In a Word—Yes! Used effectively, social media can attract and motivate both buyers and sellers. In an intangible way, the savvy use of social media lets your potential clients know that you’re at the top of your game. You’re using all the tools available to you. You’re making it easy for people to communicate with you. In a more tangible way, using social media allows you to market your listings in a highly visible format through multiple communication channels.
So let’s get specific. What are the major advantages of social media marketing and how do you choose the tools that will be most effective in your particular sales environment?
- Visualize the neighborhood
- Play up your market expertise
- Create multiple channels
- Occupy the blogosphere
Visualize the neighborhood
You can create a wide-ranging mobile marketing strategy based on your knowledge of your own city, town, or neighborhood. Your clients are not just buying a house, they are buying a lifestyle. Take them outside the four walls of a potential home and let them put themselves in the picture. Scenic shots are good, and personal experiences are even better. A night at the local brew pub, the playgrounds at local parks, the public square at Christmas—base your material on what’s unique and attractive about your area. Then grab your video camera or hire a professional. It only takes a couple of good ideas to get started, and you can add material as you go.
Of course you’ll be doing video tours of your listings as well. Don’t neglect exterior shots if the surrounding yard, street, neighborhood or view is particularly photogenic.
Get a You-Tube account, if you don’t already have one, and start uploading. Keep your content fresh. Add outdoor views that change with the seasons.
Play up your market expertise
In addition to posting virtual home tours and area explorations, YouTube is a great outlet for sharing general real estate tips. You can create monthly market reports and offer advice on everything from home staging to applying for a mortgage. Organize everything by titles that are easy to understand and grouped according to subject. Keep an eye out for ways you can showcase your expertise and local knowledge. You should start to see an increase in client interaction as you provide useful, relevant information.
Create multiple channels
Once you have integrated a YouTube channel into your website, you can link your channel to Facebook, Twitter, Craigslist, LinkedIn and whatever other media you’re already using (or should be using).
But there’s much more you can do with your existing media outlets. For example, how about creating a separate Twitter account just for new listings? This makes it easy for potential buyers to contact you instantly. You can keep your regular Twitter account lively with market updates and other relevant news.
Network with other professionals via LinkedIn or sites designed for real estate professionals. Look upon these networking sites as cooperative rather than competitive. They can provide a great opportunity to share information and gain knowledge from others. And you never know where that next referral might come from.
Occupy the blogosphere
If you can post a status update on Facebook, you can blog. We’ve already discussed the basic principles of blogging in another article. So how do you take it to the next level? Three things:
- Be regular
- Be brief
- Be not boring
Good bloggers develop a following. In order to do that, you have to manage expectations. Tell your readers what to expect and then do it. You need to be a regular poster; depending on your situation at least once a week, and more than five times is too much. Try to post on the same days, so people will get in the habit of looking for you.
You don’t need to write the great American novel. Three hundred words is adequate, and 700 borders on too much. Whatever you do, never be boring. Provide information of value that readers can’t find just anywhere. If you learn something new about market conditions, interest rates, or anything else that’s relevant, be the first to get it out there. Become the go-to place for real estate information in your market.
As a Realtor, it’s very important that you create and maintain a high degree of credibility in your industry. When you are viewed as an authority, people are going to be much more likely to think of you when they need to sell their home or purchase a new one. And that’s what it’s all about.