Social media is hard. Really hard.
It’s the only platform where your company is competing for attention against everything and everyone, not just your competitors. Between photos of someone’s garlic prawns and a funny video of their sister’s cat, there you are alongside your competitors screaming “look at me”.
The added barrier for people in real estate is the well-documented level of distrust the public has in the industry, so you’re at loggerheads before you even start.
Most real estate businesses think “I need to get more clients from social media” and that’s only natural for salespeople and BDM’s because they’re paid to get more clients. But when was the last time you personally logged into Facebook and found a business more interesting than your own family and friends? Didn’t think so.
It’s time to re-think your approach to social media.
You know that referrals are the easiest sales to close. You know that it’s easier and more cost effective to keep a client than it is to create one. So what if all of your social media profiles were devoted entirely to client advocacy? What if your strategy was to create referrals instead of new business? What if instead of telling people what you do, you just showed them who you really are?
As my good friend Jay Baer says it in his best-selling book, Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help, Not Hype:
Sell something, and you make a customer today. Help someone, and you make a customer for life.”
It is with this thinking that social media becomes less about what your company does and more about the people you help. It is with this thinking that your clients become devoted supporters. It is with this thinking that you turn your company into somewhere everyone is proud to love and recommend.
Take the Independent Property Group in the ACT for example. You could be forgiven for thinking its Facebook page was a real person. It has photos and videos devoted entirely to its community, personal milestones and things the business cares about passionately – the same things a real person would post on social media. Its current Facebook profile header sums it up: “Real estate isn’t just about property, it’s about people.” This term gets thrown around a lot in our industry, but very few are living by it authentically.
Trust has never been more important and devoting social media entirely to building client advocacy is in direct opposition to how marketing is ingrained in real estate professionals at every level. It takes longer to build advocacy over generating leads, it’s a marathon not a sprint. Focus your social media on adding value to the lives of your current clients and I promise that you will get more clients. Keep trying to generate leads as a primary focus and I can’t promise that you will get the same results.
Fundamentally, in the years to come not every real estate business will focus their entire organic social media strategy on building an audience of brand advocates, but every successful real estate business will. Those who continue to “sell” or post boring pointless crap will be chewed up, spit out and booed off stage.
What’s your plan?