The Fourth of July holds a special place in my heart. It brings back memories of going to my Grandma’s house, eating homemade ice cream and watching fireworks from her backyard.
The first set were the ones that family members bought over state lines (fireworks were illegal in Georgia at the time) and then watching the professional show at Wills Park in Alpharetta (for those familiar with the area).
Patriotism was high as we reflected on the day we celebrate freedom, but for the most part it was just another excuse to get together with family and blow things up (I’m from the South, that’s how we do it here).
We’d all get together in our red, white and blue outfits, light some sparklers and see which uncle or cousin could do the dumbest things with a firework without getting sent to the E.R.
When you read all that, you might be thinking, “that’s great, but what does it have to do with real estate and marketing?” Nothing. That’s the point of this post. Want the TL; DR version (too long; didn’t read version)? Don’t promote on a holiday.
For the rest of you readers (readers are leaders after all), check out my list of dos and don’ts for Fourth of July marketing. We could debate whether some of these are actually great marketing that just feels cheesy on the Fourth.
Spoiler alert: The big takeaway is that when people connect with you — the person — they’ll want to work with you — the agent.
1. Do hand out flags in the neighborhood
Going door-to-door or sponsoring the HOA in decorating for the holiday is a great way to get your name out there. The key here is to be a human, aka “a neighbor” and not some real estate agent.
Don’t buy flags with your glamour shot photo on them — just get the regular stars-and-stripes. Don’t tape your card to it, or anything. Just by the act of going door-to-door or sponsoring something, you’ll get the press and the opportunities you want.
2. Do thank veterans and active service members for their service
See a service person, former service person, police, fireman or even a teacher, thank them. That’s it, stop there. Don’t post a thank you on social media with your logo, don’t thank them via email with a link back to list their home with you — just say thank you, and leave it at that.
If you’re genuine, many will respond, and that gives you an opportunity to do the one thing that matters: build a relationship.
3. Do host a client party cook-out with fireworks
By now you might be thinking that I’m “hatin’” on marketing on the Fourth, but that’s not the case. I hate marketing in cheesy, disingenuous ways — especially on a holiday. But a client party is a sincere, legit way to market your business and create an atmosphere for creating memories for your clients.
Whether it’s sectioning off a space to watch fireworks, renting a pavilion or paying for tickets to a local baseball game, client parties are always a good thing.
4. Do post pictures of you and your family on social media
Posting on social media is a must-do, especially if you take my advice and do no. 3.
If you do it, please do it as a person and not as a company (unless of course you do no. 3). This advice is actually just a good rule of thumb. You are who you are, not what you do — remember that on holidays.
Research shows that genuine family posts get more engagement than manufactured marketing posts — every time.
5. Don’t send an email
Remember when we got all those GDPR emails? Did you enjoy that week? No one enjoys the poorly made Fourth of July emails either. Just say “no” to emailing on the Fourth.
6. Don’t post the same old bad e-card on Facebook
Forgo anything that’s not genuine. Posting a bad e-card is like using really bad clip art in your listing presentation. It says, “all I care about is selling houses.” So please don’t do it. If you do, you deserve a time-out.
7. Don’t use any of the above to promote your service directly
Getting the hint yet? There is a digital marketing term called “newsjacking,” where you write something and connect it to the latest news.
What makes this an effective strategy is how it seamlessly blends in the news item with whatever the post is about. Subtlety is your friend. Just be you. That’s what your clients want.
If you’re going to promote on this day, just be overt about it. Run a Fourth of July special.
8. Don’t humblebrag about doing any of the above
There’s nothing worse than looking on social media and seeing your agent “friend” post, “So exhausted, had to go to 10 closings this morning. #realtoring.”
People want to connect with you. Yes, I’m repeating the message over and over again because it’s not even the Fourth and I’ve already gotten 10 Fourth of July email e-cards from real estate agents.
Joshua Jarvis is a digital marketer with 4rd Marketing in Atlanta, Georgia. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Facebook.