The big question that real estate agents are asking is no longer “Why should I do social media?” but rather “How do I implement social media in my business?” The answer is really simple: Follow your business plan! Social media is a tool in your toolbox. You need to learn to apply the right tool for your purpose. Just like a handyman would not use a hammer when a Phillips screwdriver would work best.
Why would you as an agent have a Facebook business page when you don’t understand the purpose of the tool? Probably because someone told you needed to have one? Right? Let me jettison you back to when I got into the business. We were told to cold-call, knock on doors, join the local Chamber or Rotary, call on “For Sale by Owners,” farm with postcards and sit property desk because that was how we generated business. Certain prospecting worked better than others for each of us. For example, I hated door-knocking. I wasn’t confident, genuine or knowledgeable, therefore my return on investment of time was negligible. Now fast forward to 2013: You are being told to get a Facebook business page and use Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. You are signing up for these because you were told to, but still did not have a plan in place, then get frustrated because none of them are producing the results you were told it would. So let’s SIMPLIFY this for you:
1. Develop your marketing plan – look at your niche markets.
2. Identify your personal brand and rebrand if necessary.
3. Where is your “Sphere of Influence” communicating/congregating?
4. Identify your target social media audience.
5. Learn to implement the following in your posts: social objects, social contracts and social capital.
The hot social media areas as of interest that you should look into right now depending on your answer to the first item above include:
- Facebook personal
- Facebook business page if you are a broker/owner
So where should you spend YOUR time? It depends….on your ROI. That is, Return on Influence. Here are statistics to help in your decision-making:
Facebook: it is essential to understand the difference between a Facebook profile and a Facebook page. Learn how to use groups and list to effectively farm in your Facebook profile.
- 80% of users prefer to connect to a brand via Facebook.
- 23% of users check Facebook five times daily
- 17.1% of users in the U.S. are between 35-44
- 23.8% of users in the U.S. are between 25-34 (source checkfacebook.com)
Twitter: Think of Twitter as the CB (Citizens Band) radio of 2013. You have a handle. I am @amyoutloud. Then you talk in a special language. So instead of “Breaker 1-9, what’s your 20” over CB radio, you would tweet @amyoutloud whatcha doing? #timeforcoffee #starbucks. Anyone can “hear” our tweets if they follow us or search for the hashtag (#), but they may not necessarily be engaged in the conversation.
- Since Twitter started, there have been 163 billion tweets
- 175 million tweets/day in 2012
- 56% of consumers’ tweets to companies IGNORED
- 50% of users will stop doing business with them
Foursquare: This is a check-in system where you can become Mayor and leave tips about places in your community as well as market your listings.
- 60% of Foursquare users are male
- Open to public
- Great way to cold-call in social media
Yelp: This is a review site that is also indexed by Siri on your iPhone. Great idea would be to have your clients write reviews about you on Yelp.
Pinterest: This is a bulletin board of your interests that you pin, hence the word Pinterest.
- 10.4 million users
- 29% of users between 25-34
- 27% of users between 35-44
- 79% are women
- Average time spent per day is 1 hour 17 minutes
Instagram: This is a photo sharing site.
- 100 million users
- 4 billion photos
- Started in October 2010
- Sold to FB for $1billion
- Popular with teenagers (who will become your next buyer)
You can’t be great at all of the social media vehicles, so pick wisely. And, most importantly, have fun engaging!