Three Ways to Use Social Media To Grow Your Business
Let’s be honest with each other: we are all really sick of reading the sentence, "there are unprecedented times."
We are about two months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and even though there is nothing normal about what is happening in the world, it is not the time to give up on your dreams or take a step back back from your business. It is the time to double down on your clients, show up for your community and when this all ends, be the first real estate agent that people think of when they are ready to buy or sell.
The good news is that even with stay-at-home restrictions in place, you can remain connected where your clients are already spending time. There has never been a better time for you to be connecting with your clients on social media.
Now, it probably feels strange to be marketing your business on social media, saying things like “a referral is the greatest compliment” or “interest rates are low so it’s a great time to buy.” But there are still plenty of social media strategies for your business in a COVID-19 world.
Here are my three big tips to help you show up on social media in a way that feels authentic, consistent with your brand, and helps you build or strengthen relationships.
BE A RESOURCE, NOT A REALTOR
If you want to grow your business using social media, it is important that you’re not all business, all the time. Social media is the online version of a cocktail party, or a happy hour networking event. If you think about it that way, nobody wants to have a conversation with someone who is constantly selling to them, or who constantly talks about their work.
For social networking to raise your brand awareness, enhance your credibility and even generate leads for your business, you need to add value to your audience. Good social media content will educate, entertain, inform or inspire. If your content doesn’t do that, social media will probably not be very effective for you.
Of course, your clients do want to see that you are promoting their listings so you should definitely sprinkle in those posts about your listings, closings and career milestones. I tell my clients to use the 80/20 Rule: 80% of your content should be educational, entertaining, informational or inspiring. The other 20% can be promotional.
BE YOUR PERSONABLE SELF
You are a real estate agent, not a reality TV star. Nobody expects you to have your own YouTube show or spend half of your day on Instagram Live. But your social media feeds should be distinguishable from the other hundreds of real estate agents who work in your community.
That means occasionally sharing pictures or even selfies of yourself behind-the-scenes doing what you do best. Once you get comfortable showing up in photos, you can move on to short Facebook or Instagram Live videos, but if it doesn’t come naturally to you then take it one step at a time.
I also encourage real estate agents to share bits and pieces of their personal lives. Your social media should tell your clients and prospective clients who you are, what you are about and what it’s like to work with you.
If you love to ride your Peleton bike, take yoga classes, cook new recipes or do fun activities with your kids, you should post about those things. People want to work with a real estate agent that they will get along with and can relate to.
Posts about your hobbies and interests are a great conversation starter, and more likely to help you build relationships and be memorable than if your pages only contain listings and ads.
KEEP IT POSITIVE
I think we can all agree that there is a lot of negativity and stress in the world right now. The process of buying or selling a home can also have its ups and downs and can be extremely emotional for the buyer or seller.
Show your clients that in a crisis, no matter how great the scale or far the reach, you will stay calm, cool, collected and positive. Even if you are like a duck -- calm at the surface and paddling like hell under water -- your clients will remember that you were a helpful resource, a caring member of the community and a ray of positivity and good energy.
While it’s okay to be human and to admit it if you’re having an off day, be wary of sharing news articles or spreading anything that could be construed as political or propaganda.
Positivity will look different for everyone, but it might mean sharing beautiful photos of the parks in your community, creating a graphic with an inspirational quote in a design program or sharing hopeful market data from your community.
Reassure your clients and communities that there is still a market out there for real estate and that you and your business are prepared to take on the challenges that the next few months may throw our way.
We know the road will be bumpy, but that it won't last forever!
Even though some of your clients might be canceling deals or putting their real estate plans on hold, you can still take some positive action to grow your business. This is the time to be using social media to stay top of mind with your clients so that eventually, when the market rebounds (and it will) you will be the real estate agent that they think about.
Maris Callahan is the founder of The Social Broker, a social media marketing agency for the real estate industry. She has 15 years experience in communication, several of those years as the head of communications at a Chicago real estate brokerage. Maris is passionate about helping real estate agents leverage social media as a tool for business growth. Her services include social media management and a content membership that provides real estate agents with a fresh content calendar each month including photography, graphic designs, caption templates, and group coaching resources. Visit thesocialbroker.com/how-it-work for more information.
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