, print, and radio ads. Use your email list to promote social media involvement and even conduct a contest or offer an incentive for those who become fans. Work to constantly build your online following.
Respond and Stay Connected
Become diligent about responding to messages, both positive and negative on social media. If you don't want to confront a negative comment on social media, ask the poster to contact you directly so you can address it. If a house you posted pictures of two weeks ago sells, update your readers. Readers should view your social media as active and responsive. Quality customer service should not only apply to communication with clients — it should extend to all of the potential clients viewing your websites and social media channels.
Monitor Your Results
As time passes, you will want to determine which platforms are getting the best results. Don't just monitor likes, but which platforms funnel you the highest quality leads.
Social media is working in helping to create sales in the real estate industry, but make no mistake, it takes time, commitment and diligence. With a little focus and effort, however, it can pay big dividends. If you have yet to take full advantage of social media in of it, now may just be the time.
Anthony Gilbert, guest author, is the owner of The RealFX Group. Anthony specializes in real estate lead generation and management.