Recently, I was happily browsing the internet when I stumbled across a piece that caught my eye. (Pretty much anything with “millennial” and “influencer” will typically do that, but this one was something that I think many of you will find interesting too.)
See, the article argued that because millennials tend to rely on social media influencers for their purchasing decisions, they’re also likely to prefer influencers over real estate agents.
I had to stop and reread it at that point.
Influencer marketing isn’t a new thing; in fact, nowadays, a social media profile can say more about a brand than a hundred Yelp reviews. But 80 percent of millennials saying they’d prefer to hire an influencer over a real estate agent?
Well, that might just make you wonder how to become an influencer yourself. Because by that logic, a real estate agent who is an influencer? Double whammy.
What is an influencer?
Now, you might be wondering what defines a “large audience,” and that’s totally fair. It’s a really subjective point. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of influencers:
These are everyday folks, with wit and a good eye for photography. They cover the range between 2,000 and 100,000 followers, although they typically sit just south of 10,000.
These are celebrities or household names, who have a claim to fame and the followers to match. They cover the range from 10,000 up into the millions.
Unless your life’s mission is to reach the level of a Kardashian, aiming to be a micro-influencer is a good goal. It gets you recognized in your local area, and it establishes you as an industry expert.
How do you become an influencer?
There’s no tried-and-true secret to being an influencer. In some ways, they got where they are because they were lucky — but you can be just as lucky. Here’s how:
1. Have a plan, and stick to it
Humans value consistency and commitment. That’s nothing new; it’s the same psychological phenomenon that pushes someone to buy a house after they’ve committed to buying it.
So when folks see someone posting quality content on a regular basis, they become a lot more likely to follow. They know there’s something valuable there, and they know they’re more likely to get something new and exciting.
2. Be open to trying new things
Social media is not known for being a static thing. It’s constantly changing; there’s always a new trend and always a new technique.
Shying away from this will leave you on the sidelines wondering why you aren’t gaining followers.
Now, we’re not saying that you should have everyone in your brokerage film themselves doing the cinnamon challenge. But there are always trends you can participate in!
3. Be active
A fun little factoid: Social media platforms, especially Twitter and Instagram, are full of accounts that declare that they will follow for follow.
If there’s one thing we should take away from this, it’s that people want to engage with accounts that engage with them back.
That’s why being active on your social media is such a good strategy. Notice who’s engaging with your stuff, and reciprocate! You’ll notice a big difference.
4. Be authentic
By definition, social media influencers are folks who influence through authenticity and reach.
Social media is all about being as clear and honest with your audience as possible. If it sounds too formal to send to your best friend, it’s too formal to put on social media. Be conversational, be honest, be yourself.
5. Don’t expect it to happen overnight
One of the biggest factors in becoming a social media influencer is social proof. Essentially, social proof is a fancy word for the bandwagon; when people see that a large number of their peers are engaging with an account, they will too.
It takes time for this to build, but it does mean that as you start gaining followers, your potential to snowball increases too. Becoming a social media influencer takes work and dedication, but the payoff can be huge for your real estate brokerage.
To learn more about what it takes to become an influencer, click here.
Have some tips and tricks for growing on social media? Share them in the comments below.
Erin Green is an associate copywriter at Lone Wolf Technologies Company in Cambridge, Ontario. Follow her on Twitter and connect with her on LinkedIn.