Engagement is an important part of digital marketing, but it’s the pinnacle of activity you can undertake as a real estate professional. The reason why is that you cannot really outsource engagement. Just as you build relationships with real estate customers for the long term, building a community of people online with whom you are engaged is equally important.
Here’s why engagement is important:
- Keeping relevant – By monitoring what’s going on in your community, you’ll keep yourself relevant to the changing needs of your customers.
- SEO isn’t all about content – SEO is also about getting links back to your website on terms that you want to rank for. Asking for links gets you halfway there, but conversing with community members and customers about things that are top of mind for them (as they relate to real estate) will make it all the more likely that you’ll receive some of those organic links.
- Engagement can even beat relevancy - People will share your content if it’s relevant, but they are much more likely to share your content if they are really engaged with you; to get to that point, you’ll have to spend some time engaging people initially.
Here’s how to build an engagement process:
Build a list - Seek out members of your customer community who are active in social media, sort your list of people, and focus on the most active or influential. Then:
- Build an engagement calendar - Just as you use a customer relationship management system (CRM) to manage leads and prospects, build a process for developing long-term relationships with your targeted list of social influencers.
- Start small - Make your social influencer list small; you don’t have to make a big list - start with 10-15 people, schedule two contacts per week, and do simple things. Read their content and make comments. Ask them questions, get inspired, and write a post that references their content.
- Is there really a connection? - If a relationship doesn’t grow online, you can change your list over time.
Two Words in "Social Media"
I think most real estate professionals understand the value of creating content that people share; that’s the “media” in social media. However, the other aspect of social media is “social” - to participate in social media, you have to be engaging. More than simply trying to get people to engage with your content, you have to reach out to people, striking up conversations and being interested in what they have to say. You can pick topics that are also relevant to the real estate business. For example, what transportation hubs are influencing the value of property in a region? You’ll be engaging people online, but you’ll also buffer your own content calendar by listening closely to your community and their needs.
Choose Your Social Medium
Pick Twitter, Facebook, or blogs, and conduct your engagement solely within that social medium over a six month period. You’ll get more results by focusing your efforts; once you are successful, you can always expand your efforts to include another social medium.
Long Term Engagement
You should be measuring results from your efforts - are you generating more links and traffic, and ultimately, can you measure more leads and conversions from your social media efforts? That said, don’t expect things to happen overnight; once you’ve started to engage, realize that you’ll have to keep up the effort. This sort of digital marketing takes time and isn’t for the faint-hearted, but if you are serious about building a really successful digital marketing business, you own the prospect of building an active, supportive community that will provide links, referrals, and social sharing of your content.
Connect with the Boston Logic real estate social media marketing team to learn more about how you can accelerate your social media efforts for SEO and digital marketing.