In March’s Marketing and Branding Month, we’ll go deep on agent branding and best practices for spending with Zillow, Realtor.com and more. Top CMOs of leading firms drop by to share their newest tactics, too. And to top off this theme month, Inman is debuting a brand new set of awards for branding and marketing leaders in the industry called Marketing All-Stars.
In today’s digital age, having a social media presence has become essential for businesses of all sizes. However, with so many social media platforms available, deciding which ones are worth investing your time and resources into can be overwhelming.
While creating accounts on every platform may be tempting, focusing your efforts on the platforms most relevant to your business and target audience is essential.
Whether you’re new to social media or looking to refine your existing strategy, here are three steps to help you decide on the right social media platforms for your business:
- Define your audience
- Evaluate each platform
- Consider your resources
Define your audience
Who is your audience? No, it isn’t everyone because that isn’t possible. You will likely focus on buyers, sellers or investors, but how do you know which? Start by identifying your ideal client.
Your ideal client is a type of client you’d either like to start attracting or the type of client you already work well with. They are the ones who are hopefully happy repeat clients who refer you to everyone they know. Think about the clients you have that meet those criteria; what do they have in common? Those characteristics are part of who your ideal client is.
Write down those commonalities and explore what else you think they have in common. There are no right or wrong ideas here; the purpose is to understand your ideal client and then go after others like them. Together all of those potential clients make up your target audience.
Once you have some parameters and characteristics of your target audience, research where those characteristics appear. If they are all in the same age group, which social media platform does that group prefer based on surveys? If your target audience shares a love for video, which platforms would they most likely enjoy video content on? Keep going until you can’t think of any more questions to ask or answer about your audience. Remember to write it all down too.
Evaluate each platform
Not all social media platforms are created equal. Which platforms showcase specific types of content the best? Which demographics are on each platform?
Types of content
Video does well on almost every platform, but a video-first platform like YouTube or TikTok will showcase video best. Images are a must on nearly every platform, but Instagram is an image-first platform, and images shine the best.
Facebook still showcases longer-form content, and some may make a case for interactive and live content, though streaming platforms like Twitch tend to be the favorites for that. Twitter is known for short snippets of content and links.
Facebook is home to older audiences now. Age 55 and up are the most common daily users and the fastest-growing segment on the platform.
Instagram is most popular with millennials and even Gen Z.
TikTok is still the most popular with Gen Z, but the millennial audience there is growing.
YouTube has a segmented audience, with some Boomers preferring it, but Gen X likes it the most, along with the up-and-coming Gen Alpha.
Twitter is all over the place demographically and tends to have different segments based on various industries. For example, it’s still the best place to break the news and stay up to the minute on anything happening.
Consider your resources
Time and money
How much do you have to invest in your social media presence? To be successful, you’ll have to invest time. Even if you’re paying someone else to manage for you, there’s no substitute for your input. However, there are various amounts of time and money you have to put into your social media presence, and at whatever level of investment you have, there’s a path to success.
Expect to spend more time on social media if you know you’ll be short on money to invest. If your time is too limited (and who’s isn’t?), prioritize what’s most important.
Getting to the most people with the least amount of time and effort is what many real estate agents aim for. That means choosing and prioritizing a platform where you’ll find your target audience and are familiar with or able to learn quickly.
Often going with what you know is the best option. Not only will it take less time for you to manage or collaborate with someone on content for a platform you know, but you’re more likely to show up authentically there since it’s where you already feel comfortable.
Bottom line: You don’t have to do it all.
It’s only possible to be on every social media platform if you’re at a point in your business where you’re scaling and have plenty of resources to dedicate to your social media presence. It’s ok if you’re only on a couple and even if you’re only keeping up with just one. As long as you’re consistent and authentic and keep your target audience in mind, they will find you and vice versa. The sustainable option is always the best one.
Jessi Healey is a freelance writer and social media manager specializing in real estate. Find her on Instagram or LinkedIn.