Social media in real estate part 4: why you should develop a social media strategy

In the last decade, real estate has gone from being driven purely by print advertising, signs and brochures, to an industry where web enquiries from buyers are essentially driving the market. You should have a social media strategy because real estate is changing, and you need to keep up, or you'll be left behind in a cloud of dust, while your competitors are reaping the rewards of keeping up with technology and trends.If you think a social media strategy consists of starting a Facebook page and Twitter account and making a post and tweet every time you get a new listing - you are WRONG!DO NOT post your listings to your social media profiles!!I can tell you from experience that posting listings to your social media profiles won't work because when I was an agent, the agency I was with did it - want to know how many houses we sold from a post on Facebook? You're right if you guessed zero. We also managed to lose followers on our Facebook page. This is not what you want! You want your social media accounts to grow, not shrink!

What happens when you don't have a strategy?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The biggest problem with most social media strategy is that the strategy part is usually absent.It's pretty simple really, if you don't have a social media strategy, you are setting yourself up to fail. You will waste your time and effort in your initial attempts at social media, and you will lose potential clients because you haven't posted anything of value and you could even damage your brand (be that your brand as an agent or as an agency) because what you have posted is crap.So here's what NOT to do with your social media profiles:

  • DO NOT post listings - your clients probably don't care and your friends care less
  • DO NOT post useless content - as above - if you're content is not relevant, you are disenfranchising the people who are following you
  • DO NOT start with a spurt of enthusiasm, then stop posting regularly - your profile will fade into obscurity and you wont be doing your brand any favours

There are four key areas to focus on with your social media strategy:

What's your objective?

What are you trying to get out of your social media strategy?

  • Getting clients
  • Working your contacts
  • Getting to know the locals
  • Keeping clients
  • Getting referrals

Hint: You should be trying for all of the above in the long term, but in the short term, pick one or two to focus your attention to, and when you are a social media whiz, then focus on the rest!

How you are going to add value for your clients

Don't become irrelevant - You need to be posting useful, interesting and quality content, otherwise people will stop engaging with you online!

  • Will you be a listener - are you going to repeat / retweet useful and interesting news content?
  • Will you be a writer - are you going to write blogs and articles that are interesting and relevant?

Whether you are a listener, a writer or a combination of the two, if the content you are sharing with your followers is useful and interesting, you are adding value to their lives and they will remember you!

How you are going to maintain it

Will you do it in house or will you outsource? There are tools available to help you maintain your social presence, so why would you go to the expense of paying a social media consultant to do it for you?Maintaining a social media presence does not have to be a difficult or time consuming task. If you know what you are doing, and have the right tools to help you do it, you can spend as little as five minutes a day running you social media accounts.

How are you going to convert your social media strategies into real results?

If you remember what I've said in previous blogs - brand awareness for Real Estate agents means more (and better quality) appraisals, more listings, better buyers, more sales, happier clients and ultimately more money. Greater brand awareness is your return on investment (ROI), and I'll go into detail on how you can convert your social media strategies into real results in one of the next few blogs.

Up next...

In the next four blogs, I will tackle each of the four key areas to focus on with your social media strategy in more detail. Stay tuned!Oh and if you already have a social media presence and you are posting your listings to your Facebook and Twitter accounts - STOP NOW!

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