Truly Understanding Social Media is the First Step.
In the Netflix original series “Santa Clarita Diet,” actor Timothy Olyphant’s character (a realtor caught up in a sticky situation) discusses the perks of his job. “I work my own hours,” he explains. “I only see my boss twice a week!” Indeed, most people seem to think selling real estate is a cushy gig where one can collect big paychecks for minimal effort. If only that were true. Not only must real estate agents show home after home after home, they also must find a way to stand out in an increasingly crowded professional market.
Fortunately, marketing oneself doesn’t require big, splashy ads or expensive radio spots. Thanks to the rise of social media, you can build awareness for your own personal brand from the comfort of your smartphone. But don’t think that you can just wing it.
Successful social media marketing requires careful consideration of a few key points:
Pick a proper platform.
Facebook isn’t Google Plus any more than Reddit is LinkedIn. Understand first and foremost the strengths and weaknesses of various social media sites before you start posting. If you share highly-detailed technical graphs on Instagram or pen endless messages on correctly valuing a property on Twitter, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. I use a combination of Twitter and Instagram to interact with folks who are interested in learning more about real estate investing.
Remember that conversation is king.
Social media is supposed to be, well, social. Real estate agents who simply shunt content onto their accounts rarely succeed. Why? People come to social media looking for an exchange of ideas or to converse about a subject of interest or simply to argue. Agents hoping to make sales should probably avoid that last group, but reaching the rest will require some give and take. Don’t be afraid to hold actual conversations with potential clients. Remember providing massive value with a quick message or video is the difference between being noticed and drowning in the noise.
Focus on real relationships.
In the same way that one-sided exchanges simply don’t work on social media, superficial connections won’t ultimately benefit anyone. Sure, everyone wants a Facebook friend roster filled with thousands of connections. But you and your business would do better to zero in on individuals who really want to interact with you. A pro tip involves building a relationship on social media and then connecting on the phone or in-person.
Here is a quick message that works for me: “It’s been great connecting with you here! When’s a good time to chat on the phone so I can better understand what you’re looking for?” I’ve noticed scheduling time to talk can be frustrating with all the back and forth until an acceptable time is agreed upon. Use tools like Calendly to streamline this process making it easier for your potential client to book time with you.
Find what makes you unique.
Just as the real estate market is crowded with agents clamoring for listings, so the world of social media is stuffed with individuals looking for audiences. Forget about offering stale facts or simple platitudes that your connections could easily find elsewhere. Instead, examine your particular skill set and find a way to add value. Perhaps you know the hot spots in a specific neighborhood. Maybe you can couch complicated concepts in everyday language. Find your niche and work it as hard as you can.
Make a long-term commitment.
One of the great banes facing any kind of marketing is the insidious influence of “magical thinking.” People like to pretend that this latest outreach effort will be the one that magically draws in business. But social media marketing – indeed, any marketing – doesn’t work that way. It takes commitment and a steady, day-after-day investment of time, talent, and energy.
Social media marketing may not serve as a push-button sales strategy, a single-use, one-size-fits-all approach. But as a key component of an overall marketing approach or the capstone for your personal outreach, it has the potential to make your business boom.
My Keys to Dominating Twitter and Instagram in about 30 Minutes a Day
How I Dominate Twitter:
In less than 15 minutes a day, I reply to 10 tweets (both text and video) that contain the following hashtag: #realestate, #investing, #realestateflip, #entrepreneur, #investments. To find hashtags that are most relevant to you, type in your keywords into the Twitter’s search feature and browse around. You’ll find influencers in your space that use specific hashtags. Give those a try!
How I Dominate Instagram:
I post two to three times a day per account using an awesome description about my post and popular hashtags. Like Twitter, use Instagram’s search feature to find popular, relevant hashtags. Stay away from hashtags who have 500,000+ posts. Why? Your post won’t have enough time to get traction and the probability it will be viewed will decrease significantly. Stick to hashtags that have between 25,000 and 100,000 posts.