Social media provides a way to connect with your clients and boost your real estate marketing efforts. Social media can build trust and spread your marketing through friends of friends.
But HOW do you do it?
The world has gone online. The internet has become our largest, most comfortable, and the fastest form of communication that has brought people across the globe together. More than 1 billion people in the world are on Facebook. Twitter recently surpassed 400 million accounts, and LinkedIn isn’t far behind with over 200 million users. Many realtors are trying to take advantage of these trends by using social networks to promote themselves and broadcast their messages, but few are fully reaping the rewards.
If you stop thinking like a marketer and start thinking like a customer, you’ll understand the secret to social media is in the “social” more than in the “media.” It’s in being human, and being the sort of person who listens attentively, tells great stories, shows interest in others, and is authentic and honest. To put it, the secret is to be likable.
Here are seven tips to ensure great success using social media:
1. Listen first and never stop listening
Before you start tweeting, search Twitter for people talking about your company and your competitors. Hashtags categorize similar tweets together and allow you to search through a page dedicated to people talking about the same thing. Look through hashtags using words that your prospective customers would say as well. For example, realtors should use Twitter and Facebook to search for people using phrases such as “#LookingForARealtor” or “#HouseHunting” in your town. You’ll be surprised how many people are already looking for you.
2. Be authentic
Be human and be yourself. Are you sponsoring a team in your town? Do you volunteer on the weekends? Share it with your followers! Know a few real estate jokes? Tell them! Imagine how much positive feedback you would get if you asked: “Why didn’t the hipster realtor show the oceanside mansion? – It was too current.” Write posts that show your company’s personality and watch your online community begin to engage and grow.
3. Ask questions
Wondering why nobody’s responding to your posts on Facebook? It’s probably because you’re not asking questions. Social media is about engagement and having a conversation, not about self-promotion. If a realtor posts on Facebook, “Come in and see what’s on the market today,” there is no reason for a customer or follower to comment, so nobody will call to make an appointment. However, if that realtor posts a question instead, as simple as, “What’s your favorite style windows for your home?” people will be more likely to comment online and engage with the company. Better yet, if the realtor asks, “What’s the best part about home shopping?” think of not only the number of people who will comment on the post and bring attention to the company but also how much you could learn from the market in their responses!
4. Don’t tell your customers to “like” you and “follow” you, tell them why
Everywhere you turn, you see “Like us on Facebook” and “Follow us on Twitter.” But WHY? Give your customers a reason to connect with you on social networks, by answering the question “What’s in it for me?” Note the difference between these two Facebook posts: “Like our page on Facebook” vs. “Get answers to your real estate questions on our Facebook page.” Remember, the key to success on social media is engagement, so give them a reason to like your page.
5. Share pictures and videos to tell stories
People love photos. The biggest reason Facebook went from zero to 1 billion users in nearly ten years is photos. Photos and videos tell stories about you in ways that text alone cannot. Use your phone to take pictures and short videos of customers and cool things around your neighborhoods. A picture of a young couple in front of their new home is Facebook gold. Try a video featuring testimonials from your happy customers!