We would (probably) all agree that social media can be really fun from a personal perspective but when it comes to using social media for business, there is an entirely different purpose behind everything you post.
It can be tempting to focus on the number of ‘likes’ you have or how much engagement you get as a measure of success. But if you’re using social media for business (and you are!), these ‘vanity metrics’ can’t be the be-all, end-all of your social media efforts.
In this episode of Real Estate Pros, we look at what you should be measuring to determine if social media is contributing value to your business, or if it’s a useless distraction.
Here’s what typically happens in a real estate business (from our experience working with some of Australia’s leading agents and agencies)…
The business owner believes social media is important to their business but they don’t have the time themselves to do social media effectively. So they appoint a young guy or gal to manage social media for the company. Why? Well, they grew up with social media.
The social media person gets to work on growing a Facebook following, generating content for Instagram, updating LinkedIn profiles, posting quotes on Pinterest, posting to Twitter, creating hashtags and doing all of the social media ‘things’.
And when the business owner asks the marketing department how their social media is going, they’re met with statements like:
“We got 5,000 views on YouTube.”
“We got 200 new Facebook followers last week.”
“That Instagram post about 123 Smith Street got 20 shares!”
These numbers make us feel great and it’s nice to know people are following us. But the question you need to ask is:
Has any of this activity contributed to business outcomes?
If you ask any CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) or CFO (Chief Financial Officer) from any large organisation, they will tell you they care mostly about just three things when it comes to any marketing effort – especially social media:
- Generating revenue
- Reducing the amount it costs to acquire (or keep) a customer
- Improving staff retention
The social media managers in these large companies know that when they walk into a meeting and tell their CMO that the company has 10,000 likes on Facebook, they’re going to be asked:
- “Has your time spent growing those likes generated more revenue for us?”
- “Has your time spent growing those likes reduced the cost to convert or keep a customer?”
In the business of real estate, these are the bottom line questions we need to answer too.
The number of Facebook ‘likes’ you have, or how many shares you get on an Instagram post, are known in the marketing world as ‘vanity metrics’. They make you feel really good, but you are doing harm to your business if they are all you’re focusing on.
It is still important to measure these numbers. They just can’t be the be-all, end-all of your social media efforts.
Social media can be really fun from a personal perspective but when it comes to business, you can’t deposit your Facebook ‘likes’ at the bank. You need to go deeper and answer those three important questions:
- Are we generating revenue?
- Are we reducing costs to acquire or keep customers?
- Are we improving staff retention?
There are many agents and offices we see today who use Facebook solely as an advertising platform for their listings or to build an email subscriber list, rather than simply posting updates to their page. Their goal is to drive new enquiry or leads for their business and they know for a fact that their investment in social media delivers a return-on-investment.
If your goal on social media is to drive engagement, posting inspirational quotes or funny memes every day might be worth your time and effort. But if your goal is to generate revenue or build your email list, then funny memes and quotes are probably not going to get the job done.
If you’re using social media for business purposes, you need to prove with definitive data, not just gut feel, that your efforts are driving toward your business goals. That’s what really matters when it comes to social media – for business.
Do you agree? Disagree?
Leave a comment below.