By Terri Murphy
Does the time you spend working on social media show a huge return on your investment? Not many agents can measure their online effectiveness directly to sales, but the top-performing agents know what to do and how to do it, and show impressive results. Critics are quick to point out the direct sales connection between online posting and real sales, but when done effectively, sales increase and so does your bottom line.
Interviews with highly successful online marketers tell us that your real goal should be to contribute and publish content that’s relevant on a local level, timely and specific to your followers. The ultimate goal is to garner engagement, not to simply gain “followers.”
Here are a few guidelines to get agents started:
1. Pull, Don’t Push
Strive to inform, rather than blast your new listings. Use engaging conversation to invite the viewer to be interested in more information about an area where a property is located—or the lifestyle it affords. If the information at that time is irrelevant to their needs, they’ll move on, but those with interest will be engaged. Think, “How can I add value with this posting of information for a prospect?” and then be willing to share your content, tips and resources freely.
2. Be You
Authenticity and transparency are the cornerstones of social networking. Sharing shouldn’t be all business. In fact, it’s more successful when you include some personal insights. Judie Crockett, a highly successful agent in Ohio, posts pictures with her family, photos from community events and images where she’s with other people along with interesting posts about particular properties. Be real, open and honest—and most importantly—be you.
3. Hang Out Where Your Target Market Hangs Out
It’s impossible to maintain an active presence on every social network, so concentrate on those where your customers are. Monitor where your engagement is showing highest visibility and response, then work that priority channel.
4. Don’t Abandon Traditional Marketing
Think of social media as another channel to build your brand and market your message, not as a tool to replace other forms of marketing. The key here is integration. Email and searches are still where most marketers spend top dollar, and as social media continues to evolve, driving traffic through all mediums is critical.
5. Social Media Is a Mindset, not Just a Toolset
Social media is another tool to encourage connections that engage us with people to create relationships. Social media is the vehicle to use these online communication channels to help us be a resource to our marketplace. Use social media as a tool that combines a strategy with the ultimate goal of developing differentiation as you brand and position yourself to your specific market.
6. Consistency Is Critical
To activate and sustain engagement, follow a cohesive digital calendar. A simple 90-day calendar works to block various dates for different actions, blending both the marketing of events and informational postings. This is critical when it comes to creating an online community to engage fans and followers and promote participation.
7. Monitor, Listen, Respond
There’s nothing worse than working to connect and then not recognizing and replying to those who reach out to you. Be sure to monitor what’s going on in the communities you’re participating in on a daily basis. Acknowledgement is the ticket to real online engagement.
Terri Murphy is a speaker, e-communication consultant/strategist and the author of five books, including her latest with Donald Trump. She is the founder of Terri Murphy Communications, Inc., SmartWomenSmarterChoices.com, and the CIO of U. S. Learning in Memphis. For more information, visit