Gone are the days when real estate marketing was restricted to traditional media. Real estate marketing has moved onto the digital space, especially social media over the last few years. But are realtors using social media effectively?
Let’s take a look at where realtors are going wrong, and what they could do right, to integrate social media into their digital marketing strategy more effectively.
Where realtors go wrong:
Social media is all about creating conversations and building a community based on relations. People follow people; and when it comes to brands and companies, people follow those that are recommended by their network. So building and managing a social media community building takes time and efforts. A major mistake realtors make is to keep bombarding people with details of their projects and persuasive messages to buy them.
Blaring sales calls-to-action are not going to build meaningful relationships with the customer. Information, trivia, genuine interesting insights, stories of real people; these are what people look for. And these are what realtors should focus on.
Things realtors should do:
Geo-target: ‘Location, location, location’, that’s where real estate marketing thrives. And social media, if leveraged effectively, is a platform where real estate agents can make a name for themselves in the local market space. Sharing relevant information locally is likely to have a better marketing impact than sharing general information nationally. Be it online ads on Google and other search engines, ads on social networks, banner ads on websites, etc.; geo-target them to the right audience as far as possible.
Blog: Use blogs to show your company’s thought leadership in the real estate space. The blog articles could be valuable information about real estate in a particular location which would help buyers make a decision on where to invest. The blog posts should be a good mix of information about the realtors projects as well as general information like the documents to be kept ready while buying a house, how to evaluate a builder, assistance with loam policies, etc.
Twitter: Twitter is a great place for you to syndicate your content from the thought leadership blog to a growing online audience. Your followers on Twitter are more than likely not to from your local town or city, but you’re building your brand with this audience. Twitter can also be used as an effective channel to respond to queries, reach a wider audience by tweeting on trending hashtags, connecting with influential bodies, associations, and individuals, and holding interesting contests.
Facebook: Consider Facebook as a lead generation source. Facebook pages are voluntary, since nobody forces anyone to become a fan or follow you on Facebook. This makes Facebook a 100% opt-in platform. And getting people to voluntarily opt-in to receive updates from you makes your friends/fans a high quality audience of prospects. So sharing all of your news and information from your blog via your Facebook page is a great way to reach the Facebook audience. Even on Facebook, let the posts be a mix of project related as well as general industry-related posts.
YouTube: YouTube is an ideal platform to give potential buyers a walk-through into the property. This saves potential buyers the trouble of visiting the property themselves; and even if they are not looking to buy themselves, if they are impressed by what they see, they are likely to recommend you to their respective network of friends and followers.
All these activities have but one aim apart from creating brand awareness. And that aim is building trust. Investing in real estate, for most people, is a very high-value, high-involvement transaction. And if they don’t trust you, they are not going to invest their hard-earned money in your projects.
Once the trust is built through blogs and social platforms like Twitter and Facebook, the next stage is easing the customer through the buying process. This will ensure that your customers recommend you to their networks. Make sure you feature such success stories widely on social media; because people trust people more than they trust an advertisement.
Making the most of social media is a time-consuming effort and there are, unfortunately, no short-cuts. But if done right, the returns are totally worth it. You could choose to manage it yourself, or hire a digital marketing company. Owing to its expertise and experience in the field of marketing, a social media agency may prove to be a right step forward to make the most of social media. What do you think?
Share your thoughts in the comments!