To Be or Not to Be... Social Media
As you think about using SMM in your marketing mix, keep in mind that social media engagement is a dialogue, a two-way conversation, and active participation is required. This calls for ongoing monitoring as well as dedicated resources for care and feeding.
SMM is a great way to gain exposure and distinguish yourself from other REALTORS®. Through SMM, you can position yourself as a knowledgeable authority, a real estate resource, and a go-to person for information about particular topics relating to your market. For example, if you specialize in Victorian homes, you can use SMM to demonstrate your knowledge about historical structures, Victorian architecture, interior design and furnishings, upkeep and renovation of older homes, etc. The primary social media sites for real estate agents include: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Active Rain. You can leverage the power of these and other social media platforms to maintain relationships with clients and prospects, solicit referrals, build credibility in your market, and to create greater awareness about your realty practice. Here are some tips for using SMM effectively:
- Be professional. Everything you post, including photos, videos, tweets, etc. should reflect professionalism and good taste.
- Update your sites frequently so that people have a reason to visit you on a regular basis.
- Provide value by posting fresh, original, interesting content (tips, information, advice about neighborhoods, homes, pricing, schools, upgrades, interior design).
- But be careful not to "spam" people. Make sure your communication pushes are measured, meaningful and relevant.
- Be personal and personable online, but not overly casual or intimate.
- Connect with influencers, such as media types, bloggers and well known individuals.
- Send out frequent updates about new listings, open houses, closings and other activities.
- Contribute to conversations about issues and trends in the real estate industry.
- Share stories, case studies and testimonials that speak to your success as a REALTOR®
Keep in mind that social media content is published primarily by users, and SMM marketing messages are propagated through user participation and dialogue. This means that you do not have complete control of your marketing message, and this can be risky. Most REALTORS® use both online and traditional offline marketing strategies. Online marketing tactics should work in sync with traditional marketing efforts and a client’s experience should be seamless across all channels.
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