For real estate agents, social media can be a powerful lead source and channel for staying top of mind after the sale. The downsides – for a lot of agents social media can have little ROI and feel like a big time waster. So, if you’re wanting to grow your following, here’s your to-do list for being successful on social media.
Make a Plan
If you want to get serious about driving leads on social media, create a clear plan of action for your social media strategy. First outline what your goals are and the initiatives you’ll use to get there. Create a content calendar for what you’ll post and use scheduling tools to schedule the dates and times that your posts will go out. This can help with time management and ensure that you post regularly to keep your followers engaged. While both Facebook and Twitter have their own scheduling tools, you can also use scheduling tools like Hootsuite and Buffer.
Remember that social media is about being sociable. Use your bio to show your personality and highlight your expertise, infuse your posts with your style, and respond to questions & comments with a personal touch. Remember, your online and offline personality should be consistent.
Integrate with Other Channels
To get the biggest return from your social media efforts, your social media strategies should integrate with your other marketing channels. First, keep consistent branding between channels. This includes your images, value prop and branding. Make sure to include links to your social media channels on your website, email signature, newsletters & print advertising to grow your following and have more touch points with clients.
Help First, Sell Later
Social media is not the place for the hard sell. Instead, it’s the place for generating leads, engaging with potentials and keeping in touch with past clients. Keeping this in mind, don’t just post about your upcoming open house or the deal you just closed. Also offer advice for both your potentials and past clients – articles could include home selling tips, steps to secure a mortgage, checklists for first-time buyers, home maintenance advice, and decorating ideas for holidays. Make sure to always answers questions posted by your followers – this shows that you’re genuine.
Use Great Visuals
A picture is worth a thousands words, and on social media this definitely rings true. On Twitter, posts with an image receive 35% more retweets. Facebook posts with images receive more than twice as many comments than those without. As a real estate agent, you should also consider using Instragram and Pinterest – these visual sites are great for showcasing your listings or showing the homes you’ve helped your clients purchase. Remember that each social media site has their own image guidelines – check out this great cheat sheet on images requirements.
Expand Your Reach
When you feel comfortable with your social media strategy, make sure to experiment with promoted advertising on social media. Ads on Facebook have much lower CPM and CPCs than Google AdWords, so they’re a great option for online marketing on a budget. Targeting options on Facebook allow you to promote your posts based on geographic and demographic data. For example, if you largely work with first-time buyers you could use Facebook to target married couples, between 25-35 in specific zip codes.
Evaluate your social media efforts and results to determine what works for you. Track post likes, comments and shares to see what your following is most interested in – then tailor your content accordingly. Make sure you’re also tracking your lead sources and conversion rates to determine your ROI – most CRMs should have this functionality and you can also setup conversion tracking in Google Analytics.
At the end of the day, remember that social media is long term strategy – so don’t be discouraged when it takes time to build your following. Be consistent with your efforts, refine your strategy and measure your growth.