With social media all the buzz today it makes me wonder why so many real estate agents haven’t got a clue about the unwritten rules of social media marketing. Social media marketing has been here since the beginning of the internet with old school forums and Bulletin Board Systems BBS back in the 1970s and 80s. Back then it was just about providing ideas and helping each other with problems which at the time were mostly computer programming problems.
Then forums came along and the same unwritten rules to success still applied. Facebook at the core is a well-connected forum with powerful advertising systems based on what the user “likes”. Forums have groups of topics where people go looking for answers, much like they do on Facebook. The way to win at social media and Facebook is to join groups and follow pages where you post your helpful information and engage in the conversation.
Yet real estate agents seem to copy what other agents do… this is the “blind leading the blind” mentality that has plagued the real estate industry for years. Look at your local paper and ask yourself if there is any agent doing something different in there? And I’m not talking about bigger property ads or property focused ads. No they all have their face on a black and white ad with the “are you selling?”, “free appraisal” and they have to wait 7 days for the next batch of newspapers and flyers to be printed and distributed to potential sellers.
We are in the information age and as an information age consumer I expect:
- If it isn’t instant it’s irrelevant.
- If you can’t give it to me digitally I don’t want it… Think of the trees!
- If you can’t communicate with me automatically, I’ll forget who you are… overnight.
Then you go and copy some other agent who you think has a good social media presence and the crazy thing is other people think it’s doing well! Take Altitude Real Estate Facebook page with 8,498+ followers at the time of writing and it looks like they are doing pretty well and the local news did a feature on it. Nice work for a page that has been going for 6+ years (correct me if I’m wrong in the comments). Then you look at what my social media mentors student accomplished with his Facebook page. Wait for it… Wait for it… Architecturally Significant Modern Homes has a staggering 413,870 followers in under 24 months!! Holy crap that is amazing and what you should model your Facebook fan page on. “Success leaves clues” as my great real estate mentor Marc McLeod would say.
Now that the lesson is done its time to start to look at how your business self acts online. Facebook is a place to share your great ideas and give valuable information away that help people who you follow. You have to post on groups and pages, and engage in the conversation. Be fun and conversational, offer links to other sites that can help the reader and show that you care.
The unwritten rules for social media marketing
- Be fun
- Be friendly
- Give advice
- Give more help
- Never have a biased opinion
- Ask questions
- Prompt discussion
- Be real, never fake
- Suggest a solution
- Post another article in new thread (Suggest helpful links to article on your web site)
- Wait for response
- Post solution to response
- Make product
- Deliver product on Facebook within comment
- Never release early. Comment thread must be long!
- Rinse and repeat.
Repeat this formula at the same time through different threads but only what you can manage.
The key is to NEVER try to sell your service on Facebook. Instead offer advice, helpful solutions and how to’s to engage in the conversation. The goal here is to drive visitors to your web site because they will be curious to see what you have.
This only works if your web site has been written properly and designed in such a way that people BUY your service. Don’t even bother doing social media without a web site. This is the tool that like a vacuum sucks leads from Facebook and plants a listing in your office. Its like turning on a water tap and trying to catch the business in your hands instead of a big bucket that is your web site like our WebConnected platform does. Without a bucket you can’t catch the rush of water from the digital lead sources. Social media is the tap.
Always provide the best that you can and tell people how great it is and give them a chance to BUY your services.