6 Steps to Grow Your Real Estate Business with Social Media
You hear it from every corner of the internet: to successfully market your real estate business, you need to have a social media presence. And that's sensible advice.
After all, it's where your clients spend their time! But despite spending hours of time to market your business on social media, nobody seems to actually like or interact with your post.
You're not the only realtor with that problem.
In fact, a benchmark study by HubSpot found while real estate businesses account for the most social media posts, they also receive the lowest engagement rates of all industries considered.
Simply building a social media presence, as it turns out, is not enough to actually engage your audience or grow your client base.
And yet, the two above paragraphs are far from mutually exclusive. You can use social media to grow your real estate business, setting yourself apart from countless competitors who are trying to do the same thing - and failing. All you need is a strategy.
Grow Your Real Estate Marketing in 6 Steps
1) Find the Right Network(s)
Sometimes, marketing is deceptively simple. You cannot succeed in reaching your audience if you send your message through the wrong channels. It's tempting to set up a social media presence based on your own knowledge; if you have a Facebook account, it's easier to create a page for your business on that network.
In reality, though, your audience should be the driving force behind your decision on which social media network(s) to focus on.
Other than Facebook, which has attracted a broad range of demographics and geographics, networks like Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest attract very different users.
Choosing where to reach potential clients should be closely related to the average demographics of the most popular social media networks.
LinkedIn, for example, is ideal in the commercial real estate space thanks to its professional audience. Pinterest, on the other hand, wins among females and can help your cause through its visual content.
If you're looking to attract first-time homeowners, networks like Instagram and Snapchat, whose audiences skew younger than most of their counterparts, may be your best fit. The goal is to choose one or two social media networks to focus on before even thinking about the type of content you want to post.
2) Build a Content Calendar
Once you've found your ideal channels, it's time to think about your content. Social media requires constant attention; with our attention span now shorter than that of a goldfish, we need to be constantly reminded about what brands and topics we do and should care about.
The result is a need for frequency that's important to take into account. Research shows depending on the network(s) you pick, you should post up to 5 times per day on social media.
Posting that often for a week is easy. Sustaining the same frequency for months and even years, however, is more difficult.
A content calendar can help you plan out your posts and topics in advance, creating a more consistent presence as a result.
Of course, as the above benchmark study shows, real estate marketers don't have a problem finding the right quantity of posts to publish on social media. The type of content, on the other hand, is a sticking point that could often use improvement.
3) Establish Yourself as a Resource
Most realtors fail on social media for a simple reason: they use it as a promotional channel.
When your audience logs into Facebook or Twitter, they don't expect or want to receive the same types of sales messages they would see on TV. Instead, they expect content they actually want to click on to learn more.
For your business, that means establishing yourself as a valuable resource on social media.
Your efforts should be an outgrowth of a larger content marketing strategy, providing tips and tricks relevant to both your business and home buyers and sellers. Once they're ready to become your client, they will remember your name.
Buffer researched a number of data points that allowed it to draw conclusions over which types of social media content will get the most engagement. One of its conclusions jumped out to us: home, food, and lifestyle content accounts for 85% of shares across social media networks.
That's your opportunity.
Through your years of experience in the real estate market, you have developed a wealth of expertise in topics ranging from renovations to staging a home for sale.
Share that experience with your audience on social media to maximize your engagement.
4) Connect With Your Other Channels
Your social media efforts should never exist in isolation. Instead, they can form a fabric that weaves your marketing efforts together, engaging your audience while simultaneously encouraging them to visit your website or sign up for your newsletter.
Think about it: you share consistently high-value content on social media that helps homeowners find their perfect dream home. Every now and then, you subtly promote your newsletter as a related resource for even more valuable information. Once they sign up, you can build audience-specific drip campaigns to nudge them closer toward becoming a client.
That, in essence, is the beauty of social media. You can begin a conversation with your audience, which will lead to further interactions with your online content. But what happens when your audience starts that conversation without your knowledge?
5) Engage in Social Listening
It's time to stop thinking about social media as a linear marketing tool. To optimize it for your real estate needs, you need to do more than just post new content, no matter how relevant. Be sure to listen to relevant conversations, even if they don't happen on your page or profile.
Social listening is becoming increasingly important across industries. Every second, your potential clients tweet, post, and share information about buying a home, neighborhood activities, and other relevant topics.
They won't seek to include you in the conversation, so it's up to you to insert yourself.
A variety of online tools and websites can help you pick up and even set alerts for relevant conversations, based on keywords you specify. Once you find them, all you have to do is insert yourself into the conversation.
Again, focus not on selling your business, but adding tangible value to the discussion.
6) Supplement With PPC Campaigns
Finally, don't underestimate the potential impact of networks like Facebook and Twitter as advertising tools. Last year, Facebook alone generated more than $17 billion in advertising revenue as the continuation of rapid growth in each previous year.
Real estate firms alone spend more than $7.5 billion on social media.
As described above, building your social media presence should focus on value over 'sales' content. Social media advertising is your opportunity to add a more direct promotional angle to your efforts.
Advertising on social media, regardless of network, tends to come with a number of advantages:
- A pay-per-click (PPC) model, meaning your budget only gets charged when a user is interested enough in the ad to click on it.
- A variety of targeting options, ranging from interest-based to geographic. You can also specifically target recent visitors to your website.
- Integration into social media news feeds, creating a more natural experience for users compared to traditional sidebar ads.
Given these benefits, social media advertising has the potential to significantly raise your profile among your target audience. But ultimately, you should not rely on it to drive the entirety of your social media presence.
Instead, integrate it into your organic (unpaid) efforts, creating a consistent presence that will become both a valuable resource to your audience and a promotional outlet for your real estate business.
By following these steps, you can make sure your social media presence actively works to attract new clients and grow your business.