If you haven’t yet integrated a social media plan into your real estate business, it’s time. Social media is currently one of the best ways for even small firms and agencies to garner a name for themselves and keep a loyal, active customer base. If you’re not an expert, don’t worry. Integrating different social media platforms into a cohesive marketing strategy may seem intimidating, but you can quickly learn, and the payoffs are huge. For your business, they might even be crucial.
Why is social media so important?
Social media is a way to connect people with ideas, resources, organizations, and other people. It is like a language in the marketplace, and in order to buy or sell with ease and acumen, you have to be fluent. For real estate, getting versed in social media means not only a rounded marketing strategy, but proficiency, creativity, willingness to grow, and even availability. If you are not engaging a variety of social media platforms effectively, there is a chance you’re not even being seen by property buyers.
Social media is now a matter of survival for most businesses. And it’s not just ads, the “Happy Holidays!” posts, or getting your brand visible, which are all important. It’s also about creating a seamless continuity between different ways buyers are going to look for you. Every time a customer moves from driving around the block to a Google search, to Facebook, to Zillow, to Instagram, and back again, you want to be visible and noticeable, with a consistent message and connections between these platforms. When customers switch platforms, if you are not also on those new platforms, you can slip through the cracks. And when you get good at building a multi-platform strategy, it’s like paving a road. You’re giving buyers a smooth experience exploring and finding, instead of dumping them off into virtual cul-de-sacs.
Social media also signals a major generation shift. Agents, firms, and mortgage companies that want to make money, much less a real impact in their communities, have to reach out to people where they are. And virtually all of your current younger market, as well as your up and coming buyers, are on social media.
Social Media for Realtors
Now you’re ready to try this out. Let’s start with a quiz. Can you quickly name the main differences between Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat as marketing platforms? They are connected, but each built to reach people in a unique way. If you don’t understand the differences, the first step is to get educated. You can set aside an hour or two and get a very solid, if basic, idea of how they work, by reading online articles and watching YouTube tutorials. Or find a friend in the industry who has a good grasp of social media, ask them for an hour and a half of their time, buy them a cup of coffee, and take good notes.
Once you understand how they work, it’s still a learning curve to figure out how to use them effectively, and how to find your voice on social media for your brand. If marketing is a language, social media fluency is a dialect, and your brand is your distinctive accent.
For a sample of how everyday real estate wonks are navigating social media platforms, there are many interesting stories with a quick Google search (and not all of them by people under 40). Start with what you know. You are likely already familiar with Facebook, and even have a Facebook presence, but it never hurts to see how you can improve. For example, if you haven’t yet tried Facebook Live, it’s a fabulous way to maintain a personal connection with clients. With live streaming you can provide virtual tours and open houses. You might also consider posting digital versions of your property information flyers.
Now branch out, and start connecting. Using Instagram, for instance, a platform built for networking and building relationships through images, you can give people a look into your business and your property that feels intimate and “behind the scenes.” Twitter can help you inspire, build your brand, and get good response data using quippy, interconnecting posts. And Snapchat, the fastest growing social media platform, is at the cutting edge of storytelling and branding. Only by learning and experimenting will you figure out what works best for you.
And as you work on your strategy, ask someone under 35 to try it out and give you feedback. If they’re not the ones buying houses today, they will be tomorrow.
For a team of experts who create solutions both on and offline so you can deliver your message, contact Range, a Deluxe Company. We want to help you harness your full potential.