In today's Agent Insights - Anita Clark - a REALTOR® in Warner Robins, Georgia, discusses the importance of effectively using social media to achieve a larger market share and increase brand exposure.
It should not be a surprise that real estate agents need excellent interpersonal and social skills to survive and thrive in our industry. Aside from knowing how to interact socially, agents also needs a great online presence to brand themselves in a way that stands out, so that they can attract and connect with new prospects.
With nearly 90% of those under the age of 30 active on social media each day, and over 40% of retirees having social media accounts, agents not only need to be online but they need to make a concerted effort to be where consumers are at online. Whether you are looking to market to the millennials, baby boomers, or anyone in-between, getting active on social media is a must.
Thanks to mobile technology, it has become incredibly easy to stay active on social sites. Judging by the statistics, an active social media presence will not only help you stay connected with your existing clients but will also enhance your online visibility and help you build a reputable online brand.
Using Social Media as an Engagement Tool
The whole point of social media platforms is to be well, social! You have the opportunity to interact and socialize with existing and potential clients. To fully engage on social media, you have to broadcast, act, react and respond. Here are a few ways agents can effectively engage via social media:
- Facebook is the largest social media site in the world and a goldmine for reaching real estate consumers you may not have otherwise had the opportunity to connect with. Join local FB groups (i.e. for moms, community interest, enthusiast, and local biz groups are a good place to start), start interacting, and before long you will have gained new followers and potentially new clients as a result. You can also take the initiative to join real estate related groups and actively comment with helpful advice and effective tips that can come in handy for persons looking to buy, rent, or sell property.
- Post your videos on YouTube! You are creating videos...right?! Video use should be a staple in your social media toolbox with a steady stream of listings, market advice, subdivision/community information, and anything else you believe real estate consumers will want to see. Since Google owns YouTube, do not be surprised if your creations rank highly in the search engine results pages, often on page 1!
- Twitter is a great way to grow your brand with minimal effort. Share content that both intrigues and educates consumers and add photos to pique the interest of those seeing your tweets. Make sure to engage with your followers and re-tweet information that supports your niche or helps buyers and sellers. There are numerous tools, such as Hootsuite, to help you manage your tweets and automate your posts if you do not have the time to consistently post.
- If you are not using Google Plus to send information to consumers (either directly or via groups/communities) you are missing out on a tremendous opportunity. Content shared via G+ gets indexed quickly (Google loves itself) and can often get re-shared by peers allowing you to reach a whole new segment of your local population. This is also an excellent way to build/grow a professional network and grow your referral base.
- Most people like looking at photos. Using Pinterest to showcase your best articles, highlight your market statistics, showcase your listings, and preview neighborhoods/niches you are looking to gain a foothold in (or maintain/improve your existing presence) is a smart way to utilize social media to become a local real estate expert.
- Depending on your time, creative ability, and marketing approach, here are several other platforms/sites you might want to consider trying out to directly reach consumers, increase your exposure, and/or further syndicate your online message:
- Infographics (posting on visual.ly)
Avoid spamming your social media accounts and make sure to periodically engage with those who leave you comments. If your approach is versatile and you consistently provide quality information, you have every opportunity to increase your market share and perhaps dominate your local real estate market.
Ensure Your Personality Shines Through on Social Media
Those who are successful on social media understand you need to make sure your personality shines through via the information you provide. Creating content that is both authentic and interesting will give you the best opportunity to reach your intended audience. To achieve this you need to minimize promotional content as this can be a turn off to some readers/viewers. Instead focus on coming up with relevant content that serves the needs of potential and existing clients.
Always strive to create a balance between communication and marketing. This can be done by following the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule is an effective social media strategy where 80% of your content is both captivating and informational, reaching your intended audience on a personal level. Here are a few ideas of the type of information to include in the 80%:
- Lifestyle content that interests your target market
- Neighborhood-related information
- Community events
- Effective tips for staging homes
- Tips for moving hassle free
- Tips for both homeowners and those looking to purchase a property
The other 20% should be dedicated to selling and marketing yourself. This includes showcasing your listings, sharing what makes you unique or best qualified to help buyers/sellers, and building your brand so consumers will not only remember you and the services you provide but call for more information and assistance when they are ready to enter the local real estate market.
Final Social Media Thoughts
Every real estate market is diverse and you never know what the age of your next client will be, even if your primary efforts are regularly spent targeting a specific segment of society (i.e. millennials, military relocations, retirees). However, there are some simple ways to develop an online strategy to increase your chances of working with more clients.
For instance, if you are trying to engage with those who are 55+, find local FB groups they frequent and engage with them there. Touch base with those who are serving our country around the nation or abroad via videos and photos since they cannot see the properties/communities first-hand. Find the platforms frequented by the Generation X/Y crowds and get active on those sites. The point is...you need to go where your audience is at not wait for them to come find you.
The assumption is made that you are already blogging consistently either via your own site(s) or on a real estate platform like ActiveRain. Blogging should be a cornerstone of your online efforts, and a continual resource you can share with local real estate buyers, investors, and sellers, via your favorite social media outlets. The better your online information is, and the more ways it can be found, the more consistent your opportunities will be to keep your phone ringing with new real estate prospects and leads.
For more from Anita, visit http://sellingwarnerrobins.com/.