Welcome to Part 2 of our 4 part blog around real estate and property marketing online! If you missed our last blog in relation to SEO then we’d recommend you have a read here as we’ll be continuing on with a lot of the same themes but with a social media focus and an individual agent or local brand angle. So with that said, let’s get into it!
Real Estate and property professionals are no strangers to social media. It’s become pretty commonplace in the industry for everything from brands through to local branches and the individuals working for them. But as with any industry, we’ve encountered a fair amount of people who know that they need to be communicating via social media without really being able to crack how to achieve success.
With social media that can sort of become a “how long is a piece of string” type question as it really does depend on the nature of your desired audience along with a range of other factors, but we thought we’d cover off a few universal truths to help steer you in the right direction.
So how does Social Media connect to the bigger picture?
Whether you’re looking after a Facebook page or Instagram account, one thing remains true: Do not disconnect yourself from the tone of voice and goals of the rest of the company and/or marketing plan. Sure, if you’re an individual professional trying to build your own local profile then you will need to strike a certain sense of independence and uniqueness, but you can do that just by being yourself and this doesn’t mean that you should ignore the opportunity to personally benefit from the overall marketing plan when you slot into it in the right way. The same is true for local branches of larger companies no matter what their social media activity is. There is very little benefit to being an island. Let’s explain.
How to cement your approach.
To begin with when it comes to real estate marketing strategy, identity, tone of voice, unique selling points and a well thought out mission statement are something everyone in the industry should (and likely do) have clearly laid out when engaging in any property marketing at all. If you find that this isn’t the case in your situation then that is the first thing that needs to be addressed. Marketing Land has a great write up on this if you’re unsure how to go about it.
The reason that it’s so important not to “go it alone” when it comes to this sort of thing is that the heavy lifting is actually being done for you already. If that sounds like a no-brainer to you then great! But it’s a sadly common practice that individuals and local branches aren’t leveraging off the brand recognition and groundwork laid by their parent companies.
So have a good think about what you want to achieve and how that can connect to the larger narrative in a way that is cohesive with they way the company wants to present themselves.
But what goes well in terms of content?
A lot of this would be obvious. You’ve likely got a lot of great property photos to share and listings to link to and should be utilising these to full effect (with the obvious focus on photos for Instagram and links via Facebook). This is a great start and will certainly give you a good bank of content to work with in real estate advertising, but there are obvious gaps to fill in terms of the types of content you post if you don’t want to come across as spammy and repetitive. There are two basic things we recommend to all clients starting out to address this: 1. Personalise/humanise your profile and 2. Connect your properties to their local communities.
Got a favourite coffee place near one of your listings? There’s your property marketing content right there. Taking the kids to a school fete near a great property you’re trying to sell or rent? That’s both a great sales tool and a trust building exercise in your expertise. You can also plan around these things. If you have a few new listings you’re getting ready to put up, look at the local area and see what benefits you could sell while showing that you know the area intimately. Sending an agent out for the day? Let them take over the branch Instagram and/or Facebook account to post about their day and the properties they’re visiting in the “stories” section.
We’re willing to bet that your star staff didn’t get where they are with good listings alone. Being a good agent requires personality and that is an immediately available asset to your social media efforts. Get them out there interacting with people and places and showing off what you’re advertising.
Lastly on content, if we were to offer anything around what not to post, it would have to be inspirational/motivational quotes. Sure it works for celebrities and life coaches, but trust us (and our data based stance on this), no-one wants to see this in the property market and although it’s hotly debated, there are theories floating around that Instagram in particular doesn’t like imagery with too much text and Facebook very clearly states that it won’t let you promote/boost posts that contain too much text in the imagery. But back to no-go content, the same goes for political opinions, risque humour (unless it’s thoroughly vetted and considered appropriate) and pointless/non-industry related posts about puppies and kittens. Sure you’ll get clicks, but mostly not from potential customers.
We also haven’t forgotten about posting things like industry news on Facebook and various other happenings within the company, but for the most part we’ve seen that everyone is across it as an industry, so try to focus on introducing a bit of personality and watch the interaction shoot up!
But lastly, do not forget to track your progress!
We’ve gotten very warm and fuzzy in this blog and not really focused on pay per click advertising (with good reason, there’s a blog coming on that), but regardless of your chosen activities, it’s important to track the outcomes. We covered Google Tag Manager in our last blog in this series so we won’t repeat ourselves, but long story short it is a great way to track how these sorts of branding tactics actually contribute to your bottom line, which is a traditionally hard thing to do. Certainty in branding exercises were for a long time difficult to measure, but the digital age has solved many of those problems so be sure to get it installed and customised to your needs!
That’s it from us for this week. Be sure to check back next week as we cover off pay per click advertising both on social media and Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) and as always if you’d like to know more or explore your options please feel free to get in touch!