Thursday, August 6th, 2015
Social media marketing has exploded as brands have realised its potential to reach and engage with their customers. And, with so much competition out there and multiple different social media channels to choose from it can be hard to know where to start… or where to stop.
If unmanaged, social media can be ineffective and even damaging. So, to help estate agents enjoy meaningful online conversations with their clients, I have outlined some basic tips and examples to illustrate the importance of social media and how you should establish its identity online.
Being well prepared is everything; especially as an estate agency online marketing is one of the most effective methods to market your properties and services. This is why it is so important to complete a bit of groundwork to help you understand how best to engage with your customers.
Ask yourself what can you do for them? How can your products and services help them achieve their goals, such as making a house purchase in a particular area or managing a buy to let!
By understanding what makes them tick you can create engaging content that is relevant, whilst not forgetting your own goals! Social media allows you to grow awareness of your estate agency brand and allows for two way conversations with customers and stakeholders.
It is always worth connecting your website and social media activity to ensure traffic is driven to the end goal, contacting you and not your competitors.
Become the best you can be on one or two platforms
Unless you have a small army of staff you don’t want to be on every social media platform. Think where your customers spend most of their time and focus there; for example Facebook will be far more effective for estate agents than LinkedIn. I recommend starting with a Twitter and Facebook Page.
Twitter is becoming more popular among consumers and is the fastest way to build an audience of relevant followers for your content. The primary reason is to give you have an opportunity to interact and engage with the right people for your agency; even if they don’t follow you back.
Facebook is a good medium for rapidly increasing awareness of your estate agency. Have a peek at your competitors’ pages and updates and how they are useing Twitter and Facebook. How many fans and followers are engaging with them? What results are they seeing? What is working and what is not working? How can you improve and do things differently?
Advertise your properties on Facebook with Facebook Property Search
Dress your shop window & entice people in
Your personal profile is like your shop window. If it doesn’t look attractive and inviting then it will put customers off. Make sure you include a professional photo, headline, and summary, and most importantly don’t forget to include easy to find contact details. I also recommend that you set aside some time to upload compelling images and videos to illustrate your brand, product and services.
Every social media platform has its own personality with specific ways of presenting your information. In a similar fashion your business brand is always your business brand. This means that no matter what social media platform someone encounters your brand on, it should basically be the same; just adjusted slightly to fit in with the personality of that platform.
Don’t fall into the trap of using only text in your Tweets or Facebook posts. Images, videos and links to your websites add life to your social media profiles and mean they are more likely to stand out from other competitive posts. Ideally, you want to post content that captures the imagination and maintains interest from your fans and followers. Adding multi-media content makes it easy for customers to scan your feed and hone in on areas of interest as it immediately provides a quick flavour of your posts.
When the opportunity arises, it is important to take an interest in your customers. Find out where they congregate and open a dialogue. It takes time and effort to get on their radar:
Be sure to consistently participate and offer information and insights that add value to the conversation, read discussion threads, blog posts and any other information you can lay your hands on.
Tip: engage with influences in environments they use, for example if they are using Facebook but not Twitter keep it like that.
It is important to follow the right people, be followed by the right people and share relevant and interesting content always by adhering to the rules of the different social media networks.
Hashtags are a way to find content and for social networks to measure what topics are trending. You can use hashtag in social media to identify messages on a specific topic giving you the chance to reach out to potential customers who could be interested in your content (and products and services).
If you add #hashtags for the sake of it then it will loose value and can actually have a negative effect on the of the post by referencing to many subjects. Too many hashtags create white noise and put people off. An example of this is repeating hashtags such as ‘#Estate Agents learn how to use social media like a pro to gain competitive edge over #estateagents’.
The tip is not to use more than 2-3 hashtags in each post and capitalise on the key message and target audience relevant to your content.
Joining the dots and building followers
A good way of capturing relevant customers to follow or like your social media pages is by adding social media buttons on your website. These allow people to easily connect with you or share content with their followers, which is a great way to encourage brand endorsement. It also allows you to capture customers browsing your website who you can continue to communicate your products and services to on an ongoing basis after they leave. A great free tool set is Add This which provides you with a number of free social media buttons and other marketing goodies.
Make sure that all your buttons are easily seen and bare in mind that larger buttons get more clicks than smaller buttons.
Free online management
Logging in and out of different social platforms can seem slow and time consuming there are many software tools that allow you to manage each of your social profiles in one easy to use place, which is ideal for busy estate agents like yourselves. Two of the most popular are Hootsuite and Sendible. These both have free options and allow you to engage across multiple social media platforms, monitor mentions of your brand, react to negative sentiment, grow your business with powerful lead generation tools and measure the success of your marketing efforts with in-depth reporting.
I hope that these tips have helped you and if you haven’t already be sure to follow us on social media or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org