Why social media is important to estate agents
No matter the size of your estate agency, social media is an important resource for promoting your brand online. We live in a world where almost everything is done by computer, so having a strong online presence can be a huge benefactor. While the key purpose of running an agency will always be to attain more instructions, enhancing your brand awareness is also an important part of a longer-term strategy which is relatively low cost, and will ultimately help you to achieve your goals.
Social media is one of the key online marketing resources now because of its reach and the fact that the company using it own the platform and the media they share with their audience. It is not like buying space on a page in a magazine, or purchasing billboard advertising – your social media account is yours and yours to promote content how you wish.
While you may not acquire instructions directly through social media platforms to begin with, it is a great way to build your brand and make personal connections with your audience. There aren’t any other channels where you can engage and share content with your audience as easily as you can on social media.
Whether sharing a local housing market report, hosting Q&A sessions with your followers, linking to blog posts, or connecting with other important industry figureheads, social media is a powerful tool for elevating your online presence.
Increase brand recognition and loyalty
Every chance that you have to increase your agency’s visibility is one you cannot afford to ignore – and social media gives you a better stage than most to do this. When it comes to promoting your brand’s voice, social media is a (relatively) new channel when compared to other marketing methods, but it gives you faster access to an audience than any other way of advertising.
If a potential customer sees your agency on multiple social networks, it helps them to better acquaint themselves with your brand, see your content and hopefully reach out to your agency in some capacity. That might be as a buyer or tenant looking to move, or perhaps it will be a vendor or landlord with a property they own and would like to instruct on.
Agents that regularly engage with their audience on social media are likely to enjoy more loyalty from their customers. This is vitally important if you are a lettings agent and want to build relationships with landlords, but is also useful with tenants and buyers, who may regularly see your presence on social media, enjoy the content you offer and decide to use your agency when they feel the time is right to move home.
Different types of social media
74% of online adults having at least one social media account would point to a strong awareness of social media amongst internet users. However, not everyone realises just how different each social media platforms is. Detailed below are the main platforms that are particularly handy for estate agents.
Facebook: Facebook is generally associated with personal use, but it is also a great way to build an online following. Many businesses create pages and gain ‘fans’ which allows them to share content and interact directly. Agents can use this medium to show off their properties, link to articles or even handle enquiries.
Twitter: An online space where you have 140 characters to express yourself. At first it may seem such a limited character set is a hindrance to a business, but having a limited set amount of characters allows you to be more precise with your messages. It is also a good space to share links to more in-depth articles.
LinkedIn: A social networking site for professionals, LinkedIn lets you connect with other likeminded people in and around your industry. It is a good place to interact with landlords and vendors who have large property portfolios. You can also post reports, case studies and infographics.
Instagram: This is a good space for sharing photos with your audience. If your agency has plenty of stock, Instagram is a great way to show it off and give your instructions even more exposure.
Get more from your social media marketing
There are plenty of apps to boost your social media marketing, as well as paid campaigns for targeted advertising. They aid in the production and activation of your social media, helping you to get the best out of them.
- Hootsuite allows you to provide content at any time, day or night. The app grants you access to all of your social media accounts in one space so you can monitor them without having to login to different account, making it easier to reply to people.
- SocialBro combines tweet analytics with content optimisation to find out which tweets are engaging with your audience. It can even be integrated into Hootsuite so you can have easy access to data. Another plus point is that it allows you to see who follows your biggest competitors.
- Nimble combines social media management and networking, focusing on helping you build relationships with your contacts, no matter what social network they are on. You can view all of your past and present conversations in one place, which helps you view information that would normally take ages to find on separate platforms.
Less cost, more production
Every social media profile that you have is a way of linking back to your website, while every new piece of content you release is a potential source for capturing a new client. The more high-quality content that you have on social media, the more inbound traffic you will receive.
You don’t need to spend extended periods of time on social media; it is a tool to aid your main business assets. Spending between six and eight hours per week will usually be enough to build relationships online and enhance your brand. Even if you decide to use paid advertising through LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, it is still much cheaper than traditional advertising methods.
Your content will be the main driving force in terms of gaining an online following. You can share your stock, creating ‘properties of the week’ or curate personalised features on different types of properties.
You can also share your property blog posts and use them as a tool to link to in-depth, analytical driven reports. It is a 24/7 platform to promote ideas, share content and interact with your audience. If done correctly, it can help you to become a thought leader in your local market and an agency people come to rely on for property-related news in their area.