Article: Social Media Strategy

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In the first part of this two-part series, we focused on online content that can engage your customers and potential customers, and brainstormed a few topics that those who are thinking of selling or buying – or who are just interested in the real estate market – typically enjoy.

This week we’ll focus on strategies for getting that in front of people and keeping their interest, which means we’re going to talk about social media.

Now, first things first: Social media is for most people, but it’s not for everyone. If your clientele is super elite or strictly commercial, this may not be the space you want to devote your energy to. However, for most people (even high-end and business clients), social media is a daily or even hourly (is minutely a word?) habit. It’s easy marketing and, most importantly, by-and-large it is free.

So, you’ve got a Facebook business page, a Twitter account, and a reasonable following on both. What now?

The good news is succeeding as a professional on social media is a lot like succeeding as an individual: If you are interesting, people will engage. If you’re inattentive, self-serving and lazy, they won’t.

The always-helpful Realtor.com has a list of social media building blocks that you would do well to print and pass around at the next office meeting, and the authenticity piece is key:

Your customers don’t want to read impersonal posts about the importance of keeping in touch with their REALTORĀ®. Instead, be human and be yourself. Are you sponsoring a Little League team in your town? Share it with your fans! Know a few real estate jokes? Tell them! Imagine how much positive feedback you would get if you asked: “Why didn’t the hipster realtor show the oceanside mansion? – It was too current.” Write posts that show your company’s personality and watch your online community begin to engage and grow.

The rest of the advice is just as good, from using photos and video (duh), engaging through contests and specific questions (real estate horror stories or decorating tips are always popular).

To this we would add: Engage immediately. Set aside some time in both the morning and afternoon, and maybe again in the evening, to answer questions that come through, thank people for their replies or for sharing your content, and to head off any potential problems or gripes (and you will get those with time) before they go “viral.”

If you’re new to the space, Yahoo’s Small Business site has some helpful tips about getting started and ideas for posting.