Social networks are great tools for connecting with your clients and potential clients. Using them can build trust with homebuyers and expand your business through social sharing.
Having said that, too many real estate agents and agencies seem to use their social media accounts as a forum for flagrant self-promotion, posting link after link of their listings and sales results.
Before your next post put yourself in your follower’s shoes and consider whether that particular listing or result would be of interest to you. Ask yourself 'Would you take the time to like the post or share it with your friends?'. If the answer is obviously no then your should try a different tact.
We’ve come up with some critical dos and don’ts for using social networks in real estate to help you more effectively utilise them to better engage with your audience and take your marketing efforts to the next level.
Make life easier
Consider subscribing to a service such as Hootsuite to make your life a little easier. With these kinds of platforms you can easily manage all your social media accounts and schedule content in advance all from the one dashboard. We also recommend choosing one to three social networks and focusing on those only. Remember a jack of all trades is a master of none.
Have the right amount of relevant and relatable content
According to Wishpond.com the key to keeping social media content engaging is the 80/20 golden rule. This means 80 per cent of your posts should contain something of interest to your followers (such as their lifestyle, interests etc.) and the other 20 per cent should be about you and your business (listings, sales results, upcoming auctions etc.).
When generating content think about what your followers are likely to care about, respond to and share, and the value you offer them for continuing to following your page. Ask yourself 'How does your business align with their needs and tastes?'.
Ensure your updates are useful to all types of potential clients, like homebuyers, sellers, renters and homeowners. Including images in your messages will also help to generate more engagement with your followers. Check out Gary Peer Real Estate for some great examples of informative and useful content.
Ask for participation
Don’t be afraid to put in requests for your followers to take action, like liking, sharing or commenting on your posts. For example if you’re posting a photo about a new listing with a pool you could post 'Tag a friend you’d invite to lounge by this pool after you move in.'. Have fun and be creative with your posts. Try using polls, fill-in-the-blanks and posing questions to your audience.
Keep posts short and simple
Remember to keep your status updates and posts short, use one to three sentences max and let your images do most of the talking. You can add links so people can click through if they need further information or want to read more. It’s a good idea to add short links to drive more clicks to improve the simplicity of your post. You can create short links on Hootsuite or Bitly. Also try not to overuse hashtags in your posts, two or three per post max. Ray White New Farm is an excellent example of the use of simple, fun and to the point content.
Use personal instant sharing apps
It is very important to realise that you cannot use your business social networks the same as your personal ones. Remember you’re in a business relationship with your followers so they probably don’t need or want to see what you ate for lunch today on Instagram, what you’re listening to on Spotify and how far you rode your bike this morning on Map My Ride. Lets be brutally honest here, nobody really wants to see these things but if you must share keep it for your personal pages. Be careful when syncing social sharing apps like these and make sure they don’t automatically post to your professional pages.
Over sharing on your businesses social networks can end up causing the opposite of what you’re setting out to achieve. You can end up boring, frustrating and ultimately losing clients. Posting too frequently or posting irrelevant information is a big no-no.
Use negative comments
Avoid commenting as a business on controversial topics and debates. Remember social media is a public forum and negative comments could lead to others perceiving your business in a tainted light and damage your reputation. So save voicing your opinions for your personal social media accounts. When responding to negative feedback choose your words carefully and read and re-read your response to make sure it is not aggressive and conveys the right tone.
Create obvious self-promotion
There’s no larger pet peeve for followers of real estate agencies than being directly marketed to every time they check their Facebook. It may come as a shock but prospective homebuyers and renters don’t want their whole newsfeed clogged up with your real estate listings. When people are on the hunt for a new place to live they head to sites like Homely or Google, not to your Facebook page. So try to be creative with your posts so they don’t look exactly like advertising, and add variety to the types of news and posts you share to make sure you don’t end up ignored or forgotten.
Ask yourself ‘Are you delivering useful and interesting content to engage with your followers?’ or ‘Are you mindlessly churning out your listings and sales results across your accounts?’. If you’re doing the latter it may be time to reassess your social media strategy based upon the above dos and don’ts, to ensure you’re not wasting your time and energy alienating, frustrating and losing followers.
What content are you creating to successfully win the hearts and minds of your followers? Please feel free to leave a comment below.
From the Homely Team
Homely is a new way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia. Homely incorporates beautiful design and community engagement, to create an enjoyable and simple experience that helps you find a new home quickly.
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