‘Social Media’ is one of the largest buzz words in our industry. The ability to connect with clients – past, present and future – free of charge has created a mad rush into the online world of Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to name a few. Although social media can be an extremely helpful tool, it can be equally as damaging. Here are a few tips to make sure social media helps, not hinders your business:
1. Value – When posting information related to real estate, make sure it offers something of value to your clients. This can include market updates, tips on how to renovate, information on government rebate programs, and many other topics.
2. Integrity – Social media is a public medium, so make sure it represents who you are as a professional. Whether you’re posting on your business profile or a personal profile, remember that your clients can often see both.
3. Connect – Unlike traditional marketing which was one-way communication (business to consumer) social media is a two-way conversation. When someone comments on a post, likes a picture, or re-tweets a link, don’t miss the opportunity to respond and connect with that person.
4. Quantity and Quality – Many social mediums contain an unfriend, block or delete button. This means that if people become overwhelmed or annoyed with the content and frequency that you publish, they can simply remove you from their forum which results in lost marketing potential.
5. Timing – Timing is an extremely important key in social media. Because news feeds are continually updating with the most recent content, your post may only have a few short minutes to be prominent. When posting, choose times that most people are online. For example, Monday to Friday at 12-1pm, 4-5:30pm and 7-9pm.
6. Just Do It – Make social media part of your business every day. Social media will only be successful if you make a consistent effort to engage surrounding your business.
I had a conversation a few weeks ago with a REALTOR® who mentioned that she was eager to drum up more business because things were very slow. Further on in the conversation she explained that she didn’t understand the use of social media and why people would bother to waste so much time on facebook or twitter. Unfortunately this REALTOR® is not alone in her thinking. Many people fail to realize that social media gives you the power to maximize your marketing potential and reach your entire network with minimal output of time and money. You can connect with thousands of people with a single post, whereas years ago you would have had to make individual phone calls or pay for expensive direct mail to reach the same number of people. Social media can be your best marketing tool, just make sure that it helps your business and doesn’t hinder it.
Chris Salmans, OREA YPN Committee Member and guest blogger.