Social media and the Internet have revolutionized the way real estate professionals conduct business. Gone are the days of relying solely on traditional marketing methods such as yellow page ads and direct mail campaigns. The Internet and the increase in using social networking within your real estate business now make it possible to connect with tech savvy consumers who eagerly let their fingers do the walking when it comes to the home buying and selling process.
Recent surveys support this fact stating that 88% of home buyers are using the Internet during the home buying search while another 50% are turning to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. (Source: NAR) This development underscores the importance of an online presence for real estate professionals that includes a strategic social media marketing plan.
Why Realtors Should Consider Social Media
Given the immense potential social media provides when used correctly, it is essential that real estate professionals consider integrating this tool into their overall marketing strategy.
The power of social media lies within a consistent approach and prolonged exposure. This is only possible with a detailed plan and a commitment to showing up on a daily basis.
Social media tools can help you in the following ways:
- Create brand or company awareness
- Market your business and self effectively
- Build customer loyalty effortlessly
- Connect with followers and customers in real time
- Manage your reputation as a professional
Your Social Media Starter Kit
As a professional, there are a good number of social media sites that you can use to market yourself effectively. Each channel appeals to customers in a different way.
If you are thinking of creating brand awareness through social media campaigns then consider the following tools:
If you want to market yourself as a real estate professional then Twitter and LinkedIn offer two very different audiences. If you want to engage potential customers and members of the online community, then Facebook and Google+ provide powerful forums.
Once you feel comfortable within those social sphere’s, sites such as Diggit and StumbleUpon will only serve to enhance your social media and online presence by increasing your exposure through content sharing.
Creating a Facebook Fan Page
The entry point for serious real estate professionals into the online community is creating a Facebook fan page. A fan page allows you to reach, appeal to, and connect with potential customers quickly. It also allows you to interact with customers and followers. You can pitch your ideas, highlight opportunities and prompt customers to take quick action on a daily basis.
Engaging your Online Community
As a real estate professional, you should strive to actively use the social media sites that offer your best return. This is different for everyone as some feel more comfortable with Facebook vs. Twitter.
While you may want to use it purely for marketing, you should think about the needs of your loyal customers or followers. Besides posting fresh content regularly, you need to respond aptly to queries or customers’ concerns. This is an important aspect of brand awareness and name building. If you are consistent in your message, you will increase market reach and penetration without spending money on costly advertisements.
Creating an Integrated Social Media Campaign
As a real estate professional, social media should complement your overall marketing strategy. This means weaving traditional marketing and online or social marketing in to a long term plan and allowing each to support one another.
The best way to go about this is by adopting an integrated social media campaign for your business. Creating an integrated social media marketing campaign means linking your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube accounts so that no matter where your potential client might be, they are able to find and connect with you.
Accomplish this by adding social media links to your Facebook fan page; including all social links within your email signature and adding social buttons to your website and blog. Integrating social media tools will allow you to reach more customers and maximize the capacity of each social media account.
Optimizing Your Social Media Accounts
Optimizing your social media accounts for the search engine is another important task that should not be overlooked. Home or property buyers often use keyword-based search queries when searching for realtors or property online. A good strategy is to increase the functionality and visibility of your social media accounts through proper usage of keywords, link placement, and effective link building. Layout and visuals also play into this so make good use of them as well.
Monitor Your Reputation as a Realtor
Monitoring your online reputation is also an incredibly important part of your strategy. Staying on top of what is being said about you and your business is a proactive way to respond to any questions and combat any potentially damaging comments or posts.
You will also be able to observe whether or not your message is resonating with your fans and followers. As you consider what to post, remember that social media is a way for past and potential clients to connect with you on a social level. With that in mind, do not focus all of your energy on producing promotional or sales content. Social media should not be a bullhorn, used only to attract and convert leads. Instead, use your social media channels to create, maintain and nurture relationships with your loyal customers, followers, and subscribers. Building trust first is critical to future success.
How are you using social media to market your business? I would love to hear your tips in the comments below!