These days, papering your face on bus stop benches is not enough to win in the ultra-competitive real estate market. Brokers need to be online, and they need to leverage social media as a tool to reach potential customers and attract prospective agents to their firms. The question is how?
- Post 1-2 times per day per platform. Consistency is key for real estate brokers, and, in fact, any professional who uses social media. Don’t bombard people with posts, but don’t check in so infrequently that people forget about you. The goal is to establish your credibility and to remain top of mind when people seek to buy or sell properties. One to two posts per day increases engagement and can help conversion rates.
- Balance high-quality original and curated content. Here’s a little content secret: you don’t have to create everything yourself. “Curated” content is content you pull from respected sources (e.g. The New York Times, Forbes, Real Simple, Life Hacker, BHG, and more). Entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki writes, “Curation is easier [than writing original content]. All it takes is an active, curious mind. Just find stuff that a seller or buyer would be interested in.”
Recent research suggests that the curation/original sweet spot is to link to your own content about 40% of the time and to high-quality curated content for the remaining posts.
- Focus on your audience’s needs. You notice that promotional content was mentioned in the above tip. That’s because your audience doesn’t like it. Now, you cannot ignore it completely. You want to advertise your services, and doing so can add value to your audience’s lives. But you do not want to use social platforms to do hard sells.
People log in to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc., to socialize, ask questions, find answers. Provide this service to them, and you’ll sell without selling. Again, post “stuff that a seller or buyer would be interested in.” Most of the time that is not a pitch. Limit promotional posts to just a few a week.
- Leverage the right tools. The right tools can make all the difference. Hootsuite, for instance, enables you to pre-schedule posts. You can create a wealth of content in an afternoon or so, and then post it throughout the week or month. This ensures you have a steady flow of posts and that you adhere to a content strategy that helps you meet your goals. You’re not just posting about your cat or taking pictures of your food; you’re putting real thought into these messages.
Social listening tools are also incredibly useful. Tools such as Talkwalker, Social Mention, Mention, Topsy, Hootsuite, and PinAlerts allow you to monitor mentions of your brand. You can listen in on the conversation, determine what people are saying about you, and create strategies that address their concerns, interests, needs, and perceptions.
And as always, track your progress. Analytics programs allow you to see how your efforts are paying off and whether you need to adjust your strategies. There are a host from which to choose including Hootsuite, ViralWoot, FollowerWonk, and much more.
- Add value – and a little extra. Great, relevant content helps you provide a service to your audience. Go the extra mile. Real estate brokers, for example, have found success in running contests. Winners can receive a gift card to a local business (great for you, the customer, and the local business – win, win, win) or another related prize. It doesn’t have to be big, but it does have to be free! It’s another way you can add more value and fun to their newsfeeds. Now, that’s memorable.
The real estate market is crowded; social media is a powerful tool that can help you stand out from the competition. Are you leveraging it for enhanced results?