Social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and a whole host more. We are obsessed with it in our social lives and increasingly so in our business lives, but how important is it to your estate agency, and what should you be doing to launch into the socialsphere or to optimise your social media endeavours?
The reality is that everyone knows they need to be on social media for their business but very few actually know why. They’re chasing likes and follows, posting like crazy and seeing no return for their efforts. The reason is very simple, it’s because starting down any road with no concept of destination ensures that you’ll never get there!
If you are a social media novice, or if you feel that your efforts are going unrewarded, then this guide is for you. We’ve put together our top tips for answering seven of the most common question we hear on the subject:
What platforms should I be on?
Not an easy question to answer as it totally depends on your audience and preferences, but estate agency is a profession that’s customers connect on an emotional and visual level, so Facebook, Twitter and Instagram may well be suited. It would also be worth having a Linkedin account and/or company page, but it is likely that this would be used for recruitment and corporate client farming rather than anything else. The answer is to start with one, do not overload yourself with too much work, then add to this or change to see which best suits your business and its audience.
How much time should I spend on social media each day?
A return for your effort on social media can be a long-term investment. Building a following, and more importantly an active and engaged following, is hard work, so invest as much time into posting commenting, responding, curating and creating as you can. Variety is the name of the game to keep your audience interested. But, don’t drive yourself crazy, the ROI for social media, at least initially, is likely to be low so do not let it impact on the primary elements of your business, those areas that drive your turnover.
Should I ‘purchase’ followers?
Absolutely not. There is little point in having 10k or even 100k followers that know nothing about you and have no interest in you. Often purchased likes and followers are fake accounts anyway. So this is a vanity exercise only. Is there a case to argue that the more people you have following you the more likely new genuine people who see your social media accounts are to also follow you – the crowd confidence effect – yes, but is it worth the money, doubtful.
What should I talk about?
We would advocate posting as often as you can, therefore it makes sense to post about things you’re passionate about and that your audience are equally interested in. Vary your media by using text, images, video, links, curated content from respected sources and links to content you have written to keep excitement levels high. And remember that this is ‘social’ media, a conversation, a dialog not a monologue, so consider the varality of your content, responding to comments and focusing on topical subjects.
Is social media advertising worth the investment?
Social media platforms collect vast amounts of data about us, allowing their advertising offerings to provide highly segmented audience targeting. This makes social media advertising a very positive option if done correctly. Of course if done badly you can waste a large sum of money for very little return, but that’s similar to anything else in the business world. Facebook advertising especially has been praised by many businesses for this very reason.
In-house or outsource?
Ah, the old do it yourself or call in the experts question. Social media management or social media marketing specialists can be quite costly, but then whether this is an investment or an expense will be determined by the return you see for their efforts. If you are starting out it is possible to do much of your social media work yourself, but then it does also depend on the amount of time you have. When you’re organising your leaflets and newspaper adverts, posting on Rightmove, conducting viewings or measuring properties you’ve just been instructed on you may not have time to spend on your social media from one day to the next. And one thing to remember is that social media work is not something you do and then leave, it’s a regular, ongoing commitment that must be maintained once started.
Is there a benefit in using social media management software?
Yes, absolutely. Social media management software such as Hootsuite and Sendible allow you to schedule your social media posts, and to understand your audience better. Instead of spending an hour a day at a set time that you believe may be best for post visibility, but not necessarily convenient for your other scheduled work, you can do all your posting in one go for the week and schedule for it to go out whenever you choose it to.