Social media marketing can be a double-edged sword. In one sense you can reach people in an inexpensive and fun manner, but on the other hand, it gives you a platform to dismantle any credibility that you have been building. Choose your words wisely, Facebook users aren't signing up to see who is going to shove products and services down their throat, and you don't want to post content that polarizes your readers, such as political rhetoric. But if you can create and share thoughtful, engaging content that helps, inspires or entertains your readers, you can build their trust and drive traffic to your website.
So what should you post? To build a successful real estate social media presence we are going to take a look at your target audience, the social platforms you are using, how you are driving people to your website and finally the type of content you will be generating.
Identifying A Target Audience
Have you ever heard the ancient Greek saying, “Know thyself?” Marketing has a similar saying, “Know thy target audience.” Don't get caught up trying to appeal to everyone because you never will. Figure out who your ideal clientele is and focus on reaching them. Knowing who you are speaking to will allow you to create posts that your audience will engage with instead of just swiping past. As a real estate office, you may need to appeal to a variety of people, so you will want to create unique posts and content for each group— just be sure you have identified your target audience for each post.
Which Social Platforms To Use
In the same way you are creating content for specific target audiences, you will want to utilize specific platforms to reach those audiences. Social Sprout developed the following infographic which breaks down demographic uses for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, and SnapChat. Knowing where your target audience "hangs out" will help you determine where you need to be posting.
Drive People To Your Website
An often overlooked part of posting to social media is, "What next?” If you get good engagement from a post, how do you capture the leads? Are you expecting people to like a post and call you? The idea of engaging users on social media is to drive them back to your website where you have more thoughtful content for them to engage with— calls to action, listings, resources and capture points to help you convert those users to leads. Not every post needs to have a link pushing people to your website, but you should definitely include a fair share of posts that encourage users to do things such as read a blog, get more information, find more resources or view a listing. Getting people to your website allows you to control the content and create a visitor flow directing them into a lead capture point.
Posting Good Content
Now that you’ve determined who you are talking to, where you are posting, and how you can convert users to leads, lets talk about the content of your posts. The easy thing to do is to showcase your listings, but if you are constantly trying to sell, your audience is going to become quickly disconnected. As a real estate office you are the experts in all things real estate and your area. Engage users with information about local entertainment, dining, shopping, schools or events— anything that will help them connect with the community. Not only are you selling homes, you are also selling a lifestyle.
Along with purchasing a home, comes maintenance or DIY projects. Posting things such as organizational tips or a photo gallery of ways to improve a home's value can garner a lot of response. Pinterest is a great tool for this type of content. Posting an occasional listing isn't a bad thing but make sure you mix it with a variety of other topics. One way you can really engage users is to incorporate informational blog articles that lead back to your website.
Integrating Your Blog Into Your Social Media Strategy
Helping potential clients understand the home buying and selling process can be a great way to bridge the gap between social media use and lead generation. For example, lets look at the buyer’s journey for ideas. Generally, the first thing a potential buyer is going to need to do is get financially qualified. Once they find the right house there will be inspections, underwriting, and finally the closing. Think about the questions you get asked during each of these phases and create helpful content that answers those questions. Use attention grabbing titles like, “The biggest myth about home inspections,” or “3 things you need to know about searching for your next home.”
Think of a blog as an educational tool for potential clients. The more you can help them prior to actually talking to them, the more trust you will build with them through your content. One way to generate content is to get your agents involved. Pass around note cards at your weekly meeting and have each of them fill out one common question they receive about a certain topic, for example, staging a home.
This will give you ideas to write about and then you can go back to the agents and interview them for answers to the questions. The agents are a wealth of knowledge that you can leverage to produce great content. If you need more ideas check out our blog 30 Real Estate Blog Ideas. Posting blog articles to your social media accounts is a great way to build trust and engage users, which in turn helps them feel comfortable entering the buying process with one of your agents.
We’ve discussed some great examples to build your social media presence, but keep in mind, consistency is still crucial to any social campaign. Don't post once and expect an avalanche of results—to really execute a successful social media strategy you need to be diligent in your efforts. Developing a content calendar is a great way to stay organized and create accountability. Some posts will fall flat on their face and some posts will hit home runs. Don’t be intimidated, think it through and have some fun with it!