In this 4 part series, we’ll discuss in depth the most effective and efficient marketing strategies to reach and engage local buyers and sellers. To build your brand locally, to get more clients, and to close more sales. Practical tips that you can implement yourself. Now.
Part 2 – In Social Media, What Works Best?
by Rebecca Chandler
Today, it seems we have so many choices, and so much information available to us, that it’s easy for us to go into data overload and analysis paralysis.
I recently watched a TED Talk recorded a few years ago. In it, Psychologist Barry Schwartz surmises that the abundance of choice we have today puts the burden of choosing the best – on us. After all, we have 175 choices of salad dressings on the grocery store aisles. If we do not like the one we bought, it’s because we must have chosen poorly. We did not have the skill set or intelligence to determine by the colorful labels and descriptions which would taste best.
So, it’s no surprise that in a recent report from the Social Media Examiner, the #1 question that marketers want answered (90%) is which tactics work best. These are experienced marketers – whose job is to make these decisions. For real estate professionals – whose job is to sell real estate – it’s even more confusing, given the large number of platforms available.
I think the answer is – fewer choices make choosing easier and you happier, so let’s narrow it down.
Top marketers all agreed that Facebook was their social platform of choice with 92% using it, and for business to consumer marketing (B2C), 67% found it to be the number one choice. And, with over 1.1 billion monthly active users, it’s easy to see why and chances are, you may already be using Facebook – at least socially.
Blogging and Twitter were the second choices, but were distant second choices with 11% and 10% finding them essential to B2C marketing.
So, if you had to choose one social media platform on which to concentrate your personal efforts, it seems Facebook would be the platform of choice.
The second question most marketers wanted answered was the best way to engage their audience with social media. To answer this, let’s think of the goals of your social strategy.
Maintain relationships with your sphere of influence
Keeping in contact with those with the ability and likelihood to do business with you or to refer business to you has always been paramount to successful real estate professionals. If you have befriended this group on Facebook and positively interact with them on a regular basis, you’ve met this goal.
Expand your sphere of influence
Many agents have been coached to say something like “If you know of anyone interested in buying or selling real estate, please refer me.” Very direct and to the point. On Facebook, you have many ways to say that in ways that expand your sphere. For example commenting and interacting with your friends allows their friends to see your comments and potentially creates new connections. Looking for others with common interests expands your sphere. What about the parents of your children’s friends? The family members of your friends? People with whom you do business in other areas? Just as you would expand your social circle personally, your expanded Facebook circle means that more people know you are in real estate and may make them even more comfortable in calling on you when they have a real estate need.
Let them know you are in the real estate business
This one can be a little tricky. Talk too much business and you’ve turned people who are uninterested at this moment in real estate off. Talk too little and no one knows what you do for a living. The key is to talk real estate in a way that is interesting regardless. For example, instead of just posting your listings on your profile, post something interesting about the listing on your profile.
For example, “I think this is the most gorgeous pool area on my new listing” – with a photo. Or – ask for help. “Does anyone know a family looking for a 3/2 in the Collins Hill School District?” Or – comment on something everyone in town is curious about. “I just walked through the newly constructed townhouses on the village green. You should see the view from the top!” Think of the questions people ask you at social events and think of ways to answer those in an interesting way.
Let them get to know you – and be comfortable with you.
Let your personality shine through so that they are comfortable calling you when they have a need. Connect with others based on common interests. Like music? Comment on others posts on music. Have kids? Connect with other parents. Are you passionate about gardening? Go ahead and show it. Love photography? People love to look at photos.
Top Do’s and Don’ts
Do – Engage, comment, post regularly
Don’t – Post your every waking moment. It’s annoying.
Do – Send friend requests to people you know or meet.
Don’t – Blast out requests to strangers. It’s creepy.
Do – Invite others to events – if they are relevant and local.
Don’t — Invite your friends in Indianapolis to an event your company is sponsoring in Seattle.
Do – BE POSITIVE and approachable.
Don’t – Post negative remarks. No one likes a whiner.
Do – Post about things that connect you with others.
Don’t – Post about things that are dividers – politics and religion, for example.
Go ahead and create a business page.
Facebook business pages are public facing mini websites. You do not have to be your friend to see them, nor do you actually have to be logged on to see them.
Create it and then post your listings, stats about the market, links to articles about the community, testimonials, tips for selling, open houses – everything you do, business-wise, goes here.
Ask your friends to like it and then include it in your other marketing efforts to integrate your social with your advertising efforts.
Business pages take a little time to build audience, but can be very effective in allowing you to demonstrate your expertise in the market and to establish your credibility.
Create a Twitter account and link your page posts.
Once you’ve created a business page, go to Facebook.com/Twitter and link the two. Every time you post on your page, your post is tweeted. Set up mobile alerts in Twitter so you can track activity on your phone. Follow those with common interests or who retweet you.
This is just too easy not to do.
Integrate your social with your other marketing
A social media strategy alone will not create enough business to sustain you. Put your business page url and your Twitter handle (username) on your business card, in your advertising, etc. Drive traffic to those through other avenues and you will see engagement increase.
For other marketing tips – Like our business page – Facebook.com/RealEstateBook
Next week – Part 3 – Mobile marketing.