There’s no doubt now that there are riches to be found in the land of social media and online marketing. But still, so many have not fully experienced the benefits of social media in ways that ring the cash register. If you haven’t yet used social media to engage with buyers and sellers, or drive leads and generate referrals, this article and infographic is for you. It has never been easier to get started. In this post, I’ll show you exactly how you can make social media work for your business.
Why social matters
If you are anything like me when I was an agent, you’ve got a lot more dreams than you have resources, and there’s no shortage of work to be done. What’s great about social media is that it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to make friends with customers and prospects without having to “sell” yourself. You get to build trust in the eyes of potential customers long before a sale needs to happen.
Choose the platform where your customers spend their time
While you may love Snapchat, Instagram or Ello, if your customers aren’t already spending time on those platforms, save them for when you have extra resources set aside for experimentation. Start with the top five social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google Plus. Spend a little time browsing without commenting or sharing. This is an important evaluation and learning stage. Don’t go in with guns blazing on every platform. Be focused, or you might experience social media fatigue before achieving the results that will make your business grow.
Learn from the best you can find
There are lots of people who spend way too much time on social media with little to show for it. When looking for professional examples of excellence, don’t be fooled by flash and jargon. Just like meeting people in a public setting, ask questions and be genuine, and you’ll be surprised how open and welcoming people are with their knowledge. Take time to learn from other marketing pros. Not only will it shorten the learning curve, you’ll meet some great people along the way.
Create a list of influencers
I call this influencer marketing, and it’s essential to fast-track your progress. Influential social media players curate and share good content and, more importantly, they give and receive referrals. Create a list of the leaders in your industry, in your local market, and in your niche. Get on their radar, share their content and build a relationship. Don’t expect this to happen overnight — that’s why it’s called a relationship and not a transaction.
I hate to say it, but the stats are pretty conclusive: Brands that publish an average of 1.5 to two posts a day engage twice as many users as brands that post once or twice per week. If you’re selective with the social network you choose to focus on, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Join some groups
Social media networks are huge, with billions of people from around the world all on the same platforms. But they’re also full of smaller communities. Reach out and connect with like-minded people by joining and participating in groups.
Create a schedule and stick to it
Consistency is key here. In as little as six hours per week, 2 in 3 marketers see increased leads with social media. Set aside time on a regular basis to be “social.” In the beginning, you may feel a little like a fish out of water, but as your understanding grows and you hone the tactics used to engage and build awareness, you can become super efficient with your time. Start by creating a simple editorial calendar. That will help you stay super organized and allow you to look back over time to see what worked and what didn’t.
Create thoughtful profiles
You’d be surprised how many people actually read your profile information. Take the time to write a great real estate social media bio that represents your individuality and, at the same time, is professional, confident and personable. Fill out the profile with all your pertinent information, and link to your website and any other networks you participate in. Your social media profiles become the equivalent of an online calling card, so make them worth sharing.
Use beautiful images
It starts with the header at the top of your profile page, extends to your headshot, and continues with the images you choose for the content you share. The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of the information transmitted to the brain is visual.
Use online interaction to create offline relationships
We live in a time when people are doing the majority of their socializing online. That’s all good and well, but remember to translate those online relationships into real-life friendships. Try, when possible, to meet the old-fashioned way: in person. Either by attending conferences, going to cultural events or just inviting someone to coffee. We remember best when we engage all of our senses.
Don’t try to be anyone other than yourself on social media. Write the way you speak, and share and post about what matters to you, and you’ll build authentic relationships. We are still in the infancy of the Internet. While it’s moving fast, there’s so much opportunity that you can take advantage of, so don’t wait to get started. The best social media relationships take time and care.
Leave a comment below or visit the Real Estate Marketing Academy to get more insight like this. Let me know if this article is helpful. What are you struggling with in your business? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Seth Price is director of sales and real estate marketing at Placester, a Cambridge, Mass.-based technology company specializing in building online marketing tools for the real estate industry.