Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series.
Are you gaining clients from your social networking activities? If not, it’s time to create a plan that not only builds your friends and followers, but also helps them become your clients as well.
There are literally thousands of ways to use social media to attract clients. The following list contains strategies that are working for top agents in today’s market.
1. Micro-marketing on Facebook business pages
One strategy that has worked well for a number of agents is to set up a fan page or business page for the specific markets they serve. On this page, provide as much information about the subdivision, condo project, or market niche that you are serving. In most cases, the more specific you are in your target, the better your results will be. (See an example.)
In addition to a website specifically dedicated to the lifestyle in this area, you can also consider a separate Facebook business page for a property. (See an example.)
2. Market your listings on Facebook Marketplace
Facebook also has a dedicated area called Marketplace that it hopes will compete with Craigslist and eBay. This is a smart place to post all of your listings and your open houses without violating the site’s terms of service.
Facebook business and group pages, as well as Facebook Marketplace, are all searchable on Google. In contrast, profile pages are not.
3. Video testimonials
Video testimonials are one of the most powerful ways to build your online identity using social media. Not only do you help others build their online presence, you build your personal online presence as well.
There are a variety of places that you can post video testimonials. One great place is Yelp.com, which comes up high on most search engines.
Another excellent way to post video testimonials for your friends and followers is on LinkedIn. Do this without expecting the person you recommended to reciprocate. The law of attraction says that this will come back to you in a positive way. It just may not return through the same person you recommended.
The reason this approach is so important in today’s market is that a large majority of today’s buyers and sellers will Google your name before they ever contact you. If they see that you have plenty of positive testimonials, you’re much more likely to be hired.
What is more important to many people, however, is the fact that you went out of your way to help others. This is especially important for our Gen Y buyers and sellers, since helping others is one of their core values. When you demonstrate this behavior, they are more likely to contact you when they are ready to list and sell.
4. Communicate with your high-probability contacts
Research suggests that most people can manage no more than 150 relationships. If you have more than 150 people in your database of friends and followers, consider which 150 are most important to your business.
Since most social media platforms allow you to create lists, place these individuals into a separate business list. This allows you to focus on seeing the interactions that matter most to you.
The next step is to make a point of commenting on five posts each day from your list. This means that you will contact each person in your core database of 150 people at least once a month. The research from the National Association of Realtors shows that most people will do business with the Realtor with whom they have had the most recent contact. You want to be that person.
In terms of what to post, do more than just clicking the "like" or "retweet" buttons. Your post could be something as simple as "You’re absolutely right!" or you can join the conversation. The goal is to have fun and engage with people on a more personal basis. The more you engage, the stronger your connections become.
5. Give to get
One of the best ways to convert a friend into a client is to use a "give-to-get" approach. In other words, you take the initiative in helping that friend with something that matters to him.
For example, if one of your high-probability contacts is involved in a walk or run for a charitable cause, offer to volunteer or participate at that event. This gives you valuable face-to-face time that strengthens your connection. Another alternative would be to prepare a snack bag with water and energy snacks that you give to your friend’s friends who are running or walking in the event.
Using social media to build connection is not rocket science. Simply build your online connection with those who share a mutual interest; interact with them regularly online; see them face to face as much as practical; and be involved in giving back to others.