Social Media is the new black. There are many ‘experts’ willing and able to take your marketing dollars.
This article aims to introduce the lead generating capacity of Social Media without getting too complicated…. to start with anyway.
Social Media is the new black. There are many ‘experts’ willing and able to take your marketing dollars. There is no guarantee however they know much more than you do or that they understand you, your business or this industry. This article aims to introduce the lead generating capacity of Social Media without getting too complicated…. to start with anyway.
The major source of new business in real estate comes from referrals and this hasn’t changed with the advent of social media.
Good marketing rules still apply and your best business will still come from your friends and existing networks and database.
Your past clients, friends, family and neighbours are your biggest advocates and it is all about harnessing these relationships in the online world and engaging with your ‘followers’ and ‘fans’ directly.
Many of you will already have a Facebook page and possibly a Twitter account, but how many sales leads are you generating from these social media networks?
With Facebook having more than 500 million users, Twitter 160 million tweeters and 2 billion videos viewed on YouTube a day, maximising and leveraging your brand in this environment offers a massive untapped opportunity. And it is a lot faster and broader reaching than traditional methods.
The success lies in how you do it. One of the biggest mistakes made by marketers is using social media as a ‘hard sell’ channel, rather than using it for online prospecting and relationship building.
A good analogy: think of it as attending a neighbourhood barbecue or the school fete. You wouldn’t blatantly sell your wares, instead you would look to build relationships and share your knowledge to build your network.
In this ‘social’ world, your friends, followers and fans are already comfortable with you so what is needed is to leverage social media channels to have them and their friends interacting with your brand, creating business.
Social media is just another avenue to reach your potential audience.
Maximise the Opportunity
To maximise this opportunity you need to have effective social media networks, quality editorial content, excellent video content, a SEM and SEO strategy and a best of breed website (the ‘hub’ of your information) – your virtual shopfront.
Choose and co-ordinate your social media
Your online channels have to appear seamless with your branding. There is no point having a blog that has no branding identifying you. You can have the best information on your blog, but it needs to convert leads. Make sure your Twitter, Facebook and blogs are consistent with you branding and have links back to your website and/or contact information. Another important aspect is to choose your social networks – you don’t need to be on all. The best solution is to push your blog or communication to a select few, for example, your Facebook page and Twitter account, to drive people back to your content ‘hub’.
Content for social media is very important. There is no point tweeting constantly without penetration. Your ‘followers’ will see you as a spammer and ‘unfollow’ you. You need targeted, well-written content to engage followers and position you as a market leader who knows exactly what is happening in your marketplace. This content needs to follow a structure, be regular, consistent and, most importantly, engage with users directly.
Video content features highly on website search result pages. It is also a great way for positioning as a local expert. People can relate to you face-to-face and form a connection. You can also feature your successes – for example, the great auction result you had over the weekend or how you market a property through a beautifully presented walk-through.
It is all very well to have social media driving traffic to your website, but what then? Your website is your virtual office so treat it in the same way. You greet your clients as they enter the door and direct them to the salesperson, property manager or other person that can help them. Your website has to do the same thing. It has to lead your visitor to the right person (page) to give them the information they need to fulfil their need – list their property, buy a property, get their investment property managed.
SEM and SEO
Social media is a great way to push out links to your brand, as well as increase your positioning on website search result pages. However, this only occurs if your blogs, articles or any online content is optimised (SEO). A fairly complex process, it is worth getting expert advice and an audit on your current online channels, then recommendations and a strategy on how to improve your ranking.
When is comes to SEM (Search Engine Marketing), this needs to dovetail your SEO activity. Again a strategic approach is needed here as spending money on the wrong keywords could cost a fortune and get you nowhere.
Social media offers a vast network to leverage sales leads and source referrals and it is imperative that you and your business utilise all the available opportunities this growing phenomenon offers to build and maintain a successful business.
Converting leads from Social Media
- Brand all of your social media channels consistently
- Create and regularly post quality and optimised content
- Include video content and images
- Have your social media icons in all online communication – email signature, social media pages and your website
- Treat you Facebook page and website as your virtual shopfront
- Have links to your website and contact information on all communications (blogs, tweets, posts)
- Add your business to Facebook Places
- Have a social media strategy and revise it regularly
- Combine personal and work-related posts
- Overuse your personal friends for ‘business’ connections
- Post work party or other possibly damaging images
- Overuse Facebook events – leave these for ‘special’ events so your fans take notice of them
- Set up your page/s and/or accounts and forget them