3 Ways to Accelerate Your Real Estate Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is one of those things that every real estate business owner knows they should be investing in. When it’s done right, it can boost your brand and keep you top of mind. It can be a powerful tool to make sure that your local customer base knows who you are and trusts you, even if they’ve never used your business.
When you consider that millennials now make up 66% of the first-home buyer market, and 99% of them are searching online, is social media really one of those tasks that you want to lump into someone else’s workload?
Let’s face it, social deserves your attention. You need to invest in it right now. Here are the three things you have to be doing to accelerate your real estate social media marketing.
Have a plan
Very few businesses survive without a strategy. You don’t make financial decisions without building out a spreadsheet and the same goes with your social media.
Where a lot of real estate businesses fall down is they just post listings and sales. Your feed is going to look pretty boring if it’s just scrolling through listed, sold, listed, sold, new property management, sold.
Social media is not just a list – it’s a storytelling platform. And your strategy has to focus on stories. What story do you want to tell about your business? About your brand, your sales team, your staff, your community?
Of course, you want to give the impression that you are selling lots of properties and getting lots of properties leased. But you also have to make it clear that every single one of those owners is absolutely satisfied with the result.
People love to read genuine stories. If you want to grab their attention, be as specific as possible. When you have a successful sale, get into the journey. Tell your audience about the campaign and how you got your happy customers from A to B.
We already know that people are really interested in what’s happening in their market, even if they don’t currently have any intention to sell. They can’t resist video content of real people and their real stories. Did you move a house in record time? That’s a great hook for a bit of video.
For this reason, don’t be afraid to actually tell the truth. That’s what people want to know. It doesn’t have to just be your blazing success stories. If the average days on market is pushing up to around 90 and you successfully move someone in 90 days, that’s a great story. It’s information that people wouldn’t get elsewhere.
When you’re building out your strategy, keep in mind that social media is not going to convert leads overnight. Even if you go viral – that magic word – social is about creating a trusted brand identity that is immediately recognisable. You want to be known as the experts in your area so that when customers are ready to sell, you’re the first business they think of.
I know of a company in Australia which puts out a market update each month which goes over the fundamental aspects that are relevant in that area. It generates a huge amount of traffic. They are known as the real estate experts in their locality.
So that’s the first thing. Understand what social is and define a clear strategy that is attached to stories and not just listings and sales.
Have a person
Once you’ve got a strategy that makes sense for you, your customers, and the social media landscape, dedicate the resources to implementing it. By which I mean, give it to someone else.
To be honest, you will quickly discover that managing social media is an arduous task. There is a lot involved, like creating images and text and posting across many different platforms. That’s something you will understand once you’ve built out your strategy. Don’t assume that you can hand it over to one of your staff to get done in their ‘down time’. Find someone else to do your social media.
For example, you can hire a real estate virtual assistant to take all of your social media off your hands. Using programs like Hootsuite or Sprout Social, your VA can schedule posts across LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to make sure that all your bases are covered.
They’ll also know exactly which format to use for each platform. A common mistake is to assume you can post the same thing to Twitter and Facebook, for example. But they’re two different beasts. With Twitter, you want to focus on snappy text. Facebook works better with a powerful image and a longer story. While for Instagram, you want those perfect pics and the right hashtags.
Have a process
So how are you going to know what to post and where? The biggest companies in the world have the brightest minds working on their social media marketing – and you can do that too. All it takes is a little – okay, a lot – of planning.
This is something that frequently gets overlooked. You build out your strategy, you have a style guide, you have beautiful photos. But it can all fall down if you haven’t invested in training and processes.
Whether you hire someone internally or offshore, make sure your social media marketing person understands your business. They should know what you’re trying to achieve and what stories you want to tell. You can’t just throw the strategy at them and hope for the best. Make sure your social media person is completely immersed in your brand and your stories.
Put clearly defined methods in place so that everyone knows the process of how you tell a story. How many photos should there be? Who does the interview? Who transcribes the quotes? How many pictures do you use on an Instagram story and how many on a Facebook post? Develop a style guide and stick to it.
Don’t forget to give your real estate VA or in-house marketer all the tools they need. Subscribe to the scheduling software that makes the most sense for your business and give them access to a good photo editing suite.
While you’re at it, invest in up-to-date training. If you don’t think you’re up to the task of training your social media marketing assistant yourself, the great news is that this can be done at relatively low cost. There are excellent courses on sites like Udemy, Alison and EdX which are inexpensive or even free. Give your social media guru the time and resources to make your brand the best it can be.
As you can see, social media marketing is like any other important part of your business. Doing it successfully is not rocket science. Take the time to have the right plan, the right people, and the right process, and watch it take off.