Social media is a great place to grow awareness for your real estate brokerage and engage potential clients. But before you can grow your client list, you have to foster relationships.
I know that might not sound like the most appealing thing in the world (cue awkward high school flashbacks). But in an age where more relationships seem to exist online than ever before, social media has opened the doors for a whole new era of casual communication. People are actively looking to connect with one another to share experiences, form bonds and explore solutions to their problems.
By putting your brand out there across various social media channels, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, you can effectively show off your brokerage as a trusted source for all things real estate. And, in doing so, form relationships with the “strangers” that are, say, browsing Facebook, checking out their friend’s new home (that they just happened to buy from you!), or clicking through real estate boards on Pinterest.
So, here are a few do’s and don’ts to help you establish brand awareness for your brokerage:
You wouldn’t buy a house from someone you don’t trust; neither would your clients. Posting photos and videos that show off your brokerage’s culture helps show that, aside from being a real estate expert, you’re also a human being. And, showing off your company values makes you more trustworthy, even to a complete stranger.
By this, I mean don’t use that stock photo of hands in a circle to represent team work. Instead, you want to take pictures of your company or industry events, get togethers, etc. On Instagram, for instance, photos including faces get 38% more likes.
In one of their blog posts, Entrepreneur discusses how Coca-Cola has earned billions simply by “selling happiness.” This strategy also translates perfectly to real estate. After a sale, ask your clients if you can take a photo of them in front of their new home to post on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram page. Or, better yet, ask them to post a referral on your page detailing their awesome experience working with you.
People trust authenticity. Spinning your content to always be selling is a huge turn off, especially for the millennials who are entering the market. Forbes asserts this, noting that 43% of millennials rank authenticity over content when consuming information. So, what does this mean for your content? Well, you’ll have no problem if your aim is to consistently connect with and/or educate your potential buyers and sellers. They’ll trust you from the start, and look to you when it’s time to answer their buying or selling needs.
One way to generate more page likes and follows is through holding contests and offering incentives to your participants. In fact, 35% of Facebook fans like a page so that they can participate in contests. Typically on social media, you want to hold video, photo and vote contests. If you want a more in depth look at how to hold these, check out this post.
This might be the most important “Don’t” when it comes to social media. Users are on social media to keep up with friends and family, establish connections and often, to look for helpful information. They are not there to read about how you plan to sell X many houses this year, or how you now partner with so-and-so. When posting, its best practice to follow to the 80/20 rule: post 80% educational information and only 20% explicitly about your own brand.
This again goes back to the 80/20 rule I mention above. Creating educational content that people love helps secure your brokerage’s value as a trusted source in the real estate industry. You want to post links to your blog posts, eBooks, infographics and more. You will stay top of mind with your potential customers, and when they have a real estate question or need, they will look to you.
Facebook has one of the best and most used advertising platforms out there, and Twitter and Instagram are following suit. However, pouring your marketing dollars into advertising may not be the best course of action for a real estate brokerage, as conversions in this industry often take much longer than any other vertical. My best advice is to set a maximum budget and see how your ads perform, and if they ultimately drive revenue for your brokerage.
According to HubSpot, visual content, like photos and videos, is 40 times more likely to be shared on social media than any other type of content. Visual neighborhood posts are useful to your potential clients because you are able to sell a lifestyle, rather than your own business. Which brings me to my final point…
I mention above that the people checking out your business on social media don’t want to hear your sales pitch. They probably do not want to see a feed full of your property listings either. Pushing your listings too hard is just overwhelming. While you don’t want to avoid posting them all together, it’s best to keep it to a minimum; a 20% minimum (or I guess I should say maximum).
There are many best practices when it comes to running a successful social media campaign. These do’s and don’ts are just a few tips to help you get there! For more, check out our social media eBook, “Social Media for your Brokerage.“