Social media has transformed real estate marketing in recent years. It’s never been easier to reach out to an individual and deliver a tailored piece of advertising, nor has the response to real estate marketing campaigns ever been as rapid. Understanding how to make proper use of social networks for marketing is particularly important for any business which deals in relationships more than products—businesses such as real estate.
Real estate companies looking to thrive in the years to come need to understand the importance of social media, and put appropriate effort and resources into the new opportunities available. To help, we’ve put together a few general marketing ideas for your real estate business:
Know Your Networks
To start making the most of social media as a real estate marketing strategy, it’s crucial that you understand the nuances of each social network. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram may all be social media sites, but the use of each varies immensely. Thus, you’ll want to dig deep into each specific network before you begin campaigning with it; build unique marketing strategies for each site, rather than reusing the same generic content across each.
- Instagram: Very visual, good for agents to show off homes and neighborhoods. Useful in attracting younger audiences.
- LinkedIn: Great for commercial real estate and connecting with other industry professionals. Also useful for attracting older, higher-income audiences.
- YouTube: A good network for sharing tours of areas/neighborhoods or specific real estate properties. Video marketing is an essential part of YouTube audiences.
- Facebook: Similar to YouTube, with a stronger emphasis on communication and chatting. Very useful in building a presence in the community, due to the emphasis on geographic location.
- Twitter: A good medium for delivering photos of properties and some forms of communication.
Each social network also has its own set of pre-existing communities, tags, and groups you’ll want to learn about. A real estate company looking to build credibility, name recognition, and trust will do well to identify the relevant communities and engage with them earnestly as a real estate professional.
Segment Your Prospects
Dividing your audience up according to market segment will be a crucial aspect of your real estate marketing strategy. All potential buyers and sellers are not the same, and thus it is a mistake to advertise to them as if they were.
Instead, identify the unique groups within each network. Fortunately, different social networking sites appeal to different types of clients, so you’ll usually be able to identify a common thread to hang your marketing efforts on a per-site basis; this is for the best, as attempting to send two different messages from the same social media account can be tricky at best and counterproductive at worst.
Leverage Paid Ads
Paid social media ads give those in the real estate industry a high level of control over who sees their ads and when. Compared to other paid advertising channels, the targeting of social network ads is extremely precise, allowing you to accurately target age groups, geographic locations, and any other conceivable segment with your ads.
This is especially powerful for effectively targeting your advertisements at smaller market segments within the larger user base of a particular network, or for real estate companies which need to focus their efforts on a narrow geographic region to avoid wasting money.
Emphasize Effective Lead Generation
One key thing to keep in mind as you develop your social network campaigns: the difference between attention and valuable attention. You want to generate leads your real estate business can turn into profit; it’s not enough to get retweets, likes, and shares. You need content that convinces the right people to take the right actions to make you money.
In real estate, there is value simply in being popular and well-known, but that doesn’t make it any less important that you emphasize lead generation over more general popularity-building tactics. You can build a firm reputation with high-efficiency lead generation, without sacrificing your real estate advertising.
Fortunately, programs like Facebook Lead Ads make it easier than ever to turn interested social media contacts into qualified leads. Using this program, and those like it on other social networks, can greatly minimize the friction between interest and action which interferes with the transition from prospect to qualified lead.
The nature of social networks lead to a higher value on authenticity; if prospects feel your marketing is too scripted, artificial, or forced, especially if you’re interacting in non-commercial spaces, you’ll suffer backlash and negative reception. Make sure you put someone who understands the medium, cares about the properties, and can communicate with enthusiasm in charge of your social media campaigns. Otherwise, you risk undermining your efforts.
Ultimately, real estate businesses stand to gain immensely from proper use of social media—but those benefits demand appropriate effort. Take the time to do your research, understand the sites and their users, and deliver authentic messages that resonate appropriately.