Social media marketing can often be a double-edged sword. In one sense, you can reach people in a very personable and authentic way. On the other hand, if done poorly, your social media can dismantle your brand's credibility that you've worked so hard to build. Regardless, social media marketing is a necessity for most real estate agents, groups and developers today who are looking to compete in today's digital landscape. You know it's important, but you need to do it right.
When it comes to social media for real estate, it shouldn't be all pictures of for-sale homes and profiles of your agents. Social media users aren't signing up to see who is going to shove products and services down their throats. 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? Start with a strategy. To build a successful real estate social media presence, you'll want to determine your target audience, the social platforms you'll use, how you'll use these platforms to drive people to your website and, finally, the type of content you'll generate to achieve your goals.
Identify Your 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 campaign.
Choose Which Social Platforms To Use
Now that you've defined your specific target audiences, you will want to utilize specific platforms to reach those audiences. Find out who your target demographics are, then do some research to find out where they "hang out" on social media. There are lots of helpful resources on the internet to help you find out where your audience is, but our favorites are Sprout Social's annual social media demographics round-up and the Pew Research Center Social Media Fact Sheet. These are both great places to start when researching potential social media platforms for your business.
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 then move your followers forward down the sales funnel? Are you expecting people to like a post and call you? The idea of engaging users on social media is to drive them to your website where you have more thoughtful content for them to engage with — helpful blogs about buying and selling your home, detailed listings, educational resources and capture forms 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.
Post Valuable Content
Now that you’ve determined who you are talking to, where you are posting, and how you can convert your audience into leads, let's 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 will quickly disconnect. As a real estate office, you are the expert in all things real estate and the market in your area. Engage users with information about local entertainment, dining, shopping, schools or events in your area — anything that will help them connect with the community. Not only are you selling homes, but you are also selling a lifestyle.
There's also a lot that people don't know about buying a home or property, and you can be a great resource for them. What's the difference between an adjustable-rate and a fixed-rate mortgage? What are the perks and drawbacks of belonging to an HOA? How do you know when you're ready to buy a home? These are the types of questions you can answer for your audience to gain their trust.
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.
Posting an occasional listing isn't a bad thing, but be 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 homebuying and selling process can be a great way to bridge the gap between social media use and lead generation, and you can use your blog to make this happen. Let's look at the buyer’s journey for ideas.
Generally, the first thing a potential buyer needs 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 for a successful sale.
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. 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 or selling process with one of your agents.
Use Paid Social Media Advertising
If you want to boost your visibility on social media, gain new followers, or simply reach a larger audience, using social media's paid advertising capabilities is also something to consider. Here at PRIME, we love using paid social for our real estate clients. Why?
Successful digital marketing is all about delivering the right message to the right person at the right time, and social media’s paid advertising capabilities allow you to do just that. With the ability to segment your ad’s audience to people’s habits, likes, interests, demographics and geographical areas, you can find new customers who are a good fit for your brand. You can read all about how to use paid advertising on social media in this blog.
We’ve discussed some great examples to build your social media presence, but keep in mind that consistency is 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. Just think it through and have some fun with it!
If you enjoyed this edition of PRIME Pulse, take a look at some of our other related articles:
- Why Inbound Marketing Works for Real Estate
- How to Use Social Media's Paid Advertising Capabilities
- The How-To on Facebook Marketing Campaigns