A Commercial Real Estate Professional’s Guide to Social Media Marketing. Part 4: Growing Social Influence
By Sarah Malcolm, COO of The Content Funnel
Our CRE guide to social media marketing is a four-part series designed to help real estate agents and brokers launch their social media efforts on the right foot. The right social media strategies push traffic to your website, build brand recognition, offers ways to interact with customers, and generate more leads.
Sometimes content marketing newbies forget about the “social” aspect of “social media.” We become absorbed with the content generation process, creating infographics, writing blogs, recording videos, and sourcing content from our RSS feeds.
A social media calendar and content schedule do manage your workflow, but real estate professionals can’t spend all their time dialed in on curation and creation. You’ve got to include time to be social. Remember, social media started as a way to connect people. When real estate agents and brokers return to those roots, they find real success with their social strategy.
Plan for social media engagement
Every social media strategy document needs a section about how the brand will interact with others. Resharing or retweeting alone does not count as an interaction. Real estate agents and brokers use different strategies based on the platform to be engaged members of their social media communities.
Using a social media to ask potential or current clients a question
Tagging people in a social posts
Thanking a person for sharing an interesting piece of content
Joining a social real estate group and participating in the conversation
Responding to questions asked by others
Leaving comments on others’ posts
Joining a live chat, video, or seminar
Promoting offline meetings by letting people know where they will be
Creating polls or quizzes
This probably sounds like a ton of work, but you’re not doing it all every day. Set small, manageable objectives like, “each day, I will comment on one blog post.” Whatever you choose to do, make the engagement authentic to your brand beliefs.
Use tools like TrendSpottr to track hashtags you care about. Check in frequently to stay updated on the latest conversation.
Even five minutes a day checking and responding to your community makes a difference in building your social capital. You can’t only “output” and expect results. It’s important to have a consistent presence. Being active one month and a ghost the next won’t help you grow an audience.
Engaging with industry influencers
You’ve probably heard plenty about using influencers to grow social capital. Influencers are people with an engaged social media following. When they reference you or your content, your existence reaches a wider audience. The exposure from influencer’s endorsement boosts brand awareness and attracts new customers. So how do you find and engage them?
First, find the influencers active on the platforms you have chosen. Be careful when deciding to open an influencer relationship, especially if you intend to have a monetary agreement. Someone with 1,000 followers might be more impactful than someone with 10,000 followers. This new trend is called micro-influencers. These influencers with smaller circles have a more engaged audience that is more likely to trust that person’s opinion.
Follow the influencer(s). Don't expect the person to share your content or endorse you immediately. Just as real estate agents nurture relationships with clients and colleagues, brands need to develop a relationship over the social networks. Start by sharing their content or occasionally leaving comments.
The Content Funnel provides planning and guidance on how real estate professionals can build a relationship with an industry influencer and improve your social media marketing strategy. Given time, the goal is to build your social media presence as a real estate influencer.
Collaborate to Grow
You don’t need an influencer to reach more people. Partnerships and collaboration give you the same benefit of brand awareness and audience engagement! Find brands you love who offer complimentary services to yours. You’re pulling from each other’s strengths to tackle challenges and build the brand.
Start a relationship with them and see if they’re interested in doing something together. This could be doing some guest blogs, a social chat, or a “social media takeover.” If you work really well together, plan something more elaborate. Partner for a webinar or promote a co-hosted live workshop. Promote this collaboration like crazy on both of your social media networks.
As your presence grows, start using metrics to measure your social engagement efforts. Turning your social profiles into a business account gives you access to the social network’s in-house insights and data. Look at how often others like, comment, or share your social posts. What’s resonating with your followers? Spot the trends and post more material similar to this to increase your audience engagement. Create customizable links better track what content and social post style wins a click-through.
Wrapping up on social media
As you begin implementing a social media strategy, remember to invest in the long-term. Quality and consistency drive social media success. Avoid focusing on the number of people inside your circles. You want consumers that actually engage with the brand. These followers give the feedback that elevates your business. For more help, turn at any time to the social media experts at The Content Funnel.
Remember, check out these other chapters in our four-part series:
PART 1: A Guide to Social Platforms
PART 2: A Guide to Planning Content
PART 3: A Guide to Managing the Workflow