Elite AgentReal Estate Tech & Social

Social media as a service

Social media is a key way to promote your brand. But with consumers more savvy than ever, it's no longer engaging to only serve up listings and 'just sold' properties. Iolanthe Gabrie explains how treating social media as an act of service can see your profile soar

Too often, real estate agents make the mistake of believing that everything has an immediate, clear return on investment (ROI).

“So what’s the damage on this social media content, then? What’s it going to cost me, and how many listings are Facebook and Instagram going to get me?”

It’s understandable.

We know that a minimum amount of calls to buyers and vendors need to be made a day to garner results.

Measurement of activity is deeply entrenched in our psyche as an industry.

But when it comes to marketing – and our commitment to our audience via social media – we’re hellbent on connecting brand exposure with direct ROI in the form of listings.

We don’t demand this of letterbox drops, adverts on billboards or our websites, so why do we imagine that sentiment-based marketing (AKA social media) should behave differently?

Being able to measure something (such as viewer impressions) doesn’t always mean being able to define a metric of ROI, particularly in an industry with such a long customer care cycle between transactions.

It’s time for principals and agents to think differently about marketing and social media in particular.

Agents and organisations who recognise their social media marketing as an act of service are more likely to enjoy heightened online interaction from their investment, greater amplification of their digital identity and stronger businesses overall.

This goes for any act of marketing; it’s being of service that connects us most deeply with our prospects.

When you approach social media as an act of service, you:

  1. Are naturally more aware of ways you can use your digital platform to help others.
    That local bookshop opening? The nippers Saturday swim? The bushfire charity? Your social media suite can genuinely be a thriving community notice board and go-to.
  2. Are more likely to be posting items other than personal promotion and listings.
    It is difficult to build a real audience when you’re in the property space on social media. Boring your audience rather than educating and entertaining them is a real risk. If you’ve got your ‘service’ hat on, you’ll be thinking of ways to present yourself and your listings more creatively and focusing on information your community will benefit from.
  3. Are part of a virtuous circle.
    What’s that? It’s one where referrals flow with greater ease because people are regularly being reminded of your brand and yourself.
    Repeat and referral business is the agent’s stock in trade, and social media helps bolster your core prospecting activity. By entertaining your audience with frank content (hello Facebook Live! Oh hi Instagram Stories!) you are front of mind and understood as a person rather than just another agent in a suit. This differentiation and familiarity-building is the basis of trust, which is the purpose of all marketing.
  4. Are prepared to show people who you are; both the curated agent, expert negotiator, incredible auctioneer and the person out and about in your community.
    Share your hobbies – anything from video gaming to Aeropress coffee or your favourite authors. Showing your true self is an act of service and bravery, the cornerstone of connection.
  5. Are more likely to have a bunch of positive online reviews.
    When people know you, and like you, your requests for testimonials and reviews are much more likely to be followed through on.
    If you have any unfavourable reviews, your audience is also much more likely to advocate on your behalf if you have a real dialogue with them.

Listings, just sold and results do have a place on your social media suite – but if they’re the lion’s share of content, you’re going to be boring your audience with your relentlessfocus on your concerns.

Approaching social media as an act of service means your attention becomes wider than that last sale, and your brain is free to focus on more than the intangible ROI of relationship marketing.

What a relief.

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