8 ways you can use social to your advantage.
It seems like social media defined the last decade, and it looks set to keep playing an important role in the 2020s. This sentiment hasn’t been lost on the marketing world: as user numbers – and average daily use – of the most recognised platforms increase rapidly year on year, so too does the ad spend across these channels.
With so much being said about the benefits of social, and so much money being dedicated to online presence, it can be tempting to rush blindly into the bright lights of social media marketing. In real estate, it can allow agents to take creative approaches when showcasing their clients’ properties, and it affords new avenues to communicate with broader markets. But presence doesn’t necessarily mean resonance. There’s no point ‘doing social’ if you’re not doing it right; if it’s not adding worth to your brand or your listings. So where to begin?
1. Keep your Facebook fresh
This might seem like the obvious starting point, but that also means it’s worth doing it well. Facebook is a great platform for engagement and interaction, so it’s important not to use it as just another mass marketing tool. It helps to keep a balance, but customer-focused posts will be better received than constant business updates. Posting about your neighbourhood – upcoming events or local news stories – can also help show your understanding of, and involvement in, the community.
2. Step up your Instagram game
Instagram is tailor made for real estate, with carefully curated visual content the lifeblood of the app. It’s the perfect place for stunning property photos and videos to be the heroes of the campaign. But even if your photos are truly eye-catching, don’t underestimate the added value of relevant hashtags to optimise your latest listing’s exposure. Going one step further, Instagram Stories are another on-trend way to give quick and personalised property updates, with polls, Q&A stickers and GIFs dialling up the audience engagement.
3. Maximise the power of LinkedIn
LinkedIn may be considered by some as just a networking tool, but as well as providing a great platform to connect with fellow agents and industry heavyweights, it can also be the perfect place to establish your reputation or showcase your experience. Keeping your achievements and your professional interests up to date is a good way to start, while posting relevant reports or interesting articles from the industry can also help build a positive social media persona.
4. Consistency is key
Once you have your accounts set up, keeping the quality and frequency of your posts consistent is essential. It’s not always easy with your day-to-day constantly changing, but using automated scheduling tools and creating a content calendar can keep you ahead of the game and can help set daily themes. Historic photos of the neighbourhood would be the perfect #throwbackthursday post, or handy DIY renovation tips for the upcoming weekend could help people get through #humpday. Even photos or short videos of cute company pets can provide a little #mondaymotivation.
5. Keep it positive
It pays to respond to genuine comments or direct messages as soon as possible – it’s an easy way to demonstrate your commitment to customer service. But what happens when the feedback isn’t positive? If handled correctly, negative comments – like those from an unhappy tenant, for example – can become positive and lead to brand advocacy. People accept that mistakes happen, but we are measured by how we handle them. Have a decision tree and some pre-approved responses ready, so you can react quickly when the time comes. It can also be a good idea for certain issues to be taken offline. Reply publicly that you’ll be in touch by PM (showing your proactivity and responsiveness), and then you can resolve the situation by direct messaging.
6. Content is king
Lead generation is all well and good, but part of social media’s charm is that it also lets your personality shine through. Property photos and videos are the key pieces of content for maintaining an engaging social media presence, but posting success stories about clients’ recent purchases, testimonials from happy vendors, design tips or even relatable quotes from other industry professionals can help create a more personal, community-minded space. Sharing industry news or market updates shows you have your finger on the pulse – customised infographics are perfect for presenting the latest market trends or statistics – while posts about company milestones and events like award nights or charity functions offer another chance to connect with your audience.
7. Use display ads to help your cause
Creating your own organic content is only half the social media picture. Digital display advertising is a powerful and cost-effective way to reach the right audience for a specific listing, including passive buyers who aren’t visiting the major portals. Built around a premier partnership with Google and Facebook, the Campaigntrack Digital offering allows you to buy access to an audience carefully selected through demographic, lifestyle and geographical targeting. Agency branded ads appear as posts in users’ Facebook feeds, and can be retargeted to interested viewers across the entire Google Display Network.
8. Take note of what you’re doing
Once your online presence is established, measuring social media and paid advertising metrics can help you better understand which strategies are working so that you can make adjustments and improvements as you go. You can keep an eye on number of likes, followers and shares yourself, or with campaigns created through Campaigntrack Digital, you can use the dashboard to delve deeper into a campaign’s performance and gain insights into profiles for prospective buyers. Using Campaigntrack Digital also means you’ll own your own audience data and you can remarket future property campaigns to that same group of people.
The online marketing world is rapidly evolving, but as it changes, the value of social media becomes more apparent. Everyone’s dabbled, but doing social properly can pay real dividends for your brand growth and for the success of your listings.