The importance of real estate social media marketing
It should come as no surprise that social media is a crucial means of marketing yourself as a real estate professional nowadays; offline marketing alone is simply no longer an effective way of getting the word out about your services and the internet enables you to broadcast yourself to a potentially enormous audience in seconds. As an estate agent looking to build client relationships and craft a personable brand image, social media can be a blessing. But what should real estate social media marketing look like? Read on for our tips on how to make the most out of your strategy.
Use the right platform
Being on social media doesn’t mean being on all social media, and often spreading yourself thinly means you aren’t really reaching anyone at all. Instead, focus on the right platform for your public and be sure to create the most appropriate content.
For example, long texts may work best on Facebook but shorter, punchier pieces are what you have to work with on Twitter. Likewise, the best bet for creating longer video content is Youtube, meanwhile short clips have the most impact on Instagram.
Bear in mind what social networks your particular audience is likely to be using. By now, you should already have a profile of your typical client that includes their interests, their budget and their lifestyle – and increasingly, this profile needs to take into account their online activity and where they are most likely to find you. Otherwise, you’re spending valuable time creating content for a platform that with get you no leads.
Take into account that, worldwide, the largest demographic currently using Facebook are between 25 and 34 years old, and 61% of all LinkedIn users are between the ages of 30 and 64. For luxury real estate professionals, know that older generations, perhaps with more buying power and likelihood to look for second homes abroad, are less likely to be using Twitter and Instagram. American realtor Alex Wang made a name using Snapchat as his main social media platform, until it became clear to him that his main audience, younger families and professionals, were using the app less and less.
Do your research on what platforms your target demographic is active on and use it to inform your real estate social media marketing strategy.
Show your personality
Being an estate agent is for the lover of people, and it is well known that the cornerstone of any real estate social media marketing strategy is creating techniques that are memorable and arouse interest. Not to mention, the person looking to buy their ideal home or sell for a good deal is fundamentally looking for an estate agent who is open, approachable and understands their needs.
Avoid generic posts that look too much like a promotional advert because social media thrives on authentic and spontaneous content. As a real estate agent, you are in a great position to build a genuine and personable image online, so don’t miss the opportunity to let people get to know you.
Share your day-to-day routine, tell stories and jokes and create interesting – but relevant – content. Take the stage to show potential clients who are you and they’ll want to trust you. Facebook and Instagram Stories are the ideal tools for this kind of light-hearted material as what is posted here disappears after 24 hours; make the most of these functions as a complement to your main feed, and by keeping them updated at least once a day, you show your audience that you are always available online to reach out to.
Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn also all offer live video features, which you can use to your advantage to answer followers’ questions, discuss topics and let them in on your own activities. In a live video there is nowhere to hide, which is daunting, but this also makes it the most transparent form of connecting with your followers online.
Make the most of video
If a picture is worth a thousands words, then video is worth 1.8 million words. Video is fast becoming one of the most popular forms of content on the internet, and it carries all kinds of benefits to you. This kind of content format offers an unmatched authenticity, which is why it is so popular nowadays when so much of a user’s identity is hidden behind a screen.
It is expected that in 2019, 80% of all internet traffic will come from video, so if you’re not creating some form of video content to engage with potential clients, your marketing will be drowned out. As mentioned above, use live video features to connect with your audience; also invest in making visual clips that are informative and educational about the real estate topics your followers are interested in. Fundamentally, this content isn’t just relevant but it is shareable, which is key to generating leads.
Be a regular presence
Real estate social media marketing takes time: it takes time to see results and, let’s face it, it takes time out of your day to create valuable content and promote it. An effective real estate social media presence doesn’t just publish their posts and leave, they also interact with their followers and peers, sharing links, answering questions and joining conversations. People can then come to trust you as a regular face on their feeds.
The fact is that social media is such a powerful tool for lead generation that it really is worth it to put in the effort and establish a brand, just like you would when sat face-to-face with a potential client. In a world where 40% of the global population uses social media regularly, it makes all kinds of sense to dedicate time out of your day to being present online. After all, it’s where your customers are.
Regular and consistent posting gives structure and clarity to your strategy while showing your followers what to expect. As mentioned above, sell yourself professionally but don’t shy away from showing your personality by making the most of the tools and functions your chosen platform has to offer. Share interesting links and interact with other users – create online relationships and you’ll generate leads and referrals.
As well as normal scheduled content, dedicate a section of your feed to highlighting industry news or answering clients’ queries. Create a hashtag or a regular theme that your audience can start to expect and look forward to.
And aside from your client base, don’t forget about your peers. Engaging with fellow real estate professionals’ posts is a sure way to get some of that recognition back, working as effective social proof that you are a reliable face in the real estate industry.
The value of social proof
Social proof is simply evidence that your service is good. This is the general consensus that humans crave when making a decision; we are wired for a crowd mentality and real estate is an industry of people. This is not to mention that when a client is looking to make a decision as momentous as buying or selling a property, they will look for popular approval that confirms you are the right choice.
Collect positive feedback, customer referrals and telling testimonials. By sharing them on your social media, you show your online audience that other people trust you and, more importantly, that they buy into you. Word of mouth is a powerful real estate social media marketing tool, and when potential clients come to associate you with good reviews, you guarantee lead generation.
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Hero picture by Mike Mackenzie via Flickr