Social Media – Guide for Estate Agents in 2016.
If I mentioned the names of Mike Krieger, Andrew McCollum, Noah Glass and Jawed Karim I am sure many readers will not have an idea who I am talking about… Yet if I mentioned hashtag, tweet, shared, likes and update then I am sure I am getting a majority of readers on to the same wave length as me. The names mentioned previously are all founders of major social media networking websites such as Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and most probably these chaps (yes, it seems that social media concepts are generally founded and launched by guys) are all multi-millionaires now, seeing their concepts unfold in to being what many people rely on in their day to day lives across the globe.
Anyway, back to us and the world of the living… Social Media and how you can use this marketing tool to increase your business for your estate agency in 2016.
We have seen a great progress within social media in 2015 and it is expected to continue it’s rapid pace of usage in 2016. For me, one of the biggest changes seen in social media for 2015 was in politics and how it was clear that political parties realised the importance of using them, Labour and Conservative parties both pulled in high ranking digital experts to improve their presence on the likes of Twitter and Facebook in order tap in to the ‘political trends‘ that were happening on them. They spent heavily to make sure that the communities on social media saw their perspective parties in the right light, parties that were ‘with it‘ and ‘on their level‘ making social media users more engaged with them, importantly interacting with a growing community who were likely to place an ‘X’ in that all important voting box.
The hashtag #Election2015 was trending during the voting period and many predicted that the value of parties social media accounts would be vital in seeing who was to win their regional votes etc. An interesting write up by The Independent in April 2015 is well worth a read.
Political parties getting celebrity faces on their side was also important as many held 100,000’s if not millions of followers.
Estate Agents across the country are now using social media and each and every day new waves of agencies are creating their accounts. Even before an estate agency launches, they will have created their accounts, creating brand awareness, starting to build their local target audience. So, what kind of advice should you be looking to take on for your estate agency in 2016? Some of my thoughts are:
- Remember that it is not all down to numbers. As the social media momentum grows and we see more and more users and updates, we must work harder to carve ourselves out an active target audience and deliver content that is highly likely to be seen and engaged with. I say time and time again, it is the quality of your followers / content on social media that will get you the results you are after. Think about what your target audience is really after and deliver it to them in the best way and most engaging way. Over simply a text Tweet, think about one with a quality image or interesting infographic, if your budgets stretch higher then investigate videos also.
- Blogging. Yes, that subject of blog writing again, but it really does work. You need to position your estate agency as the local authority, the social media account / website that holds all the interesting local facts that potential home buyers / sellers / renters are searching for. The more relevant and unique content that you share and host on your website then the higher ranking you will gain on Google and of course, the more relevant website traffic your agency will receive naturally.
- Speed. How quickly you share content and how easy you make it for readers to find you will also determine the success you have on social media. If you have news to share then share it out there and then as if you do not and if that news is local general news, it is sure that one of your competitors will share it out so making what you share after them, ‘old news‘. People are also heavily engaged in social media, but they lead far busier lives nowadays so if you deliver content then make sure it is easy to read and as far as you can, abbreviated, so that a reader gets what they need in the shortest period of time.
- Using Facetime and other live video streaming services. I really do think that estate agents who adopt innovative techniques within their every day services will see a greater engagement. As I mentioned previously, we are becoming far busier these days and have less time and less patience when it comes to finding information that we are searching for. Add to this that a majority of us carry our mobile phones around with us like an extra body part and we have a fantastic chance to engage with wider audiences by simply offering services such as Facetime viewings for clients who have busier lives to lead or who would find it more convenient to view live video over travelling a small distance for a real viewing.
- Study social media results. Social Media platforms are really providing us with more and more useful results and graphs for us to study better how our efforts are being received and the times during the day when what we share is working best. The likes of Twitter now provide us with a daily graph on your agency’s Tweet activity such as impressions every two hours (ours at Estate Agent Networking always shows that we get the most activity during 12-2pm) or your most active Tweet, which had the most impressions etc, etc – It is important you study these as your audience grows as you will be able to re-fine your efforts on each social media platform to coincide with when your audiences are most active or you can discover which style of updates get the best responses and which do not…