Hate it or love it, real estate, just like other forms of marketing, has moved online. A majority of deals are now found, initiated and closed on the internet.
Social media, in particular, is now a key marketing platform for the real estate industry. With a high number of buyers preferring social channels like Instagram and Facebook to discover real estate opportunities, it would be a mistake to overlook these platforms when planning a real estate marketing campaign.
Is your business wondering how to get started with social media marketing for your real estate firm? We’ve put together a number of important tips below.
SET UP BUSINESS ACCOUNTS
To market on social media, you need to have a social media presence. So, begin by creating the pages and channels you’ll need for the job. We recommend creating a page on Facebook via your personal profile as an Admin, as well as creating usernames on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. YouTube is also a strong option to consider if you are able and ready to create at least simple videos, and be aware that videos are critical and only gaining more importance in the real estate marketing process. Once you have the platforms setup you need to plan to be active on them, posting content, sharing photos, videos, and information, and in the case of Pinterest, creating pinboards.
Remember to use business accounts. It’s often against terms of service to use a personal social media profiles for your overall company business marketing. A Facebook user should not have to “become a friend” of XYZ Realty for example. Rather, if setup correctly, XYX Realty would be a Facebook Page that is managed by Admins via their personal Facebook accounts. What’s more, you could miss out on essential marketing tools only available for business profiles. For example, you cannot run Instagram ads on a regular profile, but you can on a business profile.
ADD LANDING PAGES
Ideally, you need a landing page on your website for every marketing campaign that is trying to drive traffic from social media to a website. If you’re doing a contest on Facebook, create a special landing page for that campaign. Don’t direct visitors coming off the campaign to the landing page you use for your Twitter campaign.
The reason is simple — you want to collect as much information as possible about the source of each lead so that you can address their needs at a personal level. Knowing the exact location they came from to get to your website is one of the things that allows you to refine your marketing messages. For more general marketing you can drive them to the same “listing page” on your site, just be sure to watch your Google Analytics to see which social media platform is driving the most traffic to that web page.
BUILD AND ENGAGE COMMUNITIES
In business, you never know where your next customer might come from. This is true for real estate too. For this reason, always seek to engage and grow your followers; and never stop expanding your community. As well, never go missing. Make sure to share something every few days and stay around to chat and engage your fans and followers. You can use hashtags, chatbots, contests, and sweepstakes to keep the community humming. It is not being “social” on social media if you only post once a month or never answer a comment!
SHOWCASE YOU LISTINGS
From videos to photos and descriptions, you need to put it all out there on social media. Stage the property, bring along a camera person, and record a video as you tour the property. You can even give your fans the 360-degree videos and photos that have become so popular. Better still, go live! Use Facebook Live to showcase the property in real-time. Your community may very well love the personalized initial tour from the comfort of their home.
We, however, must also stress the need for quality. In real estate, the quality of photos and videos is critical. You risk missing out on sales just because of low-quality photos. Also, remember to observe the 80/20 rule. Only 20 percent of your content on social channels should be promotional. The other 80 percent must be educational, resource-rich, or for engagement. Why? Because these are social networks first and foremost.
EXPERIMENT WITH PAID ADS
While organic campaigns are great, paid ads can no longer be ignored. In fact, on a platform like Facebook, paid ads can be critical in getting your message across because the network has been found to show organic posts to only around 5 percent of followers. Paid ads ensure your messages reach 100 percent of your followers.
If you can implement these tips, you should see a solid stream of audience growth, qualified leads and a related attributable uptick in sales.
Mike Gingerich is president of Digital Hill Multimedia (www.DigitalHill.com), a Goshen web design and marketing agency. He is also a co-founder of TabSite.com and Waftio.com, leading software tools for contests and lead capture, and author of the book Game Plan for Social Media Lead Generation. Find out more at www.MikeGingerich.com/book.